Early Christina Literature
There are three main inter-related factors that contributed to the growth and expansion of the church, and ultimately its success. These factors can be summarized under three main headings. These are an combination of political, social and economic factors. The first of the reasons that the Christianity spread was a political factor. Rome was a dominant force in the world at this time and had excellent roads and shipping, which made it ‘easy’ of missionaries to travel and spread the word of the gospel. This travel and preaching was ‘easy’ because there was never a continuous policy against the Christians and no imperial edicts were ever decreed. Therefore the missionaries cold travel relatively safely in times of little persecution.
Christianity’s attitude towards society and its social impact also lead to the expansion and success of the church. The church was particularly well known for its acts of charity, indeed Chadwick said “The practical application of charity was probably the most potent single cause of success”. The church offered this charity to everyone, including pagans. By the third century the Church was looking after one thousand five hundred widows in need.
They were also socially accepted, in some areas, because of their courage during the persecutions and the strength of their faith and the support they showed one another. This caring Christian attitude made conversion appealing to many and may have been a major cause of Christianity’s success. Christianity’s high moral standards also made it very appealing to society because it offered an alternative from the pagan religions lack of morality. Also Christianity and its friendships formed form within the Church lead to its successful growth because those who had received the Gospel felt that their duty was to pass it onto their friends, leading to a close knit community and this was appealing in...
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