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Only the infinite God can compass Man’s infinite idiocy. “Diogenes” presents us with this choice cut of scholarly nonsense :

The head of the history department at Virginia Military Institute suggests that the Apostle Paul may have been spying for the Romans.

Rose Mary Sheldon, the coauthor of Operation Messiah: St. Paul, Roman Intelligence and the Birth of Christianity , presented her thesis last week at the International Spy Museum in Washington.

She suggests that Paul may have faked his conversion on the road to Damascus so he could infiltrate Christian congregations and report to Rome on suspicious elements in synagogues across the empire.

Sheldon says Paul’s interaction with Roman officials seems to have been remarkably friendly, and she notes that in his letter to the Romans, he urges Christians to obey them.

This theory (I assume it is not just an elaborate joke) exceeds ordinary foolishness. It has the bold, exuberant independence from reality of creative madness, which makes it almost attractive. Prof. Sheldon’s high-flying imagination could be a blessing if she’d content herself with writing explicit fiction, leaving history to poor earth-bound drudges.



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