The Dark Side of Christian History: Helen Ellerbe
Morningstar Books | ISBN: 0964487349 | 1995-07 | PDF (OCR) | 221 pages | 9.95 Mb
Review: I flew through this amazingly interesting book and am sure that the majority of conservative Christians will be upset or at least frustrated by its clear presentation of Christian historical wrongdoings. It will make some fundamentalists shake with fear as it demonstrates to us that Christianity did not suddenly appear on earth and that the idolization of power has been ever-present in church doctrine and action. If not taken as a threat, this work will ultimately strengthen Christian conviction to see the "plank" in its own eye, namely the evil that many Christians have done, supported, or not fought against in the name of the Church and its deity. So much has already been written by other reviewers, that I will keep my comments on a more personal level. I was excited to see the connections that Helen Ellerbe makes between the origins of Christianity and the other "pagan" religions that surrounded it. It was wonderful to read her deconstruction of the accumulation of power in the Church and to see how the institutional church has used its power to threaten and subdue any serious adversaries. I was impressed by the notes and while I agree with others that it is biased, I was not surprised at all by the author's conclusions since the title of the book reflects exactly where Ellebe takes the reader. This is an excellent piece of writing for those serious Christian readers who want to build on their faith in a way in which reason is an acceptable gift of God. The information can be misused in attempts to vilify the Church, but does little in any purported swipes at the Gospel.
Review: I agree this is a book that everyone should read, Christian and non-Christian alike! It's important to know of Christianity's Dark Side, because today we seem to be in danger of resurrecting it.
As we have holocaust-deniers, we now have Inquisition-minimalizers, who want to pretend that the Inquisition was "exaggerated". And there's a movement in America right now end to separation of Church and State, somehow believing, in defiance of history, that this would be a GOOD thing.
But behind this book lies a brighter truth. Christianity didn't HAVE to be a force to control the human spirit, it became that because people projected their own fears into it. Which leads to the hope that we'll one day overcome the urge to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit...
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