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Introduction to Humanities Lecture 9a The Rise of Christianity


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Title: Introduction to Humanities Lecture 9a The Rise of Christianity

Introduction to Humanities Lecture 9a The Rise of
  • By David Kelsey

  • Judaism
  • The Hebrews describe themselves as descendants of
    the patriarch Abraham.
  • Sometime around 1900 BC, Abraham lead Israelites
    from the Sumerian city of Ur
  • Later they moved into the Land of Canaan
  • They were then identified as the children of
  • A drought in Canaan forced the Hebrews into Egypt
    around 1600 BC.
  • The Hebrews had lived in Egypt peacefully but
    were later enslaved by Pharaohs for building
  • Source

The Exodus from Egypt
  • The Exodus
  • About 1300 BC Moses leads the Hebrews out of
    Egypt in what is known as the Exodus.
  • They move from Egypt back to Canaan where they
    form into 12 tribes.
  • Moses gives them the concept of a single tribal
    god (called Yahweh) and a covenant with Yahweh.
  • By 1020 BC the 12 tribes were unified and a
    monarchy forged with Saul as the first king.
  • One of Sauls lieutenants, David, (1000-970 BC),
    unites the Hebrews and establishes control over
    all of Canaan.
  • David also conquered the city of Jerusalem which
    he establishes as the capital of the Hebrew

The Path of the Exodus
The History of Judaism
  • The History of Judaism continued
  • Davids son Solomon rules 970-930 BC
  • Solomon brought ancient Israel to the height of
    its power.
  • He strengthened the military, expanded the
    borders and built the first temples in Jerusalem
  • After Solomons death tensions between northern
    and southern tribes leads to the establishment of
    2 separate kingdoms.
  • The kingdom of Israel the ten northern tribes,
    its capital at Samaria
  • The Kingdom of Judah 2 southern tribes, its
    capital at Jerusalem
  • Source

Israel and Juddah
  • The history of the 2 kingdoms
  • Israel
  • By the end of the 9th century Israel was a
    province of Assyria
  • In 722 BC the state of Israel was destroyed by
    the Assyrians, including its capital of Samaria
  • Judah
  • Judah was also made a province of Assyria but
    survived and the Assyrian empire dissolved
  • But King Nebuchadnezzar II, of the Chaldean
    empire, conquered Judah and completely destroyed
    Jerusalem in 586 BC.
  • But the Persian conquest of Babylon freed the
    Jews in 538 BC.
  • They were allowed to return to Jerusalem to
  • Judah remained a Persian province until the
    conquest of Alexander the Great

More history on the kingdom of Juddah
  • The kingdom of Judaea
  • By 200 BC Judaea had fallen to the Seleucids.
  • In the 2nd century BC the Seleucid King Antiochus
    IV, in an attempt to unify the religion and
    culture of his empire, sends an army to Jerusalem
    to seize the temple.
  • In 164 BC Jewish rebels recaptured the temple.
  • This is celebrated by Jews in the holiday of
  • 63 BC Rome conquers Palestine.
  • Gives Palestine the status of Protectorate, the
    Jews were excused from military service and given
    religious freedom.
  • 66 AD Jews launch rebellion against Rome with
    much of their population destroyed

  • 4 aspects of Judaism that helped it survive
  • It was Monotheistic
  • a universal God.
  • Judaism was the first monotheistic relgion
  • Their God was called Yahweh.
  • Yahweh is the creator of the world and everything
    in it.
  • He ruled the world and was subject to nothing.
  • He created nature but was not in it nor subject
    to its laws.
  • Natural phenomena were simply gods handiwork
  • A just and good god who expects goodness from his
  • He is a God of mercy and love and forgiveness
  • All Jews could have a personal relationship with

The Hebrew Bible
  • The Hebrew Bible
  • had the purpose of teaching the Jews about
  • It includes much of their recorded history.
  • The first 5 books are called the Pentateuch
    (pronounced Pent-a-TUK)
  • it covers the history of the Israelites from
    their beginnings until their arrival in Canaan.
  • The Torah is the Jewish law code.
  • It governs the rules for the Jews to live by,
    their relationships with others

More on Judaism
  • The final 3 aspects of Judaism that helped it
  • 2-The Covenant
  • The Israelites believe that during the exodus
    from Egypt, when Moses lead his people out of
    slavery, God spoke to them through Moses and told
    them that he had entered into a contract or
    covenant with the tribes of Israel.
  • Moses is said to have returned with knowledge of
    Gods will-commandments inscribed on tablets of
    stone. Later these become the Torah.
  • So God chose Israel to be his people and they
    accepted him as their God.
  • The covenant is a bond with Yahweh that the Jews
    made of their own free will.
  • The Israelites promised to obey Yahweh and follow
    his law. In return, Yahweh promised to take care
    of his people.
  • The covenant could be fulfilled only by obedience
    to the law of God.
  • 3-Graven images images of God were prohibited.
  • 4-The name of God cannot be taken in vain.

  • Prophets
  • The Israelites believed that certain holy men
    called prophets were sent by God to serve as his
    voice to his people.
  • There were many prophets between the 8th and 5th
    centuries BC.
  • They warned of Gods retribution if the
    Israelites did not keep their covenant
  • They preached that all nations would someday come
    to the God of Israel, eliminating all war and the
    establishment of peace for all

The Prophet 2nd Isaiah
  • A prophet of particular importance
  • 2nd Isaiah
  • The insights of 2nd Isaiah strongly influenced
  • The story of the sufferings of Israel were so
    specific that later generations came to believe
    that he was speaking of a particular person, a
    Messiah who would redeem the world through his
  • In Jesus of Nazareth the early Christians found
    that Messiah.
  • He was despised and rejected by men a man of
    sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and as one
    from whom men hide their faces he was despised,
    and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our
    griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed
    him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But
    he was wounded for our transgressions, he was
    bruised for our iniquities upon him was the
    chastisement that made us whole, and with his
    stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have
    gone astray we have turned every one to his own
    way and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of
    us all. (Isaiah 533-6)

The History of Christianity
  • The History of Christianity
  • Based on the life, death and coming to life again
    of Jesus Christ
  • A modification of Jewish heritage
  • Its origins date back at least as far as the 8th
    century B.C.
  • Jesus of Nazareth lived 6 BC to 30 AD.
  • He was a Palestinian Jew who began preaching in
    Judaea as a young adult.
  • Source of image of Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth
  • Source
  • Source

The Message of Jesus
  • Jesus message to his fellow Jews
  • Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law
    or the Prophets I have not come to abolish them
    but to fulfill them.
  • According to Jesus what has importance is not
    strict adherence to the laws but instead the
    transformation of the inner person
  • So in everything, do to others what you would
    have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and
    the Prophets.
  • Gods command was to love God and one another
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
    with all your soul and with all your mind and
    with all your strength. The second is this Love
    your neighbor as yourself.
  • The important values included humility, charity
    and brotherly love

Reaction to Jesus message
  • Reaction to Jesus and his message
  • Although some Jews welcomed Jesus as the messiah
    who would save Israel from oppression and
    establish Gods kingdom on Earth, Jesus spoke of
    a heavenly kingdom not an earthly one My
    kingdom is not of this world.
  • Thus, some religious leaders believed he was
    another false messiah undermining respect for
    traditional Jewish religion
  • At the same time, he had enemies in the Roman
    authorities of Palestine because his
    revolutionary ideas could cause a revolt
  • So Jesus had many enemies and was given to the
    Roman authorities. He was charged with blasphemy.

The crucifixion of Jesus
  • The crucifixion of Jesus
  • The Roman procurator Pontius Pilate ordered his
    crucifixion in 30 AD.
  • But a few loyal disciples spread the story of
    Jesus that he had overcome death, been
    resurrected and then ascended into heaven.
  • Jesus was now hailed by his followers as the
    anointed one, the son of God who would return
    and usher in the kingdom of God on Earth.
  • It was believed that Jesus was anointed by God as
    the savior of humanity
  • Shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus, the
    Jerusalem church is founded as the first
    Christian church

The Spread of Christianity
  • The Spread of Christianity
  • Paul of Tarsus (5-67 AD)
  • Was a Jewish Roman citizen
  • Called the second founder of Christianity
  • Believed the message of Jesus should be preached
    to Jews but also to non-Jews
  • He founded Christian communities throughout Asia
    minor and along the shores of the Aegean
  • He transformed Christianity from a Jewish sect
    into a religious movement
  • Source

Pauls message
  • Pauls message
  • Jesus was a savior God, the son of God, who had
    come to Earth to save all humans who were
    basically sinners as a result of Adams original
    sin of disobedience against God.
  • By his death Jesus had atoned for the sins of all
    humans and made it possible for all men and women
    to experience eternal salvation.
  • By accepting Jesus as your savior, you too could
    be saved

The Rise of Christianity
  • The rise of Christianity
  • The rise of Christianity was in almost direct
    proportion to the decline of the Roman empire,
    spreading from an obscure Roman province
    throughout the known world.
  • Christianitys message of hope, salvation, joy
    and a merciful and loving God made its rise
  • By 100 AD, Christian churches had been
    established in most of the major cities of the
    Eastern Roman empire as well as some in the West.
  • In 380 A.D., Theodosius I made Christianity the
    official religion of the Roman Empire.
  • 380-today Christianity spreads throughout the
    world. Today it is the most popular religion in
    the world.

The old Testament
  • The Old Testament
  • The old testament establishes that there is one
    true God
  • Predicts the coming to be of a Jewish messiah
  • There were 39 books written almost entirely in
    Hebrew between the 11th and 2nd centuries BC

The New Testament
  • The New Testament
  • Written in Greek from about AD 40 to AD 150
  • There was no written record from Jesus
  • Paul wrote a series of letters, or epistles,
    outlining Christian beliefs for Christian
  • And his disciples preserved some of Jesus
    sayings in writing, which became the basis of the
    written gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
  • This formed the core of the New Testament
  • St. Pauls Epistles to the Corinthians (written
    in AD 55),
  • The Acts of the Apostles (written in AD 60),
  • And the 4 gospels telling the story of Jesus,
    Mark (written in AD 70), Matthew and Luke (AD
    80-85) and John (AD 100-120)
  • By about AD 200 the books were revised into a
    Canonical Christian text

  • Christianity
  • What Christianity isnt
  • Not philosophy but prophecy
  • Not discussion, but proclamation
  • Not let us examine, but Thus says the lord
  • Not questioning but accepting
  • Christian Beliefs
  • There is one God who is not made by men
  • God is the father of all humankind and so all
    people are the children of God
  • So all men and women are brothers and sisters
  • As children of God, people are capable of better
    lives than they lead but can be forgiven for
    their sins if they repent
  • So love thy God and thy neighbor as thyself
  • The intention is of greater importance than the
  • Love must prompt the believer to perform acts of
    love, mercy and compassion

Christian beliefs continued
  • Christian beliefs continued
  • God is immaterial, not restricted to any one
    place is eternal
  • He is omni-benevolent and omnipotent so when you
    cry to him he does help
  • God alone is worthy of worship and reverence
  • God is the creator of the entire visible
    universe, which is not eternal and is wholly
    dependent on Gods power
  • The Logos is an intelligent and eternal agent
    that imposes an order on the world
  • But Logos and God are distinct.
  • Gods relation to the world was through the
    intervention of the Logos
  • In Christ the Word became flesh and dwelt among
    us, full of grace and truth (John 114)

Christ as redeemer
  • Christ as redeemer
  • God is good and made the visible world good, but
    sin is persistent in man as is shown by the story
    of Adam and Eve
  • Because of the sin of Adam, humankind carries
    with it the taint of original sin, a moral
    disease of sorts.
  • God will save us from our sinfulness through his
    son Jesus who took our sin upon himself in his
  • But God seeks to redeem and does so through
    Incarnation in which God becomes man taking to
    himself mans inherent guilt.
  • In Christs death as a mortal, the guilt is
    atoned and human beings are set free.
  • Through faith and belief in Jesus Christ, man
    will be raised from death, as Jesus was, to a
    blessed and eternal life with him.
  • Life is eternal and death is not extinction

Christianity in the Early Roman Empire
  • In the Early Roman empire
  • The Christians werent paid much attention to
  • But Christian missionaries used Roman roads to
    spread the good news throughout the empire
  • Since Christians did not participate in the
    worship of the Roman pantheon of Gods they were
    seen as harmful to the empire
  • In the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, persecution of
    Christians begins under the Roman emperor Nero
  • Christians were used as scapegoats for disasters.
  • They were persecuted for treason. They were
    sacrificed, crucified, burned at the stake
  • Christians had no problem dying for their faith
    and so many did
  • For example, in 177 AD Polycarp, the bishop from
    Smyrna, was asked to renounce his faith or die.
  • He was subsequently burned at the stake.
  • The Roman emperor (Decius) tried but failed to
    initiate a systematic persecution of Christians
    in 251 AD

Why Christianity spread?
  • The spread of Christianity
  • Christianity grew slowly in the 1st century, took
    root in the 2nd and spread widely in the 3rd
    century AD.
  • We can see the spread of Christianity in the
    following video
  • http//
  • Image of the spread of Christianity from the 2nd
    to 4th centuries
  • Source

The Spread of Christianity from the 3rd to 6th
Why Christianity Spread
  • Why Christianity spread
  • 1. Christianity gives life meaning and purpose in
    the promise of eternal salvation
  • 2. Christianity was familiar to Romans as its
    views mirrored some of the Eastern religions in
    the Empire
  • 3. Jesus was a human figure not a mythological
    one such as Isis
  • 4. it wasnt restricted to men
  • 5. Initiation was inexpensive. It was
    accomplished simply by Baptism, a purification of
    water in which one could enter into direct
    communion with Jesus.

More on why Christianity spread
  • More on why Christianity Spread
  • 6. one could enter into a personal relationship
    with God
  • 7. it fulfilled the human need to belong in the
    form of Christian communities
  • 8. It emphasized spiritual equality.
  • It was not biased toward the wealthy, either sex,
    culture or race
  • Paul And you have put on the new self, which
    is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its
    Creator. Here there is no Greek nor Jew,
    circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian,
    Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and
    is in all.

The organization of Christian communities
  • The organization of Christian communities
  • In early Christian communities both men and women
    played significant roles
  • Women were often preachers
  • Local churches were under the leadership of a
    board of elders called presbyters
  • (Prez-bi-ter)
  • By the 2nd century officials known as Bishops had
    authority over the Presbyters.
  • The bishops were the successors to Jesus
    original 12 disciples and as such living
    representatives of Jesuss power
  • the bishop was to be regarded as the lord himself
  • The bishops were men who were elected by the
    church and had authority over it and the
  • By the 3rd century bishops were nominated by the
    clergy, approved by the congregation and
    subsequently ordained into office.

Early Christian Communities
  • Source of map of the communities of the Gospels

Christianity in the late Roman Empire
  • The Edict of Milan
  • Constantine issues the Edict of Milan In 313,
    which officially tolerates the existence of
    Christianity in the empire
  • Christianity is legalized but Constantine
    declares freedom of religion
  • Persecution of Christians ends
  • Theodosius I
  • Makes Christianity the official religion of the
    Roman empire in 391 AD
  • In 391 he forbade the practice of all pagan cults
  • Source of image of Theodosius I

Organization of Christian Communities in the Late
Roman Empire
  • Organization of Christian communities in the late
    Roman empire
  • Bishops and Archbishops
  • The Christian community, called a diocese, in
    each city was controlled by a bishop
  • The bishop of each diocese of each Roman province
    were headed by an archbishop
  • The bishops of Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria and
    Antioch had special power as the churches in
    these cities had all been founded by the original
    apostles sent out by Jesus.

The Pope
  • The Pope
  • The bishop of Rome was the leader of the Western
    Christian Church
  • The doctrine of Petrine supremacy was grounded in
    scripture. It states that the bishop of Rome
    occupies a preeminent position in the church.
  • According to church tradition, Jesus had given
    the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter, who
    was considered the chief Apostle and the first
    bishop of Rome.
  • Subsequent bishops of Rome were considered
    Peters successors and later the vicars of
    Christ on Earth.

Pope Leo
  • Pope Leo
  • 440-461
  • The first Pope who systematically enforced the
    doctrine of Petrine supremacy.
  • He portrayed himself as the heir of Peter, who
    Jesus had chosen to be head of the Christian
  • Source

The Church Fathers
  • The Church Fathers
  • Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose and Pope Gregory the
    Great all had great influence on the Catholic
  • They all wrote in Latin
  • Saint Augustine
  • 354-430
  • Originally a professor of rhetoric in Milan,
    became bishop of Hippo in 396 and remained until
    his death
  • Wrote the Confessions and The City of God
  • Theorized that because humans are imperfect and
    sinful that a secular government is necessary.
  • Thought that the authorities could curb the
    sinful desires of human beings and maintain the
    peace necessary for Christians to live on this
  • Theorized that sex was only for the purpose of
  • Source

  • Jerome
  • 345-420
  • Extensive knowledge of both hebrew and latin
  • Translated the Old and New testaments into latin
  • In so doing created the Latin Vulgate. The
    common text of the scriptures that became the
    standard edition of the Catholic church in the
    Middle ages.
  • Source

Church and State
  • Church and State
  • Roman emperors, being Christians, came to play a
    significant role in the Church.
  • Likewise, bishops played an important role in
    government. They were often advisors to the
    Roman emperors.
  • Ultimate authority
  • According to Gelasius, although there were really
    two independent ruling powers, church and state,
    the church was the higher authority because all
    men must look to the church for salvation

  • Ambrose (339-397)
  • One of the 4 Latin fathers of the Catholic Church
  • Created an image of the ideal Christian bishop
  • He would defend the independence of the church
    against the tendency of government officials to
    control church policy
  • Exalt not yourself, but if you would reign the
    longer, be subject to God. It is written, Gods
    to God and Caesars to Caesar. The palace is the
    Emperors, the Churches are the Bishops.
  • The Power of the church
  • When emperor Theodusius I ordered the massacre of
    many Romans for refusing to obey his commands,
    Ambrose denounced the massacre and refused to
    allow the emperor to take part in Church
    ceremonies. Theodosius finally agreed to do
    public penance in the cathedral of Milan..
  • Source

Pope Gregory the Great
  • Pope Gregory the Great
  • Lived 540-604
  • Pope from 590-604
  • Ruled after much struggle and war
  • Justinians Byzantine army and the Ostrogoths,
  • The Lombard invasion of the 6th century
  • What Rome herself, once deemed the Mistress of
    the World, has now become, we see-wasted away
    with afflictions grievous and many, with the loss
    of citizens, the assaults of enemies, the
    frequent fall of ruined buildingsall the pomp of
    the dignities of this world is gone.
  • Gregory made Rome and its surrounding area into
    an administrative unit known as the Papal states
  • This helped to defend Rome against invaders,
    establish a government for Rome and to feed the

Pope Gregory the Great
  • Pope Gregory the Great
  • Was also instrumental in the conversion of many
    Europeans to Christianity.
  • Urged the Frankish rulers to reform the church in
  • Initiated the efforts of missionaries to convert
    England to Christianity and helped convert
  • Used the monastic movement to convert
  • Source

  • Monks
  • Originally lived like hermits, cut off from
    society, in order to pursue an ideal of total
    dedication to the will of God.
  • Forsake all society to pursue spirituality to
    die to the world, achieving spiritual life
    through denial, asceticism and mystical
    experience of God.
  • Monastic communities
  • The feats of monks attracted followers which
    leads to monastic communities
  • Each monastery was ruled by an Abbot, the father
    of the monastery, who had complete authority over
    the monks

Benedictine Monasticism
  • Benedictine Monasticism
  • Saint Benedict of Nursia (480-543) founded a
    monastic house and writes a set of rules for it
    sometime around 530
  • This establishes the fundamental form of monastic
    Christian life in the Western Christian church.
  • Benedict enforces strict ideals
  • moderation (in food and drink),
  • stability (staying in the monastery for life,)
  • fidelity (accepting the routine of the
  • obedience (to the abbot)
  • Benedicts rules divide each day
  • monks gathered 7 times a day for prayer, each day
    included some physical labor
  • Monks work, ate, slept and worshipped together.
  • Benedictine monks lived an ideal of poverty
  • By the 8th century, Benedictine Monasticism had
    spread throughout the Western empire
  • Source

The Conversion of Ireland
  • Saint Patrick
  • 390-461
  • Kidnapped and made an Irish slave, he escaped to
    Gaul and became a monk
  • Went back to Ireland to convert the Irish to
  • Known as the father of Irish Christianity
  • Church organization developed differently
    monasteries became the fundamental units of
    church organization, and Abbots exercised more
    control over the Irish church than bishops did
  • Irish monks became famous as missionaries.
  • For example, Saint Columba (521-597) left Ireland
    in 565 and founded a monastic community off the
    coast of Scotland
  • Source

The Conversion of England
  • Pope Gregory the Great sent monks to England to
    convert the Anglo Saxons to Christianity.
  • Gregory the Great sent Augustine, a monk from
    Rome, who arrived in England in 597.
  • At the time England was composed of a number of
  • Augustine first arrived at the kingdom of Kent
    where he converted king Ethelbert and his people
  • Augustine used persuasion not force...
  • Pope Gregorys words the temples of the idols
    among the people should on no account be
    destroyed. The idols are to be destroyed, but
    the temples themselves are to be sprinkled with
    holy water, altars set up in them, and relics
    deposited thereIn this way, we hope that the
    people, seeing that their temples are not
    destroyed, may abandon their error andmay come
    to know and adore the true God.
  • This way temples became Churches for the worship
    of the Christian God
  • Old pagan feasts were given new names.
  • For example, Christmas replaced the pagan
    celebration of the winter solstice.

The spread of Christianity from England to Europe
  • The conversion of England
  • As Irish Christianity spread south and Roman
    Christianity spread north, conflicts arose.
  • A gradual fusion of Irish and Roman Christianity
  • Later, English monks traveled to Europe to
    convert the people there
  • Most famous was Saint Boniface (675-754) who
    converted the Pagan Germans in Frisia, Bavaria
    and Saxony
  • Saint Boniface was known as the apostle of the
  • Source of image of Saint Boniface

  • Scholasticism
  • Christianity plays an important role in medieval
    society and has a central role in the European
    intellectual world from 1100-1700
  • Reaches its high point in the 13th century but
    begins with Abelard in the 12th century
  • Theology, the study of religion, becomes the
    chief intellectual study
  • Reason and logical analysis is applied to basic
    theological doctrines
  • Attempts to reconcile faith and reason
  • Attempts to demonstrate that what was accepted on
    faith could be demonstrated through reason
  • Became an intellectual model at the universities
    of the middle ages
  • The scholastic method
  • Pose a question, present contradictory authority
    on the question, then achieve a conclusion

  • Peter Abelard (1079-1142)
  • Taught theology in Paris
  • A popular teacher
  • Had an affair with Heloise whom he secretly
  • In his most famous work, Sic et Non, he listed
    passages from scripture and the church fathers
    that had stood in direct contradiction to one
    another. He stressed the need to use logic to
    reconcile the apparent differences.
  • Abelard on the scholastic method By doubting we
    come to inquiry, through inquiry to the truth.
  • Source

Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • 1225-1274
  • Studied Theology at Cologne and Paris and taught
    at Naples and Paris
  • In the 13th century scholastics had come to view
    Aristotle as the Philosopher. Yet some of this
    teaching, such as the mortality of the soul,
    contradicted Christian doctrine.
  • So Saint Thomas Aquinas attempts to harmonize
    Aristotles work with Christian doctrine.
  • Source

Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • Writes the Summa Theologica in an attempt to
    reconcile Aristotles philosophical ideas with
    the doctrines of Christianity
  • Writes it in the scholastic method he poses a
    question, offers opposing opinions on the
    question, then resolves the issue by arriving at
    his own opinions.
  • Attempts to reconcile faith and reason
  • For although the natural light of the human mind
    is insufficient to show us these things made
    manifest by faith, it is nevertheless impossible
    that these things which the divine principle
    gives us by faith are contrary to these implanted
    in us by natureIt is impossible that those
    things which are of philosophy can be contrary to
    those things which are of faith.
  • Gives his famous 5 ways 5 arguments for the
    existence of God