History of Philosophy and Christian Thought - Lesson 20


Stoics were determinists who believed in living according to nature.

Ronald Nash
History of Philosophy and Christian Thought
Lesson 20
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Hellenistic Philosophy

Part 2

II. Stoicism

A. Contrast with Epicureanism

1. View of God

a. Epicureans - Polytheists

b. Stoics - Pantheists

2. Ultimate Reality

a. Epicureans - Materialists, Indeterminists

b. Stoics - Materialists, Determinists

3. Knowledge

a. Epicureans - Empiricists

b. Stoics - Empiricists

4. Ethic

a. Epicureans - Hedonism

b. Stoics - Living according to nature

B. Three Major Periods

1. Early (300 - 200 B.C.)

2. Middle (150 B.C. - A.D. 1)

3. Later (A.D. 1 - 250)

a. Seneca (A.D. 1 - 65)

b. Epictetus (A.D. 50 - 138)

c. Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121 - 180)

C. The Stoic Ethic

D. Stoic Pantheism

E. Influence of Cynicism

1. Live according to "nature"

2. Nonconformists

3. Nature became a nonpersonal, pantheistic god; fate

F. The Stoic Metaphysic

1. Materialism

2. Heraclitianism

3. Pantheism

4. Fatalism

G. Did Stoicism influence the writers of the New Testament?

  • Thales and Anaximander were two philosophers in the sixth century BC that lived in Miletus.

  • Heraclitus and Pythagoras lived into the 5th century BC.

  • Any worldview addresses the subjects of God, ultimate reality, human knowledge, ethics and human persons.

  • Fundamental beliefs of a naturalistic worldview is that nothing exists outside the physical universe and that all things evolved.

  • Plato was a student of Socrates and lived into the fourth century BC. He opposed hedonism, empiricism, relativism, materialism, atheism and naturalism.

  • Plato described the universe as having three levels: the world of particulars, the world of forms, and the form of the good.

  • Plato's view of the universe was dualistic.

  • One of Plato's fundamental arguments is that the human soul is immortal.

  • Evaluation of Plato's arguments and comparison of Plato's philosophy with biblical theology.

  • Empiricism teaches that all human knowledge arises from sense experience. Rationalism teaches that some human knowledge does not arise from sense. experience

  • Aristotle was a student of Plato and lived in the fourth century BC.

  • Aristotle rejected Plato's doctrine of two worlds.

  • Discussion of Aristotelian philosophy as it relates to the incarnation.

  • Aristotle's philosophy as it relates to attributes of God and fundamental assumptions about psychology.

  • Aristotle made a distinction between passive intellect and active intellect.

  • Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the law of non-contradiction.

  • Discussion of the nature and substance of matter.

  • Hellenistic philosophy was an approach that was popular from the fourth century BC to the fifth century AD.

  • Stoics were determinists who believed in living according to nature.

  • Hedonism emphasized pleasure as the greatest good. "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we might be dead."

  • Philo's philosophy was based on a synthesis of Stoicism and Platonism.

  • Implicit "Logos" Christianity is an underlying theme in the book of Hebrews.

  • Plotinus lived in the third century AD and is considered the founder of Neoplatonism.

  • Augustine is a Latin church father, is considered by many to be one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity.

  • Augustine wrote Confessions as an autobiographical work to record his experience as a sinful youth and his experience becoming a follower of Christ.

  • Augustine wrote to refute some heresies of the day by focusing on the concepts of faith and reason.

  • Augustine writes about the problem of evil and describes evil as the absence of good.

  • Augustine writes to refute Pelagianism by focusing on the biblical teaching about sin.

  • Augustine writes to refute Donatism.

  • The fundamental idea of skepticism is that no one can know anything. Augustine this statement contradicts itself because the skeptic is claiming that you can know that you can't know anything.

  • When Augustine wrote "The City of God," he had a linear view of history.

  • In Augustine's theory of knowledge, he says that eternal reason and human reason are two different levels of reason.

  • Augustine was personally convinced of the importance of divine illumination.

  • The intellectual background of Thomas Aquinas was influenced by the discovery of ancient manuscripts, the rise of universities, the rise of religious brotherhoods and the rise of Muslim philosophy.

  • Aquinas describes faith as whatever a human can know through special revelation, and reason as whatever a human can know outside of special revelation.

  • Aquinas attempts to prove God's existence.

  • Aquinas describes four kinds of law as eternal, divine, natural and positive.

  • The rationalists and empiricists set the stage for Kant and other philosophers of the modern era.

  • Kant argued that moral requirements are based on a standard of rationality he dubbed the “Categorical Imperative."

  • Kants two worlds are the phenomenal world and the noumenal world.

  • Discussion of criticisms and questions about Kant's ideas.

  • Similarities between Kant's ideas and postmodernism.

  • The dialectic is a central idea in Hegel's philosophy.

  • Ideally, Marxism begins with class struggle, then revolution, dictatorship of the proletariat, withering away of the state, and a utopian classless society.

  • Discussion of four faces of Marxism.

  • Nietzsche proclaimed that, "God is dead." His cure was to live life knowing there is no ultimate meaning. Kierkegaard emphasized a worldview based on true faith.

In this class, you will explore the rich history of philosophy and its relationship with Christian thought. The course begins with an introduction to the definition and importance of philosophy in Christian theology. You will then delve into the evolution of philosophical thought from the Pre-Socratic era, through the Classical Greek philosophers, and into the Hellenistic period. As you progress, you will discover how early Christian thought emerged and developed during the Patristic period, with a special focus on Augustine. The class continues with an examination of medieval Christian thinkers, such as Anselm and Thomas Aquinas, and concludes with an analysis of modern philosophers like Descartes, Kant, and Kierkegaard, and their influence on contemporary Christian thought.

Dr. Ronald Nash
History of Philosophy and Christian Thought
Lesson Transcript


Let's go back to our outline, because what I have on the outline are a number of contrasts and similarities between Epicureanism and stoicism. First of all, are what they what these two systems believed about God. The epicureans were polytheists. They believed in the many gods of the old Greek and Roman religions, zoos, Minerva. All of that stuff. They were polytheists. The Stoics, on the other hand, were pantheistic. The stoic believe Stoics believed there were. There was one God who was identical with all of nature with respect to ultimate reality. I hope you're. You've got the pace place in your outline. The epicureans were materialists, but so too were the Stoics. But that's no surprise. Almost all of the old philosophical systems were forms of materialism. Okay, next point Under ultimate reality, the epicureans were in determinist. Right? Are many in ISM here? Okay. The Stoics were determinist, you know, free will in a stoic universe. Does that mean that they were Calvinists? Not on your life. How do you like that knowledge? The Epicureans were empiricists. Remember how we respond to that word? Yes or boo. But the Stoics were also empiricists. Now, that shouldn't surprise us. The world is 99% wrong most of the time. So why should we be surprised that the Stoics and the Epicureans were empiricists? I mean, to be a rationalist is to be one of the truly select elite intellectuals in the world, right? The epicurean ethic was hedonism. The stoic ethic was living according to nature. That's something we'll explain probably next week. And notice to the Epicureans had their university. It was called the Garden.


[00:02:56] Doesn't that sound like a place where a bunch of epicureans would get together a garden and the Stoics had their university and it was called the store or the porch? The store. Okay. Now, because of time, I'm going to focus, I think in 20 minutes I can finish what I want to say about Stoicism. And here, fortunately, you have my chapter in the gospel in the Greeks. So let's turn to chapter four. I think it's a pretty good chapter. Chapter four of the Gospel in the Greeks. There were three major periods of stoicism. Three major periods of stoicism. There was, first of all, early stoicism. Then there was middle stoicism. Now I'm trying to remember the third or late. Oh, thank you for people listening by tape. I hope this proves my prowess as a professor. All of a sudden students start saying later, Stoicism. The early stoicism can be dated approximately. Now, here. I'm dependent on this on the book, around 300 to 200 B.C., 300 to 200 B.C., And some of the names of these early thinkers, the founder of the movement seems to have been a man named Zeno. But this would be a different Zeno than existed in Pre-socratic, Greece. Then there was a man named Clay Anthony's, and then a man named Chrysippus. But again, they fit. Within this time period, the two major thinkers of middle Stoicism would be, let's say, 150 B.C. to, oh, the beginning of the Christian era, let's say one A.D., something like that. You understand? There was no year called zero. And I'm smiling when I say that. And the two major thinkers here, and I'm getting this from the book, there was a man named Pernicious of Rhodes and Posidonius. Now, let me just offer a suggestion here.


[00:05:14] If we're correct, that Paul was trained in philosophy, and I believe it's very likely that he was. Some people have suggested that he may have studied some of the writings of Posidonius Posidonius died in 46 B.C. One problem here is that we don't have access to I'm not sure any of the writings, the complete writings of these guys have survived. Posidonius. Then we get the later Stoics, and this is the period of time when Stoic Stoics existed who have had the most influence upon later centuries. The three major and the period of time here would be oh, from the Christian era, maybe one A.D. to, I'm going to say 250 A.D. I'm guessing go by whatever I say in the book. There were three major later Stoics. The first one was called Name Seneca. He was a member of Nero's government in Rome 60 to 70 years ago. It was popular on the part of certain liberals to suggest that Saint Paul knew Seneca personally and that Paul was influenced by Seneca's thinking. But this is absurd for reasons that I make clear in the fourth chapter. Let it be understood that Paul and Seneca lived in Rome at the same time, but there is no shred of evidence that they ever met, nor can one make even the semblance of an argument that Paul's thinking was influenced by Seneca. The differences are what dominate us here. Seneca finally died following a suggestion by Nero that he kill himself. Now, let me tell you, if you lived in Nero's Rome and Nero sent you a letter that said, I don't expect to see you alive after today. It would not have been a bad idea if you were a, you know, a non-Christian, stoic to do what Seneca did next.


[00:07:53] And the story is that he went into a bathtub and cut his wrists and bled to death. He committed he committed suicide. That ought to give you a one reason why Seneca didn't influence Paul. Then the next major thinker was Epictetus. He was a slave. Now, the dates for Epictetus would be 50 to 138 A.D. 50 to 138 A.D.. Now, to be a slave in Rome simply meant that you were an unfortunate person whose country was conquered by Rome, and you had certain intellectual or physical attributes that made you have some value as a slave. You may have been a teacher, you may have been a household servant. You certainly didn't have any high level in society, but it had nothing to do with race or anything else. It just meant that you were a conquered person. Epictetus wrote a book that is worth reading. It's called The Inca Idiom. I don't think Seneca's writings are extant, but I could be mistaken on that. Seneca died in one in 65 A.D. Epictetus wrote a book called The Caribbean that is really worth reading. In fact, there's a whole lot of psychology in there that could be of value to people. Let me let me give you one quotation from the In karate, and now I need to go back actually and and and rehearse this a little bit more accurately. But Epictetus has a quotation, something like this. Ask not. Have you ever heard those two words together? Ask not. Well, of course you've heard, because you've just heard me utter those two words. Ask, not ask. Not that the world be as you will it to be. Ask rather that your will be the way the world. Now, that statement reminds some people of a famous line in the ghostwritten presidential address of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.


[00:10:24] Now, that famous sentence in Kennedy's inaugural address goes like this. Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask rather, what you can do for your country. Now the words are different, but the cadence, the rhythm is identical. Then the third of the last Stoics was Marcus Aurelius, who was a Roman emperor. Marcus Aurelius. Now, Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor who lived from 121 to 180 A.D.. Okay. Now, Marcus Aurelius definitely was a pantheistic. He said all men are brothers. All of us are children of God. All of us have a spark of divinity within us. But that didn't keep Marcus Aurelius from killing a whole lot of Christian brothers and sisters. All right. He sent them. He sent them to death. Liberals love Marcus Aurelius because he talked about the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, which, incidentally, doesn't make sense outside of a pantheistic context. When you come to early Protestant liberals in the 20th century, like Harry Emerson Fosdick, but Marcus Aurelius, a couple of Hollywood movies. Let me see if I can remember the titles. The Gladiator. I didn't see that movie. I compare all movies. I compare all movies by the standard Major League, that movie. Now, if the movie The Gladiator, what are you doing? Listen to me. If that movie, The Gladiator, had the Cleveland Indians winning in the Coliseum, I'd go see it. But Mark, a serious play. He's in that movie and then he dies and his evil son takes over. See? And the other movie in which Marcus Aurelius is portrayed is the movie The Fall of the Roman Empire, in which his daughter is played by Sophia Loren. I doubt that that's what Marcus Aurelius daughter looked like. But anyway, now Epictetus is is really interesting because I even though Marcus is clearly a pantheistic, I think I can see signs of some kind of imminent theism in Epictetus.


[00:13:20] Now, I could be mistaken. I could be mistaken. But other people think that there are times when Epictetus sounds like a person who believes in one personal God. One personal God. If so, guess in which direction the influence came. All right. I'll suggest to you that if you can find elements of personal theism in Epictetus, it came about as a result of an influence from Christians in Rome and it not the other way around. Let me give you another couple of quotations from Epictetus. All of life's a stage. You ever heard that? Now, some of you think Shakespeare wrote that. Maybe he did. All of life is a stage, and we are the actors in that play. And the role we play in the drama of life is not our choice. It is the choice of another. And the word another is capitalized. Our role in life is to accept the role that God gives us and to play it to the best of our ability. If God gives you the role of a King. Play that role well. If God gives you the role of a poor man, play that role well. Now here I am, the carping critic. Should we let anybody get away with it? If they say, Well, God made me a terrorist and I'm going to be the best terrorist I can be? Epictetus doesn't talk about that. See, are there limits, Mr. Epictetus, to how far we take this game? Role playing? I don't know. Now, one more quote, but this quote comes from an earlier stoic Clay Anthony's or Chrysippus. One of those two could be either one. Remember these guys were determinist. They believe that everything that happens to us is determined by something outside of ourselves.


[00:15:53] So one of these early stoics, and with this, we're almost finished for today. He said, Imagine a dog with a rope around its neck where the rope is tied to the back of a heavy wagon that is being pulled by a horse. Where will the dog go? Answer any where the horse pulls the wagon. Okay. Now the dog has no control over his ultimate destination. He will end up wherever the wagon ends up. That's determined. But the dog does have control over how he will go. See, you can't control what happens to you externally. All you can control is your attitude towards life. So the dog can pull, can resist. And in the process, you know, really hurt itself. You know, it can wear the skin and the hair off of its neck. But no matter how hard the dog resists, he's still going to end up wherever the wagon ends. On the other hand, the dog can realize that nothing he does, he can complain, he can cry, he can whine, he can resist. Nothing he does matters. He'll still end up in the same place. So every human being is like that dog. Our. Our life is determined by fate, not by a personal god. It's determined by fate. When it's your time to go, you're going to go. Well, that's fatalism. Another way to put the stoic ethic is this If life hands you a lemon, squeeze it. If life hands you a lemon. Make lemonade. Recognize that nothing you do or say or think is going to change your destiny. But you have the power at least to change how you're going to meet that destiny. That's stoicism. Don't get upset. Don't get angry. Don't get tense. Just relax. I will I will tell you again today that when you think about the Stoics, you must think of them in terms of pantheism.


[00:18:38] But pantheistic like a lot of people cheat. Strictly speaking, a pantheistic god cannot think because a pantheistic God is not a person. It is an it. It is a force. It is a power. And I'm wiggling my hips here, as I sometimes do with stuff like that. Neither can a pantheistic God choose. In order to choose, in order to have knowledge, you must have a mind and a pantheistic God has no mind. Okay. Now, I told you that Epictetus, who probably is the nicest stoic to read. And I mean I mean that once this course is over and, you know, if you find yourself a little bit depressed and then not that that's not funny. Instead of reading some novel or, you know, something else, get a copy of Epictetus in Caribbean or Manual goes by both names and you really will enjoy it. Okay. Lots of lots of nice pithy statements, nice quotations as I gave you last week. But you should also pay attention to how Epictetus often talks about God in personal terms. For example, all of life is a play and the role we play is not ours. It is chosen by another. All right. Epictetus there is talking about his God as though it's a personal God who makes choices. Now, if Epictetus really were a pan theist, as all of the other Stoics, here's what that statement means. The choice is made by another could mean that's just fate. That's destiny. There is no actual choice by God. That's just the way the dice rolled for you. That's the way things play out in a pantheistic universe. It does seem to me that Epictetus may very well have come under the influence of Christianity. He may very well have been on the borderline between a pantheistic god and a personal God.


[00:21:04] And it wouldn't be unusual to have a person who really doesn't know which way to turn in that particular way. Okay. Now, both Epicureanism and Stoicism grew out of earlier movements. I'll repeat that. Both Epicureanism and Stoicism grew out of earlier movements. In the case of Stoicism, the earlier movement was known as cynicism. Cynic. Okay. The cynics were a small group of thinkers who lived about the same time as Socrates. Remember, the Stoics came along all 200 years, 200 B.C., somewhere in there. The founder of cynicism was a man named Antisthenes. The Epicureans, on the other hand, grew out of an earlier movement known as Cyrenaica. Since the Syrian ethics also lived about the time of Socrates, they were contemporaries of Socrates, and the founder of Syria or Nazism, was a man named Ara Steps. Now, what did the cynics teach? They taught that we should live the simple life. We should live according to nature. And what this what the cynics meant by living according to nature. Please catch this, because this phrase is common both to cynicism and to stoicism. What they meant was different for the cynics. Living according to nature meant live the simple life, be contemptuous of tradition and habit and custom in a very real sense. The cynics were the first hippies, you know. They were the first hippies. I told you a story a few weeks ago about Diogenes, the cynic, and how they couldn't settle on a definition of man in the Lyceum, and Diogenes was listening on the other side of the wall. And he's the guy that threw the plucked chicken over the wall and said, Here is your feather, Lis biped. That was Diogenes. Back in the fifties, when I was going to Brown University, the hippies were, you know, were all over secular universities.


[00:23:55] But you know what? The hippies also had a cold. The hippies presented themselves as nonconformists, but they conformed to other they conform to hippie done. All right. So I used to go into hippie cafes. I would never drink anything in there. Although the smoke that was floating around the air did make me feel good on occasion. And I always had a suit and a coat on. All right. And they said, Get out of here, brother. This is only for hippies. And I said, I am the only real hippie in this place. Say, because you guys are all conformists. You all smell the same. You're all dressed in the same dirty clothes. You haven't washed your hair in three years. I am the only real nonconformist in this joint. And we had a lot of converts. I took in a boom box, and I. We put on just as I am. And a lot of these know, a lot of these hippies would cut their hair and, you know, and they said, Hey, man, you're cool. We want to be different. So they started to wear suits and ties. Well, there's nothing new under the sun that came to me one night in a dream. There it was. There's nothing new under the sun. If you wait long enough, every bit of stupidity that existed 2000 years ago will come around all right? And it'll probably come around to Ivy League campuses. So the cynics were hippies, and they were all conformists. Now, what they meant by living according to nature was live the simple life. Live well. Live the life of a dog. In. But they carried this to such an extreme. That they did certain things in public. The human beings are not supposed to do in public.


[00:26:07] And here actually, the word cynic comes from the word dog. You might think here, forgive me for this, but it makes the picture. All right. They would do in public what dogs do. That's how far they went. Now. When The Stoics. When. All right, you got the picture. This is crude, but these were dirty people, all right? You could always smell them coming. Diogenes slept in a bathtub on a hill above Athens. Once Alexander the Great asked some of his people to take him to see Diogenes. So very was snoozing in the sun in his bathtub. But of course, he never put any water in the bathtub. See? And. And Alexander said, You know, I've heard of you with the hearing of the ears, but now I've seen you, and you really are different. Ask of me what you will up to one half my kingdom and I'll give it to you. That's what Alexander the Great said to Diogenes. And Diogenes opened one eye and said, You want to know what I want most? Alexander said, Yes, Get out of my sunlight. He was casting a shadow on Diogenes. Okay. Now, the Stoics come along and they take the phrase live according to nature. But here's what they meant. Nature, in their phrase, becomes a synonym for God. But what kind of God answer? A non-personal, pantheistic God and impersonal God. Faith. Just faith. So when they said live according to nature the Stoics, what they meant was accept whatever fate sends your way. Now, there are four basic terms that summarize the stoic metaphysic. And here they are materialism. This is in the book, and it's also in your outline materialism, Heraclitus and ism, pantheism and fatalism. First of all, they believed that everything was matter in motion.


[00:28:18] That's materialism. Let's skip down to pantheism. They believe that this matter in motion is divine. It's all part of a of a divine system. And then they borrowed a great deal of their belief from Heraclitus, especially Heraclitus, as use of the word Lagos. They believe that everything is divine, but it is kind of a cosmic fire. There is a cosmic fire burning in every human being, which explains why we're all children of God and brothers, except when you're Christians. And then we're going to kill you, as Marcus Aurelius did. And finally, they're fatalist. They're determinist. Let me warn you here that there's a difference between fatalism and Calvinism. They are not the same. The fatalism of the Stoics was an impersonal determinism. Okay made no rhyme nor sense. There was no mind behind this in Calvinism. Or we could also talk here about Augustinian ism. We could talk here about the New Testament. Okay. There is at least one free being in the whole universe, right? And who is that one freak being in the universe? God. God is not subject to these deterministic forces or power. You don't have that exception to determinism in a fatalistic system. If you want a good account of the difference between Calvinism and fatalism, Gordon Clark's book fails to doing. This is probably the best one volume history of philosophy ever written. And Gordon Clark, as You oughta know, is a is a was a great Christian thinker and was and still is in heaven. But read what Gordon Clark writes about Stoicism and he gives you a little, little discussion of the difference between fatalism and Christian theism. And one of those differences is this Under under fatalism, there is no recognition of the role that means play.


[00:30:38] Any MERS means play to the accomplishment of a particular. And under Calvinism, there is a recognition no end is ever achieved without bringing about the means to that end. So that even though the conversion of people, some the conversion of some people in the third World may be determined. And all I mean by using the word may be there is not everybody is going to be saved. The Bible makes clear that there is a predetermined means to that end. And that is. Well, let me quote Paul in Romans chapter ten. How shall they hear without a preacher? Okay. How shall they hear without a preacher? God does not save people. Apart from the hearing of the Word of God and the preaching of the Word of God. And if you're looking for something to do with your life, you, you, you just pack up your stuff and you go to some other country and preach. Do what Paul talks about in Romans chapter ten. And I'll tell you, there's nothing more thrilling. Then to know that God is using you. In a position that no one else is being used to introduce people to the Christian worldview and the gospel. Okay, Now what Saint Paul influenced by Seneca and stoicism? I give you all kinds of reasons why he was not. But let me just make one point clear. When Seneca said live according to the will of God, he did not and could not mean the word the term will of God in the same sense that the New Testament does. When the New Testament tells us to live according to the will of God, it is the will of a conscious personal our mission deity. All Seneca meant was accept your fate in life.


[00:32:50] Okay. There's no way that Paul could have accepted the ethics of the Stoic because you know what the ethics taught. If your neighbor loses a child. Yesterday going into church, I noticed a little outside in the outside the sanctuary. There was a little of bass and some fresh flowers. And now I'm getting kind of emotional here. Three toys, little toy cars. And then there was a little sign made up by a computer that gave the name of a three year old child from that church who had died. And look at me here. It's it it touched me very much. And, you know, maybe that's true in the case of people who are grandfathers or parents, because you can understand the kind of loss that that family had. I don't know. Maybe it was the six month anniversary of their of their three year old son's death or. But anyway, I saw it and it touched me. Now, the Stoics say you must root out all emotion from your life. You must never be touched the way I was touched yesterday. Why? Because you're then a victim of your emotions and your feelings. You see. Now it's perfectly all right to go to your neighbor's house and pretend. I hope you're listening to this. Pretend to be sorry. Pretend to feel sympathy or grief. But don't you really feel any grief that's beneath? No. True stoic ever allows his emotions to touch him. Well, when we get to our discussion of the Epistle to the Hebrews. And you read chapter two. Where's my Bible? Just a minute. Here. Yes. I brought my own this week. My Navy. May I read from. You don't have to turn. This is Hebrews chapter two. Well, I'm just looking at the last verse of chapter two, because he himself suffered when he was tempted.


[00:35:10] He is able to help those who are being tempted. And the temptation there is not just the temptation to sin, it's also the the temptation to feel grief. You read chapter two of the book of he was very carefully and you'll find that we have a great high priest who is able to empathize with us, sympathize with us. So there's a huge gap between the ethics of the Stoics and the way they live their lives and the way a Christian like Paul would respond. Now, I want to make a reference to one other thing that Shallow liberals still do. The early Stoics. Remember, there were three movements of stoicism the early movement, the middle movement, and later stoicism. Yes, the early Stoics taught that the world would be destroyed by fire. So what do the liberals do? Real creative people see. They come along and say, Aha! Second, Peter, Chapter three is obviously under the control of stoic thinking. Why? The world is destroyed by fire. The world is destroyed by fire. No, I think there can be no correlation here. Here's why. Point one The early Stoics are banned in the idea that the world would be destroyed by fire. They abandoned it more than 50 years before Jesus was born. In order for anybody to be foolish enough to think that the author of Second Peter was going to resurrect an idea that had now been off the table for over 100 years is utterly absurd. The Stoics of Peter's Day didn't believe that anymore. They had substituted for the earlier theory the idea that the world was eternal. Moreover. The content of the stoic theory of the destruction of the Earth is totally different. They believe that this is a process. Remember Heraclitus, the circle and everything in the world is going through the fire.


[00:37:32] That was a long, slow process that would be repeated again and again and again. That was the stoic theory. What is the doctrine of Peter and second, Peter? Chapter three. It is that the world is destroyed once for all. In a very short time. The world is just. It's totally different theory.