Intersection Column | Not Just Ancient History
by Bryan Litfin
Caesar’s Lord is the third installment and the climax of an exciting historical saga set in the Roman Empire during the time of the ancient church. The heroes, Rex and Flavia, are two Roman believers in God who interact with all the great events of church history, such as the development of the Bible, the building of St. Peter’s Basilica, the formulation of the Nicene Creed and the discovery of the True Cross of Jesus in Jerusalem.
Along the way, they battle external enemies as well as threats to their own relationship, trusting God to guide them through all their trials on the path to Christian victory.
My day job is to serve as a professor at Liberty University in Virginia. I teach Bible, theology and church history. I have also led many student trips to the ancient Mediterranean world. My knowledge base about these topics is something I like to bring to my books.
But don’t worry—Caesar’s Lord isn’t a history lecture! This is an exciting adventure. Nevertheless, you might learn some history along the way.
I think the first time I truly understood how spiritually meaningful it can be to encounter ancient church history was when I shared a communion service in the catacombs of Rome. As we sang hymns in the underground burial ground of the early Christians, where the saints and martyrs of long ago had been buried, I had tears in my eyes and so did many of my students. Then I knew I had to do more than give lectures about ancient figures. I had to tell a grand adventure story that would bring their world to life!
This book—and the whole Constantine’s Empire trilogy—is about bowing the knee to the Lordship of Christ. Every believer faces that moment of decision. There are things that are easy to give to God, but other things are hard. We want to hold onto them. Then you have to ask yourself, “Will the Lordship of Christ in my life be partial or total?”
I think when I wrote these themes into my novels, I was writing about some of the corners of my own heart as well. Will that little “empire” go over to Christ or continue to resist Him? I have had to learn to bow to Him just like the Caesars of long ago.
Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Ancient Rome had to learn this. So do we all.
About the Author
Bryan Litfin is the author of The Conqueror and Every Knee Shall Bow, as well as several works of nonfiction, including Wisdom from the Ancients, Early Christian Martyr Stories, After Acts, and Getting to Know the Church Fathers. A former professor of theology at the Moody Bible Institute, Litfin earned his PhD in religious studies from the University of Virginia and his ThM in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Bryan is head of strategy and advancement at Clapham School, a classical Christian school in Wheaton, Illinois. He and his wife have two adult children and live in Wheaton, Illinois. Learn more at www.bryanlitfin.com.
About the Book
After more than a decade of tumult, Roman warrior Rex and his aristocratic wife, Flavia, are thankful to the God they serve for the peaceful life they are living in the city of Alexandria. But with the Empire in flux, it cannot last. When Rex is called away to serve Constantine in his fight against Licinius, Flavia's loneliness and longing for a baby lead her down the road of temptation.
Did You Know?
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, college students change their majors at least three times during the course of their college careers. Research has also shown that about 80 percent of students in the U.S. change their majors at least once. It’s important for students to understand this and be open to exploring a different career path when motivated to do so.
What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s the big question children get asked, and their answers often reflect their hopes and dreams. Many young children dream of being pro athletes, teachers, veterinarians, doctors, astronauts or scientists. Parents can support their kids by exposing them to kid-friendly books or magazine that help them learn more about a certain vocation.
High school mentorship programs are beneficial for students. Studies have found that mentoring programs are a positive experience for students. These programs provide teens with the opportunity to learn practical, social and cognitive skills that will equip them as they enter the workforce or plan for college.
It’s okay for students to change their career goals. As young people mature and gain more knowledge about the world they live in, they may lose interest in their original field of study. They may find that their strengths and passions are better suited for a different career. The best response from friends, family and educators is support and encouragement.
From pretending to be an astronaut to earning a college degree, kids who seek God’s will for their lives will find their place in the world.
-Crystal Bowman, Who God Wants Me to Be
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“I cherish the gentle wisdom of staff who guide me toward the exact books I need most.”
-Tina Yeager, Beautiful Warrior