“This revelation is uniquely Christian.”
In terms of humankind, the Logos gives to every human being an intuitive knowledge of the existence of God and a culturally influenced knowledge of moral laws which we feel the obligation to fulfill in freedom. The Logos also gives structure to the mind or nous. The nous is not the Logos but it is the Logos that gives order to the contents of the nous.
Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215) believed that humankind should live life according to the Logos (cf. Stromata, 3). Faith, in terms of assent and obedience, is the beginning, but it is not enough. Real participation in God requires the addition of knowledge. Clement does not feel that there is any conflict between faith and knowledge, between reason and revelation. Knowledge enters into faith as one of its constituent elements; reason and reflection are the avenues through which the divine revelation comes.
According to Justin Martyr, the spermatikos logos, the germinal or seminal word, is sown as conscience in the hearts of all humans. According to Justin, the use of reason by people, even in those without express faith in Christ, is already Christ the Logos at work in them. “We have been taught,” St. Justin declared, “that Christ is the First-born of God, and we have declared . . . that he is the Word [Logos] of whom every race of men were partaken, and those who lived reasonable are Christians, even though they have been thought atheists.” First Apology, 46.
The Incarnation of the Logos as a human, Jesus of Nazareth, is a unique revelation of Christianity. Jesus is unique in that he represents not only the incarnation of the Logos of God, but also the Christ (anointed one), the Hebrew Messiah. So, now when we use the word Logos in any post-incarnational discussion, we need to also mentally add “Jesus” and “Christ” to “Son” in our composite picture. To the Stoic idea of Logos as a universal, transcendent principle, Christianity added the very personal dimensions of Son of God and Jesus Christ. This revelation is uniquely Christian.
#1 by Tim Mcmonigal on June 29, 2014 - 11:24 PM
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