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Download Constantine and the Conversion of Europe (Pelican) epub

by A.H.M. Jones

Download Constantine and the Conversion of Europe (Pelican) epub
ISBN: 0140213740
ISBN13: 978-0140213744
Category: History
Author: A.H.M. Jones
Language: English
Publisher: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD; New Ed edition (February 24, 1972)
Pages: 256 pages
ePUB size: 1284 kb
FB2 size: 1672 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 665
Other Formats: lrf azw docx mobi

This was a really informative book. I expected a severe rebuke of Constantine's conversion but found that he cared (maybe out of fear) deeply for the advancement of the church. Nicely written. A little verbose at times but always interesting
A.H. M. Jones writes an admirable biography with negligible amounts of conjecture. Jones correctly states that we know little of Constantine's personal relationship with God. We possess historical evidence that outlines a vague conversion and details a somewhat sloppy and awkward evolution.

Constantine who ruled an ever-growing portion of the Roman Empire until his death, in 337 AD, is best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor, his Edict of Milan put an end to institutionalized persecution of Christians in the Empire. But, was Constantine a Christian or an opportunist?

Constantine was a ruthless politician who killed rivals, subordinates and family members to ensure his own rise to power and popularity. It is his lifelong dedication to personal advancement at all costs that calls into question the legitimacy of his Christian conversion. Was he a Christian or did he simply realize that befriending the rapidly growing Christian population was a great opportunity to advance himself politically?

It is known that Constantine was baptized only shortly before his death in 337. Some hypothesize that his "deathbed conversion" proves he did not walk with Christ. However, Jones points out that Constantine was merely following custom at the time which postponed baptism until old age or death.

Constantine personally oversaw the Counsel of Nicea, which produced what we know today as bad theology. However, we must also acknowledge that Nicea produced better and more consistent theology then what existed at the time. A clear step in the right direction.
"Constantine and the Conversion of Europe" is written for the layman, and is a joy to read. This is no boring history book. It really put into perspective, using all the available primary resources, the life and times of Constantine. It weaves together a very plausible interpretation of the actions and letters of this time. The Constantine that comes across is very human, with amazing strengths and incredible weaknesses. It shatters the idiotic notion that Constantine was simply some dumb pawn in Satan's toolbox, ready to unleash to the full extent, a paganized form of Christianity on an unsuspecting and weakened Church Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible?. Did Constantine get it wrong? I believe so. But I do believe he was sincerely wrong. He actually thought he was building a Christian empire; and in truth he was, but against, I believe, the wishes of our Master Jesus Christ.

This book is the only "life" of the man I've read, but I know it will be hard to beat. To be honest I couldn't get into Leithart's book Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom. I think it probably came across as a little dry, I'm not sure. Anyway, this book was riveting for me. As one interested in Church history and especially early Church history, a proper grasp of this man is essential. The man who changed the face of Christianity more than probably any other after the Apostle Paul.

Constantine's influence over the Church was so great, that Church history has been split in two from before his great Nicean council (ante-Nicene)and after it (post-Nicene). Christianity never looked the same after him. And in a very real sense it is hopeless to try to return to a so-called pristine form of Christianity. What each of us must try to do is assess what exactly happened at this time, was it of God, and then decide what we steps we will take with this knowledge. If Constantine's reforms and innovations were good, then what is stopping us entering into one of the monolithic Churches? If not, then why are we still hanging around there? Of course these questions are philosophical and theological and perhaps do not relate to everyone interested in the man Constantine.

I found this book unputdownable from start to finish.