- About the Author
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“God is more than a god, not less; Christ is more than Balder, not less. We must not be ashamed of the mystical radiance resting on our theology. We must not be nervous about ‘parallels’ and ‘pagan Christs’: they ought to be there—it would be a stumbling block if they weren’t. We must not, in false spiritually, withhold our imaginative welcome.”
—C. S. Lewis, “Myth Became Fact”
Christ is the nexus point of history, the confluence at which the dual streams that flow from Athens and Jerusalem meet and become one. Therefore, a student of mythology or anthropology might find in pagan stories and rituals multiple layers of meaning that connect with Christianity.
Indeed, such a study might help moderns understand how the common people of pagan Greece and Rome received their myths and used them as guides to virtuous living. And, by so doing, help us today to receive them in the right spirit: not as historical tales that contradict the Bible, but as testimonies to the yearnings of people who lacked clear revelation but nevertheless hungered and thirsted for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
In the spirit of C. S. Lewis, whose own acceptance of Christ hinged on his understanding that Christ is the myth become fact, this book will seek to mine wisdom of eternal value from the great storehouses of Greco-Roman mythology and trace the links that bind those myths to the Bible and to the Christian life. And, as Lewis did, this book will seek to help modern Christians reclaim myth as a vehicle of truth through which the presence of the Triune God can be discerned.
What makes the stories retold and analyzed in this book of particular import is that they are foundational myths, ones meant to help us understand who we are, why we are here, and what our purpose and destiny are. They served that function for many generations of noble Greeks and Romans. When read through Christian eyes, they will do this and more, pointing us beyond the lustful and wrathful Olympian gods to the One Holy Creator who stands, like Aslan, at the back of all our stories.
Louis Markos (PhD, University of Michigan), Professor in English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities. He speaks widely on ancient Greece and Rome, Lewis and Tolkien, and apologetics and classical education. His 18 books include From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics, On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis, Apologetics for the 21st Century, Worldview Guides to the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid, and two children’s novels, The Dreaming Stone and In the Shadow of Troy, in which his kids become part of Greek mythology and the epics of Homer.