Tag Archives: Wizards of Oz

Shane Deichman Reviews “Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity”

My blogfriend (and wedding reception guest!) Shane Deichman was kind enough to join Stephen Pampinella in reviewing my monograph, Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity: The 4GW Against Rome, and the COIN to Save It. From Shane’s review:

Wizards of Oz: Review: tdaxp’s Revolutionary Strategies
Dan has done a remarkable job applying contemporary theories of warfare and network science to the early Christian / late Roman era. The most notable strength in Revolutionary Strategies is his inventive correlation of the defensive strategies employed by Caiaphas (the chief antagonist of Jesus’s ministries) to those of Diocletian (the late-3rd century Roman emperor who ordered the most severe persecution of the Christian faithful). Accompanying this analysis is a very cogent application of the theories of Boyd (Penetrate – Isolate – Subvert – Reorient – Reharmonize, or PISRR), with modern examples like Vichy France that match the dynamics in the early Christian church.

Most significantly, Dan’s book opens several new fronts on the debate over the nature of insurgency – and counterinsurgency. For instance, is the ex post facto presumption of “co-option” by the splinter Jewish sect that has become the Christian church practical? Or, rather, was the Christian faith “culturally appropriated” by the Roman empire upon Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in the early 4th century? While Dan asserts the former through the hypernetworking of the Apostle Paul, I believe this is a topic worthy of broader study. For instance, was Paul (née Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee) savvy enough to realize that his peers in Jewish leadership were attracting the ire of Rome? Did Paul’s ministries throughout the Mediterranean seek to increase the rift between Jerusalem and the splinter sect of Christian faithful? And were the Gospels written in a manner to give Rome (and particularly Pilate) a “pass” in the crucifixion of Jesus? (Note that three of the four Gospels were published immediately prior to the First Jewish-Roman War and the subsequent destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.)

Relatedly, Mark Shea (the prominent Catholic podcaster whose show I subscribe to) discusses two of my posts. His post, “A Guy with a Blog Wants to Annex Mexico” begins by discussing the Manifest Destiny of the American Nation, but neatly ties it into my discussion of multiple inventions and multiple evolutions. Thanks Mark!

(Mark previously showed some interest in “Jesusism-Paulism, the web series that became Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity.)