Acts 17 Devotion–going deeper.

spock

August 16, 2016. Acts 17—Stoic and Epicureans

Yes, Dr. Spock, had he been a real person, would have practice Stoicism. His character believed that the development of self-control and strength were the means of overcoming emotions. This, they believed allowed their thinking to be clear and impartial, allowing them to understand universal reason, what they called ‘the logos.’ Now you can understand why John begins his gospel talking about the logos, not as the universal reason but as the incarnate Son of God.  The key aspects of Stoicism involve the improvement of the individual’s ethical and moral well-being. “Virtue consists in a will that is in agreement with Nature.”[Russel, 254]  This principle also applies to the realm of interpersonal relationships; the Stoic strived to be free from what they thought were ‘bad’ emotions. All men were regarded as equal, not because they were made in the image of God but because they were products of nature.

Unlike the Christian, who was in the world but not of the world. The Stoic sought to amend the will to bring it in line with the world.  Greek-speaking philosopher Epictetus once said that the Stoic was, “sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy.”(Russell 264)

Stoicism was the religion of the intellectual and later became known as ‘Classical Pantheism.’ The views and beliefs of Stoicism are similar in many ways to modern Buddhism.

Published by Terry Threadwell

Dr. Terry Threadwell has thirty five years ministry experience. Author, educator and Director of the Institute of Progressive Pentecostal Studies.

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