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 Ever heard of Pyrrho?

2 Cor 10:3 for walking in the flesh, not according to the flesh do we war, 4 for the weapons of our warfare [are] not fleshly, but powerful to God for bringing down of strongholds, 5 reasonings bringing down, and every high thing lifted up against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of the Christ, 6

2 Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6

2 Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6

From Wikipedia

Ancient Pyrrhonism
Whereas academic skepticism, with Carneades as its most famous adherent, claims that "Nothing can be known, not even this", Pyrrhonian skeptics withhold any assent with regard to non-evident propositions and remain in a state of perpetual inquiry. They disputed the possibility of attaining truth by sensory apprehension, reason, or the two combined, and thence inferred the need for total suspension of judgment (epoché) on things.[1] According to them, even the statement that nothing can be known is dogmatic. They thus attempted to make their skepticism universal, and to escape the reproach of basing it upon a fresh dogmatism.[2] Mental imperturbability (ataraxia) was the result to be attained by cultivating such a frame of mind.[2]


Pyrrhonism, or Pyrrhonian skepticism, was a school of skepticism founded by Aenesidemus in the first century BC and recorded by Sextus Empiricus in the late 2nd century or early 3rd century AD. It was named after Pyrrho, a philosopher who lived from c. 360 to c. 270 BC, although the relationship between the philosophy of the school and of the historical figure is murky. A renaissance of the term is to be noted for the 17th century when the modern scientific worldview was born.

Has Pyrrho's thinking been adopted into the twentieth century's formal education system, to bring another strand of intellectual unrespectability to Biblical Christianty?

 2010/10/10 8:37

 Re: Ever heard of Pyrrho?

Would you be able to further enlighten us with what you think about this Pyrroho and why you felt to bring this to our attention?


 2010/10/10 9:49

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7497

 Re: Ever heard of Pyrrho?

No, I never heard of Pyrrho. But I have heard of relativism and yet it would make evaluations based on the observed and sensed but woiud fluctuate based on current situations. No absolutes exist for them - except maybe what they want at the moment?!

In any case, these folks have been around since the devil tempted Eve in the garden by questioning what God said and thereby giving it another meaning then what He meant.

This concept is addressed in 1Timothy 6:4,5:

4."he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,

5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.

(This scripture primarily deals with the issue of godliness.)

The philosophical mindset of Pyrrho at its root is one that works to discredit God in everything.

Now, I wonder if an adherent of Pyrrhonism knows when he is hungry or cold?


Sandra Miller

 2010/10/10 10:01Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3421
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Ever heard of Pyrrho?


Pyrrhonism, or Pyrrhonian skepticism, was a school of skepticism founded by Aenesidemus in the first century BC

The days are waxing worse and worse and if one is not sold out to Jesus, all theology is up for grabs by worldly intellectuals. The church is full of them as we speak.

By the date above, it looks as though Satan was preparing for the first coming of Jesus; and we can see b/c things are indeed getting worse that he is also preparing for Christ’s second coming.

That’s ok b/c Pyrrho will one day bow his knee, “at the name of Jesus” and his tongue “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” (Phil 2.10-11) All skepticism gone!

God bless,


 2010/10/10 10:20Profile

Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4529



While I disagree with skepticism for the purpose of skepticism or ridicule, I also think that the opposite is true in much of today's Christianity.

There are believers who are "easily convinced" by speculations and imaginations incorrectly considered "truth" by some well-meaning believers. I have seen street preachers at college campuses declaring the sinfulness of men wearing shorts. We have seen preachers declare the sinfulness of Calvinism and those who declare the sinfulness of anti-Calvinism. We have seen preachers stand up behind pulpits and declare all sorts of things as "truth" that are merely speculations arrived to by things that aren't exceedingly clear from the Word of God or by using circumstantial evidence (or less).

I believe that this sort of active "imagination" is what led some old sectarian doctrinal rules -- like "men must grow beards" or "women must never cut their hair." It is this sort of dogmatism that causes people to create a list of "we believe" ideas that MUST be adhered to in order for a believer to be fully accepted into many local churches.

"Show me in the Word of God" or "show me the indisputable facts" should never be confused with any sort of "emerging church" ambiguity. In the former, belief isn't arrived to until believers have studied the issue and based their doctrinal views upon undeniable truth from God's Word (or, in other arguments or accusations, firsthand evidence to the matter). The latter (emerging) philosophy is just a means to get people together and call them "believers" who often do not even want to seek out the truth to begin with.

Someone even suggested that some people purposely choose to be "neutral" in order to accomplish some sort of sinister thing -- or to play both sides. While it is possible that some people do this in order to purposely avoid controversy, this is not always the case. I believe that believers need to stop always thinking in an "either/or" manner -- unless it is exceedingly clear from God's Word. We certainly need to take a stand for truth. However, we need to refrain from taking a stand altogether if we aren't truly certain about something.

In the 1600s, there was a writer named William Gurnall. He was a Puritan, but he didn't merely cast his lot with EVERY single doctrinal view that most Puritans held. At the time, most people in England either belonged to the Catholic church, the Church of England, or some smaller protestant sects. Since Gurnall was none of the above, he was largely rejected by most people -- even BEFORE they read anything that he wrote.

In the foreward of the edition of THE CHRISTIAN IN COMPLETE ARMOUR published by the Banner of Truth Trust, Ruthanne Garlock and J. C. Ryle introduce this consideration. They wrote:


"Herein lies the reason so little has been written about William Gurnall in the annals of church history. Though he was undoubtedly puritan in both doctrine and practice, he did not secede with the group with which he had generally agreed - a choice not likely to make him a favourite with either of the two great religious parties into which England was divided. A neutral is never popular; each party is offended at him for not casting his weight into their scale. He was just the man to be disliked and slighted by both sides."

However, today, William Gurnall's work A CHRISTIAN IN COMPLETE ARMOUR is considered a classic for Christian growth. It is simple...yet also simply profound. It is direct, specific and every point is substantiated by Scripture. It is amazing that the work was largely ignored during Gurnall's life.

Yet this book was the same one given to David Wilkerson by Leonard Ravenhill in the mid 1980s and caused him to rethink the direction of his ministry. Wilkerson read twelve pages of the book and realized that this man who had been dead for over 300 years had introduced more to him the person and character of Christ than he had learned from Bible school and the experience of his entire life. Yet I think that part of the power of that book comes from the fact that it doesn't dabble into too many doctrinal controversies, insinuations or divisive sectarian opinions. In other words, it is okay to be neutral when something isn't clear from the Word of God -- and to exert effort on what is clear truth.

This sort of reminds me of the angel that came to Joshua in Joshua 5:13-14. Simply put, Joshua asked, "Are you for us or for the enemy?" The angel answered, "Neither." Instead, he told Joshua that he came as the captain of the host of the Lord that he came.

I don't think that there is anything wrong with not taking an absolute stand unless we are absolutely certain that we are on (or, are presenting) the Lord's side of the matter. After all, it is perfectly possible to be neither for or against a particular argument. We should endeavor to be on God's side...using His Word...mercy...and wisdom...before we ever reach a final conclusion. If it is a "secular" type of argument, we can still use God's Word as the ultimate authority to judge the facts that are presented (or are not presented) in a debate.

Most importantly, I have some concern that our opinions sometimes are so divisive that they dictate how we view others. Are we supposed to "cut people off" or gossip behind their backs (with spiritual rhetoric or rationales) simply because someone didn't acknowledge that person's view as "truth?" Previously, I know that there have been accusations that have flown from some apparently spiritual believers in churches (and even this online forum community) who accuse others of all sorts of things simply for not accepting their argument or belief. Ironically, the finger is pointed by such individuals and they are accused of being "divisive" simply for asking for evidence to validate doctrinal claims or even specific accusations.

I just don't think that this is what God has intended for the Body of Christ.

Here at SermonIndex, we have a gathering of people from different cultures, nations, ages, experiences, educational levels, denominations (or non-denominations) and, of course, doctrinal persuasions. We can probably make a list of debatable doctrinal persuasions as long as most "statements of faith" of the various churches, sects or denominations.

- Will there be a "rapture" (gathering event) or will Christians go through the time or "great tribulation" (the "wrath of God")?
- Can a person lose their salvation? Should women be forced to wear head coverings?
- Are all types of music acceptable to God for use in worship?
- Must Christians tithe?
- Is it okay to go to a secular college or university?
- Is one version/translation of the Bible is superior to all others?
- Does a person who is baptized in the Holy Ghost automatically speak in other tongues?

Then there are the questions that are mostly extrabiblical. These typically invoke the aforementioned doctrinal issues and then turn a bit personal. They often turn a bit more personal as they involve finger pointing that seeks to discredit or guess the motives of the individual who holds such an opinion. Here on SermonIndex, there are plenty of preachers (many of whom are long deceased) who have been recipients of such finger-pointing.

Now, the aforementioned controversial doctrinal topics are extremely "important" questions to some people. Some have even declared these questions/ideas to be ESSENTIAL to the faith. They have been debated repeatedly over the past six years here at SermonIndex. Usually, the debates grow heated as people on all sides of view and perspective argue valiantly for their view and why they arrived to such a view. After a while, the ruckus dies down. The debate then begins anew every time some believer makes a declarative statement on each matter.

There are certainly MANY issues upon which I think that we can make a bold doctrinal stand. These issues are not open for debate. They are obvious from Scripture -- and anyone with a sure faith in God can quote the passages and verses that substantiate those matters. I typically don't engage in those conversations here on SermonIndex because I would usually just echo the words of others.

However, there are those other issues (like the ones mentioned above) that aren't quite so clear. We should make every effort to study those issues in complete honesty and integrity. Our basis should ALWAYS be the Word of God. If we use second hand or third hand sources, we should validate the claims contained within. I believe that this is the proper "proof" as offered by Paul in I Thessalonians 5:21.

So, should believers be "skeptical?" Of course! We should be like the Bereans and test everything that we are taught or told (Acts 17). We should take Paul's instruction to "prove all things" and "hold onto the good" (I Thessalonians 5). We should test the words of prophets and would-be prophets (I Corinthians 14:32) and even angels (Galatians 1:8). We should "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). This isn't an attempt to be "intellectual" or even "academic" in the secular sense of the term. Rather, it is an attempt to be true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report (Philippians 4:8).

After all, every man that has ever taught us -- other than our Lord -- is still just a man. If the apostle Peter can be rebuked by Paul for clearly being in the wrong -- we should remember that we or others can also be wrong in some things. This is why honest scrutiny -- guided by God's Word -- is extremely important.


 2010/10/10 16:40Profile

 Re: Ever heard of Pyrrho?

Snuf asked

Would you be able to further enlighten us with what you think about this Pyrroho and why you felt to bring this to our attention?

As far as I can gather, actual quotes from Pyrrho are very few, but his reputation lived on, and his philosophical thinking seems to have been used by those who wished to avoid the possibly painful consequences of offending authorities by holding an alternative view.

A scripture came to mind when I began thinking about this again, which echoes
remain in a state of perpetual inquiry (Wikipedia quote above)

2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

What I wished to draw attention to, is that if this has become a national thinking culture, indoctrinated by the school and university system, it is easily brought into the Church without anyone noticing it's unbiblical.

 2010/10/12 11:53

 Re: Ever heard of Pyrrho?

Hi ginnyrose, I appreciated your response, especially your question which made me laugh.

Now, I wonder if an adherent of Pyrrhonism knows when he is hungry or cold?

Ah! This is part of the mystery about Pyrrho, of whom there are conflicting anecdotes as to how he conducted ordinary aspects of life.

 2010/10/12 12:14

Joined: 2008/8/8
Posts: 50

 Re: Ever heard of Pyrrho?

Just replying to get rid of another thread. Sorry


 2010/10/12 13:44Profile

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