Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"City of God" VII.3

Chapter 3:
Why is there such a proliferation of gods, and why are some valued over others in such a haphazard manner? Obscure deities rule the pantheon; gods of irrelevant or lifeless objects dominate the gods who rule the living and growing things; and again we see that Fortune should be set above all these gods.

I hate arguing with the great minds of history, and whenever I can I try to find another great theologian to use instead of relying on myself (there's my formal advice for the day: never believe something that hasn't been believed by a dead Christian before you). But in this case I'm too lazy to slog through other church fathers and find something: unless I'm missing a key point here (and I might be), it seems that Augustine is dunking over the fat kid on the court. He's made his point and he has good arguments, but rather than moving on he keeps coming back to 1) his points about the pantheon; and 2) if the gods exist, only Fortune should be worshiped. Maybe this was a critical issue in his day and place, but I confess publicly here that I'm convinced and need to hear no more.

And having put that in writing, well, I'm a bit ashamed, because I have firsthand evidence that there are still pagans around. And i don't mean just in the obscure corners of the earth--I blog with some of them over at Patheos. So maybe the problem isn't with Augustine, it's with me.

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