The Renaissance is often cited as the source for the ideas of equality, dignity, and humanity. That is partly right. However, if a person digs deeper, one will find that the source for the Renaissance giving birth to these ideas is the Bible. St. Augustine as well as the church father Lactantius provided the grist for the gravy of equality, dignity, and humanity.
Often secularist professors in college try to peddle the idea that equality, dignity, and humanity came from the Greeks. Not so. Socrates said that it was doubtful that women had a soul. So much for equality, dignity, and humanity come from the shadow lands of Greek thought.
Nor would these ideas come from Islam. Today in the Islamic world 90% of girls from ages 10 to 12 must endure the cruel treatment of genital mutilation. These young girls are subjected to this painful practice often against their will. This way to control a young ladies libido and please her future spouse runs counter to the Golden Rule that Jesus taught.
Neither has Hinduism ever been known to produce a Declaration of Independence with the fruit of equality for all. The deplorable caste systems born of their religion and the refusal to teach Sanskrit to the populace strikes blows against equality, humanity, and dignity. Only the priests must know what is in the little black box.
Only Biblical Christianity breathes deep equality, a holy dignity, and humanity to the people of this world. With unique teachings of grace, sublimity, and majesty the Bible offers a far more excellent way than the religions of man. Let me give four wonderful proofs.
Genesis chapter one, verse twenty six, not only has Trinitarian echoes but equality, dignity, and humanity overtones. "Let US make man in OUR image." Not in the image of an ape, but in the image of God was humanity made. Wow number one.
Wow number two is the incarnation. That God would become a human being in the person of Jesus Christ is the most flattering statement for humanity one can come to know. God takes on a human body so that we might have an identity that is out of this world because God came into this world for us. "And the Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14)
Wow number three is that Jesus died for all. (2 Corinthians 5:15) The staggering Biblical truth that the Creator would die for the creature is another affirmation of the dignity of mankind. He died for all is a Divine strike for equality. Paul grasped this saying you are all one through faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)
Wow number four is the rich resurrection reality that Jesus dwells in love within those who receive His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation. God makes our bodies His temples. Now that is a declaration for dignity, humanity, and equality. Wrote St. Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live b faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
There is nothing remotely like this in any other religion or philosophy. Today the ruling ideology in the world is materialism. People are matter so they really don't matter. Thank you Chuck Darwin and Karl Marx and Joe Stalin. Your random jazz dance of the molecules theories have led to the random jazz dance murder of well over 100 million people. Instead of humanity you have given us insanity. Instead of dignity you have paved the way for degradation. Instead of equality you praise the brutal hierarchies and evil echelons that the survival of the fittest worldview produces.
How much better is the message of the Holy Spirit through the words of the apostles and prophets with Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone. God so loved the whole cosmos equally, passionately, and infinitely that He gave His only Son, true God and true man, to die on the cross for every single human being, that whoever would believe in Him might have the image of God fully restored in them for all eternity in the perfect new heaven and new earth to come, and would have God Himself dwell within the bodies of all who receive His pardoning love. Herein is the wellspring for dignity, equality, and humanity.