Is the claim that it encompasses elements from belief systems that came before it a sign of the weakness of Christianity, or, when viewing it through the lens of the evolution of human spirituality, does it strengthen the doctrine? - There have been accusations as of late claiming weakness on the part of Christianity because its structure of beliefs can encompass ideals that may be connected to earlier belief systems. It is asserted that this was done in order to appeal to the masses. Attacks have been made on the uniqueness of Christianity’s fundamental beliefs. - I have to ask why anyone would consider it a negativity to show connections to the history of human spiritual beliefs. To say that the ideals were ‘stolen’ is nonsense... The accounts of the Bible as viewed in the Old Testament in their most basic structures, in correlation to the beliefs of the time, are in themselves a time-line of the spiritual progression documenting the emergence of monotheism. - Now though I acknowledge some form of connection to past beliefs, I must make it known that I still consider the specific events as they happen in the Bible to be unique in detail. The fact that Osiris was resurrected by Isis in order to impregnate her with Horus or that she was impregnated by a golden phallus of the gods, is a far cry from the Holy Spirit conceiving Jesus in Mary’s womb without any form of physical relations. But I’ll humor the claim for the purposes of this topic. I consider that the bodily incarnation of God, the virgin birth, and the resurrection could appear to be loosely based on the mythologies of older belief systems to be in strong support of the idea that God has been slowly revealing Himself to mankind over the course of the ages. We do not always understand, but eventually God’s light shines through if we seek it. - The beauty of the structure of the Old Testament is in this (hopefully) obvious passage of humanity’s spiritual journey. We see God continually intervening in the lives of those seeking Him, breaking down their old ways of thinking and pushing them on to the next level. - Take the emergence of the genesis poem, for example. It spoke in mystical ways of a multi-faceted yet singular being existing independent of, but interlaced within, time and space and all things when the beliefs of the days were in gods who were just located somewhere else in the peoples perceived realities, in maybe larger forms. - I believe the spirit of God to be responsible, since the fall of man from his distinct connection to God, for the continual glimpses of more and more into what God is, and how we are related to It all... - From the understanding that human existence is often reliant of forces beyond our control to the characterizing of these forces as higher ‘beings’. - From assigning multiple personalities to these forces, to assigning physicality to them. - From viewing these forces as many separate entities, each governing specific aspects of the daily life of humanity (‘elemental’ gods, emotional gods, relational gods, etc) to the view that there is but one God governing all things. - From the assumption that these gods are constrained to the same barrier of time and physicality, to the understanding that God exists apart from time, in spirit. - From the beliefs of offering sacrifices in attempts to appease, or even please these forces ( later ‘gods’), to offering sacrifices to know that God is pleased with you, to offering Himself as the eternal sacrifice to end the old ways of thinking about 'pleasing' God. - All of these revelations were absolutely progressive in how humanity thought of, and later experienced God. And the Bible is the story of this progression, and the promise of future revelations into our place in God's heart. - So... I feel that Christianity is the continued culmination of the spiritual progression that has traveled from belief system to belief system, from gods to God, and from myths to realities throughout the ages. - (Some inspiration was taken from Rob Bell's 'The Gods Aren't Angry')