This is a post by a friend on CARM named Kevin Harris, who is also a local Radio personalty in Dallas:
"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank for being Jewish. For that, we call him evil. God burns Anne Frank for being Jewish, forever. For that, theists call him 'good.'"
This simplistic statement I found on an atheist site is typical of today's new breed of anti-Christians. It is very effective in our sound-byte world. And in such a world, people seldom take the time to unpack or examine such slogans.
I could spend volumes on the "bumpersticker" above but let me offer one comment. It exposes the number one reason we struggle in a sinful, fallen world: Man is elevated and God is lowered.
This statement reminds me that in the back of my mind I have noticed a marked increase in the face slapping, hard hitting sort of atheist sound bite. What is missing from our Christian rhetorical approach today is the old one liner witnessing took such as "I found it," "Jesus saves," "one way?" I'm not sure why those sorts of slogans are less bandied about, because I don't think Christians have become any more embedded with presentations of intellectual acuity denoting the glories of the former Civilization and the Christian contribution to it. I think what's happened is our own evocative one liners are out of fashion, they don't speak to the ethos of generation x, but they have also been replaced with right wing political rhetoric. NO, don't click off, I'm not going on a tirade against republicans! But I have a more important point to make, one republican friends will like and democrats too.
Kevin gets' it right when he says the sound bite society is defeating deeper kinds of thought because it so much less effort to read a bumpersticker than to read an academic journal or a book. This goes to the heart of everything I've tried to achieve as an apologist. I am really at a disadvantage in a soundbyte world, because my tendency couldn't be more antithetical to the bumpersticker logic of this age. What I see as this simplified kind of society is the formerly great civilization in decay, and the dregs, not even remnant but the dregs of that society in decay. That formerly great civilization which produced the Cicstine chapter and made modern science and culminated in the New Deal, was spurred on by Christianity and stocked with Christian thinkers, it only made sense with Christian concepts at its heart. When we ripped the Christian intellectual heritage out of the secular world we ripped the heart of the civilization.
One must read Schweitzer's Philosophy of Civilization to understand this. In two day I will publish here my article that I wrote for my academic journal Negations, "Schweitzer and the Death of Civilization." Everything that I've tried to do as an apologist is to open this door to take people into the wonderful world of ideas and the glorious intellectual Heritage of the church that I dissevered in seminary. But atheists are far too resistant, and Christians too estranged from their own roots to understand how that educational background they do not possess fits in with their bumpersticker world of "Jesus is the reason for the season."
The decline and fall of Western civilization was not predicated upon evolution or liberalism or taking prayer out of school. It was not even due to secualrization, as I agree with Harvey Ox, early 60's popularize of liberal theology and harbinger of the bourgeois sensibilities, that secularization is a good thing. Secularization WA necessary as a cure for the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventieth century. Major Christian thinkers such as Stout (Flight From Authority) agree that there had to come to be a common vocabulary before the religious wars could cease, secularization created a neutral space in which a common vacularly could develop.
The decline of ciliation really came when civilization itself began to be confuse with its own infrastructure. It was forgotten that civilization is primarily a philosophy and made up of ideas, the chief idea of which is the premise that social organization should foster the ability of the individual to achieve his/her full potential. This was gradually replaced with ideas about indoor plumbing and freeways. We say things like "I'm going back to civilization" meaning we are leaving the woods and going where the streets are paved. The identification of civilization with infrastructure was, however, not an accent that just happened, but the immediate result of empiricist values that translated Renaissance autonomy into personal gain and financial achievement. Autonomy in the Renaissance began as a means of recognizing the individual's right and responsibility to thank for himself, such as Dane's refusal to accept the dictates of the Pope because he knew they were wrong, and thus to accept permeant self exile form his home. After the advent of Modern science and the replacement of the edifice of medieval Christian thought with empiricism, which makes technology the chief means of understanding and the individual mind the center around which objects must parade as a Broadway show, the bailey of humans to control their own destiny comes to the fore as the primary aspect of modern life; thus civilization becomes not the ability to be free and to cultivate one's own potential, because that might lead us back to mystical reality, but rather the celebration of the 1939 world's fair bequest that is a celebration of human "progress" which means, human ability to plaster the countryside with tar and asphalt and make vast striates of land into a freeway; a much more tangible means of measuring civilization than the fulfillment of individuals.
So the ripping out of the Christian heart of the culture and estrangement of churches form their intellectual heritage meant the transition form civilization as an ideal to civilization as hardware and technology. With all of this the world becomes a soundbyte world because it's too complex to understand, moves too fast to contemplate, and requires that we give ourselves to our jobs rather than to learning. We haven't time for obtaining the educational background to understand the Christian past, and nothing seems more ridiculously absurd to an ignorant person than a well thoughtout Leonard discourse.
Thus, Christianity is bad because God burns Anne Frank.