The bask here set for us, namely, to ascertain the nature of the
encounter "between Christianity and Greek philosophy in the period
specified would be less difficult in itself if we came to its
consideration with our minds unhampered by the opinions which have been
given and the conclusions reached concerning it* We have mainly to
bear in mind that the individual Christian thinkers with whom we shall
have to deal lived through that period of transition in the development
of Christianity in which many things we regard as normative had been
neither formalized nor stamped with the seal of later orthodoxy.
The Creed which some of us repeat, for instance, while in process of
evolution, had not as yet been reduced to standard form.(^) Indeed,
those second and third century pioneers in the realms of Christian
thought express themselves occasionally in terms that would certainly
have startled and would not in all likelihood have been tolerated by
the later Fathers of the Church.