Bullies and Saints
Is the world better off without Christianity?
Combining narrative with keen critique of contemporary debates, author and historian John Dickson gives an honest account of 2,000 years of Christian history that helps us understand what Christianity is and what it's meant to be.
To say that the Christian Church has an "image problem" doesn't quite capture it. From the Crusades and the Inquisition to the racism and abuse present in today's Church--both in Catholic and Protestant traditions--the institution that Christ established on earth has a lot to answer for. But the Church has also had moments throughout history when it has been in tune with Jesus' teachings--from the rise of charity to the invention of hospitals.
For defenders of the faith, it's important to be able to recognize the good and bad in the church's history and be inspired to live aligned with Christ. For skeptics, this book is a thought-provoking introduction to the idea that Christianity is, despite all, an essential foundation of our civilization.
Bullies and Saints will take you on a big-picture journey from the Sermon on the Mount to the modern church:
- Giving contextual accounts of infamous chapters of Christian history, such as the Crusades, and acknowledging their darkness.
- Outlining the great movements of the faith and defending its heroes and saints, some of whom are not commonly recognized.
- Examining the Church beside the teachings and life of Jesus and how it has succeeded in its mission to imitate Christ.
About the Author
John Dickson (PhD, Macquarie University) is an author, speaker, historian, and media presenter. John is author of more than 20 books, two of which became television documentaries. He also cohosted the documentary For the Love of God: How the Church is Better and Worse Than you Ever Imagined. John teaches a course on the historical Jesus at the University of Sydney, Australia, and researches the origins of Christianity in the Roman empire. He is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Sydney, a Visiting Academic in the Faculty of Classics at Oxford University (2016–2021), and Distinguished Fellow in Public Christianity at Ridley College Melbourne. John presents Australia’s no.1 religion podcast, Undeceptions, exploring aspects of life, faith, history, culture, or ethics that are either much misunderstood or mostly forgotten.