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Moses Versus Plato

Moses Versus Plato

One Hope One Boast Conference – Day 1 Session 1

 

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This session kicks off the first full day of the conference with teaching around the western worldview versus a Biblical worldview. John talks about the influences of Plato upon the current western Church in comparison to Moses and a Biblical point of view.

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NOTES

The content of this teaching’s notes are below with partial formatting. If you would like to see the notes with complete formatting,

Download “Moses Versus Plato” Conference Notes.

Moses Versus Plato

CONTRARY SOURCES OF TRUTH

CONTRARY SOURCES OF TRUTH

  1. Biblical

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,  2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;  3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,  4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (NKJV Hebrews 1:1-4)

  1. Pagan

These are “the doctrines” of men and “of demons” produced for itching ears of the spirit of this world’s wisdom… Indeed heresies are themselves instigated by philosophy. From this source came the Aeons, and I know not what infinite forms, and the trinity of man in the system of Valentinus, who was of Plato’s school. From the same source came Marcion’s better god, with all his tranquility; he came of the Stoics. Then, again, the opinion that the soul dies is held by the Epicureans; while the denial of the restoration of the body is taken from the aggregate school of all the philosophers… What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church? What between heretics and Christians? Our instruction comes from “the porch of Solomon,” who had himself taught that “the Lord should be sought in simplicity of heart.” Away with all attempts to produce a mottled Christianity of Stoic, Platonic, and dialectic composition! We want no curious disputation after possessing Christ Jesus, no inquisition after enjoying the gospel! With our faith, we desire no further belief. For this is our palmary faith, that there is nothing which we ought to believe besides. (Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics 7 [ANF 3:246-47])

CONTRARY WORLDVIEW

CONTRARY WORLDVIEW

  1. Biblical

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. (ESV Genesis 2:1)

Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.  2 Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.  3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! (NIV Deuteronomy 32:1-3)

Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?  22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.  23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. (NIV Isaiah 40:21-23)

Contrast-Biblical-versus-Plato-Metaphysical

  1. Pagan

And having been created in this way, the world has been framed in the likeness of that which is apprehended by reason and mind and is unchangeable, and must therefore of necessity, if this is admitted, be a copy of something. Now it is all-important that the beginning of everything should be according to nature. And in speaking of the copy and the original we may assume that words are akin to the matter which they describe; when they relate to the lasting and permanent and intelligible, they ought to be lasting and unalterable, and, as far as their nature allows, irrefutable and immovable—nothing less. But when they express only the copy or likeness and not the eternal things themselves, they need only be likely and analogous to the real words. As being is to becoming, so is truth to belief. (Plato, Timaeus 29 [DP 3:449])

If anyone indeed be pure in heart, and holy in mind, and more practiced in perception, he will, by making more rapid progress, quickly ascend to a place in the air, and reach the kingdom of heaven, through those mansions, so to speak, in the various places which the Greeks have termed spheres, i.e., globes, but which holy Scripture has called heavens; in each of which he will first see clearly what is done there, and in the second place, will discover the reason why things are so done: and thus he will in order pass through all gradations, following Him who hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, who said, “I will that where I am, these may be also.” (Origen, On First Principles 2.11.6 [ANF 4:299])

CONTRARY THEOLOGIES

CONTRARY THEOLOGIES

  1. Biblical

Repent therefore… 20 that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,  21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (NKJV Acts 3:19-21)

I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (NIV Matthew 19:28)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope  21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  24 For in this hope we were saved. (ESV Romans 8:18-24)

Contrast-Biblical-Plato-Redemption

  1. Pagan

This entire allegory, I said, you may now append, dear Glaucon, to the previous argument; the prison-house is the world of sight, the light of the fire is the sun, and you will not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the intellectual world according to my poor belief, which, at your desire, I have expressed-whether rightly or wrongly God knows. But, whether true or false, my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual; and that this is the power upon which he who would act rationally either in public or private life must have his eye fixed. (Plato, The Republic 7:517 [DP 3:217])

Having sketched, then, so far as we could understand, these three opinions regarding the end of all things, and the supreme blessedness… we must suppose that an incorporeal existence is possible, after all things have become subject to Christ, and through Christ to God the Father, when God will be all and in all… then the bodily substance itself also being united to most pure and excellent spirits, and being changed into an ethereal condition in proportion to the quality or merits of those who assume it (according to the apostle’s words, “We also shall be changed”), will shine forth in splendour; or at least that when the fashion of those things which are seen passes away, and all corruption has been shaken off and cleansed away, and when the whole of the space occupied by this world, in which the spheres of the planets are said to be, has been left behind and beneath, then is reached the fixed abode of the pious and the good situated above that sphere, which is called non-wandering (ἀπλαιής), as in a good land, in a land of the living, which will be inherited by the meek and gentle… which is called truly and chiefly “heaven,” in which heaven and earth, the end and perfection of all things, may be safely and most confidently placed. (Origen, On First Principles 2.3.7 [ANF 4:274-75])

 

John John (119 Posts)

John lives in Columbia, SC with his wife, Lydia, and four children. He travels and teaches on the Cross, the return of Jesus, and the Great Commission.


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