From: "James Wynn"
Subject: RE: (urth) Promises of Spring, or, The Presence of the Unstated Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 15:58:20 -0600 Blattid rightly says: Yes/no ... and likewise yes/no to the original statement that the Christian worldview is "comedic." It depends on what you > mean by "worldview." The Christian view of _this_ world is > tragic. This world is flawed, as fatally as MacBeth or Oedipus; its degradation, decay, and doom are inevitable. As far as this world is concerned, entropy is the last word. Rostrum rightly says: > That's *a* Christian view of the world. There have been > Christians who believed that Christ and the Holy Spirit > working in the Church would make the world better and better > (but never fully restored) until the return of Christ. (More > in the 19th century than the 20th, for obvious reasons.) >Blattid responds: >Fair enough ... I tend to use terms like "the Christian view" >to refer to the mainstream views (i.e., those shared by Catholicism, >Eastern Orthodoxy, and most of the larger and older Protestant >groups). I have indeed seen this view -- though even then they >usually refer to the restored world as if it were a new creation. > >I'm not at all sure why this would have been more prevalent in >the XIX century, so I guess the reasons aren't all that obvious. Crush drones on and on without invitation: Although I'm not RC I've lived most my life in heavily or primarily RC regions (in NE US and SW US), and I'm pretty sure that Rostrum's described position is at least **a** widely and traditionally held view of RCs. And until the early 20th century it was 'mainstream.' The position Blattid defined is one with which John Calvin would not only find acceptable but central. Among Protestants (until the last century) this view of the world and how the story would play out may have even been THE major difference between Calvinist and non-Calvinist denominations. That doesn't mean Calvin originated the position or that many RCs did not hold it as well. Although I was unaware of it, clearly many lifelong RCs DO hold this position. But the RCs I know are much less interested in eschatology than their Protestant siblings in Christ. I'm led to believe that this disinclination goes back to the century after Christianity's legalization. The book of Revelation was one of the books that was added to the canon with *some* controversy. And although it was quoted from in Jude, the eschatological book of Enoch fell into disuse at this time and nearly disappeared. This is because of a widely held belief that the already obvious withering away of the Roman Empire was the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of a stone (Christianity), made without hands which blasts away the Empire of Iron and permanently replaces it (Dan 2). If one sees this as the sum total fulfillment, why does one need more to the story? This position became less appealing to Protestants (perhaps RCs as well) when the horrors of WWI and WWII (in which Christianized European nations were central) made it seem less likely that the world was constantly and gradually improving toward a reign of Christ. Germany had reverted to paganism, and all the others were becoming more secular. So... does Wolfe's thematic use of the book of Revelation in tFHoC and tBotLS mean that he sees it as legitimate prophecy still to be fulfilled or that he sees it as available "myth" and uses it as he uses so many other world myths. --- Crush --