Pagans and Christians in the City

by Steven D. Smith     |     Book Summary


Author: Steven D. Smith
Publisher: Eerdmans
Date: 2018
Pages: 386

Book Summary of Union With Christ by Rankin Wilbourne


“In the early second century, a literate and genial…Roman gentleman named Pliny…wrote to his boss, the emperor Trajan, asking for legal advice.” (p. 1) At the time, being a Christian was a capital offense, and Pliny wanted to know why “Christians were being subjected to legal sanctions” (p. 2).

“Just under a century later, the why question was raised again…by a fiesty Christian lawyer living in Carthage.” (p. 3, emphasis in original) Tertullian authored a treatise titled Apology in which he spoke against the unjust punishment of Christians simply for the fact that they were Christians. 

These ancient questions are important because just like in the early days of church history, the world once again finds itself divided between Christianity and a form of paganism. In ancient Rome, the conflict was between a dominant paganism and an upstart Christianity. Today, the conflict is between a waning Christinity and a resurgent “modern paganism” (p. 8).

Like all historical analyses, understanding how we got to where we are today is a first step in understanding where we might be headed tomorrow.





Pagans and Christians in the City

by Steven D. Smith

[ Book Summary ]



Book Summary of Union With Christ by Rankin Wilbourne

AuthorSteven D. Smith
PublisherEerdmans
Date2018
Pages386


Overview:

“In the early second century, a literate and genial…Roman gentleman named Pliny…wrote to his boss, the emperor Trajan, asking for legal advice.” (p. 1) At the time, being a Christian was a capital offense, and Pliny wanted to know why “Christians were being subjected to legal sanctions” (p. 2).

“Just under a century later, the why question was raised again…by a fiesty Christian lawyer living in Carthage.” (p. 3, emphasis in original) Tertullian authored a treatise titled Apology in which he spoke against the unjust punishment of Christians simply for the fact that they were Christians. 

These ancient questions are important because just like in the early days of church history, the world once again finds itself divided between Christianity and a form of paganism. In ancient Rome, the conflict was between a dominant paganism and an upstart Christianity. Today, the conflict is between a waning Christinity and a resurgent “modern paganism” (p. 8).

Like all historical analyses, understanding how we got to where we are today is a first step in understanding where we might be headed tomorrow.




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