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What kindled the ministry of early apologists?

Among other reasons, Marcus Aurelius, who reigned from 161-180, persecuted Christians as ignorant and superstitious fools.




How did the early apologists start to think of the Christian faith?

  • As a rational religion
  • The apologists were not seeking biblical but philosophical reflection.

  • Seeking a synthesis between Christianity and Greek philosophy


How were truth and history distinguished from each other?

  • Truth = ideas away from events

  • History = the realm of the passing

Biblical stories are not truth in themselves, but merely carriers of truth.


What was the logos in greek thought?

The rational principle of unity.


How did Clement of Alexandria saw the logos enlightening the world?

  • The knowledge of God came to the Jews through the Mosaic law

  • The knowledge of God came to the Church through the incarnation

  • The knowledge of God came to the Greeks through philosophy


What was the Greek philosophical method for thinking about God?

  • Analogy
    • God can be known by reflecting upon the human and extrapolating what would be appropriate for a divine being

  • Presupposition:

    • God’s nature can be known by human rational processes

    • No need for revelation


What was the affirmation of early Christian syncretism in Classical Theism?

Christian theology moved from the salvation-historical narrative style of depicting God, to a more cognitive, constructive approach.


What are some characteristics of Classical Theism?

  1. The analogy of being (analogia entis) moves from being to nonbeing, mind to matter, rational to irrational, immutable to transient.

  2. Ontological correspondence - the divine corresponds in some fundamental way with the creaturely

  3. Distinction - God is fundamentally independent of his creation. Difference is as important as is correspondence.

  4. Distinction between nature and works - God is knowable independent of his works and thus that his historical actions are accidental (unnecessary to his being)


What is a response to the doctrine of metaphysics of being?

  • God is known and saves in space and time through Christ as he makes himself known in the world, rather than through abstraction from it.
  • The identity of God is to be found in his action both in and for the sake of the world.