The Problem with Christoplatonism

The false assumptions of Christoplatonism, compared to Genesis 1:31: And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good

In the following video and transcript, I share some thoughts:

Christoplatonism—there’s a word that you don’t hear every day. It’s actually a word that I made up (probably the only word I’ve ever made up!) and used in my comprehensive Heaven book to speak of the Christianized philosophy of Plato.

There is the secular philosophy of Plato that the material world is bad—it’s evil—and only the invisible, spiritual world is good. But then there were Christian church fathers who took up the ideas of Platonism and tried to read them into the Bible. They made the Bible appear to be condemning the physical material world. This is a real trick because you can’t really do that authentically with Scripture. God looked at the world that He had made after the sixth day of Creation, and “behold, it was very good.” He approved of His whole creation. All of it—the food that we eat, the plants, the water, the animals, marital sex—is good and made by God for good purposes.

Then sin came into the world. It’s not that sin made these things bad; it’s that we fell as human beings and started to misuse and idolize some of these things. The teaching of Scripture is not that we’ll be delivered from a material world and material bodies, but that ultimately we will live as resurrected beings in a resurrected universe for all eternity. We’ll enjoy the goodness of God in the material realm, just as we do in the spiritual realm. In fact, those two realms will be brought together forever in the eternal incarnate Christ, on the New Earth. He will be in human form forever, reigning on the throne of the New Jerusalem with Him as King of Kings and us as kings (with a lower case “k”), reigning under Him. So in God’s renewed, resurrected, redeemed creation, we will worship Him forever.

 

Wheat field image credit: zomb_kille via sxc.hu

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries

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