“Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
‘I heard. What hinders now that we should baptize him?’ Paulus answered promptly.
Petrus stared at him as though he had come up out of the sea…
This is from “The Church that was at Antioch” in Limits and Renewals.
Valens, a young Roman administrator, is responsible for a turbulent ward of the city of Antioch, where Orthodox and Christian Jews are endlessly quarreling, and there is a constant danger of riot. Valens, a believer in Mithraism, who finds these rival Jewish beliefs hard to understand, is mortally stabbed by a religious zealot, whom he had released after an earlier incident. With his dying breath he insists that there shall be no retribution. Paul, the Apostle, wants to baptise him as a Christian, but Peter insists that there is no need, once he has spoken the very words of Jesus on the Cross.