After empowering Christianity and becoming its titular head during the first quarter of the fourth century, Roman emperor Constantine played a greater role in determining the core belief and practice of this religion than any family member or disciple of the historical Jesus. Implications of this fact are many and should be of interest to all Christians and others with an interest in, or connections to, Western Civilization.
The Evolution of God in Human Imagination addresses vital questions that many have asked for centuries, including how God became man and/or man became God. Professor Gersham A. Nelson examines the evolution of God from a Judeo-Christian perspective, first demonstrating how different regional cultures and mythologies seem to have influenced Judaism and Christianity, before showing how Christianity jettisoned the most fundamental concept of God held by Judaism and other ancient religions. Professor Nelson also argues that a close examination of the Church that emerged with the imperial patronage of Rome during the fourth century repudiated not only Judaism but also views attributed to the Jesus of history.
Failure to re-examine the foundation of Christianity, including claims made by leaders regarding divine will and prerogative, after the Reformation, ensured that contradictions and confusion continue to plague one generation of Christians after another. Even when conspicuous flaws were identified in the worldview advocated by Christian teachings, adjustments would, at best, be slow and selective. Nevertheless, the growing capacity of human brings to explore, discover, and create new knowledge has continued to inspire new questions and is providing some unanticipated answers.