Clement of Alexandria on Greek Philosophy

I am not much of a philosopher. I like a good theological debate every now and then, but for the most part I stay away from the philosophical jargon. However, I really like what Clement of Alexandria had to say on the issue.

Clement came a little after Justin, circa 200 AD. In his work, Stromata, Clement of Alexandria argued that God gave philosophy to the Greeks to prepare them for Christ in the same way that God gave the law of Moses to the Jews.Clement put it this way:

“Thus until the coming of the Lord, philosophy was necessary to the Greeks for righteousness…For philosophy acted as a “custodian” to bring the Greeks to Christ, just at the law brought the Hebrews.”

I thought this was an interesting interpretation of the purpose of philosophy. While I do not know if I wholeheartedly agree with the concept, I do believe that God utilizes philosophy to bring others to the Gospel of Christ. I think Clement hit on something here!


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