Sunday Walk 42 – Greek Influence On Christianity

I used to find Plotinus, a 3rd century Platonist, interesting. His idea of the One suggested a kind of naturalistic or pantheistic spirituality. To the extent I understood any of this, the One was like a force field having the attributes philosophers might assign to a deity.

Little of this is attractive to me today, but that earlier exposure has kept me wary of Platonic or even Aristotelian influences. When I hear discussions of God that do not lead to repentance, salvation or a personal relationship with Jesus grounded in the special revelation of the Bible I wonder if there aren’t hidden presuppositions underlying the arguments that might be coming from ancient Greek, rather than Jewish or Christian, sources.

I’ve noticed these hidden ideas within various Christian traditions going back to Augustine or earlier. Some of them are fine, but it’s easy to forget that even the acceptable ones are cultural additions. So, I try to distinguish what is in the Bible from what is outside trying to get in. Then I put scripture over tradition should a conflict arise between the Word of God and that other stuff.

For those who wish more information on this especially as it pertains to questionable Greek cultural influence, see David Pawson’s lecture on “de-Greecing” the church:

David Pawson, De-Greecing the Church

Weekly Bible Readings: Genesis (Audio: King James Version read by Alexander Scourby)
Commentary: David Pawson, Genesis Part 1 of 7 and Part 2 of 7, Unlocking the Bible


Japanese Peony