The Pagan Reaction: Julian the Apostate, Part 3
Our History of Christianity Scripture Passage today is 2 Timothy 3:12 which reads: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Our History of Christianity quote today is from A. W. Tozer. He said: “If we would indeed know God in growing intimacy, we must go this way of renunciation. And if we are set upon the pursuit of God, He will sooner or later bring us to this test. Abraham’s testing was, at the time, not known to him as such, yet if he had taken some course other than the one he did, the whole history of the Old Testament would have been different. God would have found His man, no doubt, but the loss to Abraham would have been tragic beyond the telling. So we will be brought one by one to the testing place, and we may never know when we are there. At that testing place there will be no dozen possible choices for us; just one and an alternative, but our whole future will be conditioned by the choice we make.”
Today, in the History of Christianity, we are looking at “The Pagan Reaction: Julian the Apostate – Julian’s Religious Policy” (Part 3) from Dr. Justo L. Gonzalez’s fine book, The Story of Christianity (Volume 1).
Julian sought both to restore the lost glory of paganism, and to impede the progress of Christianity. Since the time of Constantine, paganism had lost a great deal of its ancient splendor. Constantine himself had not persecuted paganism, nor sought to force the conversion of pagans. But he had sacked ancient temples in order to obtain works of art to use in decorating his new capital city. Under his sons, there were a number of laws passed favoring Christianity. By the time Julian became sole emperor, the ancient temples were practically empty, and there were pagan priests dressed only in rags, trying to supplement their meager incomes in dozens of ways and paying scant attention to the ancient rites.