I remember a Christian friend of mine many years ago used to put up posters outside his house with Bible verses on and how one day someone had slashed one of the posters with a knife. He took a positive view of this, that the worst thing was when there was no reaction or response at all, just indifference - whereas the poster had at least provoked a response in this person. "If you have a heart you can be saved." (Abba Pambo)
On the particular question of the death of the last librarian and of who was responsible for the destruction of the library of Alexandria - now then, if only Sherlock Holmes had not retired and refused to take on any more cases... There seems no shortage of speculation and possible suspects - a brief summary of things can be found at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/articles/ArticleView.cfm?AID=9">http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/articles/ ... .cfm?AID=9</a><!-- m -->
Whilst I am not so naive as to pretend that Christians have never done terrible things this does not in and of itself prove that they are guilty of everything laid at their door by accusers and when Edward Gibbon is one of the accusers I am not so naive as to take everything he wrote at face value either. Edward Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman empire) demonstrates that Christian bashing in the media is nothing new.
But as my dear old friend pointed out, a reaction's much better than indifference.
And, in fairness to the media, it is not always in one anti-Christian direction. There have been some absolutely excellent television programmes in recent months - a wonderful series on a history of Christian art (including mafnificent photography of Coptic icons on monastery walls and wonderful Western stained glass), some respectful programmes showing Ethiopian Christianity, and only last night I caught most of a brilliant episode in a recent series on an Anglican parish priest in Sussex who in the run up to Christmas was putting up signs calling on people to slow down and take time out and come into the Church at 5.30 for 20 minutes quiet meditation. I nearly shouted at the television, I'm with you there brother! Right on! Go for it! How many came? Just one person came. So he and this one woman experienced 20 minutes quiet meditation out of the mad pre-Chrsitmas rush. It was a programme with valuable insights into our priorities and how we spend these years God has given us to live in this life.
And then once in a while the media throws up something altogether extraordinary such as a professionally made film (unlike some cheap films made by churches which however well intentioned I tend to find so embarrassing as to put people off altogether) and one of these I plan for us to watch later in the year in our Bournemouth Church weekend. I hope to use it as a starting point for teaching and discussion on a range of areas of Orthodox Christian spirituality. But more on that in due course...