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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: (urth) Clones and Old Suns and paving pagans 
Date: Tue, 09 Sep 2003 11:00:30 -0700

Don D writes:

>They are different aspects but the Son is God, not of a lesser order and 
>there are not two Gods, or three including the Holy Spirit.  It's God as 
>the Father, God as the Son, and God as Love, but always the big G.

While I agree, cryptoaugustinially, with your characterization of the third
Person as "Love," in that characterization the first two Persons are
generally referred to as "the Lover" and "the Beloved" (and the third,
often, as "Love Itself").

As long as we're being technical here, someone raised the Creeds. The
Creed generally held to contain the most accurate formulation of doctrine
on the Trinity is the Athanasian Creed - which, oddly but not paradoxically,
does not have anything to do with St Athanasius. The whole thing can be
found at


but the relevant portion to this discussion begins at verse 3:

3. [...] we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.
5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and
   another of the Holy Spirit.
6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy
   Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.
8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit
9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the
   Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

[Interrupting: As someone once added, "The whole damn thing

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.
11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.
12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible,
     but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.
13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy
     Spirit almighty.
14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.
15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;
16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit
18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.
19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge
     every Person by himself to be God and Lord [...]

All of which suggests that the three Persons of the Trinity may
indeed be what Wolfe had in mind for the identity of the Old Sun,
no? At least, the above description seems to fit the other Suns
pretty well...

>Not Zeus, Apollo, and Eros(first one to my mind) though I guess GW is tying 
>all gods to the Godhead (isn't that CS Lewis' argument? Paganism paving the 

Yes, though I think both Lewis and Wolfe use a bit more nuance
than that.

Wolfe, especially in the Latro (Latin, "I worship") books seems to
be suggesting that the pagan gods were real beings, and that
perhaps to worship them prior to knowing the Christian God was
not in itself evil, and may even "pave the way" for accepting the
One God; but that they are, nonetheless, self-serving spirits -
which in a Christian context makes them demons.

Lewis, in several novels but especially the "Space Trilogy" and his
final (and finest) novel, _Till We Have Faces_, seems to suggest
that the pagan gods may be angelic beings or reflections of
the One God, sent, as you suggest, to "pave the way" for
belief in, and so knowingly serving, the One God.

A significant difference, neh?


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