The Rise of Christianity

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0060677015
Format: PDF, Docs
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This "fresh, blunt, and highly persuasive account of how the West was won—for Jesus" (Newsweek) is now available in paperback. Stark's provocative report challenges conventional wisdom and finds that Christianity's astounding dominance of the Western world arose from its offer of a better, more secure way of life. "Compelling reading" (Library Journal) that is sure to "generate spirited argument" (Publishers Weekly), this account of Christianity's remarkable growth within the Roman Empire is the subject of much fanfare. "Anyone who has puzzled over Christianity's rise to dominance...must read it." says Yale University's Wayne A. Meeks, for The Rise of Christianity makes a compelling case for startling conclusions. Combining his expertise in social science with historical evidence, and his insight into contemporary religion's appeal, Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately "that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life" (Andrew M. Greeley, University of Chicago).

The Rise of Christianity

Author: Don Nardo
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781560068082
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Discusses the rise of Christianity including the Christian revolution, its Jewish roots, Jesus, Constantine's revolution, and the Christianization of Europe.

The Rise of Christianity Through the Eyes of Gibbon Harnack and Rodney Stark

Author: Jan N. Bremmer
Publisher: Barkhuis
ISBN: 9077922709
Format: PDF
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The rise of Christianity up to the victory of Constantine has often been studied and remains a puzzling phenomenon. In this valedictory lecture Jan N. Bremmer concentrates on the explanations adduced, focusing in particular on the works of three iconic figures from the last two hundred and fifty years: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire of Edward Gibbon, the most famous ancient historian of all time, at the end of the eighteenth century; Die Mission und Ausbreitung des Christentums of Adolf von Harnack, the greatest historian of early Christianity of all time, around 1900, and The Rise of Christianity of Rodney Stark, the most adventurous sociologist of religion of our times, at the end of the twentieth century.Bremmer locates their concerns and explanations within their own times, but also takes them seriously as scholars, discussing their analyses and approaches. In this way he shows both the continuities and the innovations in the evolving view which scholarship presents of early Christianity. Bremmer's exceptional knowledge of the huge range of scholarship and his humane and balanced judgment make this lecture the ideal introduction to the many problems raised by Christianity's displacement of paganism

Cities of God

Author: Rodney Stark
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061739979
Format: PDF
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How did the preaching of a peasant carpenter from Galilee spark a movement that would grow to include over two billion followers? Who listened to this "good news," and who ignored it? Where did Christianity spread, and how? Based on quantitative data and the latest scholarship, preeminent scholar and journalist Rodney Stark presents new and startling information about the rise of the early church, overturning many prevailing views of how Christianity grew through time to become the largest religion in the world. Drawing on both archaeological and historical evidence, Stark is able to provide hard statistical evidence on the religious life of the Roman Empire to discover the following facts that set conventional history on its head: Contrary to fictions such as The Da Vinci Code and the claims of some prominent scholars, Gnosticism was not a more sophisticated, more authentic form of Christianity, but really an unsuccessful effort to paganize Christianity. Paul was called the apostle to the Gentiles, but mostly he converted Jews. Paganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following the vision and conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine in 312 AD, but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of Christianity. The "oriental" faiths—such as those devoted to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of love and magic, and to Cybele, the fertility goddess of Asia Minor—actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire. Contrary to generations of historians, the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire— it allowed no female members and attracted only soldiers. By analyzing concrete data, Stark is able to challenge the conventional wisdom about early Christianity offering the clearest picture ever of how this religion grew from its humble beginnings into the faith of more than one-third of the earth's population.

Mirror to the Church

Author: Emmanuel M. Katongole
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 031056316X
Format: PDF, ePub
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We learn who we are as we walk together in the way of Jesus. So I want to invite you on a pilgrimage. Rwanda is often held up as a model of evangelization in Africa. Yet in 1994, beginning on the Thursday of Easter week, Christians killed other Christians, often in the same churches where they had worshiped together. The most Christianized country in Africa became the site of its worst genocide. With a mother who was a Hutu and a father who was a Tutsi, author Emmanuel Katongole is uniquely qualified to point out that the tragedy in Rwanda is also a mirror reflecting the deep brokenness of the church in the West. Rwanda brings us to a cry of lament on our knees where together we learn that we must interrupt these patterns of brokenness But Rwanda also brings us to a place of hope. Indeed, the only hope for our world after Rwanda’s genocide is a new kind of Christian identity for the global body of Christ—a people on pilgrimage together, a mixed group, bearing witness to a new identity made possible by the Gospel.

Reading Acts

Author: Charles H. Talbert
Publisher: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 9781573122771
Format: PDF
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Answers to the usual introductory questions do not yield sufficient harvest to enable an intelligent reading of Acts. The approach of "Reading Acts" is to ask how ancient Mediterranean auditors would have heard Acts when it was read in their presence. To be successful Talbert divides this approach into two parts- how Acts would have been heard in its precanonical context and in its canonical context.

The Triumph of Christianity

Author: Bart D. Ehrman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501136704
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Looks at how Christianity went from being an obscure sect of Judaism followed by a small group of rural peasants to being the dominant religion in the west in less than four hundred years.

Holistic Mission

Author: Brian Woolnough
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1610970195
Format: PDF
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Holistic mission, or integral mission, implies God is concerned with the whole person, the whole community: body, mind and spirit. Many Christians concentrate only on one aspect. This book reaffirms that to be true to the Bible, to follow the example of Jesus, the church must address the whole person in all their needs. It considers the meaning of the holistic gospel, how it has developed, and implications for the individual Christian, for the local church, for denominations and church groups, for missionary societies, for Christian NGOs, and for theological training institutions. It takes a global, eclectic approach, with 19 writers, church leaders, academics and practitioners, all of whom have much experience in, and commitment to, holistic mission. It addresses critically and honestly one of the most exciting, challenging, and important issues facing the church today. To be part of God's plan for God's people, the church must take holistic mission to the world.

The Rise of Christianity

Author: W. H. C. Frend
Publisher: Fortress Press
ISBN: 9781451419528
Format: PDF, Docs
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Traces the early history of the Christian church from Jewish Palestine prior to Christ's birth to the sixth century monastic movement, and explains how Christianity survived under a variety of cultures

The Human Christ

Author: Charlotte Allen
Publisher: Lion Books
ISBN: 9780745942353
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Jesus the historical figure has intrigued some of the most interesting figures of modernity; such as Newton and Norman Mailer. In this revealing history and critique, the author enters the complex mental worlds of these researchers to show how our understanding of Jesus has influenced our culture