Monday, May 19, 2008

Paul was a Platonist? Well...

As often happens here at While Rome Burns, I am going to respectfully disagree with Ingrid's assessment over at Slice of Laodicea. In this case, we're looking at a video posted on YouTube (embedded below for your convenience) of an interview between Tony Jones and Jerry Johnson, president of Criswell College.

The folks who put this video together seem to think that Jones is elevating the writings of Augustine to the level of Scripture, and stating that Paul was a Platonist. I really don't think that's an accurate assessment, and here's why. First of all, he doesn't say Paul was a Platonist; he *does*, however, say that Paul was versed in Platonism, which would imply he was extremely familiar with it. This would make sense, as Paul talked about being "all things to all men," and his various writings show that he adjusted his message based on who he was speaking to in order to convey the message in a way his audience could understand. Second, Tony doesn't say that Augustine's writings are the same as Scripture; he simply states that a strong knowledge of Platonism came through in many of his theological writings, and uses that to draw a parallel. Finally, Tony doesn't deny the inspiration of the Scriptures, which Johnson implies at the end of this video. I think I would really like to get my hands on the audio of the entire interview, because it seems to me that in the video above, Tony got cut off. I've got a busy week ahead (I really shouldn't even be on now!), but I'll see what I can do. Stay tuned.

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