LAWRENCE Brown, whose comments are not always friendly, has some good things to say about the early Christian missionaries to Northern Europe. He says they went in with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He says their obvious love of their fellow man was the best advertisement for their faith.

I would add that one thing our "barbarian" ancestors respected was COURAGE. Those men went into places where Roman Armies dared not tread and often, cheerfully, paid the price.

Now the PRACTICAL point. What the early missionaries did NOT go into Northern Europe with was the Middle Eastern Wordist rot that had accumulated around the Gospel in the Church.

Bible-thumpers keep telling us that the Bible, i.e., Chrsitanity, is 70% Old Testament.

Try to imagine this picture of the early missionaries. They are in a boat with the entire set of scrolls that make up the Old Testament. The potential converts sit around and listen to hundreds of thousands of words of what even C.S. Lewis admits is a mythology far interior in quality to that of Northern Europe.

No, those missionaries carried the GOSPEL, not in texts, but in their hearts. The Middle Eastern crap was a dirty trick that came AFTER our forefathers had listened to the Good News itself.

We know that the Gothic Church was of the Arian Heresy Wolfila brought with him. We do not know WHICH version of the Good News, in the terms of later ruling theologians, each of those other early missionaries carried.

I don't think it matters.

Missionaries to Northern Europe carried Christianity without the quotation marks. Wordist "Christianity" came later.