What we now consider “The Church” is almost nothing like the Early New Testament Church. Think of an archeologist digging through layers to find out what life was like in ancient times.
To understand the Early Church we must dig through layers of a mountain of man’s influences shoveling off and discarding man’s traditions, theories, interpretations, and philosophies from Greek and Roman civilizations, Aristotle, Constantine, Marcion, etc., to be able to examine the Early Church.
During the Reformation, men such as Wycliffe and Calvin were digging in the right spot. They dug up and discarded many theological errors and found a view of God’s plan of salvation by grace, but anti-Semitic layers remain and now there are new layers of tradition, interpretations, western thought (a return to the Greek and Roman philosophy) and conditioning that need removal. Only then can we have a clear view of the Early Church.
Historians concur that the Greeks were destroyed by moral decay. Pursuing knowledge without God is a recipe for disaster. We simply cannot survive without clear moral direction. Look at the differences in education goals:
Ancient Greek Education
Ancient Hebrew Education
Prepare individuals to serve the state.
Prepare individuals to serve God.
1) Memorize the laws of Lycurgus, the Spartan lawgiver.2) Memorize selections from Homer.
3) Develop physical excellence through games, exercises, and the pentathlon (running, jumping, throwing the discus, casting the javelin, and wrestling)
1) Transmit knowledge and skills from generation to generation.
2) Increase knowledge and skills.
3) Concretize cultural values into accepted behavior
Teach students to trust the state.
Teach children to trust God in everything.
Prepare for the state.
Prepare for eternity.
Examine the world by classifying whole things into parts by removing them from the Creator. Redefine knowledge: Final reality is impersonal matter or energy, shaped into its present form by impersonal chance.
Look at God’s world as a whole—interconnecting—revealing God in every area. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmaments sheweth his handywork (Psalm 19:1).
Immerse students in literature written by ancient Greek philosophers.
Teach children to love learning so they will become self-motivated, lifelong learners.
Focus on self-esteem, emotional adjustment, and external training of the body. Develop endurance, resourcefulness, and physical prowess.
Discover a child’s God-given gifts and talents, and develop them to their fullest potential. Focus on spiritual training.
Self-centered: “My will be done.” Violence, corruption, pornography, racial tension, promiscuity, abortion, infanticide, etc.
God-centered: “Thy will be done.” Authority with responsibility. Literacy, strong family ties, love of learning, security, independent thinking, high morals and values.
Trivium, the three stages:
The three main orders of study in ancient Israel consisted of:
with the basis of all knowledge being the fear of the Lord (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7).
Books by Homer, Aristotle, Virgil, Pliny, Cicero.
God’s Word. Orthodox schools did not study subjects derived from Classical tradition.
Homer, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Epicurus, Zeno
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua and David (Old Testament)
That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord (Isaiah 30:9).
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well (1 Peter 2:13–14).
Greek philosophy between Aristotle and Augustine is the foundation of Western thought (Aristotle tried to merge the Bible and Plato = Hellenistic Philosophy). This is the reason for so much Greek philosophy in the church. Explore the differences between Eastern and Western thinking and how it affects each culture with this Interactive data file at FollowtheRabbi.com – Jesus, our Rabbi and Savior.
Want to Learn More?
Assumptions That Affect Our Lives takes the reader back to the roots of the modern conflict between Christianity and secular humanism through a comparison of ancient Greek and Hebrew culture. What the reader will discover is that the current tension between evangelical Christians and the non-biblical ideas with which they are surrounded is an age-old conflict. By viewing the current situation in the context of the ancient Greeks and Hebrews, contemporary Christians can be better equipped to deal with the challenges of living in today’s predominantly Greek-based culture.
Also see My Big Fat Greek Mindset by Tim Hegg, homeschooler speaking on Worldviews.