Thread: Is Eru God?
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:43 PM   #235
Bęthberry
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Originally Posted by Aiwendil

Roa_Aoife wrote:
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We cannot pick and choose which parts are true and which aren’t- that’s manipulation.

But what was being discussed was not "which parts are true" (if any).

And I think a great number of Jews would disagree about having to take both Testaments or nothing . . .

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6 One day the angels [a] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.

I could be very pedantic and say that even if one grants that "angels" does not include "Satan", that does not mean that Satan is not a minion of God. If you look at his role in the Old Testament as a whole, it is really quite different from that in the New Testament. I think this is the point Bethberry was making (though I invite her to correct me if I'm wrong).
Yes, thank you, that was the point I wanted to make, Aiwendil, that there is in fact a gradual accretion to the concept of Satan throughout the Bible, and that early ideas about him were rather different from those developed later, as is suggested in Elaine Pagel's The History of Satan, which is reviewed here . Even the online Catholic Encyclopedia says

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The account of the fall of our First Parents (Genesis 3) is couched in such terms that it is impossible to see in it anything more than the acknowledgment of the existence of a principle of evil who was jealous of the human race.
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Originally Posted by Aiwendil
In any case, it seems to me that what's relevant to a discussion of Tolkien's works is Tolkien's belief concerning Satan's fall. And he quite clearly stated, as Davem quoted:

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I suppose a difference between this and what may be perhaps called Christian mythology is this. In the latter, the Fall of Man is subsequent to and a consequence (though not a necessary consequence) of the ‘Fall of the Angels’; a rebellion of created free will at a higher level than Man, but it is not clearly held (and in many versions not held at all) that this affected the ‘World’ in its nature: evil was brought in from outside, by Satan. In this [i.e. Tolkien’s own] Myth the rebellion of created free-will precedes creation of the world (Eä); and Eä has in it, subcreatively introduced, evil, rebellions, discordant elements of its own nature already when the Let it Be was spoken. The Fall, or corruption, therefore, of all things in it and all inhabitants of it, was a possibility if not inevitable. (Letters 286-87)
What I find interesting here is the idea that the angels had free will in Christian theology. I suppose one must reach this conclusion to account for the fallen angels, but the general gist of the "Angels" article in the CE is that the angels were emissary's of God's will. One can say that they had free will to accept this role or not, but by and large it would appear that they were merely instruments.

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The angels of the Bible generally appear in the role of God's messengers to mankind. They are His instruments by whom He communicates His will to men....
I think this means they would not be capable of Tolkien's "sub-creation." Would this be another instance where Tolkien's 'theology' in fact deviates from his Christian beliefs?

As for my thoughts on time, which is intriguing most of you here on this thread, well, it is woefully little available to me to engage in a timely fashion.
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Last edited by Bęthberry; 12-15-2005 at 04:48 PM. Reason: codes
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