Quotes from How Should we then live?


“That it was the Christians that were able to resist religious mixtures, syncretism, and the effects of the weaknesses of culture speaks of the strength of the Christian world view. This strength rested on God being infinite personal God”
(pg. 22)They [earliest Christians] rejected all forms of syncretism…they allowed no mixture: all other Gods were seen as false Gods
(pg. 26)After Constantine …the majority of the people went on in their old ways.
( pg. 26)
Augustine (354-430) strongly emphasized a true biblical Christianity …Later in the Church there was an increasing distortion away from the biblical teaching… [incorporating Greek] (pg. 30)
Increasingly, the authority of the church took precedence over their teaching of the Bible
(pg. 32)
Much of Christianity up until the sixteenth century was either reaction against or reaffirmation of these distortions of the original Christian, biblical teaching
(pg. 32)
Aquinas has already begun in difference to Aristotle (384-322BC), to open the door to placing revelation and human reason on an equal footing
(pg. 43)
Aquinas thought that the Fall did not affect man as a whole but only in part. In his view the will was fallen or corrupted but the intellect was not affected. Thus peopled could rely on their own human wisdom, and this meant that people were free to mix teaching of the Bible with the teachings of non-Christian philosophers.
(pg. 52)…to Thomas Aquinas the will was fallen after man had revolted but the mind was not.
(pg. 81)
…as a result philosophy was gradually separated from revelation – from the Bible – and philosophers began to act in an increasingly independent autonomous manner.
(pg. 52)
In 1263 Pope Urban IV had forbidden the study of Aristotle in the universities. Aquinas managed to have Aristotle accepted, so the ancient non-Christian philosophy was re enthroned.
(pg. 52)
Two things …laid the foundation for what was to follow: first the gradually awakened cultural thought and awakened piety [he thinks this is bad] of the Middle Ages; and second, an increasing distortion of the teaching of the Bible and the early church. Humanist elements had entered. For example, the authority of the church took precedence over the teaching of the Bible; Fallen man was considered able to return to God by meriting the merit of Christ; and there was a mixture of Christian and ancient non-Christian thought (as Aquinas’s emphasis on Aristotle). This opened the way for people to think of themselves as autonomous and the center of all things.(then he sets Wycliffe and Huss against that)
(pg. 56)
Prior to this time [Renaissance], Mary was considered very high and holy. Earlier she was considered so much above normal people that she was painted as a symbol. When in the Renaissance Mary was painted as a real person, …but now not only was the king’s mistress painted as Mary with all of the holiness removed, but the meaning, too was being destroyed.
(pg. 71)
Huss returned to the teachings of the Bible and of the early church and stressed that the Bible is the only source of final authority and that salvation comes only through Christ and his work.
(pg. 80)
The Reformers turned not to man as beginning only from himself, but to the original Christianity of the Bible and the Early Church. Gradually they came to see that the church founded by Christ had since been marred by distortions. … Rather they took seriously the Bible’s own claim for itself-that it is the only final authority…the Reformers accepted the Bible as the Word of God in all that it teaches…it was Sola Sciptura, the Scriptures only. This stood in contrast to the humanism that had infiltrated the church after the first centuries of Christianity.
(pg. 81-82)
At its core, therefore, the Reformation was the removing of the humanistic distortions which had entered the Church.
(pg. 82)
But Michelangelo, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, also combined biblical teaching and non-Christian pagan thought; he made the pagan prophetesses equal to the Old Testament prophets.
(pg. 82)
The Reformers wanted to go back to the church as it originally was, with the authority being the Bible only…
(pg. 82)
they [Reformers] indeed had many and serious weaknesses, in to regard to religious and secular humanism…they did not mix humanism with their position.
(pg. 82)
…the Bible gives unity to the universal and the particulars.
(pg. 82 theme on pg. 86)
The individual person, they [Reformers] taught, could come to God directly by faith through the finished work of Christ.
(pg. 87)
To men and women of the time, these were images of worship. The men of the Reformation saw that the Bible stressed there is only one mediator between Toe and man, Christ Jesus. (pg. 88)
This rested on the fact that the Bible gives unity to the universal and the particulars, and therefore the particulars have meaning. …variety and diversity without chaos. There is variety yet resolution…
(pg. 92)
We must of course, remember Handel …Handel followed the Bible’s teaching exactly …
(pg. 92)
Anyone…who reads Martin Luther’s books, can see how his teaching is so clear and transparent when he sets for the holy gospel
(pg. 97)
Salvation didn’t come through the addition of man’s works but through Christ and his work only…
(pg. 97)
It is not only Christians who can paint with beauty, nor for that matter only Christians who can love or who have creative stirrings. Even though the image is now contorted, people are made in the image of God. This is who people are, whether or not they know or acknowledge it. God is the great Creator, and part of the unique mannishness of man, as made i9n God’s image, is creativity. Thus man as man paints, sows creativity in science and engineering and so on. Such activity does not require a special impulse from God, and it does not mean that people are not alienated from God .
(pg. 97)
In 1609 Galileo began to use the newly invented telescope …Aristotle had been mistaken in his pronouncements about the makeup of the universe.
(pg. 132)
These creative stirrings are rooted in the fact that people are made in the image of God, the great Creator, whether or not an individual knows or acknowledges it
(pg. 132)
…it is not only a Christian who can paint beauty or who ha creative stirrings in the area of science. These creative stirrings are rooted in the fact that people are made in the image of God, the great Creator, whether or not an individual knows or acknowledges it, and even though the image of God in people is now contorted. This creativeness-whether in are, science, or engineering – is a part of the unique mannishness of man as made in the image of God.
(pg. 133)
Non-Christian philosophers from the time of the Greeks …assumed that man…can gather enough particulars to make his own universals.
(pg. 145)
Existentialism…[tries] to find an answer in something totally separated from reason.
(pg. 169)


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