How has the Bible shaped western civilization?
Mangalwadi draws an impressive conclusion: the West owes everything that has given it the basis for its development and success to the Bible. He is a staunch Christian and finds it difficult to understand that the West is getting further and further from the source of its success. He wrote down his findings in «Das Buch der Mitte», published by Fontis Verlag. I accepted the challenge of picking out five main ideas:
According to the biblical doctrine of creation, God created men and women in his own image. This gives people a dignity and value that is not recognized in any other culture.
It was on this basis that the “Declaration of Human Rights” came about. Europe discovered that everyone has their own dignity, regardless of gender, race, age, health or social status. This teaching is the basis for motivated Christians to take care of the weakest, those who are exposed to a certain fatalism in other cultures and are therefore considered unworthy. In such cultures the poor, the sick and the disabled are left to their own devices because they were predestined to do so or were guilty in a previous life and now have to bear this sad fate. (The mass murders in the Third Reich were only made possible by Darwinism, which taught the victory of the strong over the weaker and stamped human dignity into the ground.)
Jesus, on the other hand, showed compassion by offering practical help to all who needed it. Many Christians therefore strive to follow his example and care for those in need.
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