God is Great (Hitchens)Today on Thinking Christian there is a post regarding "Defending the Church" which asks how Christians should respond to the challenge that the Christian church has quite a sordid past. The usual suspects like the crusades, inquisitions, and pedophile priests are mentioned. How should Christians respond to Christianity's sordid past?

Already some worthwhile comments have been made to the original post; a comment from Tyler is, I think, on the right track:

The simple answer is that we don't have to defend Christians, or so called Christians, or the church of the past, we defend Jesus Christ and the gospel, and say that if anyone claiming to be a Christian did not act in accordance with what the Scriptures teach then we don't defend those actions, we simply believe in Jesus Christ and His Word and what He did on the cross and what He is doing in our lives today. (Tyler / Thinking Christian site)

Well said. But let's just say, for the sake of argument, that all of the charges regarding misdeeds of Christians of the past and present are entirely accurate. What, exactly, does that prove about the truthfulness of the Christian faith? Absolutely nothing.

Atheists, Muslims, and Scientologists do bad things too, sometimes institutionally, and sometimes individually, but this doesn't prove that these worldviews are wrong. Nor do past misdeeds of Christians (regarding which we should be deeply sorrowful and sorry) do not disprove the Christian faith. Such misdeeds, by Christians and all people, prove something about people: That we are sinners to the core and in need of God. But it proves nothing about the Christian faith itself, as I've previously commented.

Related reading: Good People? – What makes a person "good"? Is your definition of the word built upon a firm foundation, or is it floating in thin air?