I’m continuing to share things from the Rodney Stark book. Earlier this year I had a post entitled: Is Christianity based on myth? In a certain way, yes!, and at the end of the post I shared a link to another post by UnkleE entitled: Was Jesus a copy of pagan Gods?.
Because there are other “savior stories” and supposed similarities between some pagan gods and Christ, how can we know that Christianity is unique and Christ the true Savior? Check out the above posts, if this concerns you. By the way, in UnkleE’s post, he shares that modern scholarship has shown that many of the so-called similarities between paganism and Christianity have been exaggerated or distorted or are even outright inaccurate. Here is another post highlighting the differences (not similarities) between Horus and Jesus Christ. Was Horus born of a Virgin?
Yet there are mild or vague ways that Christianity resembles some pagan ideas. For example, Mary had a miraculous virgin conception, while other women were said to have been impregnated by pagan gods. To our 21st century minds, the idea of a god impregnating a human is difficult for us. Yet, this was a more common way to think in the Greco-Roman world of 2,000 years ago. Stark address this in his book, and I’ll simply share this excerpt from it (page 83). It is also related to the idea of divine accommodation as discussed in the last post.
…to claim that these similarities with pagan mythology discredit Christianity is to fail to see how these features played to the pagan world! There they were taken as compelling proof of Christ’s divinity – the Christ story fulfilled every element of the classical hero, of how a human rose to become god. The early church father’s fully understood this. Having told the Christ story to a Roman magistrate, Tertullian suggested that he “accept this story – it is similar to your own.” And as the early church fathers realized, these similarities can be interpreted as examples of divine accommodation…..Hence, if the Christ story seems steeped in pagan conventions, this can be interpreted as having been the most effective way for God to communicate within the limits of Greco-Roman comprehension. These were “proofs” of Christ’s divinity that pagans could most easily recognize.
– Well, my regular readers will notice that I changed the wordpress theme (appearance) of my blog. What do you think? I hate change, so this was hard for me! But I thought after almost 3 years blogging that Enough Light needed a new look. The picture across the top was the photo that came with the theme, but I thought the light and shadows matched Enough Light so I kept it.
One annoying thing is the block quotes are different with this theme. With my old theme, if you wanted actual quotation marks in a block quote, you had to add them. But this new theme automatically puts quotations marks. Therefore, in some of my old posts there are now double quotation marks and other such similar format issues. As a mild perfectionist, this bothers me! But to go back through posts removing quotation marks would be a lot of work. Anyways…