From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity (The Great Courses #6577)

From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity (The Great Courses #6577) - Bart D. Ehrman Understanding means learning how things became the way they are. Things are the way they are because they became the way they are. It's a tautology, but understanding often relies on a conclusion residing in a premise. (After all, F=ma is a tautology, and it got us to the moon, while it took the relativistic correction to that equation to give us GPS).

Just like there is a paleofantasy about the perfect diet (see the book [b:Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live|13707578|Paleofantasy What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live|Marlene Zuk|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1356113438s/13707578.jpg|19340160]) there is something I would call the Christianofantasy. It's the belief that the early church (as mentioned in the 'bible') is the only real true church and we need to emulate that in order to be holy. Sadly, for modern day Christianofantasist they would have to give up their trinity and their bible and other dogmas that evolved well after the 2nd century.

The starting point for most knowledge is to assume things have always been the way they are now (more or less). The universe was considered 'static' until 1920 and even up to the 1950s with Fred Hoyle mocking the big bang as absurd. It was probably the dominant paradigm among the common folk until the discovery of the CMB. Or consider plate tectonics and continental drift it was denied until the 1960s.

There's a similar thing going on with most Christian churches. They just think what is considered orthodox today is the way it always has been. The Trinity, the perfect example, developed over time and would have been considered heterodoxy in it's time. (Isaac Newton, my favorite person who ever lived, was a unitarian and he believed the bible offered no support for the Trinity). The bible did not have a canonical status until the loudest voices won out.

I just really enjoy Ehrman's books and lectures. I always find them edifying. Truth (and knowledge) have a liberal bias and I love continuing to learn how we became the way we are. The more one learns about the history of the Church, the more unreasonable religion seems and the more one must appeal to faith alone for religious belief.