What should we think of Plato? Do his ideas have any profit for Christianity? Can the Platonic philosophical heritage serve Christianity as a handmaiden to biblical interpretation and theological construction? These questions concerning the relationship between philosophy and theology have been discussed and debated by Christians from the very beginning.
At the heart of the matter is metaphysics. Everyone uses metaphysics, the only question is whether we acknowledge the metaphysic that we use or not. Too often, Christians today unwittingly read the Bible through a modern metaphysic of which they are not even aware. Unfortunately, this metaphysic is indebted to modern presuppositions and is rather alien to the one presupposed all over the scriptures.
To help us consider the cyclical nature of scripture and metaphysics, Hans Boersma joins Matthew Barrett on the Credo Podcast to talk about Christian Platonism and the relationship between metaphysics and biblical interpretation. Hans defines five points of Christian Platonism and explains why these five points serve to clarify and even protect Christianity from paganism.
Hans Boersma is the Chair of the Order of St. Benedict Servants of Christ Endowed Professorship in Ascetical Theology at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, where he arrived in 2019. Prior to this, he taught at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada for fourteen years. He is the author of many books, including, Seeing God: The Beatific Vision in the Christian Tradition; Heavenly Participation: The Weaving of a Sacramental Tapestry; and Scripture as Real Presence: Sacramental Exegesis in the Early Church.
Matthew Barrett is the author of Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Baker). He is the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine and host of the Credo podcast. He is associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.