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Ancient philosophy and the first to the thirteenth centuries
By Frederick Denison Maurice

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506 – 510

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Objections to that opinion.

The Eleventh
Century.

The
Thousandth
Year.

The Central
Country.

of its most remarkable peculiarities, unless we allow him, in spite
of himself, to have been overcome by the logical tendencies of his
time. If we supposed Johannes to be a legitimate successor of the
old Proclus school, and no great Latin movements to have taken
place before he flourished, we might say fairly enough that the old
philosophy died with him, and that Gerbert, being the only emi-
ment thinker between him and the eleventh century, was the
founder, or at least the prophet, of the new. But as Johannes
was merely an interloper, and as the theological controversies of
the ninth century clearly ascertained its character, we may assume
that the papal magician, in his dogmatical treatises, merely travelled
in a line which had been already marked out for him, and that any
pretensions which he had to originality rested, as the cotemporary
authorities would lead us to suppose, upon his physical and demo-
niacal lore.

  1. Gerbert stood on the threshold of the eleventh century.
    Possibly the horror of his supposed communications both with
    visible infidels and the invisible powers of darkness, had an
    effect upon it, in determining what studies should be avoided;
    still more in promoting the establishment or consolidation of
    Christian schools, which should be a substitute for the Saracenic,
    and a counteraction of them. There were other influences working
    more powerfully to the same result. The first Millennium of
    Christendom was concluded. “Was it not to terminate,” men
    asked themselves, “in the destruction of the visible world?” The
    crimes of all classes made such an expectation reasonable; they
    were greatest and most abominable in the class which existed to
    testify of righteousness. This belief gave a solemnity to the minds
    of the better men. It left its impression upon the age. It became
    an age of movement, of energy, even of reformation; contrasted
    in all respects with the base and petty one which had preceded it.
    The intrigues in dukedoms between ambitious proprietors, made
    way for the conflict between popes and emperors. Great principles
    are engaged on each side. The common Christendom life is
    awakening in the West. The life in the schools will, we may be
    sure, take its form and colour from that which is passing in the
    world, and will re-act upon it.
  2. The doubt which we expressed in reference to the former
    century has no application to this. We can define exactly the
    centre of the European movements. For a moment, indeed, the
    great fame of Hildebrand, and the position which he asserted for
    the Roman See, might incline us to think of Italy. Unquestion-
    ably the relation of the Pope to the rest of Europe is the great
    subject of this century. Apart from the fact that this relation
    assumed a character it had never assumed before, all the re-
    cords of the time are unintelligible. But the vicissitudes in the

TIIE NEW AGE. 507

reign of Hildebrand himself, his unpopularity in Rome, his final Hildebrand banishment from it, may show us clearly that it was not to his own country that he owed the greatness which he vindicated for those who preceded, and for those who came after him, as much as for himself. Both of these had to endure the ignominy from which his own magnanimity scarcely protected him. If Leo IX. was saved from it, he owed his deliverance to the Normans. The The Normans were the real supporters of Gregory’s own pretensions.” The Normans enabled Urban to become the head of a crusade, and so to unite Christendom under his own authority, when the Germans were making its existence doubtful even in his capital. To Normandy, therefore, we are obliged to turn if we would study the progress of events. To Normandy we are bound quite as much to turn if we would understand the movements in philosophy. 9. When we speak of Normandy as an intellectual centre to Europe Normandy • draws the in the eleventh century, and when we deny that honour to Italy, £f we are guilty of an apparent injustice. The most eminent thinkers # of this time were Italians. The Frenchmen who were distinguished does not in the schools did not come from the north. But this is the very £, point on which we desire to fix our readers’ attention. Italians, men. with the gifts that fitted them to be scholars and philosophers, could not find the kind of culture which they required, the discipline which was fitted to make them great, till they came under the influence of the Normans. This remarkable people, as they diffused their own energy and arms into all countries of the east and west, so also attracted into their own land the foreigners whose qualities and circumstances were the least like their own. They had no national exclusiveness. The indifference to soil and local The want of attachments which had characterized their first emigration never £ deserted them. Their position in the north of France was only a Normans. standing point from which to commence assaults upon the world at large. They belonged to Christendom, not to that place in which they happened to have obtained a settlement. When they invaded England, they were quite willing to have Flemings, or men of any country in Europe, mingling in their hosts. That same temper fitted them to be the prime movers in the Crusades. And so they were also able to organize monasteries, in which young men from all quarters found they could learn the maxims and practice of obedience and government. There they could welcome Latin with as much affection as the language of their adopted country—with more, indeed, as being more cosmopolitan. 10. The monastery of Bec is the great illustration of these The remarks. “In the year from the incarnation of our Lord, 1034,” £er, writes the chronicler of this society, “in the fourth year of Henry the King of the Franks, Robert, the son of the second Richard, and brother of the third Richard holding the reins of Normandy,

Chron. Beccense appended to Lanfranc’s works.

Lanfranc and Anselm.

Comes to
Neustria.

Herluinus, at the inspiration of our Lord Jesus Christ, the author
of all good things, casting aside the nobility of the earth for which
he had been not a little conspicuous, having thrown off the girdle
of military service, betook himself with entire devotion to the
poverty of Christ, and that he might be free for the service of God
alone, through the mere love of God, put upon him with great joy
the habit of a monk. This man, who had been a passionate
warrior, and who had gotten himself a great name and favour with
Robert, and with the lords of different foreign countries, first built
a church on a farm of his which was called Burnevilla. But
because this place was on a plain, and lacked water, being admo-
nished in a dream by the blessed Mother of God, he retired to a
valley close to a river which is called Bec, and there began to build
a noble monastery to the honour of the same Saint Mary, which
God brought to perfection for the glory of His name, and to be the
comfort and salvation of many men. To which Herluinus, God,
according to the desire of his heart, gave for his helpers and coun-
sellors Lanfranc, a man every way accomplished in liberal acts;
then Anselm, a man approved in all things, a man affable in
counsel, pitiful, chaste, sober, in every clerical duty wonderfully
instructed—which two men, through God’s grace, were afterwards
consecrated Archbishops of Canterbury. And to this same Bec,
which began in the greatest poverty, so many and such great men,
clerical as well as laymen, resorted, that it might fitly be said to
the holy abbot-‘With the riches of thy name hast thou made thy
house drunk, and with the torrent of the wisdom of thy sons hast
thou filled the world.’”

  1. The first of the two men with whom our chronicler has
    brought us acquainted, was born in Pavia. His parents, says his

biographer, were great and honourable citizens of that city. His

father is said to be of the order of those who watched over the rights and laws of the state. Lanfranc losing his father in early life, left the lands and dignities which might have fallen to him, and devoted himself to the study of letters. He stayed for some time in Italy, till he became thoroughly imbued with all secular knowledge. Then leaving his country, and passing the Alps, he came to Gaul in the time of William, the glorious Duke of Normandy, who subdued England with his arms. Passing through France, having a number of scholars with him, he came to the city of Avranches, and became a teacher there. Afterwards this learned man, perceiving that to catch the breath of mortals is vanity, and that all things tend to nothing, except Him who made all things and those who follow His will, turned his whole mind to obtaining His love. And because he felt it was needful to be humble that he might be great, he would not go to any place where there were literary men who would hold him in honour and

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reverence. Late in the evening, as he was going through a wood His Perils towards Rouen, he fell among thieves, who took away all he had, ë’version. bound his hands behind him, bandaged his eyes, and left him in a dark part of the forest. For a while he bewailed his misfortune; then he tried to pay his accustomed praises to God, but could not. Then turning to the Lord, he said, “Lord God, so much time have I spent in learning, and my body and soul have I worn out in the study of letters, and yet have I not learned how I ought to pray to Thee, and to pay to Thee the duties of praise. Deliver me fiom this tribulation, and with thy help I will so study to correct and establish my life, that I may be able to serve Thee and to know Thee.” In the twilight of the morning he heard travellers going their way, and cried to them for help. When they had loosened his bonds, he begged them that they would point out to him the poorest monastery which they knew in that country. They said they knew of none more vile and abject than that which a certain man of God had built hard by. They pointed him to Bec, and departed. 12. Lanfianc found the abbot kindling a fire, and working with Lanfranc at his hands. He asked to be made a monk, was shown the rule,” promised, with God’s help, to observe it, and became a brother of the convent. “Whereupon,” continues our author, “the venerable father Herluinus was filled with exceeding joy, because he believed that God had heard his prayers. For, as the necessity of The Norman procuring provisions forced him to be often without the cloister, £ and as there was no one to preside within, and to watch the religion of the household, he had often prayed God for such a one, and now He had granted him the very help which he wanted. You might see, therefore, between them a pious contest. The abbot, lately promoted from an illustrious layman to a clerk, reverenced the dignity of so great a doctor who had become his subject. But he, exhibiting no conceit on the strength of his eminent knowledge, obeyed him humbly in all things, and was wont to say, ‘When I wait upon that layman, I know not what to think, except that the Spirit bloweth where it listeth. The abbot showed to him the veneration which was his due; he paid the abbot the profoundest submission. Each presented to the flock a specimen of a different kind of life, the one active, the other contemplative.” 13. For a while Lanfranc devoted himself in the strictest sense to the contemplative and solitary life. “But soon his fame,” says £” the chronicler, “spread throughout the world, and brought dukes, y. sons of dukes, the most conspicuous masters of the Latin schools, and noblemen in multitudes to the convent.” The doctor was not exalted. His biographer relates with much satisfaction how he took care of some land which had been left to the church of Bec, and how he brought a cat under his gown to repress the fury of

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Obedience.

His life in the Monastery.

his intro-
duction to
William.

Doing
William’s
work at
Rome.

some rats and mice that had invaded it. He tells another story of
his humility, which is considerably more to the purpose, and illus-
trates the man and the time. While he was reading aloud one
day at the table, the presiding monk, who was probably a Norman,
and like Herlwin, knew more of swords than of the quantities of
words, corrected him for saying docére. The learned Italian in-
stantly shortened the middle syllable, “knowing,” his biographer
says, “that he owed more obedience to Christ than to Donatus;
that it was not a capital crime to violate prosody, but that not to
obey one who commanded him in the name of God, was a serious
Crror.

  1. After a while, Lanfranc grew thoroughly tired of the indo-
    lence, irregularity, and immorality of his brethren, and feigned a
    disorder of the stomach, that he might eat only radishes, and so
    fit himself to escape from the monastery, and live in the desert,
    which design was defeated by a vision to the abbot, who brought
    Lanfranc to confession and submission, constituted him prior, and
    enabled him to effect a reform in the monastery. Except in this
    instance, the mispronunciation of docere may be taken as a key to
    our scholar’s life. Not but that he was capable of an inconvenient
    as well as of a successful joke when the temptation offered. When
    a chaplain of Duke William came to Bec in great pomp to attend
    the dialectical exercises, which had become famous, Lanfranc
    having discovered that he was profoundly ignorant, and somewhat
    presumptuous, requested him, with Italian politeness, to clear
    up a passage in a logical treatise. The Norman resented the
    affront, and brought Lanfranc into disgrace with Duke William.
    He was ordered hastily to quit Normandy, but meeting William
    on his road, he respectfully requested the Duke, as he had ap-
    pointed him to take so long a journey, to furnish him with a better
    horse. He evidently understood the man. He very soon rose
    into high favour. William revoked a command for laying waste
    certain lands belonging to Bec, and bestowed fresh lands upon it.
    Lanfranc was soon able to return the service. Neustria had been
    laid under an interdict, because the Duke had married the daugh-
    ter of the Count of Flanders, who was within the prohibited de-
    grees of relationship. Lanfranc went to Rome, and succeeded in
    persuading Nicholas the Second that it would be much wiser to grant
    William a dispensation, seeing that he was not the least likely to
    part with his wife, and that he might easily be induced to build
    two monasteries if he were permitted to retain her. Caen received
    the benefit of this arrangement, and Lanfranc proved that Bec was
    as good a school for diplomacy as for logic and theology.
  2. Lanfranc’s mission to the pope had not only reference to
    his patron’s marriage, he had himself been accused of a heavy
    offence. He was the friend and correspondent of Berengarius of

« PreviousContinue »

BERENGARIUS. 511

Tours. This is a name with which most of our readers are fami-Berenger of liar. They associate with it certain notions of independence of” thought not to be looked for in the 11th century, and of a feebleness of purpose which may be condemned in all centuries. They £ – • – – ons about

probably suppose Berengarius to have been something of a philo- him. sopher, who had not courage to stand against the theologians of his time; they suppose those theologians to have been merely defending a coarse and carnal hypothesis by the force of traditions and papal decrees. None of these opinions are exactly in accordance with the facts, though all of them touch so nearly upon the truth as to satisfy the careless students of various parties and communions. The subject is most important to the history of Philosophy, otherwise we should not have meddled with it. The disputes of the,

  • – – Eucharistic the next century, which had a formally philosophical character, controve’y. grew out of the great theological dispute of this. We cannot understand the minds of any of the remarkable thinkers of the age without considering it. All that we have said of the Norman and Italian temper, as they came together in the Monastery of Bec, is illustrated by it But we should commit a great mistake Berengarius if we assumed Berengarins to be a philosopher, or those who con-‘” tended with him to have any horror of philosophy. He was, so Pier. far as we can make out from the testimonies of his cotemporaries, and from what is preserved of his own writings, a hard-working, earnest, simple-minded priest, who, instead of cultivating subtleties, had a horror of them. It may seem at variance with this statement that he professed a respect for so subtle a philosopher as Johannes Scotus, and was scandalized at being told that he was a heretic. But he evidently clung to the conclusion of Johannes His mind and Scotus without caring very much for his arguments. That con-” clusion, he said, he found expressed as clearly in the writings of Augustine and Ambrose as of the Irishman. He was probably bewildered by the distinctions and formulas of the Italians, as much as by their diplomacy. A Frenchman, but no Norman, he shrunk from submitting to mere decrees when his conscience went the other way. Yet he had so little confidence in his own judgment, there was in him so little of the desire to be singular, that he accepted again and again formulas which he did not understand or approve. That he was a coward in doing so, no one acknow- His alleged ledged so readily as himself. He did not even avail himself of ” the half-justification which we have put forward for him; he simply accuses himself of recanting through fear of death. When that terror was removed, and he had time for reflection, he was convinced that it was a solemn duty to retract the retractation, however much opening such a course would give to the ridicule as well as to the grave revilings of his adversaries. Lessing has contended with admirable clearness and force that the charge of

i.essing’s Werke, vol. 18, (pp. 1922.)

Gregory VII. and Berengarius.

Why Lanfranc was so much less tolerant.

Lanfranci

Opera

(Dacherius), 231.

e Eucharisti Sacramento contral Berengarium Liber.

See
Berengarius
Turonensis.
Lessing’s
Werke,
vol. 18, pp.
1-189.

intentionally concealing his opinion, which Mosheim brought against him, is absolutely untenable. He might not have courage always to maintain his conviction; he certainly never wished to disguise it. 16. Such a man as this Pope Hildebrand could appreciate. He did not in his heart dislike any one for fighting against authority; great part of his own life was spent in doing so. IIe vindicated his right to set his feet on the necks of kings. The ambition of setting his feet upon the necks of poor parish priests, because they objected to certain forms of expression, was altogether too mean a one for him. It is evident that he would have sheltered Berengarius if he could; that when he opposed him it was done reluctantly; in spite of the condemnation of former popes, and of the contumacy of Berengarius, he loved him to the last. With Lanfranc it was otherwise. He and the heretic had been friends in youth; he had suffered in reputation at Rome from the intimacy. Not, we believe, from meanness, not because he shrunk from an imputation which he really deserved, but because he never could have had much inward sympathy with a man of a character so unlike his own, because his conscience was of an altogether different quality from that of Berengarius, because it was a conscience which looked upon disobedience as the great sin, and would have parted with the strongest perception and conviction of its own rather than be guilty of it, he at once disproved the calumny against himself by becoming the most vehement champion of the Paschasian dogma against its impugner. 17. His book against Berengarius was for a long time, with the exception of a few letters, the only document from which a knowledge of the doctrines of the offender could be obtained. Lanfranc quotes passages from him at the head of each of his chapters; to which he replies. The supporters of transubstantiation referred to his treatise as triumphant; they even ventured to conjecture that it silenced, humbled, converted Berengarius. An unfortunate discovery made by the keen eye of Lessing in the library of Wolfenbüttel, dispelled these dreams. Berengarius was found to have answered Lanfranc in an elaborate discourse. By the care of Lessing, and of subsequent editors, we now possess it almost entire. A comparison of the two documents does not, however, entitle us to set the intellectual qualities of Berengarius above those of the Prior of Bec. Lanfranc’s book is haughty and scornful; that of Berengarius is earnest and vehement. The one writes with all the consciousness of maintaining the maxim which a Council and a Pope had pronounced in favour of; the other writes with a strong assurance that majorities and the existing authorities of the Church may be utterly wrong, that it is impossible to read the Old and New Testament with open eyes and not

THE POLEMICS. 513

think so. But if it is a great privilege that we may retain an p. #. affection for the oppressed and earnest man,—not shaken in that £. sympathy by the fact that Luther denounced him as much as any £” – – – – risti,

Romanist, and looked upon the denunciation of Pope Nicholas as an i: one of the decrees of the papal synod which might be justified and £” admired,—it is also a duty to confess the ability of Lanfranc, the ‘h, p. skill and neatness with which he arranges his points and constructs ‘wolite his arguments, the advantage which he has often over his fervid £” antagonist, his avoidance of all that is most coarse and material in ”

  • – – – • Christlich in the view of Paschasius, the facility and gracefulness of his style, alien and the comparative moderation with which he asserts the claims £

of the Roman See, when Berengarius could call it nothing less than £ antichristian. Those who like to see a true man trampled upon, dem Berenmay enjoy the satisfaction as well in Lanfranc’s treatise as in any £,

that we know of. He is very imperious, but far less vulgar and £ brutal than the majority of polemics. And one feels that he was £ not merely holding a brief for the papal court, that his heart sym-£” pathized with what he was doing, and that having given up the £” right quantity of a Latin infinitive to preserve his own obedience, having cultivated to the utmost all moral submission and humiliation, he felt he had a right to demand the same of all other divines. He was maintaining not only what seemed to him, but what really How he was the great secret of the power which the Norman scholar, as £e well as the Norman warrior, was exercising in that day. All his principle. victories were owing to his caring more for the commands of the superior than for any judgment of his own. If there had been Use of the none to assert that a man has a conscience to which God speaks # directly, and which must hear His voice, however other voices may clash with it, the after condition of the world would have been very sad; but one may surely acknowledge that there were to be men who had the opposite habit of mind; that with all their faults the world could not have spared them; that each class had its own humility as well as its own pride; and that even success and cotemporary approbation, though they may diminish our interest in those who possessed them, by making us think of the words, “they have their reward,” ought not to blind us to their positive worth. 18. We must not suppose that more of dialectical science, either in How far the larger or the narrower sense, found its way into this controversy £d into in the 11th century than in the 9th. The opposite assertion would the question be far nearer the truth. The schools were in the first fervour of their qualities and quantities in the age of Charlemagne. This they imported into their theological discussions. With these, old Platonists like Johannes had to do battle, endeavouring as far as they could to supplant the Aristotelian dialectic with a more spiritual one. The first stage of that struggle was over. Beren

Lanfranc far less a Logician than a Statesman.

Lanfranc finding his true position.

Consistency of his character.

Anselm.

Cynicism, it’s not bad

I kind of get the impression that when it comes to empathy, some Christians are genuinely empathetic whilst others are aloof and critical of people that in some cases cynicism/distrust might not be a bad thing. That’s if it constantly runs in some Christian communities that rather than denying it, they should accept that they’re cynical. Both in the technical and philosophical sense.

After all, it’s not uncommon for some Christians to be critical of homosexuality and other religions that it’s practically the elephant in the room. Though it’s possible to love one another, I don’t think other Christians are prepared for compassion and empathy. At other times, rather than trying to be somebody that they’re not it seems cynicism might be preferable to outright tolerance.

That’s if they want to lead the pure, austere life and be distrusting of other ideologies and beliefs that cynicism might not be a bad thing after all.

Cynicism

I’m inclined to think Christianity is a faith ruled by distrust and cynicism. But in order to accept this, that would involve a greater amount of self-awareness and if you will honesty that in a way outsiders would get. If because it seems less patronising if Christians admitted to being distrusting and cynical.

Cynicism was a philosophy marked by austerity and chastising people for whatever they do, which Jesus was identified as such. If Buddhism is a faith marked by relaxation, Christianity is a faith marked by paranoia and fear. You can’t trust anybody especially if they screw up that you chastise or talk down to them.

You can be empathetic but a good number of Christians I know are often harsh, cynical and distrusting that cynicism might be the natural side to Christianity and not sentimentality.

Human Nature

I’ve come to the conclusion that human nature doesn’t change much wherever you go (time and place) to whatever degree. But that also necessitates seeing them as human in that if put in such a situation that people will act similarly regardless of who they are. Based on my habit of hanging out at foreign websites and the like, it seems they share similar problems and sentiments.

Australian women have sex with Balinese gigolos and find them romantic and respectful but so do their Swedish, America, Canadian, Japanese and Korean counterparts. There are even Japanese who’re aware of sexism, racism (since ethnic minorities do exist in Japan, be they immigrants or Ainu and Okinawans) and some don’t even like anime or aware of paedophilia.

Likewise racism and sexism also exists in Scandinavia, especially when it comes to the existence of MGTOWs and far-right that it’s going to be the same in Norway and Sweden as it would be in America. Even black men can be misogynistic and same with everybody else. That’s not to say all humans are bad but everybody can be guilty of being bigoted, stupid, mean or whatever.

Because human nature doesn’t change much.

The nature of immorality

I still think evil can be a lot subtler than doing something obviously cruel. Conversely speaking, sometimes in order to do good you have to do something bad or at least left-field/unconventional. Kind of like Robin Hood stealing the money from the nobility only to give it to the poor.

Paedophilia is an understandable evil. Shooting coyotes as to prevent sheep predation’s a necessary evil. If because nobody wants their future food and fabric supply gone in the future. This is what I mean by necessary evil and is also a lesser evil. (It would be more evil to neglect sheep and make everybody starve.)

So sometimes what’s good and evil isn’t always what people think it is.

The canine cynic

If it does sound odd to some contemporary audiences that cynicism stems from the old Greek word for dog, it would be more parsimonious to think of cynics as human analogues to stray dogs and guard dogs (or any dog that’s untrained and barks at strangers and guests). If cynics distrust people they dislike, so do dogs (especially if they see somebody getting abused as I know from personal experience). Dogs can be cynical. Whenever they approach suspects, they either run away or attack.

If dogs attack people with their fangs, cynics attack people by being sharp-tonged and through concern trolling. (Others may’ve gotten it too.) If it’s odd to assume that dogs are distrusting animals, it makes much more sense had ancient dogs been expected to ward off intruders. So much so that it makes the link between dogs and cynicism all the more apparent and understandable. It’s not that dogs were entirely despised in Ancient Greece.

But if cats hadn’t been around in Ancient Greece, let alone en masse dogs would’ve taken their place. Especially as the original mean animals (also because dogs came first).

The near-lack of cyncism

It’s not that Christians are entirely lacking in cynicism but that when you neglect intellectualism (or at least intellectual curiosity) for adolescent ego-satiation (though that may not always be a bad thing) that it makes it harder for Christians to be aware of the topics the Bible may’ve been talking about. At other times, I actually think it’s Christians who should care more about dog predation if because they know the Bible seemingly doesn’t have that high of an opinion on dogs (though at other times, it may often be ambivalent).

Most secular people don’t know any better but when secular people end up doing the heavy-lifting, though it could be viewed as validation it’s also sometimes a failure to have any real curiosity into the possibilities others don’t consider much. Besides dog predation was already recorded as early as the 20th century and possibly even earlier. But it seems to be ignored. As is the lack of awareness of prostitution even though one Dutch Christian group’s aware of it.

But it seems the lack of awareness of seemingly secular topics makes me think Christians have abandoned age-old cynicism for never-ending ecstasy even if that provides insight into vice and the like.

The start of monotheism

This too’s highly debatable but there’ve been some Western studies based on that some African pygmy communities are monotheistic. That and a penchant for monogamy and some wariness to dogs. These may give a good idea of how Judaism developed. Maybe not exactly but close enough to give an idea and the possibility of the original human religion being monotheistic.

This makes sense as some Pygmies do believe in a singular creator-god and there were precedents to Judaism and Christianity before. Even some ancient philosophers like Plato and Aristotle seemed to be somewhat monotheistic and don’t approve of polytheism, thus making them honourary Christians of sort.

But if that’s the case, it makes sense to think that at least some Pygmy communities are the closest to how Judaism developed.

Taking his wrath lightly

Whilst not necessarily a bad Christian per say, it seems CS Lewis sometimes took God’s wrath lightly even if he never meant it. Though I suppose his own idea of a self-imposed hell might just be his opinion. To be honest, most non-practising Christians never intend to go to hell. But why even pastors end up there even if they’re technically saved might have more to do with God having little patience for those who become worldly and the like or something.

Lewis was onto something but couldn’t articulate it well if because he secretly found God’s temper much too overwhelming to deal with. It also doesn’t help that to some, Lewis is a very worldly man every comfortable with pagan folklore as he is with Christianity proper. That’s not to say he’s a bad Christian. But that CS Lewis seemed to be very hedonistic.

Albeit a hedonist in the philosophical sense of the word in the sense of seeing the pursuit of pleasure as the main goal in life and upon gaining set pleasure, the sentiment becomes stationary. Not necessarily a bad thought but it does explain why his view of hell differs from the frightening punitive testimonies other Christians have. Not necessarily any less pious but he’s very much a hedonist.

Jesus’s Anger

I suspect in the case with Evangelicals, though some do take God’s anger seriously most of them are perfectly fine with Trump’s misogyny and racism or CS Lewis’s love of paganism and fine with seeing them as Christian role models. So the other problem might be the inability to see Jesus’s anger even if it’s repeatedly shown to be justifiable. He gets mad a lot at people, insults a woman and throws fits.

He also struggled to do what’s right. I suspect the real issue might be that they’re unable to realise that God’s willing to use flawed people when convenient. Logically they should be perfectly fine with Jesus losing his temper a lot. He’s the epitome of righteous anger and emotional labour combined into one character. He’s angry at those who wronged him. And angry at those who dump their idiocies onto him.

At other times, if Evangelicals are unwilling to realise God/Jesus’s more passionate side, they might as well have to embrace Christianity’s Greco-Roman heritage more to better understand things like a tendency towards cynicism (very much ingrained in Christianity) and perhaps machismo (their tendency to excuse such characters).

Or perhaps the idea that God’s willing to use fallible people in general.