Justin Martyr

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Warren

Puritan Board Freshman
"Those who have lived by the aid of logos are Christians even if they were adjudged atheists--such as Socrates and Heraclitus and their like..."

Really? What was Justin meaning, here? Is he saying natural revelation taught them Christ?

Even so, natural revelation doesn't teach Christ must die and become resurrected, then ascend to God. So how were these pagans Christian? In what sense?
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Without having the benefit of more context, I cannot say precisely what he meant. However I do think it is worth noting the some of the awe and mystique that surrounds the church fathers is often misplaced. There is certainly much we can learn from them, but they were also surprisingly ignorant on many subjects and often just flat wrong. This could be just such an occasion.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
What was Justin meaning, here? Is he saying natural revelation taught them Christ?

The idea is that "reason" (the Logos, or divine wisdom holding up the world and all things, and considered to be the "reason" with which any man knows anything) prepared reasonable men to receive the message of Christ when it was delivered. It was a semi-Platonist apologetic attempt to set forth the reasonableness of Christianity. He observed concerning the facts of the virgin birth, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension, "an intelligent man will be able to comprehend from what has been already so largely said."

This method fails to take into account that the evil heart of unbelief uses reason to depart from the living God. Tertullian seemed to recognise this in his well known question, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?" If the reasoning of the heathen is permitted to mix with Christianity it leads to sub-Christian ways of thinking.
 

Warren

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks Matthew.

Without having the benefit of more context, I cannot say precisely what he meant. However I do think it is worth noting the some of the awe and mystique that surrounds the church fathers is often misplaced. There is certainly much we can learn from them, but they were also surprisingly ignorant on many subjects and often just flat wrong. This could be just such an occasion.
Hm, I wouldn't say there's a mystique... there's a refreshing pragmatism in them where today's writers are more obsessed with that mysterious "relationship" with Jesus thing. Fighting heresies tooth and nail, addressing ecclesiology, and martyrdom seem practical enough to me.
 
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timfost

Puritan Board Senior
Christians throughout the ages have borrowed skills used and promoted by great thinkers. Instead of trying to find a backhanded way of regarding these pagans as Christian, we should acknowledge that if they teach us some things that are useful and good, it is due to common grace.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Thanks Matthew.

Without having the benefit of more context, I cannot say precisely what he meant. However I do think it is worth noting the some of the awe and mystique that surrounds the church fathers is often misplaced. There is certainly much we can learn from them, but they were also surprisingly ignorant on many subjects and often just flat wrong. This could be just such an occasion.
Hm, I wouldn't say there's a mystique... there's a refreshing pragmatism in them where today's writers are more obsessed with that mysterious "relationship" with Jesus thing. Fighting heresies tooth and nail, addressing ecclesiology, and martyrdom seem practical enough to me.

No doubt. I was referring more to Catholics and Orthodox who often elevate the views of the church fathers above Scripture. As I said, there is much we can learn from them, but they were certainly not infallible and the idea that Christians in 400 AD are somehow more immune to error than Christians today is simply unfounded.
 

Warren

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks Matthew.

Without having the benefit of more context, I cannot say precisely what he meant. However I do think it is worth noting the some of the awe and mystique that surrounds the church fathers is often misplaced. There is certainly much we can learn from them, but they were also surprisingly ignorant on many subjects and often just flat wrong. This could be just such an occasion.
Hm, I wouldn't say there's a mystique... there's a refreshing pragmatism in them where today's writers are more obsessed with that mysterious "relationship" with Jesus thing. Fighting heresies tooth and nail, addressing ecclesiology, and martyrdom seem practical enough to me.

No doubt. I was referring more to Catholics and Orthodox who often elevate the views of the church fathers above Scripture. As I said, there is much we can learn from them, but they were certainly not infallible and the idea that Christians in 400 AD are somehow more immune to error than Christians today is simply unfounded.
Well, its not only unfounded, its wrong. I mean, Emperor Decius' persecutions I'm reading about motivated the apostasy of thousands of Christians. The Church wasn't magically purer in those days... But I do heed the martyrs among them, like Justin, Polycarp, and Origen. I think a spirit tested by torture and loneliness should be heard. You just want me to be aware of that, and I appreciate it.
 
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