Writers often compare the beauty of the pagan myths with the brutality of the biblical story.  This is doubly wrong.  In the first place, the biblical chronicles are not trying to be beautiful.  They are saying this is how history is when we rebel against God.  You can find beauty in the Bible’s poetry, but you shouldn’t expect it in its history.

In the second place, the idea that pagan religion was all charm and light is quite misleading.  I suspect that those who say such things about it have read no further than the sanitized versions of Greek myths that are sometimes provided for children.  Along with, yes, great beauties, pagan mythology contains fathers who devour their sons, women who conceive passion for animals, and gods who enjoy nothing more than raping mortal girls.  What we find in pagan stories, we find too in pagan practice.  Human sacrifice.  Temple prostitution.

C.S. Lewis penned a better description of paganism:  “Gleams of celestial strength, and beauty falling on a jungle of filth and imbecility.”  The gleams of beauty are real.  So is the jungle.