You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:13
- Justin was born to a Greek family living in Palestine, but did not encounter Christianity while he was growing up. Instead, he became a student of philosophy and followed a personal search for truth by exploring the dominant Greek philosophies of his day: Stoicism, Aristotelianism, Pythagoreanism, and Platonism. Still finding himself unsatisfied, he was converted to Christianity through the personal witness of a random stranger who convinced him that Christianity was the only true philosophy.
- Justin became a wandering philosophy teacher, setting up schools in Ephesus and in Rome. His teaching influenced several major Christian figures, including Tatian and Irenaeus. He wrote a number of books, including two “Apologies” addressed to the Roman Emperor and the Senate, as well as a philosophical dialogue with an Ephesian Jew.
The Problem with Christianity (from the Roman Perspective)
2.) Christians celebrated a secret rite with one another in which they claimed to eat the flesh and drink the blood of their founder. Rumors abounded about what was really going on in Communion, and many people suspected the Christians to be cannibals or morally depraved in other ways.
3.) Christianity was a new religion and a new philosophy, only 100 years old in Justin’s day. By contrast, the religions of Greece and Rome had been in place for a millennium at least, and all the major philosophies had been around for four centuries or more. For a culture that venerated antiquity as a mark of truth, Christianity’s newness made it seem suspicious.
The Theory of the Logos
“Whatever all men have uttered aright, then, belongs to us Christians.”
“He is the Word of whom every race of men partakes; and those who lived by their reason were Christians, even though they did not know it—such men among the Greeks were Socrates and Heraclitus.”
More Quotes from Justin:
“We who once enjoyed the pleasures of lust now embrace chastity. We who once resorted to magical arts, now dedicate ourselves to the good and unbegotten God. We who prized above all else the acquisition of wealth and possessions, now bring what we have into the common stock, and share with everyone in need. We who hated and destroyed one another, and, because their manners were strange, would not live with men of a different race, now since Christ has come, live familiarly with them and pray for our enemies. And our endeavor is to persuade those who hate us unjustly to live themselves by the good precepts of Christ, that they too may become partakers with us of the same joyful hope of reward from God, the ruler of us all.”