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Published by: Lovelymadona222 on Feb 06, 2014
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An Encapsulated View of the Best from Christian Publishers
 Volume 3 . Issue 34 August 2007
by Alvin J. Schmidt
ZondervanISBN: 0-310-26449-9
A Quick FocusA Quick Focus
COUNCIL OF REFERENCE
Dr. Richard Averbeck Rev. D. Stuart BriscoeDr. Paul CedarMr. Dave ColemanDr. & Mrs. Larry CrabbMr. Roger CrossRev. Samuel FarinaDr. Kenneth O. GangelRev. & Mrs. Lud GolzDr. Howard G. HendricksMr. Olan HendrixDr. David JeremiahRev. Knute LarsonDr. John C. MaxwellDr. Bruce McNicolMr. Dean MerrillMrs. Elisa MorganDr. Ray OrtlundDr. Luis PalauDr. Gilbert A. PetersonRev. Wes RobertsRev. & Mrs. JamieRassmussenMr. Jim WarrenDr. Rick Warren
Publishers
Catherine & DavidMartin
Editors
Cheryl & MichaelChiapperino
 
COUNCIL OF REFERENCE
Dr. Richard Averbeck Rev. D. Stuart BriscoeDr. Paul CedarMr. Dave ColemanDr. & Mrs. Larry CrabbMr. Roger CrossRev. Samuel FarinaDr. Kenneth O. GangelRev. & Mrs. Lud GolzDr. Howard G. HendricksMr. Olan HendrixDr. David JeremiahRev. Knute LarsonDr. John C. MaxwellDr. Bruce McNicolMr. Dean MerrillMrs. Elisa MorganDr. Ray OrtlundDr. Luis PalauDr. Gilbert A. PetersonRev. Wes RobertsRev. & Mrs. JamieRassmussenMr. Jim WarrenDr. Rick Warren
Publishers
Catherine & DavidMartin
Editors
Cheryl & MichaelChiapperino
The Book's Purpose
 Surveys and illustrates 2,000 years of influence that Chris- tianity has had on the world Reveals how not only indivi- duals, but all of civilization has been transformed by Christ Warns that the current culture of secularism and pluralism has clouded the truth of Christ’s influence on Western civili- zation
The Book’s Message
 Jesus Christ~His birth, life, death,and resurrection~has had a profoundinfluence on human life. Through Hisexample, Western civilization has attaineda higher level from which human beings,most unknowingly, benefit today.
Transformation of people . . . . . . . . . 2Value of human life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Charity, compassion, hospitals,and health care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Eight Main Points
Liberty and justice, labor andeconomic freedom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7Art, architecture, literature, music . . . . 8Holidays, words, symbols, expressions 8
Christ profoundly influenced:
How ChristianityChanged the WorldHow ChristianityChanged the World
 
 Christ appeared at least 20 addi-tional times. He reassured His fol-lowers that he was not just a spirit~He had flesh and bones and Heate with them. Christ’s physicallyresurrected body transformed thedisciples from fear to assurance,from doubt to certainty. They un-derstood His words, spoken beforethe crucifixion, I am the resurrec-tion and the life. He who believesin me will live, even though he dies;and whoever lives and believes inme will never die(John 11:25–26),and, “everyone who looks to theSon and believes in him shall haveeternal life, and I will raise him upon the last day” (John 6:40). It be-came clear to them that someday,as believers in Christ and His res-urrection, they, too, would beraised from the dead and live withHim forever. They understood. They weretransformed and, by this transfor-mation, they were motivated to takethis message to the world. Theywere no longer afraid. Over the yearsthat followed, they were threatenedby Roman authorities. In response,Peter and John fearlessly asserted,We cannot help speaking aboutwhat we have seen and heard”(Acts 4:20). They had lived thishistorical fact and were willing todie to share it. All but the ApostleJohn died a bloody death for theirtestimony.
 continued on page 3
People Transformed
 They were ordinary Jewish citizens~severalfishermen, a despised tax collector, and other low-ranking occupations. Among them existed a varietyof self-serving personality characteristics~overcon-fident, attention-seeking, skeptical, and miserly.These same individuals, because of Jesus Christ,were transformed into devoted followers who pro-duced social, political, economic, and culturalchanges that affect human life even to this day. Yet,they chose to sleep rather than comfort Jesus atthe Garden of Gethsemane; Peter~the overconfidentone~denied knowing Him and, all but John, hidin fear as Jesus was crucified. When Christ died,it appeared to the disciples that all they had witnessedand experienced was over as they feared for theirlives. They had spent three years seeing Him, hear-ing Him~living in His actual physical presence~and,in spite of that, they failed to remember His explicitwords: “the Son of Man must suffer many thingsand be rejected by the elders, chief priests andteachers of the law, and he must be killed andon the third day be raised to life” (Luke 9:22). On the third day, there was an empty tomb, anappearance to Mary, and an appearance to ten ofthe disciples in a tightly closed room. But, Thomas,who was not one of those ten, refused to believe.He wanted absolute evidence~to touch Christ’swounded hands and side. Eight days later, withThomas present, Jesus appeared again and askedThomas to touch his hands and side. As he touchedJesus, Thomas cried, ‘My Lord and my God!’ (John20:28).
222
TRANSFORMATION
PEOPLE
of
“On thebasis of thehistoricalevidence,I am fullypersuadedthat had Jesus Christnever walkedthe dustypathsof ancientPalestine,suffered,died, and risen fromthe dead,and neverassembledaround hima small groupof discipleswho spreadout intothe paganworld,the Westwould nothave attainedits high levelof civilization,giving itthe manyhumanbenefitsit enjoystoday.”
His confession,the most significantone in the entire Bible,declared that this risen Jesus was not justa man but also God.
“Men donot diefor stories they contrive.
 
33
were not directly killed, they werefrequently abandoned. Christiansnot only condemned child aban-donment, they took these childreninto their homes. Although severelypersecuted, Christians never stoppedpromoting the sanctity of humanlife. It took half a century of pres-sure before Valentinian, a Christianemperor who was influenced byBishop Basil of Caesarea in Cappa-docia, outlawed infanticide andchild abandonment in 374.Abortion was also a commonpractice of the Greco-Roman cul-ture. This practice was used to ridevidence of sexual indiscretion andto remain childless. Long beforethe birth of Christ, philosopherssuch as Plato, Aristotle, and Celsushelped to validate the practice ofabortion. Plato stressed that
 “itwas the prerogative of the city-state to have a woman submitto an abortion so that the statewould not become too populous(
Republi
5.461)
.” Early Chris-tians, as was true of the faithful Jewslong before the birth of Christ,believed in the sanctity of humanlife, including life in the womb. Human sacrifice, gladiatorialshows, and a general acceptance,if not glorification, of suicide werealso common practices. Over time,these, too, were outlawed as a resultof Christian opposition based onthe sanctity of human life.
 continued on page 4
The early church’sopposition to abortion,along with itscondemnation oinfanticide and childabandonment, wasa major factorin institutionalizingthe sanctity of humanlife in the Westernworld....The sanctityof life, with the exceptionof abortion, is stilllargely present today.”
TRANSFORMATION OF PEOPLE
continued from page 2
 Christ’s power to transform individuals did not end with His disciples.Through His presence and/or that of His disciples, many others weretransformed, and in turn, left their marks on history. Strengthened bythe examples of Stephen, James, and Saul (Paul), hundreds and then thou-sands of Christians suffered severe persecution that often led to executionduring the first three hundred years after Jesus’ death. At the hands ofRoman Emperors like Nero (54–68 A.D.), Domitian (81–96 A.D.),Antonius Pius (138–61 A.D.), Marcus Aurelius (161–80 A.D.), Valerian(253–60 A.D.), and others, many Christians were persecuted, tortured,and killed. Robin Lane Fox has noted that during this time, Christianswere “not known to have attacked their pagan enemies; they shed no in-nocent blood, except their own.” The early Christians did not set out to change the world. The worldwas affected as a by-product of believers’ transformed lives. They rejectedthe pagan gods and refused the immoral lifestyle of the Greco-Romans.They knew that Jesus made no promises of an easy and pain-free life. Onthe contrary, he had predicted that they would be hated and despised fortheir belief in Him. Believers continue to be transformed in the post-New Testament era;for example, John Hus, Martin Luther, Johann Sebastian Bach, WilliamWilberforce, David Livingstone, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and C. S. Lewis.These individuals made the world a more humane and civilized place be-cause they, like many Christians before them, lived their lives accordingto the words of Jesus Christ: “Let your light shine before men that theymay see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Human Life Sanctified
 The early Christians were shocked by the extremely low value theRomans and Greeks placed on human life. The Christians believed thatman was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)~the crowning gloryof God’s creation! Human life was to be protected and honored regardlessof its form or quality. They actively opposed the depravity of the Greco-Roman society on such issues as infanticide, child abandonment, abortion,human sacrifices, and suicide. Babies born deformed or frail were killed. Infant girls were especiallytargeted. This behavior was not unique to the Greco-Roman cultures~infanticide was also common in India, China, and Japan. It also took placein the Brazilian jungles, among the Eskimos, in parts of pagan Africa,and among various Native Americans of both North and South America. The early Christians called infanticide murder based on God’s com-mandment, You shall not kill.” Their response was true to the wordsof Paul, written shortly before being executed by Nero, “Do not conformany longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewingof your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s willis~his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2) If unwanted babies
CBS
HUMAN LIFE
of
VALUE

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