Christianity and Philosophy - Was it a good mix?

by PeLe, ThE Soccer King 31 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • PeLe, ThE Soccer King
    PeLe, ThE Soccer King

    Hello all,

    History shows that philosophical thinking influenced theology and christendom doctrines development in many ways. Some people like 18th century historian Edward Gibbons see similarities in Plato trinity and Nicean creed. Others have seen for instance, in Plato “doctrine of Ideas” (that there is a perfect spiritual-like world where the ideal forms exists) or in soul immortality speculations a reference of some Christians future hope to be in heaven and not in material world in earth.

    So, during my college days I was sometimes afraid about the "dangers" in philosophical thinking, sometimes alerted sometimes in Watchtower magazines pages or in talks in kingdom hall. For me, it seems clear that it was corroborated by the scriptures since the bible doesn't seems to put philosophy in a good view, yet Philosophy was very known in apostles times and that as we can infer in Acts, or even Corinthians and Colossians letters like in this scriptures in 1 Corinthians:

    “18 For the speech about the torture stake is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is God’s power. 19 For it is written: “I will make the wisdom of the wise [men] perish, and the intelligence of the intellectual [men] I will shove aside.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where the scribe? Where the debater of this system of things? Did not God make the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not get to know God, God saw good through the foolishness of what is preached to save those believing.
    22 For both the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks look for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ impaled, to the Jews a cause for stumbling but to the nations foolishness; 24 however, to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because a foolish thing of God is wiser than men, and a weak thing of God is stronger than men. “

    And in Colossians:
    “8 Look out: perhaps there may be someone who will carry YOU off as his prey through the philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.”

    It always amazed me, how besides those alerts in bible protestant and catholic church doctrines was so influenced for philosophical thinking? Anyway, the world is not the same as in apostle days and philosophical thinking has evolved in many branches today. So my question for YOU friends is:

    (i) Is philosophy that bad?

    (ii) Did philosophical mergers with theology contributed positively for our understanding of God’s purposes or it improperly mixed light with darkness (1 Corinthians 6:16)?

    (iii) Do you think that in your own views about God, Man, Future hope, sometimes you think in "Greek" and not in "Hebrew"?

    Best regards,


  • stillajwexelder

    Welcome to the board pele - good post

  • PeLe, ThE Soccer King
    PeLe, ThE Soccer King

    Greetings from Brazil SAJE!

    Thanks for your wellcome.

    I'm an active witness, 30, married, from Brazil. I've served as a MS for some years, after have age to be appointed as an elder few years ago I decided to resign due to my job responsibilities.

    I work as strategy business consultant in a so-called Big four company, a lot of travel and visit in different congregation but without the status of a CO .

    In organization since 1987, believing in most of part in our theology but disagreeing with some policies. It will be a great pleasure to share with you all some thoughts.

    Best regards,


  • Satanus

    Welcome pele

    This is an interesting topic. We have some people here that are familiar w this topic. No doubt their posts will enlighten this thread.


  • DavidChristopher

    Philosophy is the search for truth. God is truth. Truth(God) will set you free. So it would seem, that philosophy is the search for God. It is a highway, along the highway there are towns(religons)(doctrines) they all want you to come and live with them and follow their laws, rules and accept what they tell you is "right" and "wrong". Or you can keep walking down the road until you get to Jehovah's town where He is in charge. Question is....How do you know when you are there? I would guess that every question you could ever have would be answered with no problems whatsoever. I would even think they would be welcomed.

  • Narkissos

    Bemvindo Pelé,

    Nobody, I feel, can escape philosophy.

    If you read the New Testament with some philosophical background you can detect influences everywhere. From Platonism in Hebrews, from Stoicism in Paul, from Cynicism in the Synoptic Gospels...

  • DavidChristopher

    Who created philosophers? did satan?

  • DavidChristopher

    Would it make any sense if satan were a philosopher? Guess it would depend on whos "truth" he was seeking. Could you seek your own "truth"? Seems kind of silly doesn't it, guess the object would be to have others seek your "truth". Would they not be worshipping you if they are seeking your "truth". oops did I stumble on something here?

  • greendawn

    I also don't think that ancient Greek philosophy is necessarily bad, and it was the various masonic origin protestant groups (Mormons, JWs etc) that wanted to justify their late appearence and discredit the old Churches that demonised Greek philosophy and the early Christians that made use of it.

    However as Narkissos points out even Saint Paul made some use of it. I understand his concept about the flesh being evil and a prison of the spirit comes from Plato.

  • DavidChristopher

    If God spoke through Paul, and God created Plato, Did Paul get it from Plato? Or did "Paul", recognize a "truth", agree, and expand it further?

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