[Milton-L] Re: Human dignity

Kim Maxwell kmaxwell at stanford.edu
Thu Jul 27 11:53:48 EDT 2006

Some questions on the issues of the last few days.
  1.  What examples might we point to of a successful theodicy if Milton's is to be judged a failure?
  2.  Some critics have suggested that Milton's portrait of God as mean, mendacious, arbitrary, tyrannical is quite consistent with the conception of the Old Testament God (who after all misrepresented the sole prohibition to Adam, who did not  die the day of), further that the poem intends through its very confused picture of the Trinity (either case can be made) a sense of transition from  the OT God to a NT God as seen in Christ, and that such a God was predicated on Love rather than Law, and is best exemplified by the Son in Book X who shields Adam and Eve from the Father's wrath, but that sanctification was still a condition of persistent grace (meaning grace at least is not unconditional, even if forgiveness may be), as given by Michael's last correction to Adam.  Does anyone hold such a view anymore?
  3.  What is the relatiohship between divine forgiveness, judgment, and punishment.  I forgive my child, but I do not suspend punishment, nor do I forget when the future may bring recurrences of behavior I consider improper.  Can God forgive and send people to Hell?
  Kim Maxwell (Mr.)
  ABD Stanford University 
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