The compatibility of Christian and later Neo-Platonic ideas is evidenced by the writings of Synesius, bishop of Ptolemais, and though Neo-Platonism eventually succumbed to Christianity, it had the effect, through the writings of Clement and Origen, of modifying the tyrannical fanaticism and ultradogmatism of the early Christian writers.
From that position he gradually moved towards pantheism, a way of thought to which he had shown remarkable leanings when, as a schoolboy, he discoursed of Neo-Platonism to Charles Lamb, or - if we may trust his recollection - translated the hymns of Synesius.
According to the relative predominance of these two elements arose Gnosticism, the Patristic theology, and the philosophical schools of Neo-Pythagoreanism, Neo-Platonism and eclectic Platonism.
It would seem that, in the extreme spiritual vicissitudes of his life, conscious alternately of personal weakness and of the largest speculative grasp, he at times threw himself entirely on the consolations of evangelical faith, and at others reconstructed the cosmos for himself in terms of Neo-Platonism and the philosophy of Schelling.
Here they are in line with non-Christian writers or culture-mockers like Lucian of Samosata; or graver spirits like Porphyry, who champions Neo-Platonism as a rival to Christianity, and does pioneer work in criticism by attacks on some of the Old Testament books.