| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 29 - Page 195 of 208 Index | Zoom | |
Wisdom; Human and Divine.
Being a comparison of the groping after the truth of the ancient
philosophers with the truth as it is revealed in Scripture,
in order that the believer may the better appreciate the Word of God.
The Philosophies of New Testament Times.
Stoicism, the Philosophy of Pride.
Epicureanism, the Philosophy of Pleasure.
Scepticism, the Philosophy of Indifference.
pp. 34 - 39
Our investigations into the history of philosophy bring us at last into actual contact
with the philosophers mentioned in Scripture. Aristotle's successors were the Stoics and
the Epicureans, and both of these schools are mentioned in Acts 17:
To the Stoic, the proper condition of the mind was expressed by the word apathy; to
the Epicurean, by self-contentment; and to the Sceptic, by imperturbability or
indifference. All three agreed that the only way to happiness was peace of mind, but they
each sought it differently--the peace of apathy, the peace of self-contentment, and the
peace of indifference. How the heart rejoices as one thinks of that "peace with God"
which the justified believer possesses, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and that "peace of
God", passing all understanding, that keeps the heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
What a tremendous change, from the Stoic's peace of apathy to the believer's peace with
God on account of the atoning sacrifice of Christ.
Zeno, the founder of the Stoics, taught that the real business of all philosophy is
human conduct, and had little sympathy with the idealism and dialectic of Plato and his
school. The keen interest in logic displayed by the Socratic school was not perpetuated
by the Stoics. Indeed, one of them likened logic to the eating of lobsters--much trouble
for little meat. This attitude was probably intensified by the abuse of logic among those
whose paradoxes prove them to be clever but useless members of society.
"Belonging to an age morally debased and politically oppressed, its founder, Zeno,
conceived the idea of liberating himself, and all who were able to follow him, from the
degeneracy and slavery of the age, by means of a philosophy which, by purity and
strength of moral will, would procure independence from all external things and
unruffled inward peace."
The hymn to Jove, written by the Stoic, Cleanthes, and quoted by Paul on Mars' Hill,
shows how near at times these men came to the truth.