Rodney Stark, a Christian social scientist who teaches at Baylor University, recently wrote God’s Battalions, the case for the Crusades, a fascinating read with an alternative view.

Like myself, you were probably taught that the “Crusades were the first round of European colonialism, conducted for land, loot, and converts by barbarian Christians who victimized the cultivated Muslims.”

Stark provides  an alternative perspective. Is it possible that “the Crusades were the first military response to unwarranted Muslim terrorist aggression?”  Stark argues “yes!” Although often theologically and ethically misguided, the Crusaders “sincerely believed that they served in God’s battalions.” Without their aggression all of Europe might today be a bastion of Islam. 

We can thank God for the Crusader’s work. In light of 911 and the events that have unfolded in recent years, I believe Stark’s book will be enlightening. As are all of his books, this text is an easy and entertaining read. I highly recommend.