How did Christianity move from being a provincial movement in Palestine to the leading religion of the Roman Empire?
This is the question the historian Rodney Stark sets out to answer and along the way challenges a number of well-established myths.
- Was the missionary activity of the apostles key to the growth of Christianity? No, not really.
- Was Paul really just focused on the mission to the Gentiles? Nope.
- How important were the eastern cults of Cybele and Isis to the success of Christianity? Very.
- Did Christian emperors seek to violently destroy paganism? Ah, no.
- Was early Christianity seriously threatened by Gnostic movements? No, no, no.