Saturday, June 7, 2008

Recommended Reading

I want to recommend two historical books. The first, The Church History by Eusebius (translated by Paul L. Maier) gives one man's picture of the early days of the Christian church. Eusebius lived from A.D. 260-339. I found it interesting to see them grapple with which books should be in the canon. At the time of his writing they still weren't too sure about James or 2 Peter as well as some others. The most touching parts are the accounts of the martyrs, especially the elderly Polycarp.
The second book is also by Maier, The Flames of Rome. Paul Maier tried to create a new genre called Documentary Fiction by using only real people and actual events in his novel. It reads like historical fiction normally would, but is more accurate. Set during the time of Claudius and Nero you get a unique picture of how the Romans reacted as they were exposed to the early Christians. One word of warning-Nero is a vile man. You probably already knew that, but his vileness is shown in the novel. If your considering having your child read it, I would preview it first to see if your comfortable with their exposure to the se*xual content. He does it as tastefully as possible. Personally I was impressed with his ability to give you the real picture without being too explicit.

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