Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

WOF 439: Is Christianity Useful to the West?

Is Christianity a useful religion to the West? Atheist Richard Dawkins recently claimed that, while still an atheist, he considers himself a “cultural Christian” because of Christianity’s utility in supporting Western cultural and political values, which he laments are under attack. Former atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali also recently shared that she became a Christian upon realizing that Christianity is necessary to preserve Western political norms.

There are some complex and even troubling underlying questions about making the connection between Christianity and utility, especially as it relates to contemporary “Western values.” How is the utility defined and in response to what specific societal goals? Is Christianity’s utility limited to the West alone? Aren’t there some “Western values” that are antithetical to Christianity?

A listener asks how to respond to the common criticism from atheists that Christians only believe in God because they are scared of death.

00:00 | Intro
01:32 | Bishop Barron’s recent farm visit
03:00 | Recapping Richard Dawkins and the New Atheism
07:14 | Unpacking Richard Dawkins as a “cultural Christian”
12:38 | Can Christianity be culturally useful without a fixed cultural aim?
14:13 | Making moral judgments without a fixed standard
16:43 | The fundamentality of Christian thought in the West
19:51| Remembering the doctrinal dimension of Christianity
21:51 | Other influences in Western thought
25:16 | Is linking Christianity and Western thought evangelically helpful?
27:23 | Listener question
29:44 | Join the Word on Fire Institute

NOTE: Do you like this podcast? Become a Word on Fire IGNITE member! Word on Fire is a non-profit ministry that depends on the support of our listeners . . . like you! So become a part of this mission and join IGNITE today to become a Word on Fire insider and receive some special donor gifts for your generosity.