September 22, 2002

Trinity vs. Paganism

Category: Literature,Theology - Trinity :: Permalink

Tonight, I finished reading Heroes of the City of Man by Peter Leithart. It’s a very helpful introduction to Greek and Roman literature from a Christian perspective. He starts with classical epics — The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid — and then deals with Greek drama, covering a play each by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes, and Aristophanes. It took me a long time to read the book, since I was also reading the works he discusses, but it was well worth it. Here’s a quotation to whet your appetite:

Classical epic … leaves us with three fundamental theological options: Heaven rings with the petty squabbling of adolescent gods, which means the world is not under control at all, or heaven and earth are ruled by a heavenly Fuhrer, or things are governed by an impersonal and faceless power that grinds along, indifferent to humanity or justice. Take your pick: chaos, totalitarianism, or determinism. Whichever you choose, the world is a pretty grim place, with no hope for redemption….By contrast, the Bible proclaimed from the beginning that there is one God, Yahweh, who created the world good and rules all things. Violence and evil are not written into the fabric of creation but are due to sin and His righteous judgment on sin, and therefore there is hope of redemption from evil. Ultimate reality is not a gaggle of gods, nor an autocrat, nor an impersonal Fate. Rather, ultimate reality is Three Persons in an eternal communion of love. Above us is a God who is love, whose love overflows in creating a world He did not need and in redeeming a world that had turned from Him. Heaven is not a battlefield or a prison; it is a dance hall filled with song. And, one day, earth will join in (p. 21).

Posted by John Barach @ 11:34 pm | Discuss (0)

Leave a Reply