10th June 2017

Has Europe Lost its Soul?

“Now follow the example of the correct teaching I gave you, and let the faith and love of Christ Jesus be your model.”
2 Timothy 1:13 (CEV)

With Christianity in Europe in decline there are many people today whose world has not been directly shaped by Christianity and take for granted their social and cultural life, laws and institutions. To these people, the origins of their civilisation have been lost in the mists of time.

Lord Sacks, former Chief Rabbi, philosopher, and scholar of Judaism, gave a public lecture at The Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome on 12th December 2011 entitled Has Europe Lost its Soul? Although he approached the subject from a Jewish perspective, Lord Sacks had the following to say about the positive influence of Christianity in Europe : “Let me begin with a striking passage from Niall Ferguson’s recent book, Civilisation. In it he tells of how the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was given the task of discovering how the West, having lagged behind China for centuries, eventually overtook it and established itself in a position of world pre-eminence. At first, said the scholar, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we concluded it was because you had the best political system. Then we realised it was your economic system. ‘But in the past 20 years, we have realised that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.’ The Chinese scholar was right. The same line of reasoning was followed by the Harvard economic historian, David Landes, in his magisterial The Wealth and Poverty of Nations…Landes too concludes that it was the Judeo-Christian heritage that the West had and China lacked.” (http://rabbisacks.org/has-europe-lost-its-soul-transcript-of-lecture-delivered-at-the-pontifical-gregorian-university-rome/):

It would appear that the Chinese are discovering what Europe is busy forgetting. Apparently, the fastest growth of Christianity is in China.

This brief study is not a comprehensive review of the positive influence of Christianity, neither is it an attempt to whitewash it. There is such a thing as bad theology and flawed Christianity which leads to bad practices, some of which have been widely publicised and have brought Christianity into disrepute. The anti-dote to these is not to totally reject Christianity, but to follow and promote a Christianity where its theology, morality, values, practices and traditions are continuously calibrated against the Living Word, Jesus Christ, and the written word, the Bible. This requires humility and a continuing willingness to make theological adjustments, where necessary. Bearing in mind the opening scripture, by following the example of correct teaching and with the faith and love of Jesus as our model, Christianity can still have a positive role to play in the UK and Europe.

Prayer
Father we thank you for your grace and the positive spiritual values revealed by Jesus Christ and the Bible.
Amen

Study by Eddie Marsh

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About the Author:
Eddie Marsh attends Grace Communion International in Sheffield.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion, Sheffield
Please email for Meeting Place

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Email: sheffield@gracecom.org.uk

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Comments

2 Responses to “10th June 2017”

  1. tony shevlane on June 10th, 2017 9:59 am

    Spot on Eddie. I have been saying that to colleagues at work for a long time. thanks for such a timely article.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Debbie Thomas on June 10th, 2017 9:03 pm

    Excellent Day by Day. Thanks for the link to the lecture, I listened to the whole thing, great stuff.

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