Some ideas are so potent as to be world-changing. For Rodney Stark, Christianity encompasses just such a set of ideas. In his view, Christian beliefs and images of God shaped the course of Western civilization. And not only that; they changed it for the better.
To think that that mystics are engaged in a series of private, transcendent encounters with God betrays a superficial understanding, says Bernard McGinn. Christian mystics, in particular, are not breakaway contemplatives who find their own way toGod.
Christians throughout history may be justly accused of many failures, but it appears neglecting evangelism is not one of them. Observers of Christian growth have been suggesting over the last few decades that the faith is experiencing a significant migratory moment, not unlike the first explosive venture outside the tribe of the Jews into the unfamiliar world of the gentiles.
There are many Jesuses, despite the fact that there was only one. Permutations began appearing as early as the first century and have not abated, making efforts to uncover the historical Jesus, the real man from Nazareth, notoriously fraught and conflicting endeavors—as Christians who have tried can attest.
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