A missionary legend is told that Boniface, an 8th century Christian missionary, once traveled to a German shrine hidden in the sacred forest of Thor, the god of thunder. When he realized that the native folk were not going to willingly relinquish their native spirits, Boniface took his ax to a huge oak that served as the holy altar of their worship. With one blow of Boniface’s powerful ax, God felled the mammoth oak with the breath of a mighty wind. The pagan barbarians were awestruck and converted to this new God who was mightier than their old gods. Boniface, not weak in conscience when it came to pagan things, then took the wood and built a church.

(From A Cloud of Witnesses, by C. Douglas Weaver, Smyth and Helwys, 1993)


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