I have begun reading Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and have run into a familiar pagan conception. Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, says that no god could be great enough to create or run the entire world. To reference anime, Holo of Spice and Wolf claimed the same thing. The idea of an Infinite Being baffles the pagan mind. I will say that even though we Christians believe in such a Being, we understand terribly little about Him. We understand enough to be saved, but not even an eternity is enough to fathom all of God’s thoughts. This prompted one Church Father to say that anyone who knew the least thing about God was a great theologian.
Merlin, Igraine, and Viviane claim that Christians are foolish in denying the existence of other gods. Indeed, in St. Justin Martyr’s opinion, these gods are really demons; in St. Augustine’s, they are nought. But, these pagans remind me of the Ancient Israelites, who believed that other gods existed, but they were nothing compared to the God of Israel. It is not until later in the Psalms that we see the assertion that no god exists besides God. This suggests an evolution in thought: God is not limited, but ever-present and all powerful.
And so, why not wipe out the pagan gods who are either demons or nothing at all? Viviane makes the further accusation that Christians only want to spread their wisdom and to suppress all other kinds. If this were the case, why has so much pagan mythology and literature survived? Who do you think preserved it? Monasteries and Christian schools! Christians have always recognized wisdom where they saw it. God ever worked for the salvation of all men, so one should not be surprised at finding wisdom in other cultures!
Christianity does not wish to wipe out wisdom, but only the worship of pagan gods, which must surely be accounted utter foolishness since they do not exist. At one time, it might have been virtuous for pagans to worship gods, especially if they accounted them good, just, and holy–as Cicero and Socrates did. But, Christ has come to remove the veil of ignorance, teaching about salvation through one Infinite God. But, what a widening of the mind early pagan converts must have had to change their idea of God from a creature-like form to a formless and limitless Creator!