In the history of Christianity, Greek thinking has had a great influence, mostly to the distortion, if not frank heresy, of Biblical truth. Thus, some writers and lecturers speak of “Greek thought,” as though all the ideas of the Greeks were essentially the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, and others differed considerably in their philosophies and ideas. The Christian who would be accurate in applying a “Greek” worldview in his study of a Biblical worldview must have some acquaintance with the differences among these men.

The following are some examples and references to get the student started in the area of Greek thought. Others will be added in the future.

“But this message has not always been accepted in Christian circles; hence my dialogue about the “pathos game.” Christian theologians, following Plato and other Greek philosophers, often saw emotions as something dangerous. Greek philosophy was hardly monolithic, and theologians have often exaggerated the agreement among the thinkers of this movement. But the one thing all the Greeks agreed on was that the good life is the life of reason. Reason should dominate human life, including the emotions. When the emotions rule, all goes askew. When reason rules the emotions (in some views, virtually extinguishing them), human life gets back on an even keel.”

Specifics about Greek thought/culture in some detail and discussion:

“There is nothing in Greek humanism, as such, which could account for the development of those liberties which have received acknowledgement in the constitutions and bills of rights of most modern states. The rationalistic universalism of Greek thought could provide no place for the individual. For Plato, particularity was a non-rational moment in an otherwise rational universe. True being was universal being… there follows more discussion, Henry Stob, Ethical Reflections, Eerdmans, 1978 (out of print), page 166.

“Greek philosophy, it is now generally agreed, was developed in entire ignorance of the Old Testament Scriptures… (This philosophy) can only exist where the Scriptures have not been preached…. It follows that a modern thinker in the West cannot, on this question, assume the Greek position. Christianity has intervened and some account must be taken of the fact.” Henry Stob, Theological Reflections, Eerdmans, 1981 (out of print), page 174.