The Flames of Rome
by Paul L. Maier
The Flames of Rome is a sweeping historical novel that foregrounds the clash between Christianity and the Roman Empire during the days of Claudius and Nero. The decadence of the Romans is clearly depicted on the pages of this well-researched book. It is very eye-opening to read about the cultural milieu in which the rise of the Christian faith occurred. The setting of the ancient world is very well displayed in The Flames of Rome. The book has been dubbed "a documentary novel," and I think that is an excellent description.
The detailed attention Maier gives to the historical setting of the earliest days of the church reflects his expertise. There are even footnotes that offer more insight and background material. Not everyone who reads, believes, and seeks to obey the Bible can be an expert on the cultural conditions surrounding its writing, but Dr. Maier's novel offers access to that information in a well-written story. I highly recommend the novel to anyone who wants an easy, entertaining approach to gaining more understanding of the clash between Rome and the church centuries ago.
© Shelly Bryant, 2012