When Athens Met Jerusalem: An Introduction to Classical and Christian Thought

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Christian theology shaped and is shaping many places in the world, but it was the Greeks who originally gave a philosophic language to Christianity. John Mark Reynolds’s book When Athens Met Jerusalem provides students a well-informed introduction to the intellectual underpinnings (Greek, Roman and Christian) of Western civilization and highlights how certain current intellectual trends are now eroding those very foundations. This work makes a powerful contribution to the ongoing faith versus reason debate, showing that these two dimensions of human knowing are not diametrically opposed, but work together under the direction of revelation.



John Mark Reynolds, Biola University professor of philosophy and director of the Torrey Honors Institute, released his new book When Athens Met Jerusalem, this month, June 2009. His new book discusses the intellectual influence of Greco-Roman thought on Christendom.

According to Reynolds, Christendom is the product of the providential service Athens gave to Jerusalem. The story of Greek philosophy helped prepare the way for Christendom and it was the Greeks who contributed a philosophical language to Christianity.

“When wandering from the faith, it was a visit to Athens, via the works of classical philosophers – especially Plato – that pointed me back home to Jerusalem,” said Reynolds. “This is the story of what I found, and what I keep finding, in that personally redemptive and blessed relationship between Athens and Jerusalem.”

In the preface, Reynolds writes that anyone who lives in a place with a Christian heritage needs to understand the relationship between Christian ideas and Greek philosophy. When Athens Met Jerusalem describes the development of that relationship and shows how Christian theology has shaped and continues to shape many places in the world.

The book targets college and university students looking for a readable introduction to ancient philosophy or classical and Great Books students of any age, and pastors or Christian workers who seek to understand the philosophical content of the New Testament.

InterVarsity Press published When Athens Met Jerusalem and the book is currently available for purchase.

The Torrey Honors Institute is a program in the liberal arts general education for undergraduates at Biola University. Modeled on the Oxbridge tutorial system, Torrey is designed to hone students’ critical thinking skills by exposing them to classical texts and using discussion as the primary mode of instruction.

From the => Biolanews webpage