An agnostic historian is urging Christians to avoid shying away from talking about Christianity, particularly the things that non-Christians find "weird" about it.
Award-winning historian of the ancient world, Tom Holland, told Glenn Scrivener in a recent video interview that Christians should not shy away from talking about the things that make the Christian faith unique, the Christian Headlines reported.
Holland, author of the book "Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World," said Christians should "insist" on the things that separate Christianity from other belief systems.
He said that, for example, Christians must not be tempted to shy away from talking about Jesus Christ of Nazareth as being both God and man at the same time. This truth "sets everything on its head," Holland said, and is what he deems Christianity's "strange singularity."
The agnostic historian, who studied the impact of Christianity on modern Western culture, urges Christians to continue asserting Biblical truths such as angels, demons, and miracles, because not only are these things non-negotiable parts of the history of "confessional Christianity," but also because "weird things" such as these are the things that changed the world.
The Gospel Coalition, a fellowship of evangelical churches committed to renewing faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming ministry practices according to Scripture, took a good look at Holland's book and said "it's hard to overstate the importance" of the agnostic historian's observations.
According to TGC, Holland made an easy to understand and highly verifiable case that Christianity is is foundational to the central values and priorities of modern, Western, secular culture.
In the book, Holland explained in great length an idea that was first proposed by the philosopher Friedrich Nietszche: that many people who fashion themselves as "scientific freethinkers" try to live "without God" but still consider values such as those taught by Scripture to be very valuable.
"But, he argued, they still believed in human rights, in the equal dignity of every person, in the value of the poor and weak, and the necessity of caring and advocating for them all," TCG said of Nietszche's argument.
"They still believed that love is the great value and that we should forgive our opponents. They still believed in moral absolutes-that some things are good and some things are evil-and particularly that oppression of the powerless was wrong."
The philosopher, who lived between 1844-1900, said all of these ideas and values were "unique" to Christianity and not something that came from Eastern cultures, or from Greek and Roman civilizations.
Holland added that some pagan cultures, such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Franks, could not have created Biblical values such as forgiveness and charity or caring for the poor since they considered these as not practicable for society.
These values, Holland asserted, could only come from a worldview that features a single, personal God who created life and made man in His image, and a Savior who came to give Himself as a sacrifice out of love.
Men dismissed Nietzsche during his time for what he taught. He was labeled as a madman for speaking about such things. The liberal, secular world, TGC noted, tried to do all that it can to remove the Gospel and the church from the picture, but cannot - and that's because Christianity remains a pervasive, invasive influence among people of various cultures because it is true.
Jesus Christ, the central figure in the Bible, Himself said that He will build His church on the revelation that He is the Son of God, and "the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18)
For this reason, Christians must never shy away from preaching the Gospel and speaking about the things presented in the Word of God. People might deem Christians as "mad" for speaking the "weird things" of the faith, but as the apostle Paul said in his letter to the Christians in Rome,
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek" (Romans 1:16).