Elements of the Greatest Philosopher

by Donny Weimar

The forgotten world of Ionia gives birth to the first seekers of knowledge for its own sake. Pursuing knowledge in a scientific, free and unprejudiced spirit. In the cradle of philosophy is giving birth to the first philosophers who would influence the fullness of time. Thales, has the reputation of being the first Ionian philosopher. He believes the origin and substance of all that exists is water. Others after him will argue for fire. Empecodles threw himself into a volcano because he had become a god. Three hundred years before the birth of the Christ, Plato will present his theory of the psyche, which is the soul. How true is all this? As a Bible student, recall something Jesus says.

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5-8 NKJV)

Nicodemus is thinking to himself, what is he talking about?!? “How can a man enter his mothers womb and be reborn?” Empedocles taught reincarnation. That is not what the Master teacher is teaching. Water is a substance of the new life. The origin of the spiritual species. Spiritual rebirth is the regeneration of the Spirit within us. The greatest thinker of all times is the Master Teacher. He is applying the philosophies of His time to make a special revelation from God to mortals. All the knowledge that has been growing in the mind of the pre-socratics is coming to a head, which the Bible calls the fullness of times (Galatians 4:4).

The month was May. The year 33 C.E. Thousands were gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. Jews from every nationality. A rushing breath of wind, comes the Holy Spirit, lighting on the disciples as fire upon them. Each of those who speaks the gospel declares it in a foreign tongue. They preach the oracles of God. When the apostle Peter’s famous sermon ends, the penitent ask, “Men and brethren, what must we do?” He gives them the directives to “repent and let every one of you be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Water. Wind. Spirit. Fire. As the philosophers understand the world from their unique perspectives, the church comes into new life through special revelation. The former come to their “knowledge” retrospect to their perception of the surrounding universe. The later know spiritual creation through faith giving sight in the cosmos within them. Jesus did not copy the Ionians. He used their terminology to communicate God’s grace to humanity.

Some philosophers attempted to explain One God. “God is the universal Reason (logos), the universal law immanent in all things, binding all things, into a unity and determining the constant change in the universe according to universal law.” Scripture says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Word is the English translation of the ancient Greek logos (Reason). The Reason became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Without a standardized definition for good, there can be no evil. Jesus is the Word establishing the morals of right from wrong. He expounds God’s law of what is good, and righteous, and proper. Those are the topics discussed by the Platonic three hundred years before Christ. Jesus agrees that man’s reason is a moment in the universal Reason. A contraction of it, and men so are to strive to meet the viewpoint of reason and to live by the Logos, realizing the reality of all are in the Word whom we Christians worship.

From the cradle of Ionian to the birth of Christ, knowledge of reason and truth is pursued. In the Word we find the truth of water baptism, the wind of the Spirit, and the fire of life. Our world is united in the true living God who shares the special revelation of Himself in the Bible. We are reborn but not reincarnated. We are remade to reason all unto fairness, goodness and right living. If we but die into dark nothingness, we profit nothing. If we change into another existence, death is a welcoming friend; we ought to live morally either way. That is the best manner. Thus, we strive not to live for the cares of today. Instead we seek the upward and higher calling of the One God.

Leave a Reply