Everything has a desire to unite itself with the highest form, to get rid of the lower forms in which it lives, where it is in the bondage of matter. In this way the Aristotelian God, as the highest form, came into Christian theology and played a tremendous role there.

Now I come to another tradition: THE STOIC TRADITION, which is the second one of great importance for the understanding of Christian theology. The Stoics were, more than Plato and Aristotle together, important for the life of the later ancient world. The life of the educated ancient man in the world of rulers, coming from Alexander the Great in the Macedonian Empire, or coming from Rome and taking away the independence of all nations – the life of the educated man in these periods was shaped mostly by Stoic tradition. Therefore it is even more important than the Platonic tradition, for the life of the people. I have dealt with this from the point of view of life, of the courage to take fate and death upon oneself, in my book The Courage to Be. There I show that Christianity and the Stoics are the great competitors in all the Western world. But now I show in this lecture something else: Christianity has taken from this great and always present competitor – present even today a lot of fundamental ideas. The first is the doctrine which will bring you into despair when we come to the history of Trinitarian and Christological thought, namely the doctrine of the Logos. But we must deal with it, otherwise no part of the Christian dogmatic development can be understood.

Logos means word, and means also the meaning in a word, the reasonable structure which is indicated by a word. Therefore logos also can mean the universal logos or law of reality. This is the way in which the first one who used this word philosophically – Heraclitus – -used it. The logos is the law which determines the movements of all reality.