Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weaponizing a Lecture

The pastor of the little church we attend in Horseshoe Bend called last night about 10:30 PM.  His father had, just a few minutes before, passed away.  This wasn't any great surprise--but nonetheless, he was too busy dealing with family and funeral to preach this morning--so he asked me to do whatever I could to fill in.

I took a lecture that I had given about the rise or Christianity in the Roman Empire, based on sociologist Rodney Stark's The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal, Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries (among other sources), and "weaponized" it, by adding Scripture to what is fundamentally a discussion of the role of demographics, how the early Church dealt with plagues, and the relatively higher status of women in the early Church relative to pagan society.  (And if the "weaponized" doesn't seem the right word for adding Scripture to what is fundamentally a secular historian's view: consider Matthew 10:34: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.")

I do not think this is something that I am especially suited to--but it was gratifying to be able to step in and help.


  1. Can you put the lecture on-line? It sounds interesting.

  2. I second the request for the lecture online.

  3. It's quite honorable that you used your own material rather than just read a pre-written sermon. :)