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Old 12-11-2002, 02:54 PM   #1
WarBringer
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How did Eru come into being if he created all else? Who created him?
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Old 12-11-2002, 03:00 PM   #2
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Ask a Christian/Muslim/Jew....where does God/Allah/Yahweh come from?
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Old 12-11-2002, 03:03 PM   #3
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He is the creator of all. No one created him. He was there befor time and he will be there after time. An atheist probaly wouldent say this is right cause thay dont belive in a god. Thay might say that Eru was formed through a big band theory. So in my opinion he has always been there and then one day started to create people,places,and ideas.
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Old 12-11-2002, 03:38 PM   #4
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As a christian, I can relate to the God comparison... anyway ur saying he was just there?
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Old 12-11-2002, 04:45 PM   #5
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This question has been around forever!

And will anyone ever solve it......NO!
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Old 12-11-2002, 04:52 PM   #6
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A being who creates a space time continuum is obviously not bound to it. It may be the case that Eru is not bound to any space time continuum. If that were the case, the word 'beginning' would have no relevence to him as a being. Although it is impossible for us to conceptualize being without time and space since our bodily existence is calculated by time and space, the supreme being would not be subject to it. indeed, if he was subject to it, he wouldn't be supreme.
One thing that I think is funny or sad about explainations of the universe involving big bangs, or gods of gods of gods, is that even if they might be true, they are theorys that avoid the real issue. they pass the buck. "How did this stuff come to be?" "oh, this stuff came from this stuff." You can see where this would go, the question must follow - what about before that? and that question will never end if one is thinking from the viewpoint of time. So the only way I can see out of it is if something created time. Or maybe a better way to put it is that time emanates from the essence of something.
The Silmarillion starts "There was Eru." In many ways I don't thimk it would be too presumptuous to compare this to how The Bible references God as "I am." I think that is a powerful thing to think about.
Before time = God. "What was God doing?" and "where was he before time?" become very insignificant and foolish questions and the true reality of it is probably so far beyond our imaginations that to experience a glimpse of it would cause us to nonexist.
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Old 12-11-2002, 05:03 PM   #7
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Like energy he has no begining and no end he just is
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Old 12-11-2002, 05:12 PM   #8
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People just have to get there mind around things. We don't need to know where or how Eru originated, it just happened.

Like all the religous theories of our world, we don't know for sure, and therefore can't accept anything solid, the same applies with Eru.

We just need to think " I don't know for sure, but I believe Eru was just there, no origin, no end, just there."
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Old 12-11-2002, 06:24 PM   #9
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love the idea that Eru was created through a big BAND theory. Does the mysterious disappearence of Glen Miller have anything to do with this?

(Sorry [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] )
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Old 12-12-2002, 02:22 AM   #10
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the theory of God being just there is in no way inferior (and I beleive it is way superior) to another one, stated bu Terry Pratchett thus:

'In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded'
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Old 12-12-2002, 10:44 AM   #11
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When I was kid I spent lots of time with my friends in wacky philosophical debate.

I must announce that we solved the enigma of the "pimus motor", first cause.

First there was nothin and time passed, so the odds were that something would eventually come to pass. So the universe/eru/god was created by propability, chance, coincidence. Then what created propability? PROTOpropability of cource...

(Ducks and runs to avoid the shower of tossed tomatoes.)
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Old 12-12-2002, 12:34 PM   #12
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catch up
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Old 12-12-2002, 01:45 PM   #13
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*Tosses a tomato*

But...what's PROTOprobability?

Methinks that the Universe was around forever, never created, never will be destroyed, and maybe Eru just evolved, graduated from the universal MIT, and created a laboratory world.

Of course, since I'm an athiest, this doesn't work with God, Allah, or Yahweh. They just don't exist [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 12-12-2002, 04:07 PM   #14
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Tirinor makes the valid point about the 'scientific' first cause having no more validity than anything else, including the empirical conundrum itself.

I heard Richard Dawkins (of Selfish Gene fame) asked why life forms, willed by genes, apparently rose from the primordial slime. Admirably, he replied "I don't know". For a variety of reasons, that sort of thing makes my day [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

It's also the case that Tolkien imagined his cosmogony would be acceptable, and understandable, to anyone either subscribing to, or brought up within, the Christian mythos. The Biblical 'parallels', or inferences, in the early Silmarillion are reasonably apparent.

Peace [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

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Old 12-12-2002, 04:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
First there was nothin and time passed, so the odds were that something would eventually come to pass.
Quote:
Methinks that the Universe was around forever, never created, never will be destroyed
I suggest you take a glance at any Popular Science book on cosmology.

Thankfully, such questions are side-stepped in Tolkien's universe. It is essentially taken as axiomatic that Eru was the ultimate 'first cause', creating all things and needing no creator. Whether one agrees this is possible or not doesn't matter; Tolkien is simply writing about a reality in which this is the case.
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Old 12-12-2002, 04:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
How did Eru come into being if he created all else? Who created him?
Well you can have all the philosophical and scientific debates you want but I always thought that Tolkien created Eru [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 12-13-2002, 12:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
never created, never will be destroyed

entropy
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Old 12-13-2002, 12:15 PM   #18
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I think that Mattius has it exactly. Does God exist? Who knows. Is a belief in god rational? We could argue this till the cows come home. In the Sil is there is being who has always existed, is perfect and all powerful? Yes there is, he is called Eru. Tolkien made Eru like he made Ea.

Quote:
entropy
I'm sorry? Entropy isn't really a thing, its a measure of Disorder in a closed system. It never decreases and always increases or stays the same. But it is not "created" or "destroyed" if thats what your getting at. It does not destroy energy either. Sorry do you mind explaining a bit more?
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Old 12-13-2002, 01:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Is a belief in god rational?
Sorry, but I can't stand the temptation. Imagine a situation: lightning strikes into a mug some billion years ago, and accidentally produces some organics, which accidentally happen to be alive, and trough the billion chances and accidents happen to produce human species with their brains, which therefore are also accidental byproduct of the whole chain of accidents, sitting and arguing what is rational. Now such an arguing is irrational, since if we admit that the existence itself of one's brain is accidental, then reasoning of aforesaid brain is accidental too and can not be rational= can not be trusted, so it's deductions upon lightning-->mug-->organics-->-->--> human species and brains may also be false with high range of probability, so we are where we were at the start - mind as result of pure chance destroys all ground for reasoning itself. I prefer to be made by Eru, thank you, and have moral ground to count myself rational, since I was made by admitteldy rational mind.

Now the whole described fits with Eru situation alright. As an oak produces acorns, which are growing into oaks themselves, so rationla Eru, who's always been there (from the point of view of acorns= Eruhini and Ealar, since they are created into time, which is also Eru's creation) produces rational creatures, with the one difference, but essential at that - it is oaks nature to produce acorns, but Eru does no need to produce elves and ainur.

On the other hand, "what was before" kind of question, as was already mentioned somewhere above, is meaningless in case it is applied to Being which created the time itself. There is no before and after for Eru, there is always now. Some speculations on the subject can be found here
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Old 12-13-2002, 02:04 PM   #20
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Separately: entropy re: accepted

But the place (thing? whatever} where energy is euqally dispersed everywhere is hardly worth of word "universe". Just an empty dusted [huge] attic. As for us humans, it would be as good as destroyed by the time the enrgy is wholly dispersed...
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Old 12-13-2002, 02:39 PM   #21
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re: 3

Quote:
Thankfully, such questions are side-stepped in Tolkien's universe. It is essentially taken as axiomatic that Eru was the ultimate 'first cause', creating all things and needing no creator. Whether one agrees this is possible or not doesn't matter; Tolkien is simply writing about a reality in which this is the case.

by Voronwe
Whatever policies - Yes, by jove!
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Old 12-13-2002, 03:26 PM   #22
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As a Christian I see Eru as ME's equivalent to God and therefore as such Eru had no beginning and will have no end...

Simply put Eru has always been...
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Old 12-13-2002, 09:00 PM   #23
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To me, it seems that Eru Illuvatar was more the World itself, and that the consciousness was more-or-less contrived. Tolkien clearly gave the Powers to the gods Manwe, Mandos, Ulmo, Melko, and the rest -- with Illuvatar as sort of an idea with whom Manwe consorted in need.

My take on the whole thing is that the
World, everything, is based on this sort of Rhythm and all the elements of It are manifest in that music. All began with the single chord that was disrupted, and that embellishment became the gods, and the world, and everything within (barring the will of Man).

I sort of the like the earlier (typo) post of the Big BAND; it fits well with my humble theory here.
 
Old 12-13-2002, 09:45 PM   #24
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Since we are kind of on this subject, I'm going to add my two bits. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

Eru just was. That sounds quite similar to God. As far as the Big Bang (or Big Band [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] ) theory, it just doesn't hold water. Now I'm not trying to offend anyone or criticize them personally. I'm simply stating that you cannot back it up scientifically. Everything gets disproved. As HerenIstarion said, I feel it is much more rational to know that I was created by someone purposefully. It makes life a lot more meaningful.

Now I am not trying to step on anyone's toes here or preach or anything. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] But I hope you will think about this: when it comes to dying and leaving this little place we all call home, are you sure you're right?

Okay, I'm going now. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Merry Christmas! (up and coming)
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Old 12-13-2002, 11:41 PM   #25
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Okay. [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img]
Are we talking about Eru (i.e. Arda, Earendil, Isil, etc.) or are we talking about God (i.e. Planet Earth, quantum physics, stars and planets and satellites, Moses and Jesus and Mohammed, etc.)?
I think the latter might belong on another board (?). [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
 
Old 12-14-2002, 03:46 AM   #26
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Quote:
you cannot back it up scientifically
quite true. But do yo have to? Major question science is supposed to answer, is "how?". It, by definition, is not supposed, and can not, answer question "why?"

If I put a little bit of this stuff into that stuff, it goes green. That is the essence of science in the long run. Why there is stuff at all (which scientist can experiment with) is philosophy, but not science.
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Old 12-14-2002, 07:58 AM   #27
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Quote:
I'm simply stating that you cannot back it up scientifically.
I'm sorry, but that's just not true. There is plenty of scientific evidence that the Big Bang (incidently, a name coined in derision) took place. Firstly, it can be mathematically proven that if General Relativity is correct (and it is one of the best-tested theories in Physics) then the Big Bang must have occurred.

More direct evidence comes from the simple fact that the universe is expanding, and perhaps most compellingly of all, the universe's microwave background radiation which is a direct fallout from the Big Bang itself.

One more thing I must mention is the use of the term 'theory' to describe the Big Bang. In science a theory is not something which is an unproven guess - that is a hypothesis. It is a logical theoretical framework which agrees with observations and which has been tested as far as possible.

Hopefully I haven't offended anyone with this very brief - and off topic - summary of the evidence. Of course one can still choose not to believe that the Big Bang ever took place, but to say there is no scientific evidence for it is not correct.


In answer to one of the above posts, Tolkien envisaged Eru and God (our world) to be one and the same. This is perhaps not obvious from the Silmarillion, but it is made much clearer in some of Tolkien's other writings, most notably the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, which can be found in Morgoth's Ring (History of Middle Earth Volume X).

One last thing:
Quote:
Major question science is supposed to answer, is "how? It, by definition, is not supposed, and can not, answer question "why?"
That depends on one's philosophical standpoint with regard to science, meaning, and reality in general. I won't even try to go into this here, since it ultimately comes down to personal opinion.
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Old 12-14-2002, 03:40 PM   #28
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A lot of you seem to be missing a key point. Even if Eru was based on something that Tolkien perceived as reality, he is a work of fiction. It does not matter if I am an atheist and you are a christian, or whatever other combination, Eru was just always there. We could go on and on about a God of the real world, but this isn't the place for that.
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Old 12-14-2002, 06:51 PM   #29
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quote from Dûndurion
Quote:
To me, it seems that Eru Illuvatar was more the World itself, and that the consciousness was more-or-less contrived. Tolkien clearly gave the Powers to the gods Manwe, Mandos, Ulmo, Melko, and the rest -- with Illuvatar as sort of an idea with whom Manwe consorted in need.
Are you saying that you think Eru was the contrived consciousness of the world, an idea? I'm not sure I follow what you are getting at.
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Old 12-14-2002, 07:27 PM   #30
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Don't dwell too much on things that are wrong. Eru is God and he was Always There.
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Old 12-14-2002, 09:14 PM   #31
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Quote from Tirinor
Quote:
Are you saying that you think Eru was the contrived consciousness of the world, an idea? I'm not sure I follow what you are getting at.
I've been trying to get the feel for this Universe for some time now. The Silmarillion does specifically reference Eru Illuvatar many times, and this Creator is associated with a consciousness. The Music, Arda, and the Children are all described as being made with a deliberate force. However, I've also been reading some of the other stuff (C. Tolkien's histories, other J. Tolkien publications, and published critiques), and also trying to read a little bit between-the-lines of the Sil. I've just been forming this idea in my head about how his world operates according to this Rhythm. According to the Sil., Eru basically created the Music (or Valar, Gods, whatever), that formed the ideas which were to be manifest in Arda. At that point, Eru essentially departs and leaves it all to the Gods that chose to descend there (he does, however, insert his Children as a big secret for many ages).
I realize that my little idea doesn't make much sense, and that there really isn't anything solid that I can reference as a proof. It's a work in progress.
As for the reality of God (Abraham's) vs. scientific theory; I just sort of thought it was all really unrelated to Tolkien's Eru. It never occurred to me that I needed to reconcile the Gods of Arda with the Gods in use by today's religious institutions. Tolkien did say in a lecture back in the 1930s that he liked the idea of fusing ancient mythology with religion -- therefore equating Eru with the Christian's God is plausible, if one really, really wants to stretch it. (The bible-thumpers would have you burned-at-the-stake for it though, I think)
Please don't get me wrong! I love a good Religion debate [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img], I just didn't realize that this question was anything closer than an adjacent idea to that.
Anyway, Tirinor, you do understand my post: Eru Illuvatar is the underlying and unseen Rhythm of that universe, more than an idea I guess, but not a Creature.
I truly hope to offend no one. I am (obviously [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] ) new to this, and I'm not making any statement for or against any of the Real Religions or the Big Bang, or anything like that. My thoughts here belong solely within the realm of Tolkien's universe.

[ December 14, 2002: Message edited by: Dûndurion ]

[ December 14, 2002: Message edited by: Dûndurion ]
 
Old 12-14-2002, 10:03 PM   #32
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Thank's for the clarification. Eru was the Christian God. You're right that you couldn't call either a creature, in that they were the ones doing the creating, but I think that one wouldn't be far off in calling Him a Person, in much the same sense that the Valar are people, though they are not naturally incarnate. Tolkien may have agreed with you that Eru was the Rythm of the universe, or he might be more inclined to say that he was the creator of the rhythm (i.e. the music) which was then embelished by the ainur.

In the end I feel safest just saying that Eru was Just Always There.
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Old 12-14-2002, 11:20 PM   #33
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Thanks Dûndurion, I can see where you are coming from a little better now. the bit about the Rhythm makes some sense, but I would say, based on the personhood asserted in the text, that he would have to be both. Eru is the creator and sustainer of the universe - created the rhythm and is present in the rythm.

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Old 12-14-2002, 11:23 PM   #34
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burrahobbit,
Quote:
Eru was the Christian God.
I'm now interested in this positively conclusive idea that Eru is the same as the Christian God. I noted before that Tolkien thought it was a neat idea to fuse legend with religion, but I'm not sure that he ever actually drew that comparison to his own writings.

Of course, I have not read all the literature on the subject, and if he is quoted somewhere, then I am humbly interested to read it and its context.

I know that there are lots of neat little nuggets in his popular stories that seem to suggest this duality, but at the same time there is a very LOUD lack of Judeo-Christian ideas, institutions, and the like. In fact, to me this world has the qualities of exactly what these religions teach against, such as a plurality of gods and that others can create:
  • Yavanna made trees and beasts
  • Aule made the Dwarves (though Eru had to give them life)
  • Manwe made his hawks (this changed to Eagles by the Sil.)

This is a really fun topic for me, so let me know if you want to keep going. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

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In the end I feel safest just saying that Eru was Just Always There.
I could not agree with you more. Eru (Creator, Person, Music, etc.) is timeless.
 
Old 12-14-2002, 11:38 PM   #35
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quote by Dûndurion
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this world has the qualities of exactly what these religions teach against, such as a plurality of gods and that others can create:
You are right in one sense, it is not a direct allegory. but in another sense it works. Partly because it is done under the umbrella of the sovereignty of Eru, as noted in the famous quote - "no theme may be played that hath not its utmost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite." Another reason is that the gods do not rule men or elves. The humans may petition the gods simular to how Catholics petition the saints, but the do not appeal to them as their Lord.
And one more facet that reconciles the two is that the Valar's interest in humans and in nature, as reflected in the Ainulindale, is for Eru's glory not their own.
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Old 12-15-2002, 08:03 AM   #36
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I'm now interested in this positively conclusive idea that Eru is the same as the Christian God. I noted before that Tolkien thought it was a neat idea to fuse legend with religion, but I'm not sure that he ever actually drew that comparison to his own writings.
Hidden away in the depths of History of Middle Earth X is a piece of writing called the 'Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth'. It is, in my opinion, one of Tolkien's deepest and most significant pieces of writing. It takes the form of a discussion between Finrod Felagund and Andreth, a hitherto unknown woman of the house of Beor. They discuss the relation and differences between elves and men, and especially the original 'fall' of men - their corruption by Morgoth.

In this conversation Andreth speaks of an 'Old Hope' amoung men - that, to finally achieve the defeat of Morgoth and the unmarring of Arda, Eru must enter into his own creation:

Quote:
'What then was this hope, if you know?' Finrod asked.
'They say,' answered Andreth: 'they say that the One will himself enter into Arda, and heal Men and all the Marring from the beginning to the end."
And later, Finrod makes this comment:

Quote:
For, as it seems to me, even if He in Himself were to enter in, He must still remain also as He is: the Author without. And yet, Andreth, to speak with humility, I cannot conceive how else this healing could be achieved. Since Eru will surely not suffer Melkor to turn the world to his own will and to triumph in the end. Yet there is no power conceiveable greater than Melkor save Eru only. Therefore Eru, if He will not relinquish His work to Melkor, who must else proceed to mastery, then Eru must come in to conquer him.
These two quotes plainly refer to the incarnation of God as Christ, the second making an explicit distinction between God the Father ('the Author without'), and God the Son (the incarnation of Eru) as in Christian theology. Eru is, at least to those of the 'Old Hope', equivalent to the Christian God.

Tolkien makes this even clearer in the commentry to the Athrabeth:

Quote:
Since Finrod had already guessed that the redemptive function was originally specially assigned to Men, he probably proceeded to the expectation that 'the coming of Eru', if it took place, would be specially and primarily concerned with Men: that is to an imaginative guess or vision that Eru would come incarnated in human form. This, however, does not appear in the Athrabeth.
Sorry about the high density of quotation in this post, but I felt that the quotes from the Athrabeth explained themselves better than I ever could hope to.
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Old 12-15-2002, 09:15 AM   #37
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The Valar are not other Gods, even lesser gods, JRRT denies this a lot. They are Angels, which fits in well with Christianity. Towards the end of his life (when he tried to write about the Fall of Man) he started to get annoyed that his world was such a parody of the bible, so maybe he didn't mean it to be totally like the bible, its just religion was such a large part of his life it poured out into ME.
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Old 12-15-2002, 03:17 PM   #38
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i think that tolkien wasn't even thinking of making the valar like angels-angels do not show wrath. I think that was just purely coincedental. Also, angels were more or less messangers of God, and held some but not supreme power over a said dominion, while the valar could lay curses upon any who crossed them and were more essentially the kings(and queens)of Kings.While there are some similarities between them, i don't think that is what tolkien had in mind, although your points were very interesting, and had very good points.
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Old 12-15-2002, 03:36 PM   #39
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angels do not show wrath
At this point, I could deny your statement and discuss the relationship of Melkor/Morgoth to Lucifer/Satan, but I won't, as it would be veering off topic.
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Old 12-15-2002, 03:51 PM   #40
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At this point, I could deny your statement and discuss the relationship of Melkor/Morgoth to Lucifer/Satan, but I won't, as it would be veering off topic.
Since Melkor is no longer counted among the Valar(as stated in the silmarillion)and satan is not considered to be an angel following is fall to evil, or is thought of as a fallen angel, so your argument would be wrong.
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