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Homerís Iliad cannot fail to depress its Christian reader. Though the Christian student might thrill at the language and power of one of the greatest epics in history, he must feel overwhelmed by the hopelessness saturating the pagan mind.
The ancient Greeks, as with modern atheists, fight a losing battle. Though the Greeks eventually conquered Troy, they knew that they were always conquered by fate. Every man and every woman faced preordained woes and death, and no amount of virtue on their part could change their story.
The best that the ancient Greek could achieve was to bravely face his fate with the firmness of Achilles or Hector. Though these warriors knew that it was their time to suffer and die, they ran to face the pain unflinchingly. In the same way, atheists believe that their lives have no meaning and that one day they will die, and the best they can do is face the void with courage.
Students who carefully absorb the Iliad have a much stronger understanding of what Jesus Christ did for the world. Before Bethlehem, men viewed themselves as pawns, battered by the gods and condemned by the fates. After Christís resurrection, even slaves and invalids had hope.
Before, a man like Hector could strive with all his might to please the gods and still be abandoned on the appointed day. Then Immanuel was announced: God with us! A hopeless world discovered that God rescues rather than abandons. We may be far, far less courageous than Hector and receive far, far more from God.
by Jeff Baldwin