That is the trouble with much popular religion: it is so crude and literal. This is not a matter of high-browed intellectuals knowing better than the common herd. It is a failure of imagination, a loss of the sense of poetry, a crass materialisation of the imagery of mythology. And that can happen to intellectuals just as much as to people of good common sense. So if you read modern books about mythology, what you get is just a set of weird stories about what Pallas Athene did to Hera, and then what happened next. The whole thing is deprived of religious sense. We just cannot see why people should ever have believed such stories, or what importance they could have had. The mystery of religion is turned into science fiction. Or perhaps that unduly denigrates science fiction, which sometimes does try, with some success, to re-evoke the sense of mystery in modern minds.
~Keith Ward (God: A Guide for the Perplexed, 2002)
Port Orford, Oregon