What if Christ had never been born? This provocative question is one most people likely give little attention to during a season when Jesus’ birth is a celebratory focal point.
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But it’s a curiosity Dr. Jerry Newcombe, executive director of the Providence Forum, has unpacked over the years. Newcombe’s new film — aptly titled “What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?” — further explores how Christ’s birth transformed the world.
“There’s so many different ways in which Christ, through the church, has changed and impacted civilization,” he told CBN’s Faithwire. “There’s a reason that history is divided [by] ‘before Christ’ and ‘Anno Domini,’ in the year of the Lord.”
Newcombe said Jesus “unlocked the forces of charity” and taught His followers to teach others the precepts of the Christian faith. He argued there’s barely a sector of society left untouched by Jesus’ coming, discussing education, charity organizations like the Salvation Army, and other sectors.
“The link between Christianity and education for the masses is very strong,” Newcombe said. “It was the Christian Church during the late Middle Ages that invented the phenomenon of the university.”
Watch Newcombe break it all down:
He said that hospitals also owe their creation and formation to the Christian faith. Plus, music and the arts have benefited richly from the Christian tradition, with the economy and government following as other arenas in which Christ’s teachings have had a transformative impact.
“It’s really important to realize that so many things get back to Jesus Christ,” he said. “[Jesus] said, ‘I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.’ And, boy, is that true.”
Even science — an arena some assume is devoid of the divine — has benefitted from Christianity.
“It’s only in the last 150 years or so with the widespread acceptance of Darwinism that anybody’s even viewed faith and science as being in conflict, which they’re ultimately not,” he said.
Newcombe lamented culture’s drift away from God, especially in light of how people and institutions have benefited from the faith.
“I feel like this culture has benefited enormously because of Jesus Christ,” he said. “It continues to do so, and yet we have forgotten God, and that’s why all the bad things have happened to us.”
Imagining the world without Jesus’ birth, Newcombe said, is essentially impossible, as He has touched, moved, and infused so much with His life, teachings, and the Gospel narrative.
“Remember this statement from C.S. Lewis,” Newcombe said. “If Jesus had never come, to paraphrase him, ‘It would be always winter, but never Christmas.'”
Watch “What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?” for more on Jesus’ impact.
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