Words of Hope: Dark Ages

I just finished a historical book on Florence. 

After reading it, I felt compelled to write an unfavorable review. I usually never write unfavorable reviews because I like to give others the benefit of the doubt. The man, clearly erudite and deeply knowledgeable, had a shockingly prominent dislike for Christianity. This blatant, unchecked bias diminished his scholarship and for me, placed his narrative in suspicion. His “facts” become tainted by his clear repugnance toward the Christian faith. I felt sad to learn he was educated in some of the finest universities in Europe where it is clear his biases were neither challenged nor debated.  

I get that it is easy to have dislike for Christianity, especially after reading some of the historical accounts. Genocide of men, women, and children at the edict of the church, torture, burning of priceless art and writings in the bonfire of the vanities, usury, villainy in the clergy and in the Christian nations are all shocking. 

I understand that the church and the Christian world have been full of hypocrites, cruelty, and harm. But also so are the atheistic states, for example those lead by Mao, Stalin, and Hitler. The depravity of the atheistic state is beyond understanding.  

Hypocrisy, abuse of power, cruelty in the name of religion or in the name of atheism is universal. Nonetheless, every story deserves our listening, attention, and care, especially as historians and scholars. 

I believe the indiscriminate brush strokes used to paint the story of Christianity by modern scholars and writers leaning heavily on their own desire to damn the church without nuance, temperance or self-responsibility must end. I hope readers like me are tired of the egoism in all rigid fundamentalism such as militant atheism.  

I hope we can move our universities, science programs, historical societies, and literature departments out of the dark ages of religion bashing back to reason, listening, and respect for views that may differ from our own.  

I imagine what Dad would ask this writer if they could sit together. I think he would ask, “It’s clear in your writing you have disgust for Christianity, when did this begin?” Dad would listen for the human story.  

It’s time for this type of renaissance. 

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. – 1 Corinthians 2:14