Covering All Bases
August 27, 2006
INTRODUCTION: The Epicurean school of philosophy, named after its founder, Epicurus (342-270 B.C.) held that pleasure, particularly a life free from pain, passion, superstition, and anxiety was the chief end and the highest good. Epicureans were essentially deists, denying life after death and taking a rather detached view of deity, certainly to the point of denying any divine providence.
Stoicism was founded by Zeno (340-265 B.C.). It stressed living harmoniously with nature, using the rational abilities one possesses and depending only on oneself for needs. God, to the Stoics was some kind of world soul; their theology radiated pantheism. These two philosophies served as secular alternatives for dealing with life's problems and issues.
According to Acts 17:21, they loved to hear about new things. Solomon said, "there is nothing new under the sun." It is apparent they had no desire for anything conclusive, such as, "I have found the real meaning to life in a personal relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ" or, "I have found out for sure ‘where I came from, what I am doing here, and where I am going when I die.'" Philosophy seems to desire no final answers.
One thing is for sure, these philosophers were "very religious"
(Superstitious). They erected am altar with the inscription, "To the Unknown God" What in the world was meant by this?
"Unknown" – Agnostos; an adjective form of the Greek verb Ginosko, which signifies to be taking in knowledge, to come to know, recognize, understand. In the N.T., ginosko indicates a relation between the person knowing and the object known. This verb is also used to convey the thought of connection or union, as between man and woman.
The word for "unknown" is to negate the knowing. There were many altars to unknown gods in Athens. 600 years before this writing a terrible pestilence had fallen on the city which nothing could ...
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