Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, May 04, 2009

Christological Platonism and other Eschatological Supplements

Greek philosophy has had a major impact in the way the western world thinks. Socrates and his pals shaped the way we westerners do justice, politics, even the art work we engrave on our money.

Greek philosophy also had a major impact upon early Christianity, specifically the Church Fathers who wrote theology after the close of the apostolic age. For the fledgling Church, the philosophy of the Greeks was pervasive through out their entire world in which they lived, and even though utilizing the Greek's approach to life in their theology was unwise, one can understand how and why Christians were influenced by it. For example, I am sure many of my readers know how Aristotle's view of a "prime mover" developed within Christian apologetics so that Thomas Aquinas would eventually utilize Aristotle's idea to formulate his proofs for the existence of God. This unnatural wedding of pagan philosophy with Christian theology still stirs debate even today among camps of Christian theologians when it comes down to the application of apologetic methodology.

At any rate, the influence of Greek philosophy did not stop with apologetic methodology, it also permeated other parts of Christian theology, including eschatology. It was the philosophy of Plato who gave Christian's the vision of a total spiritual eschatology where heaven is merely perceived as a big golden city in the clouds in which Christian's earn their wings and play harps. This spiritual perspective of eschatology played heavily in the formulation of Augustine's amillennial views and is in part the reason a dichotomy exists between a spiritual idea of a millennium and a more literal, earthly millennium.

Dr. Michael Vlach of the Master's Seminary recently posted an article highlighting Plato's influence upon Christian eschatology. Because the subject is related to my own on going eschatological series, I thought I would highlight his article for the more serious students of my articles:

Platonism's Influence on Christian Eschatology

By the way, there are also some reviews of books addressing eschatology posted along with this article accessible on the main page at Michael's website, Theological Studies. Some of you may find those interesting as well.

Also, Matt Waymeyer posted a couple of good articles addressing the "literal" hermeneutic and Sam Waldron's critique of it in his book, MacArthur's Millennial Manifesto.

Literal Interpretation Revisited (Part 1)

Literal Interpretation Revisited (Part 2)



Blogger The Squirrel said...


Thanks for the links!


9:51 AM, May 04, 2009  
Blogger Greg said...

I love philosophy and conveniently posted articles. You've sold me on reading them.

5:25 AM, May 05, 2009  
Blogger DJP said...

Yes, I was riding with several (friendly) Reformed guys who were anti-dispenationalist.

One shared, "The thing that always got me was the idea of glorified people walking around with unglorified people on earth."

"Oh," I said. "You mean like Jesus and the disciples, after the Resurrection?"

Brief pause.

"Well, that's apples and oranges."


11:14 AM, May 06, 2009  

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