Let us try to see what these similarities and contrasts were between them on example of the role that was played by the dichotomy that separated the world into opposing realms, such as ideas and matter in the Greek philosophy, and spirit and flesh or faith and reason in the Christian thought.
In general, for the formation of the Christian thought probably the most important was its early period when this presently dominant religion was searching to define itself. The Romans widely propagated Greek culture and in this way Christianity found itself in the Greco-Roman society amidst pronounced philosophical and religious confrontation. It was integration of competing philosophies and of the rich Hellenistic philosophical heritage into the Christian world view that served as a winning strategy for the Christian religion. Before the first statements regarding the general doctrine of the church were made in the 4th century, philosophical theology was becoming more important than direct revelation in determining the essential Christian doctrines. At the same time, not all of the early church scholars had the same view on the available heritage of secular knowledge, which was mainly Greek. For instance, Tertullian in 2nd century treated the secular knowledge as unnecessary in comparison to scriptures, but his coeval Clement of Alexandria defended the usefulness of the Greek secular heritage, and of philosophy in general, as a proper addition to the gospel. In the 3rd century Origen of Alexandria went even further and claimed that there actually was a philosophical school that through reason confirmed the gospel. For Origen this school was represented by the philosophy of Neoplatonists - the further development of Platonic philosophy initiated by Plotinus - with its views on the essence of God and divine relation to the world and man. In the end, this position of Origen prevailed and thus Neoplatonism assumed the role of the basic philosophical theory that to