And vice versa, he says: “Those who live according to the logos are Christians.” Now what happens here is very important. He includes, for instance, Socrates, Heraclitus, Elijah, and others. But there is a difference; he added, “the total logos,” which appeared in Christ and has become “body, mind and soul.” Therefore the philosophers, apart from Christianity, are partly in error and even partly subjected to demonic inspirations which come from the pagan gods. The gods of the heathens are not non-entities, but they are demonic forces, they are realities. But since they are on a limited basis (since) they are idols, they therefore have destructive power.
What does all this mean? It takes away the wrong impression..–..as though these Christians felt themselves as another religion. There is here actually the negation of the concept of religion, for Christianity: one religion beside others. All the others are wrong; ours is right: against this the Apologists would say: not.our religion is right, but the logos has appeared on which our religion is based, and is the full logos of God himself, appearing in the center of His being, appearing in His totality. This is more than religion. This is truth appearing in time and space. So here the word “Christianity” is still understood not as a religion but as the negation of religions, and for this reason as being able to embrace them all, in terms of universality. Justin has said what I think it is absolutely necessary to say: If there were anywhere in the world an existential truth which could not be received by Christianity as an element in its own thinking, then Jesus would not be the Christ.
And this is exactly what he says, and what the whole logos doctrine says, because then He would be one teacher alongside other teachers, of which there are many and each is limited and in error. But that is not what the early Christians said. The early Christians said – and we say and should say – that if we call Jesus the Christ, or the Logos (as the Apologists called Him), this means there cannot be, by definition, so to speak, any truth – Let us say, China, India, Islam, Judaism, mysticism, whatever you want to know, and certainly all philosophy – which cannot be taken in principle into Christianity and is nevertheless truth. If this were possible, then the application of the term logos, as the Fourth Gospel applies it, to Jesus as the Christ would not be possible.. This does not mean that this Logos knew all truth; that is of course nonsense and would destroy His humanity, His human reality. But it does mean that the fundamental truth which has appeared in Him is essentially universal, and therefore can take in every other truth. For this reason the early theologians didn’t hesitate to take in as much Greek philosophical truth as they could, and as much oriental mysticism as they could. They were not afraid of it, as some theologians today are.