25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Strong argument for Christian diversity,
This review is from: One Jesus, Many Christs: The Truth About Christian Origins (Hardcover)
The Kirkus review above gives a good description of the book. The author, Gregory Riley, is a professor at Claremont College in California. He provides a good history of Greek and Jewish legends, along with the details of how they could have affected early Christian writers. He also shows the development of dualistic and Hellenistic beliefs (body-soul and God-Satan) in the late Old Testament and New Testament writers. I would also mention Riley's emphasis on the diversity of early Christianity (which was lost for the most part in the 4th Century when Constantine took over the church and imposed uniformity, and which was regained again in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century). What Riley might have ignored is the intense, often bloody rivalries between Christian sects, then and now. As Garry Wills mentions in "Papal Sin," there is evidence that Peter and Paul were fingered by a rival Christian group as instigators of the burning of Rome, resulting in their execution. Christians--and members of all religions--will find diversity and harmony difficult as long as they are committed to the idea of absolute truth.
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Initial post: May 6, 2013, 10:50:44 AM PDT
Steven Williams says:
Constantine ' imposed harmony , which lasted until the reformation ? ' So the raging Christological fights of the 5th , 6th , and 7th century were ...... ?
In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2013, 11:03:39 AM PDT
William H. DuBay says:
You are right, of course, Steven, thanks. I should have said that Constantine gave the Church a political structure for solving disputes until the Reformation.
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