Friday, January 07, 2011

Stuck in a rut, or still more about the gods

“...the human knowledge of this God advocated in the NT is to be exhibited primarily by participating in this relationship and not simply by ritual performance.

“This produces some striking differences with the larger Roman-era religious environment. To cite one often overlooked, it was in that setting a remarkable claim that 'God' loves humans. Indeed, many sophisticated pagans of the day would have regarded any such idea as ridiculous. It was certainly not a feature typical of the religious outlook of the time. In recorded prayer texts from the Roman period, various deities are praised for their power, their ordering of the world, their answers to prayers, and other attributes. Some philosophers did refer to human love for beauty, understood in ethical terms as identified with the 'good,' and so with 'god'; but the idea that the gods would love humans (as distinguished from the tales of erotic love for humans by the Greek gods) was not common. Yet any reader of the NT will note the ubiquity and frequency of assertions about the love of 'God.'”—God in New Testament Theology, page 37

<idle musing>
He's right; it is overlooked. I totally forget about it most of the time, but it is unique—especially if you exclude the erotic love of the gods (really just lust).
<idle musing>

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