Of all the ancient catholic “fathers” I’ve read, Origen (c.185-254) is the most impressive as a scholar. It’s not that I usually agree with him – any non-Platonist is going to choke on many of the dishes he’s serving, and I think that most today would take issue for some his ways of interpreting the Bible. […]
Against Celsus is not the only important surviving book by Origen. Origen’s On First Principles is often called the first systematic Christian theology. It was written some time before 231. It is a bold and wide-ranging work, and in Origen’s day Christian theologians could speculate a fair amount. But the curtain was brought down on […]
I’ve been working on my Trinities book today, and have been reading a lot of Origen (d. c. 253) lately. As is well known, most of his famous On First Principles (kindle, hardback) has been lost in the original Greek, but we have a “complete” copy of a Latin translation made by Rufinus of Aquileia […]
Origen, many other ancient catholics, takes the Word (logos) of John 1 to be the pre-human Jesus. For the record, I don’t think that is correct. But I won’t contest it here. In the quotes here, he’s commenting on “And the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is from an long […]
Celsus was a pagan philosopher, essentially a cultural and religious conservative, who wrote a book attacking Christianity, perhaps around 177-80 (though some have argued that it must be no later than 161). Decades later, it is not clear exactly why, the great Christian scholar Origen (182-254) wrote a massive refutation of this book, quoting substantial […]
The pagan polytheistic monotheist Celsus presses the attack we looked at last time. If you [Christians] taught them that Jesus is not his [God’s] Son, but that God is the father of all, all that we really ought to worship him [God] alone, they [Christians] would no longer be willing to listen to you unless […]
In this follow-up post, three factors that make Rufinus’ corruption of Origen’s On First Principles all the more egregious. First, after recklessly changing anything he doesn’t like in translating Origen’s book, absurdly claiming that anything Origen says that doesn’t comport with the (then) new Nicene orthodoxy must have been changed by heretics, and lyingly (or idiotically) claiming to have […]
Is the Doctrine of the Trinity articulated in the New Testament?
This “Fourth Creed” was offered as a non-controversial, “big tent,” ecumenical summary of faith. And surprisingly, given its initial reception, its language ended up being re-used several times after, as catholics struggled to replace the language of Nicea with something more widely acceptable.
Daniel Calder surveys the Top 7 weirdest Christian theologians. Of these, how many are atheists? Consider, for example, John Scotus Eriugena (c.800 – c.877). The author gives an encyclopedia quote which rings true to me. In general, the system of thought just outlined is a combination of neo-Platonic mysticism, emanationism, and pantheism which Eriugena strove in […]
How and why did American Unitarian Congregationalism die?
Here’s one reason why some theologians love to appeal to “mystery.” Regarding the second half of the second Christian century, the great church history von Harnack observes, …an urgent impulse necessarily made itself felt to define the contents and value of the Redeemer’s life and work, not, primarily, from the point of view of the proclamation […]
Play / pause 1x 1.5x 2x 0:00 0:00 00:47:17 volume podcast 24 – How to be a Monotheistic Trinitarian iTunesGoogle PlayShare Leave a ReviewClammr ItListen in a New WindowDownloadSoundCloudStitcherSubscribe on AndroidSubscribe via RSS Do you think unsurpassably “classic” thought about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is from c. 370-460? In this paper, I argue […]
Last time I explained Samuel Clarke’s approach to the Trinity, which pushed me to re-examine my beliefs, and to really dig into the New Testament. This time, some questions that may occur to you about Clarke’s views on the Trinity. Is all of this “Arianism“? No, though many a lazy critic lobbed that brick in […]
At the Journal of Analytic Philosophy, and at the Journal of Biblical Unitarianism. Thanks to the editors of both journals for their good work. The first paper continues the discussion with Hasker of my “Divine Deception” arguments against three-self Trinity theories. I discuss there the monotheism of Isaiah. Then I get into interesting arguments by […]
In this episode we hear the rest (chapters 4-7) of On the Nicene Council (aka Defence of the Nicene Definition, De Decretis) by Athanasius of Alexandria.
All Christians have always believed that Jesus Christ is one person with two natures, a divine nature and a human nature, right?
From Dr. Anatolios’s book Retrieving Nicea: The Development and Meaning of Trinitarian Doctrine, describing the theology of Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 260 – c. 339): Eusebius conceives of the Spirit as the next level down in the chain of being and willing that descends from the Father and the Son. While he is ambiguous on […]
(continued from part 1) The person who changed the catholic mainstream from two- to one-stage logos theory was the massively influential Origen of Alexandria (185-254). He holds the Son and Spirit to exist eternally, but because of God. He thinks that God (ho theos), aka the Father, is divine in himself, and that he eternally makes […]