Christian ideas, rituals, sacraments and
myths are different from pagan ideas, rituals,
sacraments and myths. Christian baptism is different from pagan
baptism. The Christian eucharist is different from the Pagan eucharists.
Christian life after death is different from Pagan life after death.
course you can't say Christian baptism and Pagan
baptism are different without saying they're similar.
They are both baptisms, after all. (Believing scholars who hold
out for Different often insist on something like "baptism and
purificatory water initiations," -- because they see "baptism
and baptism" concedes the point. This doesn't fool anyone who
doesn't want to be fooled.)
And once you've
conceded they are both baptisms or "purificatory water initiations",
all you can really say is Christian baptism or
[your sacrament here] is qualitatively different
from Pagan baptism or [your sacrament here]. More elevated, more
spiritual, believing scholars often suggest. I've even seen, "more
sublime." Whatever; they're all roundabout ways of saying the
Pagan sacrament isn't but the Christian sacrament is "true,"
isn't critical scholarship, that's theology. Fine; we can
still be friends.
different, but it developed separately. Christian ideas,
rituals, sacraments and myths are similar to Pagan ideas, rituals,
sacraments and myths, but they developed separately. Believing scholars
often say, "in parallel." What "in parallel"
is taken to mean is, "independently," or "uninfluenced
is a sneaky phrase for believing scholars to use, because it doesn't
just mean "independently," it also means "at the
same time." But it doesn't come right out and say so. That
helps the believing scholars' argumentationing, because at the same
time would be good if it were true -- but it's not. Paganism was
around for thousands of years before Christianity. So were the Pagan
ideas, rituals, sacraments and myths. What developed separately
really means is "developed forty-seventh,
but uninfluenced by."
I can't honestly
see how it's possible to invent something you already know about.
If you know about the soul surviving death, you know about the soul
surviving death. And if you know about it, you can't come
up with it on your own. If you know about water baptism,
you know about water baptism. And if you know about it, you can't
come up with it on your own.
How you can
develop an idea on your own that everyone else in the culture, including
you before you converted, knows about -- that's a detail the believing
scholars don't dwell on. They're busy doing other stuff, I guess.
isn't critical scholarship. It's not even reasoned theology. In
parallel is wishful thinking in defense of belief.
Fine; we can still be friends.
different, but it developed first. Christian ideas, rituals,
sacraments and myths are similar to Pagan ideas, rituals, sacraments
and myths, but they developed first. Them varmint Pagans done
stole from us! Backwards in time even -- that's the explanation
the early Church fathers gave. They called it "demonic imitation."
-- the facts say different, as the early Christians'
backwards-in-time demonic imitation shows. Developed first isn't
critical scholarship. It's not even reasoned theology. Developed
first is wishful thinking in defense of belief.
Fine; we can still be friends.