Book Discussion Posts

Confronting Christianity - Chapter 4 - Doesn't Religion Hinder Morality?

These discussion questions are intended to help us think through the content of the chapter. Feel free to answer each question, answer only one, or simply use them as a launching pad for your thoughts.

In this chapter, the author stated,

“The early Christian insistence on brotherhood across racial and ethnic boundaries, even across the dichotomy of slave and free, became a spark to ignite a new moral imagination. Values that many of us in the West today consider to be universal and independent of religious thought turn out not to have sprung from the ground during the Enlightenment but to have grown from the gradual spread and influence of Christian beliefs.”

- Do you associate your own sense of values and beliefs with Christianity or with culture?

- Why do you think a non-believer might be passionately committed to human rights?

The author shares a story about her friend, Sarah, and her conversion to Christianity. She stated,

“Sarah discovered that the longing for justice that had drawn her to “radical, leftist ideologies” was ultimately more satisfied by the radical message of Jesus, who abandoned his rights and embraced suffering, humiliation, and death to save others. “To live as a Christian,” she writes, “is a call to be part of this new, radical, creation. I am not passively awaiting a place in the clouds. I am redeemed by Christ, so now I have work to do.” Sarah’s deep-seated belief in human equality and her desire for justice left her unsatisfied with atheism. She was morally homesick for a place she had never known.”

- Do you resonate with Sarah’s feelings in any way?

- Have you found Christianity, and or the church in general, to be “morally satisfying” or are you left unsatisfied, perhaps even with questions?

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