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message 1: by Leslie (last edited Oct 19, 2016 06:23PM) (new)

Leslie | 359 comments Okay - I just wrote out an entire Introduction then lost the entire thing on the computer. This may be coming to you in pieces! LOL

For those of you who read Volume 1 - The Founding of Christendom with us last year or so, welcome back!!! For those of you who didn't, welcome aboard. :-) You can easily pick right up with us anyway.

I'm so mad that I lost all of my comments!!! Trying to remember everything.

Warren H Carroll is our author and was a professor and founding father of Christendom College in Virginia. Here's a link to the college if you are interested.

I think that each of you will find Dr. Carroll to be an interesting historian. I know our last group really enjoyed his narrative style which brought in so many aspects of the times that you just really felt like you could imagine the setting so clearly. He truly has a gift for taking long, complicated historical time lines and condensing them into an easy-to-follow format that is both interesting and fun to read. He is passionate and that definitely comes out in his writing. At times he waxes poetic, at times he rants, and at times he is funny.

History is always a given person's account of a time and, therefore, is prone to some bias. That said, Dr. Carroll does take great efforts to thoroughly research his topic and you will know this if you take the time to read his lengthy end notes at the end of each chapter. They are truly interesting in and of themselves and sometimes run as long the chapter itself because of his commentary on each reference.

Moving on to our book before my computer wipes me out again!!!

In Volume 1, we began with the earliest beginnings of our world and traveled through Jesus's life and the times shortly thereafter. It was so hard and yet exciting to read about the life Jesus led. I hope you will find time for Volume 1. After having ploughed through so many centuries after centuries after centuries of battles and nomads and land masses, we finally came upon this startling figure and you really got a sense of what it was like to have this man appear in the world, quite unexpectedly. I found myself reading his life as if I didn't already know it, and then I would read with dread about the events unfolding going where we all already knew they would certainly go. I remember feeling so frustrated and angry with the people of his time!

Dr. Carroll didn't stop there though. He led us through those early, tenuous years of our new church's beginnings. We watched the apostles comes and go and suffered with the martyrs. Together we read with excitement and frustration about the entanglement of the earliest popes and civilization's leaders. We read of rebellion after rebellion, well behaved people and not well behaved people. We agonized with the earliest followers as they debated on how to properly describe the faith to others and stood on the sidelines as people were publically harrassed and killed for their understanding of the holy trinity! (There is so much to say about Volume 1!!! I'm just trying to bring you quickly up to where we left off).

And this is where our new book, Volume 2, will begin. We will be starting up with the heresies that challenged the church (A. D. 324) and will travel with Dr. Carroll on to the beginnings of "modern" Jerusalem (A.D. 1100).

As always, your thoughts are warmly welcome.

message 2: by Mike (last edited Oct 19, 2016 10:47PM) (new)

Mike Leslie wrote: "Okay - I just wrote out an entire Introduction then lost the entire thing on the computer. This may be coming to you in pieces! LOL

For those of you who read Volume 1 - The Founding of Christendom..."

This was a very good introduction for Vol 2 and to Dr. Carroll.

I believe that it is very important for Catholics to read histories of the Catholic Church that have been thoroughly researched and are factually complete. Also we find that Dr. Carroll will point out the importance and impact that various historical events have had on Catholic beliefs. He writes from a Catholic perspective.

message 3: by Mike (new)

Mike Another point that may be helpful to remember about the early Christians was that it was a dangerous belief, up until 313 it was illegal to be Christian.

Being a believer was a capital offense. The persecutions would intensify for a number of years and then relax for a while. However, at the end of the third century, 250 and beyond the persecutions intensified. Under Emperors Decius and Valerian, the zeal for persecution increased and the desire to return Rome to a completely pagan society intensified. The final persecutions from 303 to 311 under Diocletian and Galerius were the worst.

Finally, Galerius gave in to pressure and public sentiment and called a halt to persecution in 311, but still left Christianity illegal. In 313 Constantine published the edit of Milan allowing the open and legal practice of Christianity.

None the less it is estimated that Christianity grew from 3 million followers to 7 million between 250 and 311. Completely amazing growth for an outlawed religion. So as our book begins with the year 324, we have a very dedicated and battle hardened group of followers and based upon the heresy and schism they would be facing it was a good thing they were tough.

message 4: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 359 comments Thank you Mike. It really is amazing that we survived so much.

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