Example of How the Polytheistic Religion of the Roman Empire Looks Like Traditional Chinese Culture

Quote from ---
Counterfeit Miracles
by B. B. Warfield

整個異教信仰的核心是相信有神蹟,他們信神只是為了求神蹟,正如蒙森(Theodore Mommsen)一語道破這個動機說:「他們從一開始就想利用羅馬這些異教神來達到有求必應的目的」。蒙森又指出:「這個動機就和當今義大利的聖徒崇拜一樣明顯」,他說:「啟動羅馬帝國設立國教,啟動社會和家庭去信奉許多異教的這股動力,就是相信有神蹟。他們認為這些神能保護人,大有能力,但也容易被觸怒,他們在崇拜時尊崇這些神,好叫這些神樂意為崇拜者的利益介入自然律的運作,也就是施展神蹟,來保護、幫助和解救他們。相信神的也相信有神蹟,只有不相信神的才會否認神蹟的存在。」

The whole religion of the heathen turned on [a belief in miracles]; what they kept their gods for was just miracles. As Theodore Mommsen puts it in a single sentence: "The Roman gods were in the first instance instruments which were employed for attaining very concrete earthly ends" -- and then he adds, very significantly, "a point of view which appears not less sharply in the saint-worship of present-day Italy." "The power," says Trede, "which in the Roman Empire set the state religion going, as well as the numerous local, social, and family cults, was belief in miracles. The gods, conceived as protecting beings, as undoubted powers in the world, but as easily offended, were, by the honor brought to them in their worship, to be made and kept disposed to interpose in the course of nature for the benefit of their worshippers, in protecting, helping, succoring, rescuing them; that is to say, were to work miracles. Belief in miracles was involved in belief in the gods; only denial of the gods could produce denial in miracles."

- B. B. Warfield, Counterfeit Miracles (p. 75), original © 1918, reprinted by the Banner of Truth Trust 1995

Translated by Grace Tang and Revised by Jean Heidel, members of the New Hope Christian Fellowship translation team