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EMPIRE: Heaven's Conduit for Divine Communication.


Someone recently asked why Christianity, if it is truly God's revelation to the world, appears like a cultural footnote when compared to the many empires and civilizations that have shaped the world we live in today. Imperial powers like Persia, Greece, and Rome all left anthropological foundations such as tolerance, democracy, and justice upon which many societies still stand. But what about Christianity and its Jewish foundations?[1] Did not the messianic marathoners carry the light of Christ to the world's captives? Well, they did--on the backs of world empires.


Throughout the course of history, empires advanced human civilization through the development of everything from philosophy to technology, literally paving a way for the transmission of the Gospel in the first Century CE. The broad influence of Hellenistic hegemony left the world with a rich philosophical heritage, united in a common language that kept currency in years to come. These schools of philosophy provided the conceptual framework through which much of the New Testament’s theology was articulated--in the common tongue of Koine Greek--a language that pervaded the Roman Empire.


Moreover, Roman roads and bridges facilitated the transmission of Christian theology to the uttermost parts of the empire and beyond, giving the Gospel a first-class courier service as if delivered by Hermes himself [2]. Moreover, Roman law afforded its citizens--like the Apostle Paul--unique rights, privileges, and protections which allowed him to efficiently proclaim his message. As recorded in the book of Acts, Paul's right to a fair trail led him up the appeals courts to the judgment seat of Caesar himself--by way of armed escort--effectively bringing the Gospel to the head of state-eventually leading to the Christianization of the whole Roman Empire in the centuries that followed.


Therefore, in retrospect, what appeared to be the smallest among the world's empires turned out to be the biggest, a counter-cultural movement which revolutionized societies and changed the course of human history, becoming the very bedrock of western civilization.

Notes


[1] Jewish religious ideology is credited with being a “critical part of the Western Heritage” (Kagan et al. 28)


[2] Hermes was the Greek messenger of the gods, from where we get the term " hermeneutics ."


References


Brand et al., eds. “Citizen, Citizenship.” Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003.


Kagan et al. The Western Heritage, Volume One: To 1740, 11th ed. New York: Pearson, 2016. Print.





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Me.

Writer, artist, freethinker. I love to travel and live life, making the best of what I have and helping others achieve the same. I am passionate about all things beautiful, that goodness that traverses the triune axes of human existence--mind, body, and spirit. Through my education and experience I endeavor to present my opinion on issues from an informed perspective, relishing in the humility of uncertainty in favor of truth and objectivity. While none of us are free from the worldviews which shape our sight--we should never be afraid to test the assumptions that build them. This is the stuff of true faith. Selah.

 

 

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