(still under construction)
All through the Bible God, Jesus and godly people reasoned for faith based on proof:
“…you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true…But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me.” John 5:31-33,36 (NLT)
Luke, one of the most educated authors of the Bible (along with Moses, Daniel, Paul, etc.) made one of the strongest statements about how faith is based on proof:
“Jesus also showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs and unquestionable demonstrations, appearing to them over a period of forty days and talking to them about the things concerning the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3 (AMP)
THE APOSTLES: The apostles were eyewitnesses of Jesus and his resurrection and repeatedly testified of what they had personally seen and heard which was one proof. And God gave them another proof, miracles.
“But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.” Acts 14:3
Peter tells us that each of us needs to give a rational defense of our hope and faith.
“Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
The Greek term for defense that he uses is apologia, which for the Romans and Greeks was a legal defense in court which if valid was based on strong evidence/proof.
Dr. John Lennox, a professor of mathematics and bioethicist from Oxford who often speaks eloquently about the truth of Christianity, says,
“Can you prove that there is a God?… The word proof has two meanings. There’s the rigorous meaning in maths that is very difficult to do and rare. But then there’s the other meaning – beyond reasonable doubt”. That’s the kind of ‘proof’ we can present: arguments to bring someone beyond reasonable doubt. For example, rational arguments such as those from philosophers Alvin Plantinga and William Lane Craig, the personal experience of Christians, and the witness of the gospel accounts in the Bible.”
Dr. Lennox also says:
We should be clear on what proof is as well. Cornell Law School defines proof in court trials this way.
“the burden of proof is met when the party with the burden convinces the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true.”
“preponderance of the evidence” Cornell Law School. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/preponderance_of_the_evidence
In criminal/capital cases the standard is higher, but even there it still does not mean that 100% of the evidence is all on one side, or that every single question someone might come up with has been answered. Police Detective J. Warner Wallace, a former atheist and now Christian, says,
“After a long career as a cold-case detective, I’ve learned to get comfortable with unanswered questions. In fact, I’ve never investigated or presented a case to a jury that wasn’t plagued with a number of mysteries…If potential jurors can’t envision themselves making a decision unless they can remove every possible doubt (and answer every possible question), we’ll do our best to make sure they don’t serve on our panel.
Warner, J. “How Can You Trust Christianity Is True When There Are So Many Unanswered Questions?” January 25, 2019, https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/how-can-you-trust-christianity-is-true-when-there-are-so-many-unanswered-questions/.
There are numerous reasons to believe and follow Jesus as Lord of our lives. Below we will look at some of major lines of proof that are good reasons to do this. In very brief summary:
PROOF #1: JESUS CHANGES MANY LIVES NOW!
PROOF #2: GOD’S PRINCIPLES EMPOWER THE MOST VALUABLE/LASTING SUCCESS IN THIS LIFE
PROOF #3: JESUS’ RESURRECTION IS BASED ON POWERFUL PROOF
PROOF #4: THE ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE
PROOF #5: JEWS/CHRISTIANS PIONEERED SCIENCE (most of it’s principles and fields)
PROOF #6: JEWS/CHRISTIANS HAVE WON ~90% OF NOBEL PRIZES
PROOF #7: GOD’S PRINCIPLES PIONEERED NEARLY ALL MAJOR HUMAN RIGHTS
PROOF #8: HUMAN RIGHTS DEGENERATE WHEN JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY IS REJECTED
PROOF #9: JEWS/CHRISTIANS PIONEERED MOST OF BENEFICIAL MEDICINE
PROOF #10: CHURCHES CONTRIBUTE ENORMOUS BENEFITS TO COMMUNITIES
There are 1000s of peer reviewed scientific studies in science, history and other fields that support the above benefits from Judeo-Christianity as well as the experiences of billions of people (there are over 2 billion Christians on the earth now and more throughout history). This is more than sufficient to constitute proof by any normal standard in research. If someone disagrees and cares about truth, human welfare and thriving, they need to demonstrate that another worldview has more AND better evidence/proof in all these areas and others to be rational. Many scholars and researchers, including the present writer, have read widely on many worldviews and have never found one that can match what Judeo-Christianity has demonstrated in just these areas above alone, let alone quite a few others. That means Christians are fully justified in claiming that faith in the Christian worldview is based on the strongest proof on earth.
Millions of lives have been radically changed lives due to following Bible
truths from God. People can experience God’s truth which brings freedom in
quite a number of ways. Here are a few:
TESTIMONIES OF RADICAL CHANGED LIVES
EXPERIENCING GOD A) CONQUERING ADDICTIONS/SINS/HARMFUL BEHAVIOURS.
The Bible gives principles for the best lives and conquering destructive behaviours that science has only understood the value of ~2,000 years after God wrote them in the Bible. Marriages have been saved, relationships healed, peace restored, addictions beaten, school grades improved, debt conquered, justice restored and when other people refuse to stop doing harmful things, God has given power and patience to His people to endure through the worst difficulties, persecution and cruelty.
Millions of testimonies confirm that God does change lives I many ways,
sometimes power to overcome addictions, sometimes by miracles. A few links to
many experiences are here:
Why I Am a Christian (testimony of David Wood, about how he was violent and narcissistic, but God changed him).
Testimony from under Matthew West – Broken Things (Lyric Video)
Khajiit Thundercat 1 year ago (edited)
I was on heroin for years. I was homeless, jobless, and penniless. My family gave up on me because I hurt them so much. I lost custody of my daughter. I remember being back in the woods where I lived, thinking I was going to die in my addiction. I was in bondage! I was dependent on drugs at all levels and it felt impossible to get out. I had overdosed 13 seperate times. I was an atheist. On October 18, 2013 I finally surrendered. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I eventually gave my life to Jesus! Now I am in college, I’m a drug counselor, and a preacher. God is restoring the relationships in my family everyday! There is hope! God can move ANYONE to change. The biggest miracles aren’t when He moves mountains but when He moves hearts. God you still use broken things and I’m all yours! Glory to The Almighty! Almost 4 years clean from drugs and alcohol!
EXPERIENCING GOD B) FREEDOM FROM GUILT
Many people have felt convicted by sin and burdened with guilt. But as they understood the gospel, they have experience God’s salvation freeing them from the burden of sin and guilt. For some, it’s a simple and personal experience, but in others, they have a powerful conviction from God’s Holy Spirit. In a very few cases, some hear his voice or see visions or miracles.
EXPERIENCING GOD C) MIRACLES
God usually wants us to learn from our experiences and to reason from cause to effect. But in some cases, he does miracles and there are many fully legitimate accounts of people experiencing miracles in history.
EXAMPLE #1) Many years ago there was a disease that was called SIDS-which means Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In that sickness the baby suddenly stops breathing for no reason and dies. My mother was still a baby at that time. Late one night my grandmother suddenly woke up with the strong impression that she should check on Jeanette, my mother. When she went and looked, my mother had stopped breathing. My grandmother tried to resuscitate her but it was no use. She wouldn’t breathe. Finally, she knelt and earnestly asked God to save her baby. She also promised that she would be a teacher for as long as she was able. Suddenly, my mother started breathing again. Because of that answer and promise to God, my grandmother has been a teacher for more than 50 years. So, you see, even the fact that I am writing this is the result of a direct answer to prayer.
EXAMPLE #2) God works miracles around the world. In Japan, he protected SDA church members from an atomic bomb.
The Hiroshima Miracle Saved from the atom bomb
EXAMPLE #3) Sabbath School Lessons for years have published accounts of people’s lives being changed or miracles happening in numerous ways. Go here, https://ssnet.org/study-guides/lesson-archives/, click on any quarter, then the individual lesson and look at the Fridays. That is where testimonies are published, week after week after week for decades.
EXAMPLE #4) Milo Adventist Academy Fire (God stops a fire from destroying a Christian school)
One summer in Oregon, I (Bryan Bissell) was working at a boarding academy, Milo Adventist Academy, to pay off my tuition. It was hot and dry and a fire got started some miles away. Winds drove the fire and it came closer and closer to our academy. We were very concerned and prayed that God would intervene. We kept on praying that it would be God’s will to spare our school so we could continue studying, but, we evacuated because we didn’t know for sure if it would be God’s will to intervene or not (which is what wise and mature Christians do). Luckily for me, we evacuated to a campmeeting that had great music, festivals, food, spiritual meetings and some cute girls as well :).
After some days we came back. The fire fighters, a couple of whom were fellow students and friends of mine, told us what happened. The fire had been heading straight towards the school, but then amazingly it turned right and skirted just around the school in sort of a “u” shape and then headed straight on. The firefighters said they had never seen anything like this happen before. Our school was saved from destruction by fire. It was a real miracle.
This also happened again years later and this article has pictures of it.
I AM SECOND (Jesus is 1st).
There are many more testimonies, some from famous people, about how Jesus changed their lives in all the ways above here and others.
If you spend your whole career building a business just to make money, how long will it last? Most of the longest businesses last maybe 1-200 years (a couple are longer). But if you think about the work that Godly people have done in pioneering human rights, medicine, educational institutions, they can last and have effects for centuries or millennia. Business can be valuable if done for godly reasons. But whatever work you do, if it changes lives for God and towards love, truth, justice, compassion, etc. that has much longer and greater effects.
The Bible repeatedly says that people will be more successful if they follow God’s principles (Deut. 4:4-8), but that all will go through trials as well (John 16:33). So the Bible has a prosperity gospel, but also a persecution gospel. There are false prosperity gospels…like give all your money to the pastor and make him rich and that will make you rich which are warned against in 2 Peter 2:1-4. But God does have a genuine prosperity gospel and the Bible promises many blessings in general and specific areas as a result of following God’s principles including better health, peace, joy, character development, wealth and others. God summarizes 2 of the most important reasons to follow Him through Paul: :
“Training for godliness is much better [than exercise], promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Tim. 4:8
1000s of scientific studies show this is true. Just one of many is that 80 years of research shows that religion improves self-control significantly & this is also a major factor in many kinds of success.
“Michael McCullough..and fellow psychologist at the University of Miami, Brian Willoughby, have reviewed eight decades of research and concluded that religious belief and piety promote self-control….[as a result] Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that devoutly religious people tend to do better in school, live longer, have more satisfying marriages & be generally happier.”
See also: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/244/4907/933.abstract
There are many lines of evidence showing that Jesus’ resurrection is based on proof. One of the most powerful is the resurrection which is one of the most proven events in recorded history. At least 120 prestigious lawyers/judges/supreme court justices, etc. have written treatises showing that the resurrection is one of the most proven facts of history. Sir Edward Clarke, a very successful lawyer, wrote:
“I have made a prolonged study of the evidences for the events of the first Easter day. To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the High Court I have secured the verdict on evidences not nearly so compelling.”3 Michael Cassidy, Chasing the Wind (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1985), 117-118
Sir Lionel Luckhoo was knighted twice by Queen Elizabeth and Guinness Book of Records lists him is the world’s most “successful” lawyer because he won 245 consecutive cases. When he was ~64 he investigated the claims of Jesus and experienced a conversion. He became a Christian and later wrote:
“I have spent more than forty-two years as a defense trial lawyer appearing in many parts of the world and am still in active practice. I have been fortunate to secure a number of successes in jury trials and I say unequivocally the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so overwhelming that it compels acceptance by proof which leaves absolutely not room for doubt.” Sir Lionel Luckhoo, What is Your Verdict? (Fellowship Press, 1980), 19.
are many more expert lawyers and overviews of the reasons Jesus’ resurrection
is solidly proven fact here:
A much more in depth treatment is this book by Dr. John Montgomery, a human rights lawyer with 11 degrees, most from prestigious universities: John Warwick Montgomery’s Legal Apologetic: www.worldevangelicals.org/resources/rfiles/res3_224_link_1292691756.pdf
See a summary and many links to lectures by scholars from many fields on why Jesus’ resurrection is one of the most proven events in all history here:
One of the best for its length (~2 hours) in terms of rational proof is by Michael Jones of Inspiring Philosophy. He summarizes the major lines of evidence and proof for Jesus’ resurrection, shows why all skeptic arguments badly fail to explain the evidence and how the only view that can explain all the evidence is a genuine resurrection of Jesus.
have enormous evidence and proof that the universe had a beginning from
science. This confirms the Bible’s predictions. If the universe did not begin,
then none of us could be alive. So this is pretty significant J.
Biblical cosmology speaks of God creating the universe (Hebrews 1:2) the movement of the stars after that beginning (Job 38:31), ~15 verses speak of an expansion stretching from that beginning (Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 51:13, etc.) and a number of stars comparable to the grains of sand, but finite (Psalms 147:4, Genesis 22:17) and a round/spherical earth resting/hanging on nothing (Isaiah 40:22, Job 26:7) and more.
work of scientists like George
Le’maitre, Einstein and Hubble demolished the ancient idea of an
eternally existing universe. But since a universe with a beginning requires a
Creator, some scientists have proposed other ideas for an eternal universe. The
cosmologist Alexandr Vilenken is not a Christian and analyzed these. He found
that all failed scientifically and that means we have proof for a universe with
a beginning. Vilenkin said:
“We discuss three candidate scenarios which seem to allow the possibility that the universe could have existed forever with no initial singularity: eternal infation, cyclic evolution, and the emergent universe. The first two of these scenarios are geodesically incomplete to the past, and thus cannot describe a universe without a beginning. The third, although it is stable with respect to classical perturbations, can collapse quantum mechanically, and therefore cannot have an eternal past.”
see also: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328474-400-why-physicists-cant-avoid-a-creation-event/ and https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/vilenkins-verdict-all-the-evidence-we-have-says-that-the-universe-had-a-beginning/.
So at the end of the day, Vilenkin’s verdict was:
“All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”
“It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape: they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”– Alexander Vilenkin, Many Worlds in One (New York: Hill and Wang, 2006), 176.Dr. Stephen M. Barr, theoretical particle physicist at the University of Delaware and a Darwinian writes.
“Materialism regards itself as scientific, and indeed is often called “scientific materialism,” even by its opponents, but it has no legitimate claim to be part of science. It is, rather, a school of philosophy, one defined by the belief that nothing exists except matter, or, as Democritus put it, “atoms and the void.”
…what Galileo and Newton overthrew were the erroneous, but perfectly naturalistic, theories of Aristotle. The Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century had to overcome the naturalism of Aristotle, not the supernaturalism of Christianity…The materialist’s notion that religion is about providing mythological explanations of nature in the absence of real scientific understanding”the “God of the gaps” idea”is, as applied to biblical religion at any rate, itself a piece of mythology…
The materialist’s notion that religion is about providing mythological explanations of nature in the absence of real scientific understanding”the “God of the gaps” idea”is, as applied to biblical religion at any rate, itself a piece of mythology.”
Dr. Robert Jastrow, a famous scientist at NASA, summarizes
the current situation eloquently.
“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” Robert Jastrow
Dr. James Hannam (Ph.D. in the history of science) who is himself a Darwinian, writes:
“…Christians believe that God created the world and ordained the laws of nature. He is the guarantor of constant and rational laws, such that investigating the world can consequently be a religious duty. It’s easy to forget that, until the 19th century, science had almost no practical applications. A religious imperative to study nature provided almost the only reason to bother doing it. It’s no surprise that so many scientific pioneers were devout men: Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, Joseph Priestley, Michael Faraday, Georg Mendel, and James Clerk Maxwell, to name just a few.”http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Science-and-Christianity-Can-Get-On-Better-Than-You-Think-James-Hannam-04-14-2011
Isaacn Newton is often considered the greatest modern scientist. And he was definitely a creation scientists and spoke of how physics and the order and precision in the universe were proof of God. This site has a few quotes on this topic.
Christianity actually gave science it’s golden age esp. in terms of advance in the philosophy and methods of science. The modern scientific method, peer review, falsification, 1st scientific societies, 1st scientific journals and other foundations of modern science were all developed/pioneered/promoted by Christians.
“The thirteenth century began with a scientific method that lacked experimental methods and lacked an approach to truth that applied naturally to physical things. It concluded with an essentially complete scientific method with a workable notion of truth. Because of Robert Grosseteste at Oxford, Albertus Magnus at Paris, and other medieval scholars, it was the golden age of scientific method. Never before or since that century have the philosophy and method of science been advanced so greatly.” pg. 58 Scientific Method in Practice Hugh G. Gauch Jr. (M.S. in plant Genetics from Cornell University and currently a professor there), Cambridge University Press, p. 52.
The Bible says that through Abraham God wanted to bless all the people of the world (Gen. 22:18). This has certainly happened in many ways. One of them is that Jews and Christians have won almost 90% of Nobel prizes in history (last count was ~24% Jewish and 65% Christian). This is phenomenal.
Oxford professor Richard Dawkins said this about the success of Jews:
“The number of Jews who have won Nobel Prizes is phenomenally high…Race does not come into it. It is pure religion and culture. Something about the cultural tradition of Jews is way, way more sympathetic to science and learning and intellectual pursuits than Islam…I don’t know [why]. But I don’t think it is a minor thing; it is colossal…I don’t have the answer to it. I am intrigued by it…I thought it was astounding.”1
1 “Interview: Richard Dawkins Keeps Making New Enemies”, ISAAC CHOTINER
October 29, 2013.
God through the Jews pioneered many major human rights as this brilliant life shows, contrasting God’s principles with principles of the ancient world, some of which were extremely brutal.
WORLDPERFECT: Part 1: Key Values for a Perfect World
Another Jewish site makes the same point.
“The Torah is the birthplace of modern ideas of equality. Throughout the ancient world, the truth was self-evident: all men are not created equal. You were what you were born: a king, a noble, or a serf. An orderly society was one in which people knew their place. As Aristotle put it in (supposedly) democratic Athens, justice meant that “equals should be treated as equals and unequals as unequals.” It’s fascinating to see how the stories of the Torah, and even more so its laws, systematically reworked these of ancient norms and institutions, creating a society that discouraged hierarchy and stratification and empowered and ennobled the citizenry.
Take the Torah’s economic laws, for example. Elsewhere, land was owned by the king and by the temples, while the common folk worked as serfs or as slaves. But in the Torah, God – who officially owns the land – gives it over to the Israelites. Every common Israelite is a land owner (Leviticus 25), which means that every Israelite has a source of income – history’s first example of universal private ownership of land by the citizens.”
Dr. Woodberry from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (UNC) has done exhaustive research on what enables the best development and thriving of nations. His research and that of many others in 1000s of research papers show decisively that Judeo-Christianity, esp. Protestant missionaries/Christians NOT dependent on governments (but sometimes influencing them significantly) are responsible for far more democracy, better health, lower infant mortality, better economic development, scientific development, higher levels of printing and literacy, better education (especially for women), organizational civil society, protection of private property, the rule of law and lower levels of corruption in modern society, more voluntary organizations, etc. than all other factors combined. There have been of course some real and unfortunate cases of Christians/missionaries who were tragically corrupt, racist or exploitative in various ways. Every group has some bad apples, even science. But the overall beneficial effect of Christianity is stupendous and completely unmatched in all history). They were the #1 cause of most benefits for society, more important than all other causes combined.
“conversionary Protestants (CPs) were a crucial catalyst that initiated the development and spread of religious liberty, mass education, mass printing, newspapers, voluntary organizations and most major colonial reforms.”
…Protestantism is associated with democracy. In broad comparative historical analyses, CPs consistently initiated and spread factors that past research suggests promote democracy (e.g., mass printing, mass education, civil society, and colonial rule of law). In cross-national statistical analysis Protestant missions are significantly and robustly associated with higher levels of printing, education, economic development, organizational civil society, protection of private property and rule of law and with lower levels of corruption (Woodberry 2004a; 2004c; 2006c; 2011b; 2011c and Table 21).
Moreover, wherever they have been tested, these patterns repeat at the subnational level (Woodberry 2004a; Gallego and Woodberry 2010; Nunn 2010; Bai and Kung 2010; Lankina and Getachew forthcoming). Finally, statistical analysis suggests that Protestant missions are strongly and robustly associated with democracy. In fact, missions seem to explain about half the variation in democracy outside Europe and survive dozens of controls and robustness checks…
Dr. Woodberry concluded
“The work of missionaries…turns out to be the single largest factor in insuring the health of nations.” This discovery was like an “atomic bomb” in his thinking.
Woodberry, Robert D. “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy”, American Political Science Review. Volume 106, Issue 2, May 2012 , pp. 244-274. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-political-science-review/article/missionary-roots-of-liberal-democracy/3D96CF5CB2F7FEB19B1835393D084B9A.
A reviewer said:
“For [Woodberry] to show through devastatingly thorough analysis that conversionary Protestants are crucial to what makes the country democratic today [is] remarkable in many ways. Not only is it another factor—it turns out to be the most important factor. It can’t be anything but startling for scholars of democracy.” Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Here’s an example of what Woodberry did. As part of his research, Dr. Woodberry traveled to Togo in 2001 and went to a top university. He found that the whole university didn’t have even 1/2 the books he did.
“Where do you buy your books?” Woodberry stopped to ask a student.
“Oh, we don’t buy books,” he replied. “The professors read the texts out loud to us, and we transcribe.”
But across the border, at the University of Ghana’s bookstore, Woodberry saw shelves lined with hundreds of books, including books by local scholars. Why the difference? The reason was clear: In the past, British missionaries in Ghana had established a whole system of schools and printing presses. But France, the colonial power in Togo, restricted missionaries. The French only wanted to educate a few smart people. This caused the difference.
In the Congo, both French and Belgian colonists had forced villagers to get rubber from the jungle. If they didn’t, they burned down villages, cut off hands and feet and did other horrible things. In the French Congo, no justice was done and it wasn’t even news. But in Belgian Congo, a huge protest started. Why the difference?
Woodberry found out that there were missionaries in the Belgian Congo, especially 2 named John and Alice Harris who took photographs of the terrible crimes—including a picture of a father gazing at his dead daughter. They took this evidence all over the United States and Britain and protested the abuses and that brought important changes to the Congo.
…”Mass literacy and mass education were…deliberate projects—the consequence of a Protestant vision that knocked down old hierarchies in the name of ‘the priesthood of all believers.’ If all souls were equal before God, everyone would need to access the Bible in their own language. They would also need to know how to read.
“They focused on teaching people to read,” says Dana Robert, director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at Boston University. “That sounds really basic, but if you look worldwide at poverty, literacy is the main thing that helps you rise out of poverty. Unless you have broad-based literacy, you can’t have democratic movements.
“As Woodberry observes, although the Chinese invented printing 800 years before Europeans did, in China the technology was used mostly for elites. Then Protestant missionaries arrived in the 19th century and began printing tens of thousands of religious texts, making those available to the masses, and teaching women and other marginalized groups how to read. Not until then did Asian authorities start printing more widely.”
Basically, missionaries were major factors in bringing democracy to over 50% of countries in the world as well as other major freedoms . They were the #1 cause, more important than all other causes combined.
Dr. Woodberry’s research and reviews of it and a video presentation are here:
The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy by Dr. Robert Woodberry:
ACADEMIC: Woodberry, Robert D. “The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy”, American Political Science Review. Volume 106, Issue 2, May 2012 , pp. 244-274. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-political-science-review/article/missionary-roots-of-liberal-democracy/3D96CF5CB2F7FEB19B1835393D084B9A. (also available here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41495078, https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Missionary-Roots-of-Liberal-Democracy-Woodberry/f542d902140ddaf9da012e08817dd78bab1a6073
LAYMEN LEVEL ARTICLES: The Surprising Discovery About Those Colonialist, Proselytizing Missionaries Christianity Today, January/February, 2014
VIDEO PRESENTATION: A video lecture by Dr.Woodberry is here: https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/academic-centers/wheaton-center-for-faith-politics-and-economics/events/archive/2011-2012-school-year/missionary-roots-of-liberal-democracy/).
JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY INVENTED CHILDREN’S RIGHTS TO AN INNOCENT CHILDHOOD
“Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others.” Titus 3:14, 1 John 3:17
Read Nehemiah 5:1-13 about what a godly government did when children were being abused and sold into slavery and how he immediately forced the super rich to give reparations to the poor so they wouldn’t have to do that evil.
This article shows how many ancient societies didn’t consider children to really be human, or at least not to have the rights that adults did. Child abuse was rampant in the ancient world. But Christians inspired by God worked to change that.
How Christianity invented Childhood and the right to freedom of children from abuse.
JUDEO-CHRISTIANITY PIONEERED WOMEN’S RIGHTS
The Bible repeatedly says that men and women are equal in many places (Matt. 23:8, Gal. 3:28 and others)
I’ve written quite a bit at this link on how Judeo-Christianity transformed the role of women in society in many countries (and how modern secular society is degrading them in a number of ways sadly). In many ancient societies without God, women were treated as having the status of slaves or even animals. But in the Bible, women were treated as equals to men. Both had some similarities, but also some different abilities and special skills that complement each other. There’s also research today (not on this site yet) that shows that in secular societies cause abuse towards women and children at much higher rates. Those rates in places like Hollywood or North Korea, can be up to 70-90% of women subjected to abuse (I can share the stats if you want them).
There’s a short list of some of the myriad of human rights that Christians pioneered here:
A longer version, contrasting the ancient world with some horrific levels of injustice and abuse which Judeo-Christianity overturned is here:
Dr. Montgomery has eleven earned degrees (from the University of Chicago, Cornell, Berkely, Essex, etc.) and is a leading respected lawyer in human rights. He found that when cultures abandon belief in God, human rights are seriously degraded or destroyed over time and people soon become vulnerable to greater exploitation.
He states that the only real source of inalienable human rights is a God who is outside and above the laws of human nations. Otherwise people just follow whatever government officials arbitrarily decide is “right” or “ethical”…and often that involves much greed and injustice because power corrupts most people.
Why Human Rights Are Impossible Without Religion
Montgomery lists many human rights that originated from biblical concepts. See some here:
(**more references coming here**).
The scientific work of just 7 Jewish/Christian scientists/intellectuals based on Bible and creation science has saved at least 2-3 billion lives: Ignatz Semmelweis, Florence Nightingale, Joseph Lister, Edward Jenner, Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel, Karl Landsteiner, Norman Borlaug, and Ellen White. Semmelweis and Lister pioneered anti-septic surgery and sterilizing medical workers hands and surgical devices. Nightingale pioneered sanitary hospital environments** and transformed nursing from a job for drunks and ignorant women to an incredibly useful profession. Together they dramatically reduce death rates from as high as 30% down to ~2% or less. Creationists like John Wilkins, Edward Blyth and Mendel pioneered speciation and genetics which led to Norman Borlaug’s Nobel prize winning work. Borlaug developed new kinds of wheat which could produce much more food and thus probably saved the lives of over 1 billion people. Ellen White pioneered preventative health habits and hospital care based on simple biblical remedies called NEWSTART which has saved millions of lives and could save millions more. And there are many Jewish and Christian scientists who have saved the lives of large numbers of people by following Bible and creation science.
Being an active member of church, paying tithe and volunteering is one of the most valuable solutions to numerous problems our world faces, especially the root problems of economic injustice. The agnostic scientist Dr. Cnaan has shown that for every $1 contributed to churches, the community receives ~$4.77 in benefits (http://www.haloproject.ca/phase-1-toronto) and sometimes up to $10 (depending on how biblical the church is). Another study found that when all the volunteer work, crime reduction, job creation, suicide prevention, educational work, marriage protection and many other effects of churches are considered, the average church generates ~$2 million every year.
Cnaan, Ram. “ Calculating the Economic Halo Effect of Sacred Places ”.
That’s a return of ~500-1000%. That’s far better than any stock market could dream of. And much research shows that the more church members follow Bible principles, the better the economic returns are. I believe that some churches could get even higher returns than 1000% if they follow Bible habits that Dr. Cnaan didn’t study or know about and that the churches in his study did not practice (for example some churches like Seventh Day Adventists follow biblical health habits and these add ~10 years to life, reduce/eliminate susceptibility to most diseases/viruses, improve brain function, help save the environment and can help people double their money by their 50s and more.).
 Tomlinson, Heather. “Ten quick responses to atheist claims.” Oct. 8, 2014, https://www.christiantoday.com/article/ten.quick.responses.to.atheist.claims/41439.htm.