Congratulations to our third winner, Felix, he’ll have his choice of book from the list below:
- Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson (signed)
- Selected Poems of Robert Frost
Amphigorey Too by Edward Gorey
- Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Night Watch by Terry Pratchett
- The Myth of Persecution by Candida Moss
- Overheated by Andrew Guzman
- Going Clear by Lawrence Wright
The giveaway marches on! Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a book of your choice from the list. Below is another short review for one of the books in the giveaway, The Myth of Persecution. This review originally appeared in the San Francisco and Sacramento Book Review.
Candida Moss’ new book, The Myth of Persecution is going to raise hackles in the small, exclusive halls of Christian history. Why? Because it attacks one of the foundational tenets of early Christianity: the persecution and martyrdom of early converts to the new religion. Ask any Christian, Protestant, Catholic, and other and the conversation will eventually turn to the persecution of Christians, contemporary and historical, almost always accompanied by a shout out to Nero, and sometimes Diocletian. This piece of historical trivia is always presented as a given and no one ever disputes the “fact” that before the ascension of Constantine to the Imperial crown Christians were singularly and systematically persecuted by Pagan Rome. Dr. Moss begs to differ. In this exhaustively researched yet accessible book Dr. Moss presents the thesis that this ‘persecution’ of the primitive church is a myth created by later government sanctioned, early Christian sects and used as method to impose orthodoxy, attack sectarian opponents, and bolster their own doctrinal claims. The popularity of martyr stories among the laity only fed the use of the myth and their exaggeration into the grotesque stories we have today, Dr. Moss’ book lays bare that truth and presents us with the opportunity to instead of retelling myth begin to explore the actual history of this era.