An article series based on Dr E. Michael Jones’ keynote address in the UNIV local chapter 2021. The recording may be accessed here.
Now we must consider further the history of Logos.
In Article No. 1(What exactly is logos?), we looked at the Greek roots of ‘logos’ and how the word ‘logos’ was Christianized, and thus given the loftiest meaning yet. We pick up from there.
The Doctrine of the Trinity
“And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.” Gamaliel, the distinguished Pharisee and teacher of Saul, the later Apostle Paul, uttered these words in warning to his fellows; such sagacious words! About a century later, Tertullian, an early Christian author, exclaims in writing that in such a short time Christianity had spread all over the empire. What was God’s could not be defeated.
But this boat, Christ’s church, was not spared tempestuous waves. There arose heresies around the doctrine of the Trinity. These are too technical to be dealt with here, you can ask a priest or your spiritual director the next time you meet him.
At this instant, all we need to know is that the Church was able to crush the heresies. But it would take three whole centuries! The Church would use Greek philosophy, also referred to as logos, as a tool to expound on and protect its theology.
The Benedictine Monasteries
Barely half a century after the truth of the Trinity had been safeguarded, came the fall of the Roman Empire, under the barbaric Germanic troops. These Germanic peoples could not grasp what logos was. The depth of logos was not immediately clear to them, nor was Logos’ face recognizable to their eyes.
But it was not the end of the story of Logos. The Church was, will always be, there to safeguard Logos. Logos Himself was, is and will ever be, there. Logos will never disappear, we can bank on that.
The Germanic tribes would have to be evangelized. But how?
The response of the Church was the monasteries. When the church needed him, there came St. Benedict who founded a monastic order, that we now call the Order of St. Benedict. The Benedictine monasteries would be the civilising force, with their motto: ora et labore(pray and work). The Germanic peoples were taught the art of prayer and how to work. Work here would have meant tiling the land, scripting Bible manuscripts, carpentry and so on: every noble task. In article 2 we examined the savoury fruits, the two-fold custom produced.
In this way, logos was preserved albeit served ‘less hot’: of course until the Germanic tribes were able to bear the heat. Prayer and work did the trick.