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  1. #21
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guesswho View Post
    Christianity is one of the Roman empire's greatest legacy.
    Not sure what you mean. Christianity is a Jewish legacy. Jesus and all of his disciples were Jews, preaching and (mostly) dying in Israel. There was one instance in the book of John, where Jesus is in the temple teaching, and someone whispered to him that certain outsiders wanted to hear him. The men were Greeks (the emphasis on that is that the idea of Greeks wanting to listen to a Jewish rabbi was unusual). Jesus had a strange response: "Now is the time for the Son of Man to be glorified." [John 12.20-23] It doesn't go into any explanation why he said that, but the usual interpretation is that he was kind of hoping for that moment. That it was confirmation that his message was appealing to outsiders. That it was a more global/universal vision.

    So anyways, it was a Jewish legacy, but had the makings of something that transcended one culture. It was never set out to be Jewish specifically, and especially never to be a Roman thing. Rome didn't come into picture until well after he was gone.

    edit: Eh, I had a lot more to add here, but it was really getting to be "tl;dr".

  2. #22
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Sure, it may have started as a Jewish offshoot, but the significance of Rome embracing a single god far outshines the humble origins of said god. Christianity is one of Rome's most significant projects.

  3. #23
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Sure, it may have started as a Jewish offshoot, but the significance of Rome embracing a single god far outshines the humble origins of said god. Christianity is one of Rome's most significant projects.
    True, but I'm not sure that Rome (or Byzantium) left Christianity better for that.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Why is that? To make disciples of all nations? I would say Rome did a better job of that than any other entity.

  5. #25
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Why is that? To make disciplines of all nations? I would say Rome did a better job of that than any other entity.
    Christianity itself is the entity that does that. Rome did control a big segment of it, but it can adapt almost anywhere, on it's own accord. You don't need to Rome to "make disciples of all nations".

    The funny thing about Constantine's initial hopes of it being a great unifier is that those very hopes were almost thrown out immediately. He was apparently stunned with how disorganized Christianity was. This was partly why the Nicene council ( the first time all of the bishops in the empire convened) first tried to come up with some consensus on canon, creeds, etc.. It was a good idea to them too, but it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't been frustrated. It was never easy to control to begin with.

    And by that point, Christianity was already morphing in all kinds of ways that were outside the Roman mythos or jurisdiction, so to speak. Not just among all of these bishops, but in schisms popping up here and there. This goes without mentioning entire schools of thought that were distinct.. too entrenched by that point to really change at Rome's direction. Alexandria had it's own take on it, for example, and Gnosticism was spreading everywhere (which is more Neo-Platonic than Roman per se). Not long after Nicene council, another schism broke out from the teachings of Nestorius. He and his adherents finally just decided to ditch Rome and had reached as far as modern Iran (which solidified into Eastern/Nestorian Christianity.. which is quite different than Roman). From there it actually reached into China.

    Umm.. I forgot my point now. I guess if you look at the West, you get this impression that it's full of Roman motifs.. but it's really anything anyone wants it to be (culturally speaking, at least).

  6. #26
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Christianity itself is the entity that does that. Rome did control a big segment of it, but it can adapt almost anywhere, on it's own accord. You don't need to Rome to "make disciples of all nations".

    The funny thing about Constantine's initial hopes of it being a great unifier is that those very hopes were almost thrown out immediately. He was apparently stunned with how disorganized Christianity was. This was partly why the Nicene council ( the first time all of the bishops in the empire convened) first tried to come up with some consensus on canon, creeds, etc.. It was a good idea to them too, but it wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been frustrated. And by that point, Christianity was already morphing in all kinds of ways that were outside the Roman mythos or jurisdiction, so to speak. Not just among all of these bishops, but schisms popping up here and there. Then entire schools of thought that were distinct.. too entrenched by that point to really. Alexandria had it's own take on it, for example, and Gnosticism was spreading everywhere (which is more Neo-Platonic than Roman per se). Not long after Nicene council, another schism broke up with a man named Nestorius. He and his adherents finally just decided to ditch Rome and had reached as far as modern Iran (which solidified into Eastern/Nestorian Christianity.. which is quite different than Roman). From there it actually reached into China.

    Umm.. I forgot my point now. I guess if you look at the West, you get this impression that there's a Roman motifs.. but it's really anything anyone wants it to be (culturally speaking, at least).
    Good point. I suppose having a road, a legion, and a council couldn't have hurt though.

  7. #27
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
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    God can also be a father achetype.

    An interesting experiment would be to ask people who grew up with a father and without a father if they believe in God. As the father image would not be present in the minds of the fatherless, and if it is present it is a sum of people (real or fictional) who have been a substitute to the father figure, but a constant father figure was obviously absent.

    If there is a significant percentage of people who grew up without a father who do not believe in God, this would be a good proof of the subjective eyes through which we view reality.

    Or maybe I'm wrong.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Why is that? To make disciplines of all nations? I would say Rome did a better job of that than any other entity.
    I think you mean "disciples," not "disciplines"... but in any case, Rome was very good at subjugating nations, but it subjugated them to Rome, not to Christianity.

    Paradoxically, Christianity has always been strongest and thrived best under persecution. When people risk their lives to be part of the Church, there is little question whether one's faith is real. The risk and the costs are there for all to see, as is the faith. The moment that Christianity becomes socially acceptable (or worse, fashionable) is the moment that the masses come rushing in... to what? Mass merchandizing of What Would Jesus Do bracelets and chrome fish to put on their cars? VeggieTales videos and Newsboys CDs?

    Popular Christianity is a mishmash, much of it disreputable or even ridiculous. It's a good thing there's God to sort it all out, because that's what it will take.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guesswho View Post
    God can also be a father achetype.

    An interesting experiment would be to ask people who grew up with a father and without a father if they believe in God. As the father image would not be present in the minds of the fatherless, and if it is present it is a sum of people (real or fictional) who have been a substitute to the father figure, but a constant father figure was obviously absent.

    If there is a significant percentage of people who grew up without a father who do not believe in God, this would be a good proof of the subjective eyes through which we view reality.

    Or maybe I'm wrong.
    What if these people have a father figure that isn't divine? And why would we need more confirmation that our views are subjective?

  10. #30
    Senior Member guesswho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    What if these people have a father figure that isn't divine?
    You mean the people who grew up without a father. Yes, some find a father figure, but I don't know if most of them do, I guess separating those who found a substitute from those who didn't find a substitute would be the most difficult part.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    And why would we need more confirmation that our views are subjective?
    Because we would get to measure if there is a considerable change in religious beliefs.

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