THE JESUS FACTOR
WHAT OUR WORLD WOULD BE LIKE WITHOUT CHRISTIANITY
JEREMIAH J. JOHNSTON
Dr. Jeremiah J. Johnston, a professor, scholar and public speaker, guides us on a journey through the history of mankind as he weighs, based on an enormous variety of perspectives, the impact that the Bible and the Christian faith have had throughout the centuries.
THE AUTHOR SHOWS us how the world was before Jesus and the Christian movement were first born, when poverty, slavery, prostitution, and women and child abuse were common. The rise of Christianity gave the world a new path, bringing a huge improvement in the society’s overall quality of life, especially in the lower social strata.
Suffering, fear and inequality ran rampant back then. The people were hostages of pain and disease, desperate for a cure, fearful of death and hell in a society fractured between freemen and slaves, rich and poor, men and women.
Even racism faded while Christianity swept through Europe and the Roman Empire. In the following millennium, no major philosophers or Christian theologians argued about racism and slavery.
But, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the racist ideal rekindled, as well as that of racial supremacy, which the author shows as examples of how modernism, by setting Christian principles aside, opened the way for the emergence of depraved movements,
such as the communist and the nazi regimes, inspired in anti-Christian systems, and that ended up being responsible for the death of almost 150 million lives.
The 19th century was particularly prolific in the rise of ideologies that proved detrimental for mankind. Johnston lists the “Big Five,” those who contributed severely to move the world away from the Judeo-Christian worldview – Feuerbach, Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. And without God, something has to fill up the void.
With the 20th century, the world watched mankind’s dehumanization and the arrival of Nietzsche’s Übermensch – Hitler, madly determined to exterminate millions in order to elevate a race. The origins of Mein Kampf and the “science” of racial purity go back to the proliferation of noxious ideas from the 19th century, which were also embraced by some of the most Machiavellian despots, such as Stalin, Mussolini, Mao Zedong and the three Kim dictators from North Korea.
In antithesis, the great opponent to Hitler’s imperial conquest, Winston Churchill, always acted in defense of the Christian civilization. The British statesman’s own life is proof that history is made by energetic people that strive for the impossible.
Jeremiah Johnston answers to the great questions about how the world would be, with and without Christianity. What was it that Romans didn’t like about Christianity? What is the value of life and human dignity? What made Christianity irresistible?
What this book shows to us and to the skeptics is that nothing would be the same without the existence of Jesus and the Christian movement that grew around Him. Yes, because up to the first twenty years of the first century, there wasn’t any of this Christianity thing going on. It was His miracles and healing power, but above all the reality of Jesus’ resurrection, that everything changed. The Jesus factor.
This Jesus factor contributed to the abolition of slavery, thanks to men like William Wilberforce and John Wesley, to the resolving of international conflicts, to the end of discrimination and inequality concerning sex, ethnicity and religion, and to the establishment of public education systems, including for those with disabilities.
In the ancient world there was no “humanitarian help,” but the first Christians learned with the Jesus factor how to take in the outcasts and the sojourners, building the communal shelters of medical care – the hospitals of our days.