[Milton-L] Strier, the Son's role and necessity

Diane McColley dmccolley at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 1 10:59:05 EDT 2006

Part of Richard Strier's reply on August 1 to Michael Gillum's question 
was "So, however one reads the business between the Father and the Son 
later in III, it is simply not true in the poem as we have it that the 
Son's intervention is responsible for human salvation.  Maybe the 
Father is testing the Son and the non-fallen angels for some reason, 
but that is a different matter."

I confess I still don't get it.  The Son's calling and response to the 
foreseen work of redemption seem to me part of the process of calling 
and response (or failure to respond) throughout the poem.

On Aug 1, 2006, at 6:54 AM, Michael Gillum wrote:

> Richard Strier wrote, "Since no one seems to see the problem posed by 
> the Father's announcement of human salvation before the Son makes his 
> offer, I will stop trying to make the point.  But someone should 
> consider what effect this has on the role of the Son."
> Prof. Strier, I hope you won't "stop," but am not clear on the 
> context. When you first made this point, I could not locate the 
> antagonist in my recollection of the thread. I thought perhaps you 
> referred to the argument made by Michael Bryson in his publications, 
> but not I think here, that the Son rescues the Father from his angry 
> obsession with punishment and introduces mercy into the scheme.  I 
> agree that it's important to notice that the Father decrees mercy for 
> Man at the end of his first speech. I suppose the Father is foreseeing 
> that the Son will volunteer in order to fulfill the Father's will. If 
> you would briefly restate the "problem" and the point you are arguing 
> against, I would appreciate it.
> Michael Gillum
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