This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

The Gospel is for the world, but which world?

It might be worth noting, in order to meet the Evangelical view of the “Great Commission” as a command to foist the gospel on anyone and everyone, or “all nations” to the ends of the earth, that it seems that in the context of the Roman Empire, which is to say the context of the Bible, the world was not identified with the planet earth, but was coextensive with the Empire. For example, when Caesar Augustus decreed that “all the world should be taxed,” (according to St. Luke) which Dante called the “census of the human race,” it is obvious that neither had in mind the entire globe and all the people and races it contains.

We could say that the Roman Empire constitutes the providential sphere of expansion for Christianity, or in other words, modern Europe. This does not mean that the establishment of Christianity in many places around the world is to be condemned, but rather to insist that this was not implicit in the Great Commission.

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