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Ideas of St Paul, by Text

[Cilician, 15 - 67, Born at Tarsus. Persecutor of the followers of Jesus, then founded the Church of Rome, and wrote many letters. Died in Rome.]

55 12: Colossians
2.8 p.568 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy
     Full Idea: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy.
     From: St Paul (12: Colossians [c.55], 2.8)
     A reaction: The same might be said of preaching. The two sorts of spoiling seem to be fanaticism and wickedness. While reason can lead to fanaticism, I believe (with Socrates) that it is unlikely to corrupt morally.
55 10: Ephesians
4:14 p.564 Don't be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, by cunning deceptive men
     Full Idea: Henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
     From: St Paul (10: Ephesians [c.55], 4:14)
     A reaction: One quoted to me by a learned religious friend, in response to Idea 23767. I sympathise. I find it extraordinary the nonsense that students of philosophy can be led into, when they swallow some specious argument.
55 09: Galatians
3.28 p.562 Jew and Greeks, bond and free, male and female, are all one in Christ
     Full Idea: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
     From: St Paul (09: Galatians [c.55], 3.28)
     A reaction: No wonder women and slaves were enthusiastic about Christianity. This verse is powerful and influential, even if it was largely ignored by Christian rulers. Consider the relative positions of women in Islam and Christendom.
55 06: Epistle to the Romans
02.15 p.541 When Gentiles follow the law, they must have the law written in their hearts
     Full Idea: When the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves, which shew the works of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness.
     From: St Paul (06: Epistle to the Romans [c.55], 02.15)
     A reaction: This passage was used by theologians as proof of innate ideas, which are, of course, divinely implanted (in the guise of doing things 'by nature'). It is quoted by Leibniz. Thus Christians annexed credit for pagan morality to God.
13:1-2 p.546 Power is ordained by God, so anyone who resists power resists God, and will be damned
     Full Idea: Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained by God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
     From: St Paul (06: Epistle to the Romans [c.55], 13:1-2)
     A reaction: This notorious passage was used to justify the Divine Right of Kings in England in the seventeenth century. It strikes me as being utterly preposterous, though you might say that violent resistance to an evil dictator only brings worse evil.
19-21 p.16 God's eternal power and deity are clearly seen in what has been created
     Full Idea: From the creation of the world God's invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, are clearly perceived in the things that have been made.
     From: St Paul (06: Romans [c.55], 19-21), quoted by Brian Davies - Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
     A reaction: St Paul says that for this reason the Gentiles are 'without excuse' for not believing (which means they are in trouble if Christians ever gain political power). Davies says it is unusual to find an argument for God's existence in the Bible.