This Is My Cheater Halloween Post

I have never been freaked out by paganism.

G.K. Chesterton has addressed the important question of what paganism really is and how it relates to being human in his book The Everlasting Man. So I was going to do a brand-new post about paganism drawing on that book. I was going to discuss how not everything in pagan practice is what we would strictly call religion, because it includes local history, genealogy, cosmology, entertainment, medicine, etc., etc. I was going to mention that all human beings need rituals, ways of dealing with illness, ways to mark the seasons, times of mourning and times of play, that literally every human practice was developed first by pagans and blah blah blah.

But I wasn’t able to get access to G.K. Chesterton’s book so as to write a brand-new post on all of this. Besides, conveniently, I have already written one.

I’ve posted a link to this article before, but I know you guys. I know you don’t usually click on links. So here it is again: Pagan Origins: Should Christians Worry?

7 thoughts on “This Is My Cheater Halloween Post

  1. Count this as a comment on the linked article. Yes, I actually did click on and read a linked article!

    Great summary, much in line with my own understanding. My one quibble would be the idea that all humans were pagan originally. I don’t regard Adam and Eve as pagan, since they knew the true God from the beginning and also knew of a coming Savior. Same with Noah and Abraham once they spoke with and followed God, especially since it was Jesus who spoke with them. Just because they had limited knowledge of theology and little to no Scripture doesn’t mean they were pagan; they had given up false gods to follow the true one.

    But I agree with regard to the culture trappings that have often been part of pagan religions. There is much that is good if only it may be redirected to the Lord. Harvest festivals, special dances, art of all kinds, and more…indeed I take it as an essential job of the Christian to find as many ways to worship God as we can, guided of course by His revealed Scripture and prayerful consideration. A Christian may write an ode to the dawn if she understands and communicates the glory of the dawn’s creator.

    “The Everlasting Man” is on my to-read list: I’ve read “Orthodoxy” and a few of Chesterton’s essays (and recently bought a large collection of them). And of course I’ve been very influenced by Tolkien and Lewis’ views on these matters. I recently read an amazing book about wolves and am now reading “The Hidden Life of Trees”, and marveling at God’s creativity and providence. I wish more Christians would study to learn more about the interconnectedness of creation and not be scared by ideas that sound mystical. I love learning new things about God’s creation, and also being reminded of how much will always be a mystery to us. He is so great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Impressed that you clicked the link and put a response to the article here. I said “I know you guys don’t usually click on links” because I usually don’t, myself. I got things to do, you see …

      Yes, “all people were pagan originally” means all civilizations and cultures, not all individuals. Certainly all cultures that we can trace in history.

      The case of Noah is an interesting one. We know so little about what the earth and daily life looked like before the Flood that I think it is safe to call it pre-historic. Doug Van Dorn has made the case that it was a quite a hair-raising scene, with “gods” actually walking the earth, begetting giants, monsters, and all the scary things that are now remembered only in myths. If that’s true, I guess you could call the culture of that time “pagan” as well, though people weren’t necessarily into the occult, just dealing with the actual physical conditions that faced them.

      Actually, the very concept of “pagan” is sort of a relative one. It really only exists in contrast to Judaism or Christianity. So it’s tricky applying it retroactively to cultures that existed before the giving of the Law. And it seems to be less useful as a concept the further back we go in humanity’s history.

      Thanks again for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent points. Arthur Custance has some fascinating ideas about the pre-Flood world, and I appreciate his humility and rigor in studying the Word and acknowledging where his speculations are just speculations. I doubt it was quite the fantasy world some have speculated, but likely the Flood reshaped not only earth’s geography but also the ways each animal kind was developing. The pre-Flood world was certainly prehistoric, because we have no written record from that time. Oral tradition ruled for a long time. I do hope we get to learn more about it when we are in heaven!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Doug Van Dorn’s book, if you haven’t seen it, is called “Giants: Sons of the gods.” All his wildest ideas come from Genesis. 🙂

        Yes, I don’t know whether we’ll still care about that kind of stuff in heaven, but if anyone does, it’s going to be folks like you and me … and I certainly care about it now and would love to find out more.

        Like

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