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DR. GWEN DEWEY GREEK SOUP Secular-Sacred Divide. Early Church Christians (33AD-325AD) They were Jews from Judea, who had retained their Hebrew worldview.

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Presentation on theme: "DR. GWEN DEWEY GREEK SOUP Secular-Sacred Divide. Early Church Christians (33AD-325AD) They were Jews from Judea, who had retained their Hebrew worldview."— Presentation transcript:

1 DR. GWEN DEWEY GREEK SOUP Secular-Sacred Divide

2 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 integrated  Work, community, worship all flowed together  Church leaders had businesses (fishermen, farmers, carpenters, masons, ten makers, government workers, etc)

3 Early Church Christians (cont’d) A minority group of Christian Jews were Greek-educated who had returned from Diaspora Often 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

4 Differences Between Eastern and Western Worldviews Eastern (Hebrew) Western (Greek) Reality Metaphysical wholeness (one essence) Metaphysical dualism (two essences) Beauty Function & purpose primaryPhysical & form primary Acquired wisdom - knowledge Enlightenment, revelationPure logic – reason God Totally spirit and truth - can not be physically described or represented Can be described in human terms Religion A way of lifeGods honored in rituals

5 Gentiles in early church increased in number and Judean Jews decreased Judea defeated by Rome in 70AD  temple destroyed  Many lives lost By 130AD, all Jews had been violently eliminated from Judea  Unimaginable slaughter  Remaining Jews escaped to Egypt, Spain, other Gentile portion of Church faired a little better, escaping the Judean slaughter But, all Christians (Jew and Gentiles) suffered until Constantine in 325AD

6 Major Worldview Difference Within Christianity Eastern, 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

7 Why did Christianity change in the 3 rd Century? Church became the official religion of Roman Empire (3 rd Century)  Constantine became Emperor of Rome from ; first Christian Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire  Creeds 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 religion  To counter “learned” scholars attacks on Christianity

8 Why did Christianity change in the 3 rd Century? (cont’d) Through Platonism, work was compartmentalized into two parts  “Sacred” (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.

9 Metaphysical Dualism The perfect, eternal, unchanging non- physical realm of ideas Assumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111 Form Matter The imperfect, temporal, changing physical realm

10 Metaphysical dualism applied to religion Sacred Things pertaining to the spiritual, eternal, and unchanging upper realm of God in heaven Assumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111 Secular Things pertaining to the physical, temporal, and changing lower realm of humans on earth

11 Adverse Impact of Platonism on Christianity Spiritual Direct church-related work by missionaries, ministers, pastors, evangelists, etc. Secular Home, school, health services, business, marketplace, the trades, the arts, sports, government, labor, sex, money, etc. Assumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111 Mundane, temporal & unworthy work Worthy, everlasting work

12 This Gap Creates Idea in the West that only the work of cardinals, bishops, priests, pastors, missionaries, etc. is “God’s work” (Christianity in the east did not did not fully move into the Platonic thought)

13 Did Christianity ever correct this worldview? YES! Priesthood of the laity a major issue during the Reformation ( ) The Reformation affirmed the concept of work as worship and ordained by God Martin Luther and the rest of the champions of the reformation believed that the laity were on a par with liturgists and preachers People groups such as the Puritans were responsible for bringing on the Industrial Revolution (Max Weber: Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism-1905)

14 Greek thought came roaring back in the 18 th & 19 th Centuries The Western “Enlightenment” movement (18 th C) equated enlightenment to pure logic and reason (Greek thought)  Eastern enlightenment remained equated to revelation  Western educational systems completely embraced Greek thought The Industrial Revolution (19 th C) split the activities of family, work, church, government apart  Fathers left families to work  Churches were no longer integrated into work activities

15 Greek thought came roaring back in the 18 th & 19 th 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.)

16 Eugene Peterson on Sacred-Secular Divide

17

18 Biblical Worldview of Human Activity Business School Art Home Music Sports Church law order Human sexuality Medicine Banking In conflict with God’s design (“evil”) In harmony with God’s design (“good”) Assumptions that affect our Lives, pg 112

19 Where is the Secular World?

20 NASH & McLENNAN STUDY CHURCH ON SUNDAY, WORK ON MONDAY (2001) Institutional church ineffectively bridges between Sunday and Monday Christians in business report less-than-satisfactory connections between their faith and work

21 NASH & McLENNAN STUDY CHURCH ON SUNDAY, WORK ON MONDAY (2001) cont’d Problem appears at both ends:  Christians in business comments:  “The clergy are the last people to go to for guidance on business”  “We don’t speak the same language”  “They can’t manage themselves, how can they advise others”  Most clergy “felt” they had made no impact and had no mandate to do so

22 Biblical Alternative to Dualism by John Beckett

23 Adverse Impact of Platonism on Christianity Spiritual Direct church-related work by missionaries, ministers, pastors, evangelists, etc. Secular Home, school, health services, business, marketplace, the trades, the arts, sports, government, labor, sex, money, etc. Assumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111 Mundane, temporal & unworthy work Worthy, everlasting work

24 Metaphysical dualism applied to religion Sacred Things pertaining to the spiritual, eternal, and unchanging upper realm of God in heaven Assumptions that Affect our Lives, pg 111 Secular Things pertaining to the physical, temporal, and changing lower realm of humans on earth

25 This Gap Creates Idea in the West that only the work of pastors or missionaries is “God’s work” Christians have been sprinkled like salt in the workplace but are often ineffective (Eastern Christianity did not fully move into the Platonic thought)

26 What Went Wrong? Priesthood of the laity a major issue during the Reformation ( ) Reformation affirmed the concept of work as worship and ordained by God Luther and the rest of the champions of the reformation believed that the laity were on a par with liturgists and preachers People groups such as the Puritans were responsible for bringing on the Industrial Revolution (Max Weber: Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism-1905)

27 What Went Wrong? (Continued) Work as mission was lost in West, because:  Heavy emphasis on mission work - redemption  Government took over the role of social support – no need for church  Educational systems based on Platonic thought  Wide-spread financial success has led to loss of interest in the things of God

28 Faith in the Workplace by John Beckett’s Company

29 For John Beckett there is No Divide

30 End


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