In the [Barna] study of 1,067 US adults, a quarter of respondents said their view of evangelicals was “somewhat negative” or “very negative”, compared to just under a third (30%) who said their perception was “somewhat positive” or “very positive”.
Of the 268 respondents with a negative perception of evangelicals, two thirds (67%) said this attitude was because they felt evangelicals were “too pushy with their beliefs“. Sixty-one per cent said that evangelicals were “hypocritical”, while half said they were “homophobic” and a similar proportion (51%) said “their beliefs are outdated”. …One result that surprised Barna was the large proportion of Millennial Americans (52%) who have a neutral attitude towards evangelicals. ... [Read More]
“Nomen Sacrum” is the term used for certain abbreviations that are found in ancient manuscripts of the New Testament books. These abbreviations for the “sacred names” are well known by church historians, theologians and text critics but not much known outside of those circles. I thought that Christian Ratburghers would be interested in the way the earliest Christian scribes abbreviated the names for God and Jesus.
This post is a follow-up to my post last month, which was a book review of The Earliest Christian Artifacts, by Larry Hurtado. That book was a historian reporting on what he found when he spent some time speaking with the papyrologists who study the earliest New Testament manuscripts, and what he saw when he examined these precious fragments of early Christian culture.
You learned in school how the Egyptians took the pith from papyrus sedges and used it to make a writing product like paper. We study ancient Egyptian society because they were literate and left a lot of written records. Also, their dry climate preserves papyrus, so that Egypt has yielded a lot of ancient writings. This makes Egypt a favorite field of archaeological study.
Some of the most-studied artifacts of the ancient world are papyrus copies of New Testament books. Scholars study, debate, quarrel, and publish frequently regarding these precious bits of early Christian culture.
Christian “book culture”
There are some interesting things that can be learned about the early Christians from their manuscripts. This is to pass along a few things I have learned that may be of use to some of you.
How long has it been since you saw any news or discussion about the global persecution of Christians? (I mean, besides my posts.) The churches are under attack all over the world, with dozens or sometimes hundreds killed monthly. This carnage goes unnoticed by American mass media. In fact, American mass media seem determined to keep this information hidden. American Christians are not acting to help Christians around the world because they do not know the extent of the plight.
Other religious minorities experience persecution. This also gets neglected by the purveyors of “news.” But the one clear thing about religious persecution is, it mostly affects Christians, and it is overwhelmingly attributable to Muslims and Communists.
In recognition of the extents of religious persecution, the United Nations declared August 22, 2019 to be an “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief.”
In my previous post in this series I concluded by noting anti-traditionalist media coverage of a gathering at Wheaton University. It was a group of “concerned” “Evangelical leaders.” It included some theological conservatives, though most of the attendees tilted theologically liberal. Since then, some sound bites by liberal Evangelicals made the rounds, mostly because they were bitterly critical of Christians who support President Trump. Media continues to love quotes from NeverTrump clerics and pundits who have Christian or conservative credentials.