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Early Christian Philosophers A Introduction 1 Christianity came into the world as a revealed religion it was given to the world by Christ as a doctrine of redemption and transfiguration and love not as an abstract and theoretical system of philosophy a Christ sent his Apostles and Disciples to preach the Way not to establish Academies b The early preachers of the Gospel were more concerned with meeting the theological challenges of the Jews than the philosophical attacks of pagans 2 As Christianity grew it aroused the suspicion and hostility of political authorities and pagan intellectuals Some of this was due to ignorance and misunder standing but some attacks were philosophical in nature and as such required a philosophical response a The introduction of philosophy into Christianity was thus initiated by the need to respond to external criticism b However more intellectual Christians naturally felt the desire to penetrate as far as it was open to them to do so the data of revelation and also to form a comprehensive view of the world and human life in the light of faith 3 Christians had no philosophy of their own to start with so they naturally turned to the prevailing Philosophy Early Christian Philosophers 1 KD McMahon philosophy which was derived from Platonism NeoPlatonism and Stoicism a Christian apologists and theologians were inclined to borrow the weapons of their adversaries when they thought that these weapons could serve their purpose b Christians held divergent views on the usefulness of philosophy in the presentation and defense of the Christian faith 1 Tertullian believed that philosophy was simply foolishness What does Jerusalem have to do with Athens 2 On the other hand Clement of Alexandria regarded philosophy as a gift of God a means of educating the pagan world for Christ as the Jew s means of education had been the Law and the Prophets 3 Some Christian theologians and evangelists including Origen Gregory of Nyssa and Saint Augustine not only



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