I recently read an interesting little book concerned with documenting the social context surrounding the Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark.

I am usually not fond of such books–that is not fond enough to even read them.  But, being forced to by the Reverend Doctor Eric Herrmann was a good enough reason for me to do so.  While filled at times with the babble of nothingness that comes from a secular view of the Church and Her mission, Stark honestly does try to get at just some key reasons why Christianity leaped and bounded toward its rather large grouping of people.

Now his insights are not theological at all.  He notes specific large scale matters which Christians in the early church did in-fact respond to in a more helpful way than any other group.  He specifically cites the various outbreaks of “plague” that occurred early in the church’s history.  Christians just cared for the sick and dying while pagans fled and even aided in killing the sick by casting them into streets and culverts.  Interesting I think.