Fr. Richard Rohr – Christian Faith Between Jesus and Plato

Plato, a foundational Greek philosopher, has had far more influence on Christianity up to now than even Jesus often has! (I want to shock you into awareness!) Jesus says matter and spirit, divine and human are not enemies, but in fact are two sides of the same coin. They reveal one another, and are finally one! That is the meaning of his two raised fingers in much of Christian art.

Plato positions body and soul as irreconcilable enemies. Our moral theology, most of our sexual teaching, and our lackluster history of Earth care all show that we too have not seen matter and spirit, or body and soul, as friends, and as a result, have been Platonists more than Christians. (Part of the reason for this is Paul’s unfortunate use of the the word “flesh” in opposition to spirit. He would have made his point so much better, so much clearer, if he had used the word “ego” instead.) Embodiment is not the problem, ego is!

Matter and spirit have never been separate, says the Christ Mystery. We live in One United Whole; there is no sacred and profane, no natural and supernatural. All is sacred and supernatural inside of the One Christ Mystery, who “reconciles all things in Himself” (Colossians 1:15-20).

Adapted fromRichard Rohn, Soul Centering Through Nature: Becoming a True Human Adult

Starter Prayer: I am part of the whole.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: