Many factors gradually led to the end of the close church/state union of Christendom in the West. Several of these, ironically, actually came as a result of the dominance of Christianity. The fifteenth-century Renaissance, which emphasized classical learning rooted in original sources, flourished among Christian theologians, but also began to dismantle unilateral control of the Church.
The quick impact of the Reformation, also, could have only happened because Christianity was such a central part of society; most people already believed in the reality of God and the Bible as his divine revelation, and once the Scripture were translated into the language of the people, these underlying assumptions provided the fertile ground for Protestant theologians to argue their reforms.
Likewise, even advancements in science in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, beginning with the Copernican Revolution in 1543 and culminating with Isaac Newton’s discoveries, arose out of Christian curiosity to truly know God and what he had made. Each of these movements—the Renaissance, Reformation, and Scientific Revolution—were, for the most part, thoroughly Christian at their core, yet they each also contributed to the weakening of Christianity’s influence.
For example, the seventeenth-century Scientific Revolution inevitably led to skepticism toward anything that could not be proven through human reason, including anything supernatural. Philosophers such as René Descartes (1596–1650), John Locke (1632–1704), and Voltaire (1694–1778) provided a philosophical framework for the natural sciences rooted in independent human reason, effectually divorcing reason from faith.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Scott Aniol