PHILOSOPHY - The Stoics


Video from The School of Life


“‘Stoicism’ was a philosophy that flourished for some 400 years in Ancient Greece and Rome, gaining widespread support among all classes of society. It had one overwhelming and highly practical ambition: to teach people how to be calm and brave in the face of overwhelming anxiety and pain…” from video introduction

Are you stoic? Us men are often accused of being too stoic. But as a Christian can we be stoic and still be Gospel centered?

John Calvin said this about stoicism:

"It is not as the Stoics of old foolishly described “the great-souled man”: one who, having cast off all human qualities, was affected equally by adversity and prosperity, by sad times and happy ones — nay, who like a stone was not affected at all. . . .

Now, among the Christians there are also new Stoics, who count it depraved not only to groan and weep but also to be sad and care-ridden. These paradoxes proceed, for the most part, from idle men who, exercising themselves more in speculation than in action, can do nothing but invent such paradoxes for us.

Yet we have nothing to do with this iron philosophy which our Lord and Master has condemned not only by his word, but also by his example. For he groaned and wept both over his own and others’ misfortunes. . . . And that no one might turn it into a vice, he openly proclaimed, “Blessed are those who mourn.”


The sufferings of this life forces us to place our entire confidence in Christ and the blessings of the age to come gives us the strength to endure this life, and to also see God's grace our temporal life in the here and now.

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