I have continued to read Plato's Republic. One of the early themes in the work is eternal accountability; that we human beings are accountable in the next life for the deeds of this one. That's pretty good, but Plato offers no redemption whatsoever except good works. God's word says our works are not good enough for God. He is perfect and holy in all His ways, and He does not compromise. From His grace He provided a Savior in Jesus Christ.
I had a Greek professor at the University of Houston, a Roman Catholic whose true religion was Socrates. She worshiped the man, and considered him the equal of Paul. Socrates is good on ethics, but less than worthless in the realm of theology, and he was certainly no man of God. The message of the gracious God was available to Socrates through Israel, and he evidently had rejected it, for he believed in works as the defining element for the next life.
Socrates, as represented by Plato, is the pinnacle of Greek philosophy, and that's saying a lot. But when Paul came to Athens and preached to the philosophers there about the God that he knew, it was news to them. And for all their efforts in philosophy, they had made no progress in generating revelation. Revelation comes at God's initiative, not man's.
Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."
Friday, December 13, 2002
I plan on translating Jude next week in preparation for a brief (for me) exposition of it. After that, I will begin the prep work on the epistle of James. I plan on accelerating the exposition of that book somewhat as well, in order to enhance greater cohesion in teaching the truths of the book. I haven't settled completely on how to do this, but I'm organizing in that direction. I need to cover more material - I only have 30 years or so of this left, and I've just scratched the surface.