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By Paul; Edited by Braaten, Carl E. Tillich

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Extra resources for A History of Christian Thought: From its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism

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It was this state of the dogma against which the Enlightenment was fighting. The Reformation itself was still pretty much in line with the prior development of dogma. But certainly since the Enlightenment all liberal thinking has been characterized by the attempt to avoid dogma. This trend was also supported by the development of science. Science and philosophy had to be given complete freedom in order to make possible their creative growth. In his famous History of Dogma Adolph von Harnack raised the question whether dogma has not come to an end in view of its dissolution in the early period of the Enlightenment.

For this reason these people went into the desert with a suit or gown. The later Christian monks followed them in this respect, because they also were in despair over the possibility of living in this world. Some of the skeptics of the ancient church were very serious people, and drew the consequences which our snobbistic skeptics today are usually unwilling to do, who have a very good time while doubting everything. The Greek skeptics retired from life in order to be consistent. This element of skepticism was an important preparation for Christianity.

In Greek philosophy and Jewish symbolism it is the cosmic principle of creation. Yet it is inadequate because the Logos is a universal principle, whereas Jesus is a concrete reality. His is a concrete personal life described by this term. This is expressed in the great paradox of Christianity: the Logos became flesh. Here we have a perfect example of how the meaning of a term, with all the connotations it had from the past, can be transformed in expressing the Christian message. The idea that the universal Logos became flesh could never have been derived from the 16 A History of Christian Thought Greek thought.

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