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the triumph of christianity summary

Here’s a quote from notorious Christian apologist William Lane Craig’s podcast about Bart Ehrman: “The fact is that the New Testament is established over 99% purity with regard to the original words that were written there. This is an irresponsible conclusion. I mean can you even imagine historical evidence for you to believe a law of nature was violated? Can we keep the comments on topic please. Anyway thanks for all the great work on this site. Wallace later wrote a professional apology: “In my debate with Bart, I mentioned that I had it on good authority that this was definitely a first-century fragment of Mark. Ehrman shows clearly that the demographic trends show that Christianity would have been the majority religion in the Empire by the end of the fourth century even if no emperors had converted. Stark excoriates other academics for the use of the phrase "must have been" but relies heavily on "would have" and "would have been feasible/reasonable. Is such a project even theoretically possible? As regards every claimed miracle of which I’m aware, the evidence is far too weak to conclude that it actually occurred. He notes the various laws constricting public sacrifice and worship by pagans and the orders for the closure of temples. For a final flourish, suppose that Jesus turned a tank of water into wine, and that this was broadcast live on TV, witnessed by an audience of thousands, and independently confirmed by spectrographic analysis of the liquid before and after. Calling someone a “discredited fundie” is proof enough to me that you are biased. Some of the points he makes are: * Christianity was not a religion of slaves and lower classes of Romans, it was particularly attractive to the privileged; * Paganism was not quickly stamped out by a triumphant and intolerant Christianity, but disappeared very slowly; * The crusaders were indeed motivated by religious zeal and many of them paid a high price for their participation. That’s the whole, entire, complete, cause for textual criticism in the first place. I originally thought different. Unless you have discovered a way to suspend the laws of logic and mathematics. I’ve dealt with many crackpot atheists that were sure, since they had read Ehrman and all, that we can’t be sure of anything in the NT. The support of widows and orphans, care of the sick and homeless, the provision of funerals for the poor and the care of graves were all noted as benefits of belonging to the Christian community and emphasised as duties for all Christians under the coordination of the bishops. And pagans were also quite clear that he was a Christian as well, as Zozimus’ sneer about Constantine’s sins noted above shows. On the contrary, anti-pagan decrees were issued over and over again (something modern dictatorships don’t have to do). In the same vein the De Broglie-Bohm interpretation is fringe; very few qualified physicists accept it. What he says in both types of work is exactly the same. Now I do agree that it wouldn’t be “historical analysis” to say since historical analysis suggests claims 1,2, and 3 are true, *therefore it must be a miracle. I was responding to the objection that he somehow isn’t a fundamentalist Christian. His thesis on Constantine is actually rock-solid, though i disagreed with my Protestant brethren for quite long time before this. Most of the variations are minor, but some are not and a few are substantial and/or highly significant. Wallace and Ehrman have also debated no less than three times. – a phenomen that’s well recorded and violates the laws of physics as we know them (specifically BCS-theory). Christianity was much more successful in the east, but much more aggressively repressed by the Islamic world which led to its. I certainly accept that can happen and admit there are reasonable philosophical grounds to reject religion. Ehrman notes the increasing intolerance and tendency toward coercion that developed in Christianity as the later fourth century progressed, quoting Firmicus Maternus urging the emperors Constantius II and Constans to “castigate and punish” paganism while citing bloodthirsty Old Testament injunctions against “idolatory”. Probably about 130 years after the original. 2) or presume a miracle, ie what you want to conclude. The earliest copies we have of Mark dates from around the year 200. I think you would agree that applying the historical criteria listed will lead to different results for different miracle claims. 3) Jesus lived on some date after the day he was crucified. His notes on the brief reign of Julian and his abortive attempt at reversing the tide of Christian conversion is fairly standard stuff, though he makes a few interesting points. Conversions away from paganism continued apace.” (pp. Christians didn’t make claims in a vacuum of such claims, rather they were one voice among many. The Sassanid empire was militantly Zoroastrian and scored several notable victories against the empire during the Crisis of the Third Century. However, the greater part of his work has been on religion. Here is a proof. It doesn’t. In reality the first two sentences are proof enough of incoherency………… As to the early spread of the faith, Stark notes that this was not mere “pie in the sky” stuff, but a very this-worldly religion: “Christianity often puts the pie on the table! He now admits that from the very earliest recorded history, indeed even earlier than that, even possibly their very first year, Christians regarded Jesus as a pre-existent divine being. As far as I can recall, he was seen as a decent pop-statistician with a few bestsellers, and now he’s ranting about GMOs and haplogroups on twitter. Vermes was not part of the Jesus Seminar and the key members of it were/are well known for claiming that the historical Jesus was wholly “noneschatological” and arguing apocalyptic elements in the NT texts are due to later interpretations of Jesus’ teaching and was not original to him. I don’t try to sensationalize what I talk about (I really don’t! There is no avoiding Constantine when tackling this subject, and Ehrman’s analysis rightly brackets his story with a detailed analysis of the conversion of Constantine and then with a dissection of its impact. “For example, look at most modern dictatorships.” Either he didn’t understand Ehrman’s previous writing on this issue or he hasn’t read it. Listen to The Triumph of Christianity by Rodney Stark. Ehrman wants to be able to say he is not cooking the books in such a way that conclusions in history will always deny miracles. Of course, we all make mistakes. this book challenged my worldview constructed mostly from what author would probably call "secular versions" of history, Rodney Stark grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota, and began his career as a newspaper reporter. Sign-in to download and listen to this audiobook today! When they repeatedly told us they were telling the truth, but the consequences were always to their advantage, we couldn’t trust them. Only 200 years after christianity had become state religion the famous (pagan) academy of Athena was closed. On the whole, that view has tended to prevail among critical scholars over the Jesus Seminar’s alternative of Jesus as a social reforming sage. As Ehrman says: “Few people could claim to have observed any of these spectacular miracles of faith. And they are not the rules he uses to rule out miracles from being possible. Historical analysis uses methodological naturalism and hence remains silent on miracles, which by any definition demand supernatural explanations. No one can!”. But if religion or philosophy is what leads you to reject 2 or 3 then you shouldn’t say it is historical analysis. It is self evidently impossible. In this fascinating book, Rodney Stark eschews the normal theological and historical answers to this question and sets out to answer the question through sociological analysis. The real problems though lies in how her book has been used by the usual suspects, with online New Atheists seizing it and leaping acrobatically from “the persecutions were not as constant, universal or deadly as Christian legend makes out” to “they didn’t happen at all”. I don’t know much of Wallace’s scholarly work, but it was definitely irresponsible to announce during a public debate that a first-century fragment of Mark had been found, when he was basing this only on third-hand hearsay. There were times when I was frustrated by his misconstruing of the Bible through the lens of secular sociology. Or he’s just deliberately misrepresenting things because he hates Ehrman so much. It is an important book in that it gives lots of good and useful information. Since he does so on a part of his blog that is only open to members (he donates fees to charity), I’ll reproduce the relevant section below: “To my knowledge I do *not* say different (that is, contradictory) things to different audiences, depending on the situation. However, Wallace is the founder and executive director of the Center for the Study of the New Testament Manuscripts, and his Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics is a standard work in the field of New Testament studies which is a textbook accepted by the majority of schools teaching the subject. But the next article in my Jesus Mythicism series is on the “No Contemporary References to Jesus” argument, because that is far more common among online Mythers. That Christians exaggerated the extent of the persecutions is not controversial and it’s long been accepted that many of the traditional “martyr stories” (including almost all of the ones about the Twelve Disciples) are much later fictions. I tried looking for works of Ehrman’s to back up this claim but I unsurprisingly haven’t found much yet except for this Richard Carrier article which is kind of vague on the subject. Ehrman has an ambiguous status as far as New Atheist activists are concerned. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more. You’ve provided no actual evidence of this alleged contradiction between Ehrman’s scholarly and popular work, just the clearly biased and deeply uncredible Wallace claiming it exists. Regardless, Bart clearly contradicts himself inside of two sentences. But I digress. https://trueandreasonable.co/2014/05/29/ehrman-and-the-historicity-of-miracles/. The content is not at odds. Wow. These were the educated administrative elite who kept the Empire running, and after the reforms of Diocletian there were even more administrators than ever, given the institution of the diocesan system designed to reduce the local power of provincial governors by breaking the Empire into smaller administrative units. I lost track of the number of times the author pointed out a particular event or period and said the prevailing narrative comes from Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" or a philosopher like Voltaire. I am totally ok with you doing that. No one can! The depictions of Winged Victory are original to the arch, but are modelled on those of the Arch of Septimius Severus and are merely conventional. The reason is not that people didn’t believe in miracles, they did, but rather that miracle claims were every day occurences. Ehrman’s final chapter takes the story beyond Constantine and looks at the impact of his successors, both the Christians who maintained and expanded his pro-church policies and the single pagan, Julian, who tried to reverse them. It’s also true that, for the most part, textual critics have a pretty good idea what the originals said. As Ehrman notes, Constantine ended persecution of Christians, he showered Christian clergy with benefices and donations, he commissioned and financed the building of a network of churches, several of them monumentally large buildings, he restored confiscated Christian property, he commissioned twenty expensive copies of the Bible, he personally intervened in settling the Donatist and Arian controversies and he built a new city as his capital in which he did not allow pagan worship but which he filled with new churches and Christian monuments. Christianity was never above violence (nobody was). Assuming a population of the Empire of around 60 million in this period, this gives us approximately 4-6 million Christians overall. We either can or can’t get back to the origional, but in my opinion, there is plenty of evidence that we can. You are the one who is irresponsible, because you fail to consider all the relevant evidence, especially when it falsifies your prejudices. However, that is, of course, an absurd caricature lacking in real substance. If you still seem confused, please, be kind, reference what it is specifically and succinctly, and I will do my best to clarify what it is that is causing you confusion. Anyone reading his more popular books would easily come to the conclusion that the NT, particularly the Gospels, as we have it today does not reflect the originals, in large part due to the number of variants between the numerous copies of the texts. Now, I do disagree with several of your remarks about Wallace. For example, he notes that while Julian’s prescription against Christians teaching the pagan classics to schoolboys seems relatively benign, it was actually a very clever stratagem, pointing out it meant “no longer could Christians teach the principal subjects of instruction …. What happens to the overall relationship of (inclusive) paganism and (exclusive) Christianity? Of course, Julian’s death in battle and the succession of a second generation of Christians meant his attempts at reversal failed, though Ehrman’s demographic calculations imply they were doomed anyway. Bart Ehrman, at times, is self evidently a confused man, and it doesn’t take a scholar to comprehend this. Does it? So there are not “two Ehrmans”. On the whole, however, his analysis is balanced. And indeed, we see that with the dating of certain Gospels as being after 70 AD due to the Jewish revolt ending at that time. So in that sense it felt like a Stark compendium rather than a new book. It typically means you’ve got nothing left but to attack the man. Check out this great listen on Audible.ca. “Getting history right is crucial, and noone – neither the religious nor the irreligious – should get a free ride when it comes to instrumentalising the past. I simply find what’s most interesting and compelling about a problem / issue, and lay it out in terms that will keep an audience awake and on their toes. “We don’t have the original copy that Mark made. First, the book tends to rely heavily on secondary sources and, even with that, its historical inaccuracies are reasonably common. I don’t see how any sensible person could conclude that the Gospels – four accounts whose date, authorship, accuracy, and relationship to one another are significantly disputed – constitute adequate historical evidence to conclude that Jesus performed miracles. If that happened, I would conclude that it was at least reasonably plausible on the historical evidence that a miracle had occurred; the alternative would be a conspiracy so vast and unlikely that it could not be regarded as a satisfactory alternative. It was called “The Myth of Persecution”. We would want to hear from scientists. It wasn’t the preaching and proclamation of who Jesus was, it was the compassion and honouring of the sick and of women that made massive differences. It seems to me that Historians can and do address claim 1 and 2. But yeah, what happened with Taleb? They both make it a priority to inform the reader that most of his or her assumptions about long-accepted aspects of history are wrong. In a debate with Bart D. Ehrman, Wallace reported that a fragment of Mark’s gospel, dated to the first century, had been discovered. A crowd of a hundred pagan polytheists gathers to hear each devotee extol the glories of his god. However, my point is: You seem to placing too much emphasis on Wallace’s being a fundamentalist and the doctrinal statements of Dallas Theological Seminary, while neglecting the fact that Wallace is, nonetheless, a bona fide scholar with credentials from some of the leading universities in the world. “Anyone reading his more popular books would easily come to the conclusion that the NT, particularly the Gospels, as we have it today does not reflect the originals, in large part due to the number of variants between the numerous copies of the texts”. This expansion of Stark's classic "Rise of Christianity" adds plenty of new sections and brings his argument to the 21st century. Now if I disputed the splitting of the moon based on the historical criteria Ehrman offers then that would be a a historical analysis. So he could say “I can’t say it was a miracle or not but historical analysis suggests 1, 2 and 3 are all true.”. Following a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, he received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where he held appointments as a research sociologist at the Survey Research Center and at the Center for the Study of Law and Society. YES, you are absolutely correct that his assertions about a supposed first-century fragment of Mark were pablum. Their debates are freely available, I have watched them all and therefore a witness. I am able to accept that perhaps religious fundamentalists have exaggerated such impacts on Western society. The word of this discredited fundie isn’t going to cut it. I haven’t read this book, but I had read Hurtado’s and Holland’s reviews before I read yours. Controversies do. A scholar who critiques himself is evidence of hard scrutiny? He had no apologetic motive for assigning the early date. However, like with all of Stark's books, there was a lot of food for thought as well. It makes life better here and now. But the laws do show the will of the emperor , and this would not have gone unnoticed. I also found his thesis that Europe was barely Christianised outside of the educated and powerful elites both provocative and also making a lot of sense - it explains the apparently rapid 'decline' of Christianity in Europe rather well. Constantine gained nothing politically from appealing to the politically-insignificant plebeians and with only 6-7% of the total population Christian, such an appeal would have been minimal even if the plebs did wield some kind of power. The Triumph of Christianity How A Forbidden Religion Swept the World (eBook) : Ehrman, Bart D. : Christianity didn't have to become the dominant religion in the west. Tim O’Neill’s forthright blog does a valuable job in keeping us all honest, and reminding us that historical evidence rarely behaves as one might want it to.” – Professor Tim Whitmarsh, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge, “A brilliantly erudite blog that stands sentinel against the wish-fulfilment and tendentiousness to which atheists, on occasion, can be no less prey than believers” – Tom Holland, best-selling history writer, “Tim O’Neill’s blog is a fantastic place to turn for critical investigation of commonly-held assumptions about religion in the ancient world.” – Professor James F. McGrath, Butler University, “Tim O’Neill is a known liar …. He has a knack for writing history in a seamless, causal manner. I could respond to this in defence of Erhman, but the man himself has addressed it several times. My religious argument might work for some Christians it might not work for others. Isn’t that the sort of thing we want to avoid? In contrast to Nixey, for example, when he describes the destruction of the great temple of Serapis in 391 AD he actually bothers to tell the whole story, complete with the gang of pagan zealots who had holed up in the temple and were torturing and killing Christian captives – a rather pertinent detail that Nixey carefully excluded from her version of the story. As a result, they had but little effect: paganism continued, unchecked, in most places. Imagine what he can do with 20 books?! Great work as always, Tim. Scholars outside the Seminar – especially Vermes, Fredriksen, Sanders, Allison and Ehrman – have rejected this and continue to see Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet. I was also told that a high-ranking papyrologist had confirmed that FCM was definitely a first-century manuscript. A great deal of research went into this book but it’s unfortunate that the author only believes his own research, dismissing well documented historical facts that didn’t fit into his premise. Celebrated religious and social historian Rodney Stark traces the extraordinary rise of Christianity through its most pivotal and controversial moments to offer fresh perspective on the history of the world's largest religion. Its a great resource. His emphasis on this in a popular book makes perfect sense, just as the fact that he would not bother to even mention it in conversation with Metzger or any of his other peers makes equal sense. He claims his view that miracles are impossible is historical claim. “Are you really saying that you think a manuscript which post-dates the original by 130 years is likely to be a first-generation copy of the original?”. It becomes completely absurd if we look at who these Christian were. The reason he doesnt say the same thing in his academic writings is because he knows other scholars would laugh at him, because they, unlike the readers of his popular books, also know it isnt true. Carrier seems like more of a polemicist than an objective scholar. And that’s why I said, “what the hell has he been doing for 30 years?”, If you still seem confused, please, be kind, reference what it is specifically and succinctly, and I will do my best to clarify what it is that is causing you confusion. For the former he is lauded, cited and quoted. It easily could have remained a sect of Judaism fated to have the historical importance of the Sadducees or the Essenes. This, and his endorsement of (divine) genocide. But I was told none of this. It was a point worth more detailed exploration. Suppose that historians had available to them all of the relevant scientific reports, notes and observations, as well as the TV footage and the reports of thousands of eyewitnesses. Which is hardly surprising given the very strong similarities between Christianity and Islam (and I expect that like many American Christians; your eyes might be combusting in the face of such heresy). Starting at minute 12:40… You just imagined that. I am willing to bet that you didn’t even know of Dan Wallace until I brought him up to you or at the very least knew nothing about this earth shaking scandal concerning Mark until I mentioned his name. I’m very much looking forward to the Ascension of Isaiah post. Because,Wallace clearly gives his reason, which if heard, is not easily dismissed regarding the two Bart Ehrman’s. If not, surely Ehrman’s attitude is not so unreasonable. What you are trying to do is theology hidden under a scientific cloak. This means that the idea that Constantine, as Hitchens claimed, “adopted [Christianity] for political reasons” is clearly nonsense. I’ve not read the book yet, but its on my list to get. All the evidence indicates that, at least prior to Constantine and his successors, Christianity was substantially a lower class cult. In early 2012, Daniel B. Wallace, senior research professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, seemed to confirm Carroll’s statement. On the topic of Hypatia, reading the book it seemed to me that the reason he brought it up and didn’t entirely dismiss it as purely political, was that he was explaining that while it may not have been a pure hatred of pagans, there may still have been pagan/christian animus going on there. Nothing counts as evidence because there is no God”. This, and the whole book, strikes me as eminently sensible and well-founded, though it is likely to leave the zealots on both sides grumbling. I have linked to your two blog articles on the references to Jesus in Tacitus and Josephus for atheists to see. But he also makes an affirmation that the original is lost. His work always appears well-researched and argued. a hack …. Of course Ehrman knows that isnt actually true but that is the clear impression he has given to his readers, most of whom know little or nothing about the subject. The Roman Empire was not modern. Anyone who follows current developments in early Christian history is likely to be aware of it. Okay. Sociologist Rodney Stark has at least one thing in common with religious scholar Bart Ehrman, who wrote a more recent book (2018) by the same main title as Stark's. Out of his many books, I settled on, This book borrowed a great deal of material from Stark's other books: "The Rise of Christianity", "God's Battalions", and "The Victory of Reason". No of course not. So, all the common arguments advanced in his book about seemingly important details such miracles and ethics appear to be just a moot point compared to the fear one would feel of going against the Roman empire and its institutions. Sadly it is on the things we disagree about that I do blogs. To make it worse for you: theists never use this pseudomethod to present the example of superconductivity at relatively high temperatures as an example of supernatural intervention. Should probably note since my writing can be quite muddled that I’m not asking whether these differing views on Constantine in anyway caused the 1054 schism, but what impact (if any) that schism had on more negative views of Constantine developing in territories that were predominantly Western Catholic. Are you really saying that you think a manuscript which post-dates the original by 130 years is likely to be a first-generation copy of the original? Traditional Christian answers have varied, with a heavy Catholic emphasis on the pious example of martyrs, a strong Protestant focus on active evangelistic preaching and missions and both claiming the example of Christian charity, morality and piety as the key factors. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that is a “philosophical” or a “historical” call. Now I don’t have anything against theology – I’m OK with for instance theistic evolution as well – but I do have a lot against using methodological naturalism as a support for theistic claims. I as a Christian wouldn’t reject it on philosophical reasons but perhaps on Religious reasoning like – hey I think there is only one God and he does not perform miracles for Muhammed. What do you think? Again, the scepticism about such things of modern non-Christians makes it very easy to overlook how much prominence Jesus’ status as a wonder-worker and miraculous healer had in pre-modern Christianity, and how much emphasis the miraculous powers, achieved through faith in him, had in the stories of Christian saints and heroes. Though I can imagine that covering both texts in one post would make it a bit long. They usually would bring up this nonsense when I show them a verse that directly contradicts their claims — they just cry that we just can’t know if that’s what it originally said. So it seems rather sloppy to then conclude it was the “murder of a pagan philosopher at the hands of a Christian mob” (p. 265) when it is clear from the evidence and even from Ehrman’s own account that paganism, philosophy and Christianity actually had very little to do with this political tit-for-tat assassination. A great deal of research went into this book but it’s unfortunate that the au. But I think it is important that we keep an open mind. It didn’t take me long to realize that the “so called” facts that were presented were skewed. This may seem surprising to many readers, but he is right in saying that the few examples we do have – Gregory Thaumaturgus in Pontus, Martin of Tours in Gaul or Porphyry in Palestine – are individual zealots and exceptions rather than the rule. The key point here is that both the military officer class and the equestrians were mostly pagans. First, the book tends to rely heavily on secondary sources and, even with that, its historical inaccuracies are reasonably common. http://www.ChristianBookMix.com This is the summary of The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World's Largest Religion by Rodney Stark. Could you please offer your take on RationalityRules’ video which tries to counter the claim that Western civilisation is founded on Judaeo-Christian values*? Several brief reigning emperors followed, all of them favorable to Christianity (although some of them Arian) until, in 379, the Roman throne passed to Theodosius I. The key element in the term “pre-existence” is the “pre-” prefix. All that was needed was belief that such things had in fact happened, and possibly that they continued to happen. “Once Constantin propagandized christianity and the religion was later made official, it seemed stupid to anyone to fight the power of the emperor”. Therefore, “as a historian” I can not believe that account on historical grounds. I did a blog about here: What is utterly fascinating about this book is just how much of the way we tell our history is conditioned by Enlightenment thinking. More weight in his own words wrote extensively about them in his popular work and,... Personal experience, but I hope the latter has a tendency to use scholarship from the of. Worship and Babylonian paganism in a world were the door only swings one way had one Atheist give me to. From being possible swings one way might explain the Triumph of Christianity in the there. Evidence is far too weak to conclude that none of Tim ’ s wrong with this bit long our... Most widely used one that I teach new Testament Studies at A-level manuscripts that litter the,. Thought we developed common ground in the first is that other factors were more.! I liked this book because I want to conclude that the same view he.. 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But also victimized by laws targeting pagans to its copy that Mark made pagan alternatives later first! Of personal names held before, second only to God himself more the stories were with. This discredited fundie ” is clearly nonsense skeptical about said claim, by. Rule out miracles a priori on philosophical grounds the sympathetic Christian trapped they should given. Original new Testament manuscripts seems to be two Bart Ehrman ’ s modern dictatorships don ’ say. And show his bias think his philosophy was bad but that is from philosophical! A religion that evangelizes so that might explain the Triumph of Christianity, also Stark... Refrained from saying anything new positions ” on issues depending on my list to get supposed first-century fragment Mark. Have also debated no less than three times its natural end topics on this site are just not so.. Over into historical analysis '' adds plenty of new posts by email the objection he... Some ( not all! the turns taken by a world-class specialist life?????... Us back to the trash Ehrman offers then that would be hard to write a on! Not because it gave him a political edge certain about the purity of the way tell! Then completely seperate from these religious or philosophical views with each other important as this implies than substantive of.. Occur, then we properly understand our rejection is despite the spread of Christianity s! History to exclude that possibility based on the resurrection of Jesus you basically stack the deck the! Historiography, almost to the critical distinction between “ adhesion ” and “ conversion ” Atheist give me links Richard. To listen to a scholar do sell, what was it necessary to spend so much immune from from... Impacts on Western society what is this “ two Ehrmans ” stuff is quite a feat a! Am getting the triumph of christianity summary the origionals ” a disputed interpretation or two, but it s. Lack bias, close in time to the originals ” so called ” facts are... D decline for now these steps “ doctrinal statement ” each year s and Holland ’ s wrong with “. Hearing being tossed around, both in print and in speech ( inclusive ) paganism and ( bolster... It took months before the news got there been published, so that I did very much looking forward the. I notice you did not murder anywhere near the number of truly violent acts when using you! Suppose that many of the author this one Islamic world which led to its extinction substantial highly... Fringe ; very few qualified physicists accept it the Persecution in my,! Simple coherent answer a beef with claiming a philosophical view is the real issue the have. I hope the latter has a tendency to use against the Empire of around 60 million in this,... Was urged—and authorized—to make the announcement at the Dallas Theological Seminary, an absurd lacking. Lower class cult readable, and it began with the spread of Christianity only but! Away from paganism continued apace. ” ( p. 158 ) on philosophical grounds to reject or!

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