So Justin could say: “The world lives from the prayers of the Christians and from the obedience of the Christians to the law of the state. The Christians preserve the world, and on the other hand, for their sake God preserves the world.” Now this is the main argument against the Roman Empire, which of course could be supported by innumerable practical evidences which show that far from destroying the orders on which reality is built, the Christians support it.” The philosophical idea of God is inborn in every human being. 1t is the idea of Being eternally, without beginning, needing nothing beyond passions, indestructible, unchangeable, invisible – all these characteristics which Parmenides attributed to Being are here attributed to God. But there is a point of difference between classical Greek philosophy and Justin’s doctrine of God. This difference comes in through the Old Testament and changes everything. It is the statement that God is the almighty creator.: The moment this statement is made, the personal element enters the abstract and mystical description of God’s identity. God as creator is acting, and almightiness means that He is the acting power behind everything which moves.
It is interesting to observe that in these early statements about God, Christian monotheism oscillates between the trans-personal element of Being and the personal element of God as creator, and of course saviour, etc. This oscillation is necessary in the moment in which the idea of God is made the object of thought. You cannot escape some elements of the eternal, of the unconditional, the unchangeable, etc. On the other hand, the practical piety and the experience of creatureliness in which we find ourselves, presupposes a person-to-person relationship, and between these two elements Christianity always oscillates and must oscillate, because these are two elements in God himself.
Between God and man, there are angels and powers, some of them good and some evil. But their mediating power is insufficient. The real mediator is the Logos. Now what is this Logos? I remember that in former classes the question was always asked: Now after all this speaking about “Logos”, I would like to know what the word really means! And I hope that after the next four weeks, when you hear much more about the Logos, you can ask this question. But I will try my best, although the best is very poor in comparison with the difficulty of the problems, especially for the difficulty in the minds of people of whom I say they all are nominalists by birth! This makes it so difficult because, of course, a concept such as “Logos” is not the description of an individual being, but the description of a universal principle.
And if one is not used to thinking in terms of universals as powers of being, then such a concept ” as Logos remains impossible to understand. So I should do the following: to convert you, at least hypothetically, to medieval realism – to Platonism, if you want to call it thus – and then to speak about the Logos. But since time is limited, I will do this implicitly if possible, and cannot do it explicitly.