GREEK SOUP Secular-Sacred Divide

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GREEK SOUP Secular-Sacred Divide. Dr. Gwen Dewey. Early Church Christians (33AD-325AD). They were Jews from Judea, who had retained their Hebrew worldview They were called Christians (Christ followers) and “The People of the Way” (who lived like Jesus taught and lived) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of GREEK SOUP Secular-Sacred Divide

  • DR. GWEN DEWEYGREEK SOUPSecular-Sacred Divide

  • Early Church Christians (33AD-325AD)They were Jews from Judea, who had retained their Hebrew worldview They were called Christians (Christ followers) and The People of the Way (who lived like Jesus taught and lived)Their lives were highly integratedWork, community, worship all flowed togetherChurch leaders had businesses (fishermen, farmers, carpenters, masons, ten makers, government workers, etc)

  • Early Church Christians (contd)A minority group of Christian Jews were Greek-educated who had returned from DiasporaOften there were violent confrontations between Judean Jews (retained their Hebrew worldview) and Diaspora Jews (adapted to the Greek worldview) Stephan was a Diaspora Jew who was martyred by the Judean Jews

  • Differences Between Eastern and Western Worldviews

    Eastern (Hebrew) Western (Greek)RealityMetaphysical wholeness (one essence)Metaphysical dualism (two essences) BeautyFunction & purpose primaryPhysical & form primaryAcquired wisdom -knowledgeEnlightenment, revelation Pure logic reasonGodTotally spirit and truth - can not be physically described or representedCan be described in human termsReligionA way of lifeGods honored in rituals

  • Gentiles in early church increased in number and Judean Jews decreasedJudea defeated by Rome in 70ADtemple destroyedMany lives lostBy 130AD, all Jews had been violently eliminated from JudeaUnimaginable slaughterRemaining Jews escaped to Egypt, Spain, other Gentile portion of Church faired a little better, escaping the Judean slaughterBut, all Christians (Jew and Gentiles) suffered until Constantine in 325AD

  • Major Worldview Difference Within ChristianityEastern, where most people hold primarily to a metaphysical wholeness(Old Testament and most of the New Testament)

    Western, where most people hold primarily to a metaphysical dualism(Can be seen In a few parts of the New Testament)

    This worldview difference has caused us to be confused theologically

  • Why did Christianity change in the 3rd Century?Church became the official religion of Roman Empire (3rd Century)Constantine became Emperor of Rome from 306-337; first Christian Emperor of the Holy Roman EmpireCreeds developed; emphasis on life style became secondary

    Early Church Fathers were trained in Platonism prior to becoming Christians, and carried Greek philosophy over into Christian thought.To make Christianity a respected & logical religionTo counter learned scholars attacks on Christianity

  • Why did Christianity change in the 3rd Century? (contd)Through Platonism, work was compartmentalized into two partsSacred (the work of Church leaders and especially the monks)Secular (mundane work of laity and peasants)To be spiritual one needed to separate oneself from the material world as much as possible.

  • Metaphysical Dualism

    The perfect, eternal, unchanging non-physical realm of ideas

    Assumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111Form

    Matter

    The imperfect, temporal, changingphysical realm

  • Metaphysical dualism applied to religion

    SacredThings pertaining to the spiritual, eternal, and unchanging upper realm of God in heavenAssumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111SecularThings pertaining to the physical, temporal, and changing lower realm of humans on earth

  • Adverse Impact of Platonism on ChristianitySpiritualDirect church-related work by missionaries, ministers, pastors, evangelists, etc.SecularHome, school, health services, business, marketplace, the trades, the arts, sports, government, labor, sex, money, etc. Assumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111Mundane, temporal & unworthy workWorthy, everlasting work

  • This Gap CreatesIdea in the West that only the work of cardinals, bishops, priests, pastors, missionaries, etc. is Gods work

    (Christianity in the east did not did not fully move into the Platonic thought)

  • Did Christianity ever correct this worldview?YES! Priesthood of the laity a major issue during the Reformation (1517-1540)The Reformation affirmed the concept of work as worship and ordained by GodMartin Luther and the rest of the champions of the reformation believed that the laity were on a par with liturgists and preachersPeople groups such as the Puritans were responsible for bringing on the Industrial Revolution

    (Max Weber: Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism-1905)

  • Greek thought came roaring back in the 18th & 19th CenturiesThe Western Enlightenment movement (18th C) equated enlightenment to pure logic and reason (Greek thought)Eastern enlightenment remained equated to revelationWestern educational systems completely embraced Greek thoughtThe Industrial Revolution (19th C) split the activities of family, work, church, government apartFathers left families to workChurches were no longer integrated into work activities

  • Greek thought came roaring back in the 18th & 19th Centuries (Continued)Heavy emphasis on mission work by the Church Materialism: Wide spread financial success led to loss of interest in the things of God. Reduced role of the Church (education, health care, etc.)

  • Eugene Peterson on Sacred-Secular Divide

  • Eugene Peterson on Sacred-Secular Divide

  • Biblical Worldview of Human ActivityBusinessSchoolArt Home MusicSports Churchlaw orderHuman sexualityMedicineBanking In conflict with Gods design (evil)In harmony with Gods design (good)Assumptions that affect our Lives, pg 112

  • Where is the Secular World?

  • NASH & McLENNAN STUDYCHURCH ON SUNDAY, WORK ON MONDAY (2001)Institutional church ineffectively bridges between Sunday and MondayChristians in business report less-than-satisfactory connections between their faith and work

  • NASH & McLENNAN STUDYCHURCH ON SUNDAY, WORK ON MONDAY (2001) contdProblem appears at both ends:Christians in business comments:The clergy are the last people to go to for guidance on businessWe dont speak the same languageThey cant manage themselves, how can they advise othersMost clergy felt they had made no impact and had no mandate to do so

  • Biblical Alternative to Dualism by John Beckett

  • Adverse Impact of Platonism on ChristianitySpiritualDirect church-related work by missionaries, ministers, pastors, evangelists, etc.SecularHome, school, health services, business, marketplace, the trades, the arts, sports, government, labor, sex, money, etc. Assumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111Mundane, temporal & unworthy workWorthy, everlasting work

  • Metaphysical dualism applied to religion

    SacredThings pertaining to the spiritual, eternal, and unchanging upper realm of God in heavenAssumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111SecularThings pertaining to the physical, temporal, and changing lower realm of humans on earth

  • This Gap CreatesIdea in the West that only the work of pastors or missionaries is Gods workChristians have been sprinkled like salt in the workplace but are often ineffective

    (Eastern Christianity did not fully move into the Platonic thought)

  • What Went Wrong?Priesthood of the laity a major issue during the Reformation (1517-1540)Reformation affirmed the concept of work as worship and ordained by GodLuther and the rest of the champions of the reformation believed that the laity were on a par with liturgists and preachersPeople groups such as the Puritans were responsible for bringing on the Industrial Revolution

    (Max Weber: Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism-1905)

  • What Went Wrong? (Continued)Work as mission was lost in West, because:Heavy emphasis on mission work - redemptionGovernment took over the role of social support no need for churchEducational systems based on Platonic thoughtWide-spread financial success has led to loss of interest in the things of God

  • Faith in the Workplace by John Becketts Company

  • For John Beckett there is No Divide

  • End