Dinesh D’Souza on What’s So Great About Christianity?
- Monday, November 12, 2007
Mohler: So when you look at that picture what would you suggest that Christians should do? Simply sit back and make observations about the growing secularism of the elites, or engage the issues?
D’Souza: I think we have a clear biblical mandate to be “not of the world, but in it.” We are all told to love God not just with our hearts, but with our minds, and we are told to give the reasons for the hope that is within us. So, I think as Christians we should be in the culture, fully engaged. Not, if you will, conceding all this territory to the atheist because, let’s remember, this is not just a debate about putting a monument in a public building.
The atheists have very clearly said that their goal is to go after our children. In other words, they know that they have not won the battle for the current generation, but they are hoping that through the schools, and through the universities, as young Christians come into school, come into college—and remember, as in my case, when I went to college I was a Christian, but the Christianity I learned was very juvenile. You could call it Crayon Christianity, and so it was very vulnerable to skeptical assault. So, as Christians we are sending our children off and they are going to get a withering attack on their faith. We’ve got to prepare ourselves—even more important—we have to prepare them [our children]. We can’t just prepare them with, ultimately, scriptural truth, we also have to prepare them with intellectual and moral defenses, so that they can fend off the attacks that will surely come.
Mohler: Dinesh, let me ask you to tell us how you became a Christian? How did this happen in your life?
D’Souza: In my case, I was born in Bombay, India. My family was Christian, converted by Portuguese missionaries going back some centuries. But the Christianity I learned was ultimately a Christianity of habit. It was not a thoughtful Christianity.
When I went to Dartmouth as an undergraduate I found people saying things to me like “the universe operates according to fixed laws. How can you say that someone was born of a virgin or walked on water or changed water into wine?” I really couldn’t defend my faith, so I found myself drifting away—not that I didn’t want to believe, but my mind was becoming an obstacle. It’s only in later years that I began to think harder about Christianity.
I also married a young woman from Louisiana who is an evangelical Christian. We go to a Calvary Chapel church in California. So, through my wife and through a pastor I began to go back and look at the things I had learned as a child and realized that there is a mature, adult, intelligent Christianity that can withstand this skeptical assault.
What I have done in recent years is moved my own work, my own scholarship, and in this book—What’s So Great About Christianity?—I bring historical, philosophical, scientific arguments to bear in defending Christianity against its strongest critics.
In addition to being one of Salem Communications’ nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts, R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and recognized as one of America’s leading theologians and cultural commentators. For an extensive library of ministry resources from Dr. Mohler, including his daily blog, visit www.albertmohler.com.
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