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Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity: 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) Against the Roman Empire, and the Counterinsurgency (COIN) Campaign to Save It Paperback – March 18, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Nimble Books (March 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193484036X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934840368
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,857,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Either way, this is a sweet book that gets me thinking about xGW in pre-modern terms.
Stephen Pampinella
Dan has done a remarkable job applying contemporary theories of warfare and network science to the early Christian / late Roman era.
Shane Deichman
They succeeded because they "loved their enemies" and turned every Christian man and woman into a cultural warrior.
Adam Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shane Deichman on May 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dan has done a remarkable job applying contemporary theories of warfare and network science to the early Christian / late Roman era. The most notable strength in Revolutionary Strategies is his inventive correlation of the defensive strategies employed by Caiaphas (the chief antagonist of Jesus's ministries) to those of Diocletian (the late-3rd century Roman emperor who ordered the most severe persecution of the Christian faithful). Accompanying this analysis is a very cogent application of the theories of Boyd (Penetrate - Isolate - Subvert - Reorient - Reharmonize, or PISRR), with modern examples like Vichy France that match the dynamics in the early Christian church.

Both Caiaphas and Diocletian sought to preserve the status quo. For Caiaphas, appeasing Rome was his primary objective: a rogue rabbi who preached of other-worldly gifts would have reflected poorly upon him and his hierarchy. Diocletian clearly understood the management complexities of so vast an empire, and seemed to adeptly address many of the most-pressing ills that plagued the Empire (poor civic participation, an army spread thin on the borders with little to no interior defenses) despite his rampant cronyism (particularly in the establishment of the Tetrarchy). But for the first 18 years of his reign Diocletian was unconcerned about the "Christian threat" - and if it not for Galerius would likely have never ordered the Great Persecution.

Most significantly, Dan's book opens several new fronts on the debate over the nature of insurgency - and counterinsurgency. For instance, is the ex post facto presumption of "co-option" by the splinter Jewish sect that has become the Christian church practical?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Dewitt on May 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
What if I told you that Jesus and St. Paul were the architects of the greatest insurgent (fourth-generation warfare) campaign ever? What if I used Scripture and contemporary Roman records to show exactly how they did it (and how the Romans recognized the threat and responded, ultimately failing)? That's exactly what Daniel Abbott does in "Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity: 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) Against the Roman Empire, and the Counterinsurgency (COIN) Campaign to Save It". In an intellectual tour de force, Dan not only convincingly explains how precepts such as "If someone forces to you to go one mile, go with him two miles" and "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a
man; she must be silent" served as foundations for the Christian revolution; he then explains how Muhammed designed Islam to defeat Christianity. And to top things off Dan analogizes the two religions to Microsoft and IBM. At just over 40 pages Dan's book is a short, clear, and profound read. It WILL change the way you look at history, current events, and the future, whether you're an atheist, agnostic, or a practicing Catholic like me. I realize that last sentence defies credulity, but the ideas in this book ARE that powerful!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pampinella on May 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
The one and the only Dan Tdaxp has published his first (and by no means last) book. 'Revolutionary Strategies' applies contemporary military theory to the Christianization of the Roman Empire. Using biblical sources and secondary histories to deduce the strategy of early Christians, Dan argues that the Christian movement adopted a strategy with regards to the Roman Empire that is analogous to 4th Generation War: By loving their enemies (the Romans), the Christians ultimately destroyed the Roman will to resist Christianity. As Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, it came to be seen by the Romans as a useful pillar to uphold the legitimacy and authority of the state as it was confronted by external enemies (re: pesky barbarians). Thus, Constantine's vision in 312 comes at a fortuitous time, as Rome was ripe to embrace Christianity, waiting patiently for its embrace.

The best of Dan's strategic analysis involves integrating Boyd's PISRR steps to victory and the gendering of different aspects of war. PISRR stands for Penetrate-Isolate-Subdue/Subvert-Reorganize-Reharmonize. However, to successfully PISRR an enemy, and harmonize its existence according to one's own strategy, it is necessary to use both male Panzers and female Soldats. Panzers crash gates, Soldats build societies. Using one without the other leaves one strategically vulnerable to further annihalation or eventual subversion. Femininity and Masculinity go hand in hand in warfare, a velvet glove to an iron fist. Christian Panzers spread the Good Word, Soldats ensured it stayed in the hearts and minds of the people. When the Empire was weak, it could switch to a Christian ideology that was already well received among the people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Roberts on May 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
The brief book outlines Abbott's application of generational war theory and contemporary military strategy to Christianity's peaceful conquest of the Roman Empire. Rome was extremely successful at defending against military and political threats. Christianity succeeded because it didn't set out to conquer Rome, but to co-opt it. They succeeded because they "loved their enemies" and turned every Christian man and woman into a cultural warrior. Less than three centuries later, they won.

My background in these areas is very limited, and alphabet-soup of strategic theories (PISRR, OODA, etc.) can be intimidating. Fortunatly, Strategies takes each theory one step at a time and makes it easy for laypersons to comprehend things like a 'Penetrate-Isloate-Subvert/Subdue-Reorient-Reharmonize' loop. This is the book's biggest strength in my opinion. Many, if not most, of its complex ideas are best illustrated graphically, and Abbott is not afraid to supplement his explanations with a plethora of clear, simply constructed graphs and charts. Even if early Christianity in particular is not of interest to you, Strategies is worth picking up just for the clear explanations of military theory that is relevant in today's political debates - Counter-Insurgency Operations (COIN) in particular. Other examples, such as Vichy France and IMB, assist the reader's understanding.

Its hard to quibble with Abbott's theory. I would have liked a slightly longer book, that supported some of his claims more. Descriptively, 4GW has great explanatory power for the rise of Christianity in Rome, but its difficult for me to believe that the apostles had the strategic co-option of the Empire in mind when they penned Matthew 5:41, Ephesians 1:10 or 1 Timothy 2:12.
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