Prometheus

The story of Prometheus, much like Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost, tends to divide humanity into camps. There are those who sympathise with Milton’s Satan, who see him as a hero, seeking redress for the shame heaped upon him by the creation and elevation of Man, a figure seeking his independence and dignity. Similarly, many would sympathise with Prometheus, seeing him as a patron of humanity. In this analysis, God in Paradise Lost and Zeus in Greek myth are tyrants – those who abuse their power.

On the other hand are those who see Satan and Prometheus as proud, transgressors of the divine order. We need to remember, however, that neither Paradise Lost nor the Prometheus myth are Scripture, and that for all the complexity Milton endows his Satan with, Milton did not intend the reader to ultimately sympathise with him. Milton was a pious Christian and, even if we disagree with some of the theology advanced in Paradise Lost, his aim was to produce an epic that promoted the Gospel.

The Prometheus myth remains a fascinating one because it speaks of humanity’s origins, condition, and destiny. It taps into the same captivating power that makes readers – whether believers or not – return to the Book of Genesis and the Near Eastern creation and flood stories.

How we understand the human condition and our role in extending the Kingdom of God affects our view of the future. Dominionists have a very different conception of the future from premillennialists (who in turn differ from post-millennialists and a-millennialists). Premillennialists have been characterised as the most gloomy of the types.

But further study is needed. One must be careful not to import non-Christian worldviews into Christianity.

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