Born in Northern Greece- in 384 BC.
The most famous student of Plato- attended Plato’s Academy for around 20 years.
His main disagreement with Plato was on his theory of Forms.
Plato believed that the ‘idea’ world contained the forms of all things we see in the physical realm.
Aristotle taught that substance itself was the main thing- that the forms of what we see in the natural realm come from matter itself.
He spoke about Potentiality and Actuality- that is the material things have in ‘seed’ form the final product.
The acorn has the Potential of becoming a tree- the fetus has the Potential of becoming a man- etc.
The form is already embedded in the thing itself- it does not exist in the ‘idea’ world of Plato.
Aristotle loved and admired his teacher- yet Plato had somewhat of a disdain for his most famous student.
Plato passed over Aristotle to head up the Academy- twice.
As things go- Aristotle went and started his own school- called the Lyceum.
Aristotle did not just teach Philosophy- but Biology- Logic- Ethics- Rhetoric.
Some refer to him as the first real scientist.
His development of the laws of Logic- Cause and Effect- play a key role in the Scientific Method till this day.
Aristotle taught that the main way we gain knowledge is thru sense perception and experiment.
As we study the natural order of things themselves- we gain understanding from them.
What we refer to as the Empirical method- knowledge gained thru the observation and experimentation of things.
He referred to God as the Final Cause- not the First Cause.
He believed in God [some debate this- Aristotle himself called him God in his work on Metaphysics] and called him the Prime Mover.
As I said before- a big thing with the early thinkers was the origin of Motion- who started the ball rolling- so to speak.
Aristotle credited the source of all motion to an ‘un- moved Mover’.
He gave the attributes of God to his Mover- said he had no beginning- was not material- an eternal and imperishable substance.
So- why the Final Cause?
He said God attracts all things to himself- so in his mind- motion started by attraction- not by a ‘push’ so to speak.
This is interesting indeed- in modern physics we see that the universe is undergoing a continual expansion- heading somewhere- of course we believe this somewhere is God himself- the source of all things.
Isaac Newton agreed with Aristotle on this point- he referred to it in his 3rd law of Physics.
The medieval Muslim thinkers called him ‘The First Teacher’- and Kant [who we will get to later in this study] credits him with the bulk of what we know today as the Laws of Logic.
Aristotle taught that the main activity of God was thought.
The bible says that thru Wisdom and Understanding God made things [‘Wisdom builds the house- Understanding establishes it- and thru Knowledge it’s rooms are filled with all pleasant and precious riches- Wisdom is profitable to direct- the words of the wise are like nails fastened by the masters of assemblies- as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation’- various bible verses found in Proverbs- Ecclesiastes and Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth] - in a way Aristotle was right.
One of his key contributions was the Syllogism- you start with a Logical argument- you engage in Deductive reasoning- and come to a Conclusion.
A famous example would be ‘All men are mortal- Plato is a man- Plato is mortal’.
Aristotle did not believe that something comes from nothing- a phrase that will come up a lot as we progress in this study is ‘ex nihilo nihil fit’- meaning Nothing comes from Nothing.
He was also what we refer to as a Teleolologist- he believed that there was design and purpose in the created order of things.
He saw design in the universe- world.
Many today embrace an idea that there is no purpose or design- that the design we see in the material world is by accident- and furthermore some say all that we see- CAME FROM NOTHING.
I can’t stress enough that this is simply not possible- I don’t say this from the Christian view point alone- but from a scientific one.
Science deals with the observation and testing of things- we look into the material world and come to certain conclusions based on what we see- observe.
One of the most fundamental observations that science SEES- is what I quoted above- NOTHING COMES FROM NOTHING.
That is- every effect has a cause.
This is important for our day- because many have capitulated to the view that all things CAME FROM CHANCE.
Not only is this statement illogical [chance is simply a word- this statement ascribes Ontological status to a word- which is impossible].
But it is scientifically not true.
Because science shows us that things do not ‘pop into existence’ without a cause- from nothing.
True science in no way contradicts belief in God- no- it backs it up.
Aristotle- as well as most of the great thinkers we shall cover- came to the conclusion that there had to be some immaterial thing [being] that was the cause of all other things.
Now- why did he argue for a PRIME MOVER?
Because he believed that the universe was eternal- if there ever came a time when science showed us that the universe had a beginning point- then the argument would be over.
The Theists [those that believe in God] would win.
Sure enough- in the 20th century that’s exactly what happened.
Today Physics teaches us that time- space- matter did indeed have a beginning point- what we refer to as the Big Bang Theory.
If the early thinkers had this knowledge- then the argument for a Prime Mover would be moot- because instead we would have a Prime Starter- see?
Aristotle is credited with writing the second greatest work on Ethics from the ancient period- called Ethics [the first one being Plato’s Republic].
He wrote on political theory- believed that Aristocracy [rule by the excellent] was the best form of government [sort of like Socrates Philosopher Kings].
Aristotle’s most famous student was Alexander the Great.
During Alexander’s conquests- he took a huge team of scientists with him- they collected all types of specimens from these conquests- and Alexander brought them back to Athens and they were used at the Lyceum for further study.
It has been said that this was the most expensive scientific enterprise up to the day of the modern space program.
He taught that the intellectual virtues can be taught directly- but the moral ones HAD TO BE LIVED FIRST.
The bible says ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom’.
Proverbs 3:19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.
Proverbs 3:20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
Unfinished study- will complete over time.
JOHN LOCKE- JESUS- AND MONEY.
Today’s video [and post] is one of those ‘spur of the moment’ ones-
I made the video/post yesterday- ‘off the cuff’-
I’m at the ranch as I write- and have no WiFi out here- or I’d post it now- I also don’t have my on-line concordance- so I’ll try and remember exactly where some of the verses are and add them in [I do have my on-line bible saved to the drive!]
This video/post is in keeping with some of the stuff I’ve been recently teaching.
As Christians- we often look for the things we are supposed to do.
Which is fine- but what I have learned in my experience of doing ministry for many years- is many Pastors/ministers- learn a certain pattern/form- early on-
And as well-meaning as these men are- they often unconsciously do not realize they are violating scripture in their efforts to do the right thing.
When people feel God has called them ‘to preach’ [ called into ministry] most of the times they are taught that this means ‘starting a local church’.
In the American mindset- this means starting a nonprofit 501 c3- either renting or building some type of structure to meet in-
And then teaching a form of giving- usually called ‘the tithe’ [meaning 10 percent]-
And then saying ‘the local church is this place/501c3- the storehouse- and you will be cursed if you do not tithe to the storehouse’.
And without realizing it- in the more extreme cases- actually teaching people that they will fall under the curse of God- if they do not put 10% of their income into the ‘local church’.
This verse from Malachi is often used- Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
And this basic idea of ‘church government’ is then propagated thru out the land.
I’ve discussed this recently- and for these short videos- I just want to note that the New Testament churches we read about in the bible- are talking about communities of believers living in your city/area.
The early Christians met in homes- and later on in church buildings-
I am not against any of these formats- but we need to be careful that we are not unconsciously telling people they will be under the curse of God if they do not ‘tithe to the storehouse’ [then applying the ‘storehouse’ to the building- and it’s 501c3 status- as- quote ‘the local church’].
The tithe was actually an income tax for the nation of Israel in the Old Testament- and it entailed more than simply putting goods/money into an ‘offering’ plate-
No- it was a system that supported 3 main things in the Jewish economy-
The Priests [who were forbidden to own property].
The poor [meeting their needs].
And for banquets-
So- in short- the churches we read about in the bible were communities of people who supported one another- and this included- yes- financial support for the minsters too-
That’s all ok-
But the balance about money in the New Testament is it is a tool to be used to help others-
And is never something we should seek after- sort of like ‘God has called me to become rich so I can fund ministries’ type thing. No- that ‘calling’ would violate many actual teachings in the bible- that warn against seeking to be rich- even for noble causes-
I’ve copied some of those verses the last few days-
So- as we continue to teach thru the bible in the next year- look at the relationship we see in these New Testament letters between giving and receiving-
How the early Christians viewed their roles in the church-
How the ministers related to the people-
The bible does give us guidelines about all of this- it actually makes it quite clear-
Ok- enjoy the video/post- talk to you soon.
1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
Acts 20:18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
Acts 20:19 Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:
Acts 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
Acts 20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Acts 20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
Acts 20:37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,
Acts 20:38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
Understand here- that Paul is speaking to the leaders of the church- and he told them that for the 3 years he was with them he worked- supported himself- and those that were with him.
He then says he did this for an example- to show them [the leaders] that they too are not in ministry for the people to support them-
But for the benefit of the people-
We do read later in the writings of Paul that the Christians should meet the needs of their spiritual leaders- that’s ok.
But here he is showing them- leaders- that ministry is not about collecting a bunch of money for ‘ministry projects’.
It’s giving your life for others.
1Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
1Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
1Corinthians 16:3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
1Corinthians 16:4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
This is also a common verse to teach tithing-
Often times when ministers take offerings- they clap- do a sort of celebration-
But here Paul is saying ‘when I get there- I don't want to waste time making a big thing out of the offering- so take it up before I get there’.
This money was simply used as a charitable donation for the poor Christians living at Jerusalem- it was in no way a ‘tithe’ and it was not money for Paul.
1Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
1Corinthians 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
1Corinthians 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
1Corinthians 9:4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
1Corinthians 9:5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
1Corinthians 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
1Corinthians 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
1Corinthians 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
1Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
1Corinthians 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
1Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
1Corinthians 9:12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
1Corinthians 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
1Corinthians 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
1Corinthians 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
1Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
1Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
1Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
Here Paul clearly teaches them that they should support their leaders- yet he then goes on to say he himself would not use ‘this right’-
And he used strong language- making it sound like he would be charging them for his services- which- to him- would be wrong.
I could give more examples- but what I want you to see is we never see a type of ‘tithe or you will be cursed’ mindset when the New Testament talks about giving.
The Storehouse verse has nothing to do with the Ecclesia- it was a room in the temple- not a spiritual community of people.
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
John 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
John 13:5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
John 13:6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
John 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
John 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
John 13:11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
John 13:12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
John 13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
John 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Locke taught that each man has individual rights- and he empowers government- an elected designated body- to have rule-
Yet- that government exists solely for the benefit of the people- and when/if that government ‘forgets’ this- the people have a right/duty to revolt.
Locke’s ideas were formed at a time when his own government experienced a sort of revolution [1600’s- England].
The people revolted against monarchy- and replaced it with a sort of Democratic Parliament-
Referred to as the bloodless revolution or the glorious revolution.
The king [or today- queen] would still play a role- like a figurehead- but the power was in the people- willingly given over to a Parliament.
The political ideas of Locke influenced our founding fathers- and our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are in parts almost word for word taken from the writings of Locke.
Locke believed in natural law- that morality was indeed a universal reality [some scholars/thinkers will say that Locke does not fully embrace the Christian concept of natural/moral law].
He taught that knowledge comes from man’s experience- the things he interacts with thru the 5 senses.
That man is not born with innate ideas [like the early Greek thinkers said] but his mind is a Tabula Rasa- or blank slate at birth.
This is an Empirical understanding of knowledge.
Locke also believed in the concept of the separation of church and state- this idea was not unique to our founding fathers- no- they got it right out of the writings of Locke [his parents were Puritans- and they obviously influenced their son].
Locke’s political views were-
Contractual [social compact]-
These ideas differed from the early Greek thinkers [especially Aristotle] who held to a naturalistic view- meaning that nature itself ‘intended’ for certain individuals to have rule over others [the smarter should have rule over the ‘less smart’- and of course Aristotle saw himself in the more nobler crowd!]
Locke also believed in religious toleration- a view held by most in the Western world today.
He saw the Right to private property- as a natural right.
He believed that denial of the existence of God would lead to anarchy in the long run.
He believed that the cosmological argument for the existence of God was valid [called teleology].
I think I mentioned him on today’s video [I am writing this before I review the video and add the bullet points].
In the study of philosophy- he is not known for deep thought- or new ideas.
He lived in the 5th century B.C. - died in the 4th in the biblical city of Corinth.
Diogenes believed in ‘living with less’- he was known to have slept in a ceramic pot- he lived and ate on the streets- and was basically like many of my homeless friends.
Yet- he felt in doing this he was a sort of ‘prophetic’ sign to the world around him.
He is believed to be the first to refer to himself as a ‘cosmopolitan’- meaning a man of the world- and not identifying with any one city.
He was born at Sinope- [Modern day Turkey] traveled to Athens- the main center of wisdom/philosophy.
Attended the lectures of Plato- and interrupted them
He disputed Plato’s interpretation of his teacher- Socrates.
And had a memorable encounter with Alexander the Great.
The story goes [there are a few versions of it- maybe more along the line of myth] that Alexander wanted to meet with Diogenes- and he heard he was in town [Corinth] so Alexander went to meet him.
Upon arriving at the spot- he greeted Alexander and told him he would fulfill any request that the Cynic asked.
Diogenes replied ‘Move over- you’re standing in my sun light’.
It is said that as Alexander left- and made the statement ‘If I were not Alexander- I would be Diogenes’.
How true- well we will never know for sure.
He did live at a time- and in a place- where the famous philosophers would come from.
He believed rejecting wealth- and the comforts of life- were a statement against the society of his day.
He purposefully challenged the ‘normal’ way of life- by being different- and at times- vulgar.
It is said that he carried a cup- for drinking.
And he saw a young boy one day- drinking from the brook with his hands.
He then threw away the cup- realizing that ‘the god’s’ had given to men the basic things to survive- and he really did not need all the material things of life.
Like I said at the top - he is not known for his great thinking ability- but he was respected by the stoics-
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John..#