"Many are the forms of divine intervention; many things beyond expectation do the gods fulfill. That which was expected has not been accomplished; for that which was unexpected has god found a way. Such was the end of this story." --Euripides

I. Strengths of PAGANISM
    A. Antiquity
    B. Tolerance
        1.  eclectic--chose best elements from many sources
        2.  syncretistic--emphasized similarities rather than differences
        3.  result: variety--everything from temple prostitution to cult of Attis and Cybele
    C. Tie to political system (emperor cult)
    D. Hold on imagination (art, literature, festivals)

II. Weaknesses of Pagan Society
    A. Political weaknesses
    B. Ethical problems (Augustus, Nero, Domitian)
    C. Religious problems
        1.  Gods not worthy of worship (e.g., ZEUS)
        2.  skepticism (Homer/Euripides/Menander/Plutarch)
        3.  fear of spiritual forces (desidaimoneros)
    D. People unhappy (joblessness/infanticide)

III. Christianity as a problem
    A. Political problem (Christians disloyal?)
    B. Ethical problem (Christians incestuous cannibals?)
    C. Religious problem (Christians atheists?)
    D.  Happiness? (Christians haters of mankind?)

IV. Persecution of Christians
    A. NERO (c. 65-68)
    B. Domitian (c. 90)
    C. Trajan/good emperors (Pliny letter to Trajan) (98-180)
    D. Decius
    E. Diocletian (284-305)
    F. GALERIUS (d. 311)

V. Christianity as a Solution
    A. Appeal to Jews
    B. Appeal to "godfearers"
    C. Appeal to women
    D. Appeal to slaves
    E. Appeal to philosophers
    F. General appeal

VI. The Great Surprise