Before I get to the first chapter, from the introduction, Hart tells us the main concern of his book:
This book chiefly—or at least centrally—concerns the history of the early church, of roughly the first four or five centuries, and the story of how Christendom was born out of the culture of late antiquity. My chief ambition in writing it is to call attention to the peculiar and radical nature of the new faith in that setting: how enormous a transformation of thought, sensibility, culture, morality, and spiritual imagination Christianity constituted in the age of pagan Rome; the liberation it offered from fatalism, cosmic despair, and the terror of occult agencies; the immense dignity it conferred upon the human person; its subversion of the cruelest aspects of pagan society; its (alas, only partial) demystification of political power; its ability to create moral community where none had existed before; and its elevation of active charity above all other virtues. Stated in its most elementary and most buoyantly positive form, my argument is, first of all, that among all the many transitions that have marked the evolution Western civilization, whether convulsive or gradual, there has been only one—the triumph of Christianity—that can be called in the fullest sense a “revolution”: a truly massive and epochal revision of humanity’s prevailing vision or reality, so pervasive in its influence and so vast in its consequences as actually to have created a new conception of the world, of history, of human nature, of time, and of the moral good.
This goes to the point I’ve thrown out there many times and is noted here, which is that the new atheists expound and pontificate from the safety of a world they had nothing to do with as far as creating and eat the produce of fields they never cultivated or planted. They are the spoiled children of millionaire fathers who complain all day long how their parents are simple, backward, even evil and uncaring, as they sip champagne beside the pool and contemplate the balances of their trust accounts, all filled and created from past Christian conceptions and efforts.