Thursday, March 17, 2011

Myth Busters: Christians, the Dark Ages, and Statistics

A couple of books I recently came across that look like information we could use.

The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution
by James Hannam
Maybe the Dark Ages Weren’t So Dark After all…

Here are some facts you probably didn’t learn in school:

People in the Middle Ages did not think the world was flat—in fact, medieval scholars could prove it wasn’t

The Inquisition never executed anyone because of their scientific ideas or discoveries (actually, the Church was the chief sponsor of scientific research and several popes were celebrated for their knowledge of the subject)

It was medieval scientific discoveries, methods, and principles that made possible western civilization’s “Scientific Revolution”

If you were taught that the Middle Ages were a time of intellectual stagnation, superstition, and ignorance, you were taught a myth that has been utterly refuted by modern scholarship.
You can read some of the author's articles here.  I know I liked some of them well enough to ask for notification when the book was published. It is now on my wish list.

Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other Lies You've Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths From the Secular and Christian Media
by Bradley R.E. Wright
According to the media, the church is rapidly shrinking, both in numbers and in effectiveness. But the good news is, much of the bad news is wrong. Sociologist Bradley R. E. Wright uncovers what's really happening in the church: evangelicals are more respected by secular culture now than they were ten years ago; divorce rates of Christians are lower than those of nonbelievers; Christians give more to charity than others do. Wright reveals to readers why and how statistics are distorted, and shows that God is still effectively working through his people today.
You know, I think that I used that "well known" myth that Christians get just as many divorces as other people when Scott and I discussed The Castle a few weeks ago. My apologies. But now I know better. The story that brought this to my attention may be read at GetReligion.

1 comment:

  1. I also used that "well-known" myth. I'm interested to read that book as well! On my list.