Whether or not Jesus Christ existed is not that important a claim. After all, Muslims believe a historical character called Jesus existed, as do the Jews. Evidence that Jesus existed is not important, and without evidence of miracle it doesn’t begin to support any religion. I happen to believe that the Jesus narrative is a composite of a number of stories from gnostic characters that existed at the time; Jesus himself doesn’t exist in a single document outside of the Bible, even though the Bible says he annoyed the compulsive note taking Romans. I have a few more reasons to doubt a historical Jesus existed, based on surveys of the areas and names of towns, but some of my colleagues can articulate that better than me, and that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about whether modern, Western civilisation is evidence for Christ. We are not talking about evidence of Christianity, I very much believe in Christians, but a commenter has assumed that Western Civilisation is evidence for Jesus Christ. I find this ironic as the Bible depicts Jesus as appearing in Eastern Civilisation and mostly to the illiterate. Quite how and why the evidence would then mount in the West is completely alien to me.
Western Civilisation, now, is informed by the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is the start of modern science. Although many of the pioneers of the Enlightenment were Christian, their theology would be rejected by nearly any modern-day apologist and their ideas were revolutionary. Newton, for example, separated God and science entirely until the day he got stuck. Newton does not mention God in a single scientific writing until he comes up against what he called the ‘many body problem’ of measuring moving planets. What he called God was eventually described mathematically by Laplace, using perturbation theory. (Google is your friend.)
Many people set out to glorify God by understanding the complexity of nature. And modern society stands of the shoulders of those efforts. But the conclusions of those efforts was always a deterministically explained model.
Modern-day Western Civilisation is evidence for Jesus Christ as much as the mathematical and philosophical progress in modern-day Baghdad in 800 AD is evidence for Mohammed. This time and place is where algebra came from. And we stand on the shoulders of that discovery.