My last post proposed a calendar for worship based on the “Wheel of the Year”, commonly associated with paganism. It seems obvious that this misunderstood issue needs to be addressed, if Christians are to take the questions of Liturgy any further.
I will return soon to issues of Worship, Seasons and Dates, but after hooking in to what other people are currently discussing concerning the Pagan.
A September synchroblog explore(d/s) “Christianity and Paganism”. I have just read through this list of writs to get a feel for how others are approaching the issue. As you might expect, there a wide variety of views, ranging from caution to exaltation, from astrology to literature, but 2 of them stood out as particularly helpful in the light of this investigation.
The first is Julie Clawson’s “Rejection, Redemption, and Roots” on One Hand Clapping. Here she suggests 3 Christian approaches to “paradigms for how one interacts with other belief systems”, suggesting Rejection, Redemption or Roots. Her preference is the latter, and this really resonates with me.
Then as studious as ever (does he ever sleep?), Tshwane’s own Steve Hayes gives a superb insight into the pagan influences in 2 of today’s most lauded writers, C.S.Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Furthermore he brings this into a very enlightening cultural context; for example
“The difference between American neopagans of the 1990s and British ones of the 1970s was that the former were rebelling against a “Judeo-Christian” upbringing, whereas the latter were rebelling against secular materialism, and could therefore more easily find common ground with Christians who were rebelling against the same things.”
Steve also gives one of the most penetrating analyses I have seen on the Easter myth.
Also worth mentioning is the tireless Emergent Aussie bastard Matt Stone whose affections for and interest in all matters pagan is irrepressible. Sample his category (all 54 posts) “paganism and magick“. He IS a Christian BTW (AND Australian – isn’t God wonderful?).
Oh yes and don’t forget Phil Wyman of the Salem Gathering. His ministry of dialog between Pagans and Christians is not simply a matter of theology, but he does have a lot to teach on the subject – as is evident in his study Witches are real people too.
See this as a primer; and a move towards the idea that “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” More thoughts to follow…