You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

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About Steven Wedgeworth

Steven Wedgeworth is the associate pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Institute.

6 thoughts on ““Platonism”

  1. Hilarious, that picture. Someday when we write up “Reformedom: The Musical”, I’d like to see an enormous set of Raphael’s painting, with colorful costumes and dances and everything.

    It’s always impossible to really get an accurate estimate on something like this, but I’ll bet I lost six months when writing my dissertation because my brain was trapped in this “hip counter-cultural Christians have answers nobody else ever even came close to” groove. I DID NOT want Edwards to be a neo-Platonist (whatever that means, exactly), so I felt like I constantly needed to be on guard against authors who read him that way, and to always qualify my own discussion in the text with anticipated readings of Neo-Platonic flavor so I could try to shoot them down preemptively. The footnotes piled up, and this was not the topic of my dissertation. In the end, I bit the bullet, decided I didn’t care anymore, and let the “ideas” go where they wanted. If Edwards borrows from Plato, or from neo-Platos, so be it. I lost or had to seriously re-work a LOT of stuff, but in the end my dissertation was much better for it. And at the defense, nobody tried to pigeonhold Edwards as anything in particular: he obviously has an original and brilliant mind all his own, and his influences are interesting but not the substance of what matters. Imagine that.

  2. Xon’s experience is similar to my own. I remember reading Lewis’ discusion of Edmund Spenser’s *Faerie Queen* in his book on *Medieval and Renaissance Literature.*. I loved *Faerie Queen* and I got so mad when Lewis said Spenser was a neo-platonist.

    I reasoned that Lewis was wrong because Spenser glorified the body and biblical sex and obviously neo-platonists hated the body. And so on and so forth.

    I’ve made peace with it.

  3. My favorite is when an ex-Protestant starts critiquing the influence of Platonism on his former communion.

    I was always want to say, “Sts Gregory and Augustine told me to punch you in the throat.”

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