The Catholics have a school called the “Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology” (http://www.dspt.edu/). Hummmmm? Now, what do you suppose the Catholic Church is up to with a school of philosophy and theology together? Nothing new, that’s what; because the early Christian apologists used philosophy to try to prove their arguments to pagans. And it took hold and was used by the church in the formation of its doctrines. Even Protestants have followed the error of the Catholics by mixing the Bible with philosophy, by which we get theology.
Most Christians are not aware that theology was founded by pagan philosophers. Philosophy and theology originated with pagans to help explain what they did not understand in the world and God. They were both founded by men such as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates. As early as the first century Christians began to use theology and philosophy, rather than the Bible and the Holy Spirit, as their source for developing Christian doctrine. This is proven by the fact that Western philosophy is still taught in both Catholic and Protestant seminaries, and is even seen as essential to understanding God. They are so similar that you cannot teach theology without philosophy, and you cannot teach philosophy without theology.
You would think that Christians would turn first to the Bible and the Holy Spirit, but most people are not independent thinkers. People generally fall into three categories: most fall into the first group of those who believe what they are told to believe and never question it; the second group contains those who believe whatever they want to believe regardless of the evidence; the third and much smaller group is made up of those that seek truth regardless of where it may be found.
Once the rules are agreed upon, society actually frowns upon anyone who does not follow the accepted rules; this applies in all areas of life and thought, which is why the largest group are those who believe what they are told to believe.
Origen was a very famous theologian of the third century; let us find out about his training, from the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Thrust thus at so early an age into the teacher’s chair, he recognized the necessity of completing his education. Frequenting the philosophic schools, especially that of Ammonius Saccas, he devoted himself to a study of the philosophers, particularly Plato and the Stoics. In this he was but following the example of his predecessors Pantenus and Clement, and of Heracles, who was to succeed him. (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11306b.htm)
Here is a very important quote from SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY Vol. 1, by Charles Hodge, a Protestant theologian:
The second is the method adopted by those who admit a supernatural divine revelation, and concede that such a revelation is contained in the Christian Scriptures, but who reduce all the doctrines thus revealed to the forms of some philosophical system. This was done by many of the fathers who endeavored to exalt pistis into gnosis i.e., the faith of the common people into philosophy for the learned. . . . Men lay down certain principles, called axioms, or first truths of reason, and from them deduce the doctrines of religion by a course of argument as rigid and remorseless as that of Euclid. This is sometimes done to the entire overthrow of the doctrines of the Bible, and of the most intimate moral convictions not only of Christians but of the mass of mankind. Conscience is not allowed to mutter in the presence of the lordly understanding. It is in the spirit of the same method that the old scholastic doctrine of realism is made the basis of the Scriptural doctrines of original sin and redemption. To this method the somewhat ambiguous term Dogmatism has been applied, because it attempts to reconcile the doctrines of Scripture with reason, and to rest their authority on rational evidence. The result of this method has always been to transmute, as far as it succeeded, faith into knowledge, and to attain this end the teachings of the Bible have been indefinitely modified. Men are expected to believe, not on the authority of God, but on that of reason.
I am amazed that a theologian will admit to and confess the truth; that paganistic philosophy is used as a guide rather than the Holy Spirit, but you have just read one confession. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, after reliable translations of Aristotle had been made into Latin by Albert the Great, Catholic theologians “recognized the fundamental soundness of his principles, they no longer hesitated to take, with the approval of the Church, the pagan philosopher as their guide in the speculative study of dogma” (http://www. newadvent. org/cathen /14588a.htm).
Truth cannot be rightly understood without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, yet, men of supposed high learning and intelligence turn to pagan philosophy; astounding! While God can use anything to bring someone to Christ, that does not mean that we should accept and endorse ANYTHING that happens to bring someone to Christ. A tragic accident may bring someone to Christ, but that does not mean that we should pray for God to bring tragic accidents upon people as a regular practice. It has been argued that philosophy is merely “reason” and a means of understanding, and that these are good things. But I will show it to be quite the opposite.
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 16:17)
Notice that God revealed an important truth to an UN-learned fisherman. Peter did not need a seminary education to know this truth. In fact, those with the highest educations were the Pharisees and Sadducees who rejected Jesus as their Messiah and plotted to kill him.
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. (Luke 10:21)
Notice that God has actually “hid” the truth from the highly learned, but has revealed the truth to the common man; at least those who seek to be led by the Holy Spirit. Yet it is the highly learned that has formed Christian doctrine, both in the early centuries and after the Protestant Reformation. As you can see, I have proven beyond any doubt that theologians use paganistic philosophy in an effort to understand the Bible and God, even though the Bible says that men of high learning cannot understand the Scriptures unless the Holy Spirit reveals it to them.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)
One of the primary jobs of the Holy Spirit was and is to teach us the truth. Yet, it did not take many decades after the apostles until church leaders turned away from being led by the Holy Spirit and sought to be led by pagan philosophy. And WE ARE SUPPOSED TO TRUST THESE MEN, that they know more about doctrine and so we must believe what they have said!
The Jesus Seminar is a group of theologians and seminary professors from around the country who meet in Chicago twice a year to vote on the accuracy of the Bible. They have concluded such things as: Jesus’ resurrection is a myth and that the only words Jesus actually spoke in the Lord’s Prayer were “Our Father”.
How is it that men of high learning, with degrees in Theology, can become what amounts to unbelievers? It is because of philosophy and theology which has been obscuring the truth from the beginning. I did not say from the beginning of Christianity, I said from the beginning of theology. The following was taken from Theology Today, a quarterly journal of Christian theology, published by Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ.
One could put the case boldly: Christian theology cannot be understood and Christian ministry becomes superficial when philosophy is left out. … The history of Christian theology and the history of Western philosophy are virtually parallel. Each has borrowed from the other all along the way. Fundamental modes of thinking, basic questions, patterns of argument, and many of the particular concepts that have given Christian theology its shape from the earliest centuries into the present have been adapted in part or adopted wholesale from secular philosophical sources. Augustine simply would not be Augustine without the Neoplatonists, nor Aquinas without Aristotle, nor Bultmann without Heidegger. In the other direction, it would be impossible to imagination what the works of Descartes, Leibniz, Hume, Hegel, or Kant would look like if they had not had Christian doctrines of God, creation, and humanity to presuppose.
This mutual dependence is not just a matter of past history either. If anything, contemporary theology is more dependent than ever upon philosophical methods, categories, and insights. And not only systematic theology. Biblical studies, historical fields, mission and ecumenics, church and society, all the areas of practical theology-every field of inquiry in the theological curriculum depends heavily on contemporary work in philosophy. Hermeneutical, linguistic, ethical, and fundamental methodological concerns penetrate all of these areas, and they cannot even be broached without philosophical expertise. . . .
At many points divergent, sometimes in conflict, and certainly not synonymous, Christian theology and Western philosophy are nonetheless simply unintelligible apart from one another. One cannot read any major Christian theologian with more than superficial understanding or comprehend in any depth the central teachings of the Christian faith without some philosophical knowledge. … (Philosophy in Theological Education,By Craig Dykstra) (http://theologytoday.ptsem.edu/oct1987/v44-3-symposium1.htm)
So there, you have heard it straight from the horse’s mouth. Theology and philosophy are mixed, like leaven in bread. “A little leaven, leavens the whole loaf.” So it is no wonder that seminaries often produce atheists.