Author and evangelist Glen Scrivener confronts our modern assumptions that equality, compassion, consent, science, freedom, and progress are all natural and self-evident truths. Rather he takes us back in history, confronts us with the ancient world and shows how Christianity, underpins all that we hold dear.
- Scrivener begins his book with the argument that we are all like goldfish. What is he getting at with this picture? (pp.11-14)
- Why does he argue that our problems with Christianity are Christian problems? (p.14)
- The crucifixion of Jesus Christ has dominated Western history and culture, we take its symbolism for granted, but what does the cross reveal about the ancient world? (pp.23-29)
- What did justice mean in the ancient world? (pp.30-31)
- What impact does a society’s religious thinking have on its ethics? (pp.32-39)
- Why are we so horrified by Lord Sumption’s comments that "Some lives are worth more than others…"?
- Where does our concept of human rights come from? What does Genesis have to teach us about human rights? (pp.51-56)
- “The vast majority of cultures have considered that we are better off without the weak.” (p.62) What changed? Why does that sentence sit uncomfortably with us?
- Christianity often gets a bad reputation for its sexual ethic, but Scrivener argues that it turned the world upside down giving life and liberty to many, particularly women. How can he argue such a thing?
- Rachel Denhollander speaks of the importance of having a straight line to know what is crooked in her victim-impact statement concerning abuser Larry Nassar. What does she mean by this? How does this help us make sense of life? (p.99)
- Why do we “throw shade” at the medieval period? (p.102) What myths of the medieval period have we fallen into believing? What truths have we neglected?
- Science and religion are often pitted against each other. Is this true? Where and how does science originate? (pp.132-136)
- We think of human rights as a self-evident truth, but Scrivener argues that slavery is a far more likely candidate for that title. (p.150) Why does he argue this? Why do we resist such a claim?
- To be progressive is to be seen as on the right side of history. Where does our love of progress, come from?
- How did the century of progress lead to a century of unparalleled violence? (p.172)
- Following the horrors of the 20th Century how has our society sought to find once again a pole star for morality? What are the problems with this? (pp.173-185)
- What do you make of the reference to Matthew Arnolds’ “Sea of Faith” poem and its place in Scrivener’s argument? (p.191)
- How is Christianity still at work in contemporary society?
- Why does Scrivener frame semi-Christianity as a curse? (pp.200-203)
- How do we make sense of Christianity’s phenomenal influence on the world? What explains Christianity’s rising to life? (p.219)
- What do we do with all this?