Saturday, December 1, 2012
I've read a few of Geoffrey Blainey "short history's" now and I wouldn't be surprised if this is the longest coming in at 550 pages. As a person who has studied Christian History it pretty much takes the conventional chronological line with what I would add his quirky yet pertinent observations.
A lots of his little observations make me stop and ponder. A few examples::
Competition of religion:: In the USA church's took on characteristics of businesses and commerce. "If worshipers disliked their clergyman they walked out and, gathering hammer and saw, nails and timber, erected their own church. If they could not find a suitable preacher, they themselves became the first preachers'. (Its interesting that this happens a bit in Australia, but most if they become disgruntled give up Church altogether.)
Right to life:: Catholics have opposed abortion, they agree with the right to life including but also include opposing capital punishment. p 540-1 (interesting when you think of evangelical/republican Christians)
Overall It was interesting to read about the sects that came from Christianity, some died while others continued to flourish such as the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses for example. I was also interested but it sure it fitted in with the book his observation of atheists and agnostics.
Overall he was rather optimistic that Christianity would survive, stating that at times not just now, Christianity faced monumental challenges and has come through. It will be interesting what the future holds and how Christianity will look like for the main stream in the future.