Matthew 22: 15-22

The 19th century German Romantic poet Rainer Maria Rilke once declared that fame was merely the sum total of all the misunderstandings that gathered around a person’s name[1]. In others words, fame was rarely an indicator of how well one was understood or appreciated; rather, it was a sign of how little one was understood – and, indeed, of all the unwanted interpretations and expectations that other people load onto those in whom they invest some emotional or psychological significance. Continue reading “Matthew 22: 15-22”

Matthew 21: 33-46

I recently read a book in which it was claimed that, by the fourth century AD, many of the people who converted to Christianity did so, not for reasons of faith, but for political and social convenience. Christianity, having become the official religion of the Roman Empire, gave access to political, cultural, and economic advancement; and, even when these were not possible, at least ensured a measure of safety against persecution by the State. Unlike the first three centuries of Christian history, when converting to the faith could cost you everything, people in the later Roman Empire became Christians because of what they could get out of it: safety, respectability, prestige, and cynical self-interest[1]. Continue reading “Matthew 21: 33-46”