2nd Century Worship Evaluation

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2nd Century Worship Evaluation

In response to a request from a friend, I wanted to contrast modern Christian worship as it might look in present-day America with that of the perspective of an ancient Christian viz-a-viz worship. But rather than merely grab at the low-hanging fruit of a straight up contrast or even a stab at satire, I thought…

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Christian MythstoryEaster

Christian Mythstory: Easter

Every so often I come across articles like this around Easter time. While certainly not billed as a bit of reporting and also a couple of years old, the title struck me as the sort of link-bait for which the internet exists. The article appears in a section called Comment is Free: Indeed it is,…

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Christian-MythstoryGALILEO

Christian Mythstory: Galileo

Of all the extant Christian mythstories, none is perhaps so pernicious as that involving the famed Galileo Galilei. For the modern mythmaker, Galileo’s trial and condemnation is often seen as the sine qua non of the inherent and irreconcilable conflict between science and faith. The mythstory makes for exciting drama: the brilliant and committed scientist…

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urine

Dress Like a Toilet

Clothes make the man, we are told, and this has probably been a constant throughout all of human history. The various textures and colors render an otherwise innocuous covering into a symbol of status or wealth. Even in the modern world we are pushed to get our clothes from certain designers, to express ourselves by…

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Christian-MythstoryChristmas

Christian Mythstory: Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Stockings are filled with goodies, cups overflow with eggnog, and people embrace the spirit of peace and goodwill, assuming they have all the shopping done and don’t have to fight throngs of angry consumers trying to get that last minute item. Oh, and we celebrate that Jesus…

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Christian-MythstoryLibrary

Christian Mythstory: The Library of Alexandria

In the epochal historical thriller National Treasure, Nicholas Cage portrays himself portraying Ben Gates, a poorly acted Indiana Jones imposter. (But I repeat myself.) Near the end in the payoff scene where he and his motley collection of treasure hunters finally find ‘the treasure,’ a startling discovery is made on a medium-sized shelf. “Hey guys,…

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Christian-MythstoryHalloween

Christian Mythstory: Hallowe’en

One particularly annoying yet amusing feature of the internet is the general lack of historical awareness, especially as it regards Christian history. Often the popularized conceptions that amount to common knowledge are woefully inadequate, in need of additional nuance, or simply laughably mistaken. With sublime regularity the historical caricatures are fashioned into rhetorical bludgeons, in…

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Zombie GnosticsBlog

Mrs. Jesus and the Zombie Gnostics

Mrs. Jesus and the Zombie Gnostics In what can only be termed predictable hilarity, every year (sometimes even twice a year!) we are treated to the latest round of a discovery so shocking,¬† so earth-shattering that all of Christian history will have to be re-thought, re-examined and- once the books get written and the A&E…

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DevilBlogFeatured

The Devil in the Details

Shedding  light on the subject.

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Butchered Quotes #6

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Likewise

Words. They can aspire to the loftiest heights or wallow in the dingiest gutters. The loveliest sentiment may flow readily from the lips, followed in step by a vile and blackened curse. Gods are panegyricized, philosophical subtleties uncovered and utter nonsense made sacrosanct under their charge, as both the garrulous sage and the loquacious fool…

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No More Heroes

Never did he go forth to the place of gathering, where men win glory, nor ever to war, but wasted away his own heart, as he tarried where he was; and he longed for the war-cry and the battle. In these verses of Homer we find the hero Achilles having what amounts to a temper…

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The Mighty West

Following the breakup and decline of the Western Roman Empire, many contemporary writers described the subsequent rise to prominence of the Germanic powers (such as the Visigoths, Ostrogoths and Vandals) as nothing short of a ‘barbarian’ invasion. Despite the many disruptions that occurred- some more violent and protracted than others- a sort of tenuous equilibrium…

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The Woman Who Saved the West

During the beginning of the so-called Dark Ages (of which I have written here) the Church faced a veritable crisis. While the paganism of the now defunct Roman Empire had nearly completely receded and Arianism had been roundly defeated both at the Councils of Nicea and Chalcedon, both still continued to plague the Church’s attempts…

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Silky Smooth: Industrial Espionage, Byzantine Style

Ever since the trade routes between the Mediterranean and the Far East had been established, silk was one of the most sought after commodities. Sericulture- silk production – was the domain of the Chinese, and they held a veritable monopoly on its production and distribution and had for thousands of years. Since silk production was…

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Rhetorical Probability

I always find it amusing when I am sitting in a doctor’s office during the middle of the day how the only thing on the TV is a show involving some manner of litigation. I don’t know if Judge Judy is still doing her thing, but there always seems to be some ridiculous sort of…

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The Light That Never Went Out

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the phrase The Dark Ages? Hordes of barbarians descending from the mountainside, laying waste to an enlightened and ordered society, leaving only violence and lawlessness in their wake? The utter disintegration of art, learning, science and culture for nearly 400 years? Unrelenting…

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My Empire for a Pony!

It is a little known fact that the tide of the Peloponnesian War was turned by ponies. Ok, that is perhaps a bit of an overstatement, but as the Athenians would discover in their utterly disastrous invasion of Sicily, 1200 ponies would bring an invasion force of 45,000 to its ruin. The war with the…

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300 (Or, Wearing a Breastplate Keeps You From Being Stabbed.)

As I have been reading through Victor Davis Hanson’s phenomenal work A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, I have been thinking back on the cultural connotations associated with Spartans and warfare in general. Perhaps none is more prominent in recent popular culture than the movie 300, which…

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Just Make Sure It Will Burn

Words can make things seem far more dramatic than they actually are. For example, what do you think of when you read the following: Ravaging and pillaging the countryside. Words like these call up images of massive destruction, of colossal armies leaving nothing but unfettered and unfeeling havoc and pestilence in their wake, a nearly…

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Pronunciation is Important!

The renowned Carthaginian general Hannibal is perhaps best known for his infamous crossing of the Alps to begin his invasion of Italy, but while reading Richard Miles’ Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization, I was made aware of an incident that is, in my opinion far more robust in…

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