Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Coming Out Christian

This book deals with the way Christianity took hold in the Roman world. Not, as some might think, after three centuries of persecution and then the conversion of a Roman Emperor.

Written by an archaeologist who has made the study of Roman times his life's work, Douglas Boin shows that Christianity expanded far more subtly until Christians found themselves in positions of authority. Many continued worshipping Roman Gods and Jesus Christ.

After Constantine it is often thought that the whole of The Roman Empire turned to Christ but that is equally untrue.

This book is short, scholarly and direct. It also describes New Testament letters attributed to Paul but not actually written by him (e.g. 2 Thessalonians) as fakes. I liked that. Sometimes it was an honour to take your master's name for a scholarly work, but not if you used his name for your own polemic.

And I like that my Bible contains this kind of thing.

3 comments:

Doug Chaplin said...

And, Steve, I think you should dd that he writes extremely well and is easy to read. However, although in many ways his thesis appeals to me, I think he's at least as tendentious as the earlier views he argues against.

Steve Tilley said...

Thanks Doug. Yes, it is well-written. I guess my point would be that it is convincing.

Steve Tilley said...

Anonymous friend - your three comments were far too long-winded for most of my readers to care. If you would care to have a go at three concise sentence I would leave them up.