More on centres of love

In the latest round of debate regarding the so-called “new atheism,” Christian theologian Doug Wilson takes on Christopher Hitchens in a published give-and-take on the topic Is Christianity Good for the World?[1] Hitchens is convinced that Christianity, along with religion in general, poisons everything good in life. And thus, for him, the answer to the question in the book’s title is a resounding no. Hitchens’ answer, however, is one that would have amazed numerous pagans living in the Roman Imperium in the first four centuries after Christ. The love, generosity, and showing of mercy of believers to those outside of the Christian community was, according to Henry Chadwick--that great patrologist who died this past summer and on whom I still need to write a small appreciation--“probably the most potent single cause of Christian success” during the period of the Roman Imperium.[2]

[1] Is Christianity Good for the World? (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2008).

[2] Henry Chadwick, The Early Church (Rev. ed.; London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1993), 56.