Enter To Win a Copy of Candida Moss’s ‘The Myth of Persecution’

I’ve been sent a second copy of this very, very well written volume

In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors.

According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction. As the story goes, vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions, tortured, or burned alive because they refused to renounce Christ. These saints, Christianity’s inspirational heroes, are still venerated today.

Moss, however, exposes that the “Age of Martyrs” is a fiction—there was no sustained 300-year-long effort by the Romans to persecute Christians. Instead, these stories were pious exaggerations; highly stylized rewritings of Jewish, Greek, and Roman noble death traditions; and even forgeries designed to marginalize heretics, inspire the faithful, and fund churches.

The traditional story of persecution is still taught in Sunday school classes, celebrated in sermons, and employed by church leaders, politicians, and media pundits who insist that Christians were—and always will be—persecuted by a hostile, secular world. While violence against Christians does occur in select parts of the world today, the rhetoric of persecution is both misleading and rooted in an inaccurate history of the early church. Moss urges modern Christians to abandon the conspiratorial assumption that the world is out to get Christians and, rather, embrace the consolation, moral instruction, and spiritual guidance that these martyrdom stories provide.

Want to have a chance to have a copy- free?  Here’s what you need to do:

1- tweet this post (I’ll have to trust your good morals that you actually have)
2- mention this post on your blog (I’ll have to take you at your word that you did it)

and

3- tell me why this is your favorite blog (which is to say, be willing to be persecuted by your friends for so doing) in comments below along with the fact that you’ve tweeted and blogged this post. And you’ll be entered. The winner will then be chosen quite capriciously from among all the entries on Wednesday, March 6. Time’s running out. Get busy. Believe me, the book is worth it.

Christians Keep Being Targeted in Iraq

Barbaric murderers.

Via Yahoo News: Kirkuk, Iraq – Fifteen people were wounded on Tuesday by a car bomb targeting a Syrian Catholic church in Kirkuk in northern Iraq, a police officer and a priest said. The bomb exploded at the Holy Family church in the north of Kirkuk at about 5:30 am (0230 GMT), wounding 15 people including church staff and people in neighbouring houses, the high-ranking officer in the Kirkuk police said. The officer, who spoke on condition of … Read More

via Fr Stephen’s Blog