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Author Topic: Origen a heretic?  (Read 4422 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cyrillic
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« on: October 15, 2012, 11:09:04 AM »


The Origenists were guilty of heresy, Origen himself was not guilty of that particular heresy.

Origen was guilty unless you think all his works were interpolated by the "origenists".

Origen had no chance to repudiate the view that the later group took and taught. Don't you think St Augustine, seeing the trouble some if his ideas caused, would immediately recant them?

Don't forge that MANY of our Father got their ideas and theology directly from Origen.

Origen was condemned at least once during his lifetime by an alexandrian synod, after which he fled to Palestine. Besides, the errors of St. Augustine were nothing compared to those of Origen.

And some Fathers might or might not be influenced by Origen, they didn't share his crazy fantasies about the pre-existence of souls, another fall after judgment day etc.



St Augustine's errors were FAR worse! An ENTIRE church left and fell into heresy because of his writings!

There isn't any evidence why Origen was condemned though.

Also, I'm pretty sure it's debated whether or not he really taught and believed apokatasasis as is thought.

As I said, we adhere to the Orthodox faith, but that doesn't mean we throw away our brains and our ability to use our hindsight to see things more clearly.

Things aren't always black and white and as I've pointed out, we shouldn't practice blind adherence.

What new heresy did St. Augustine teach? His teaching about the filioque is very vague and he didn't really teach papal universal jurisdiction or something.

And see this from St. Epiphanius' letter to John of Jerusalem (source)

"For what Catholic, what Christian who adorns his faith with good works, can hear with calmness Origen's teaching and counsel, or believe in his extraordinary preaching? "The Son," he tells us, "cannot see the Father, and the Holy Spirit cannot see the Son." These words occur in his book "On First Principles;" thus we read, and thus Origen has spoken. "For as it is unsuitable to say that the Son can see the Father, it is consequently unsuitable to suppose that the Spirit can see the Son." Can any one, moreover, brook Origen's assertion that men's souls were once angels in heaven, and that having sinned in the upper world, they have been cast down into this, and have been confined in bodies as in barrows or tombs, to pay the penalty for their former sins; and that the bodies of believers are not temples of Christ, but prisons of the condemned? Again, he tampers with the true meaning of the narrative by a false use of allegory, multiplying words without limit; and undermines the faith of the simple by the most varied arguments.

Now he maintains that souls, in Greek the "cool things," from a word meaning to be cool, are so called because in coming down from the heavenly places to the lower world they have lost their former heat; and now, that our bodies are called by the Greeks chains, from a word meaning chain, or else (on the analogy of our own Latin word) "things fallen," because our souls have fallen from heaven; and that the other word for body which the abundance of the Greek idiom supplies is by many taken to mean a funeral monument, because the soul is shut up within it in the same way as the corpses of the dead are shut up in tombs and barrows.

If this doctrine is true what becomes of our faith? Where is the preaching of the resurrection? Where is the teaching of the apostles, which lasts on to this day in the churches of Christ? Where is the blessing to Adam, and to his seed, and to Noah and his sons? "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." According to Origen, these words must be a curse and not a blessing; for he turns angels into human souls, compelling them to leave the place of highest rank and to come down lower, as though God were unable through the action of His blessing to grant souls to the human race, had the angels not sinned, and as though for every birth on earth there must be a fall in heaven. We are to give up, then, the teaching of apostles and prophets, of the law, and of our Lord and Saviour Himself, in spite of His language loud as thunder in the gospel. Origen, on the other hand, commands and urges— not to say binds— his disciples not to pray to ascend into heaven, lest sinning once more worse than they had sinned on earth they should be hurled down into the world again. Such foolish and insane notions he generally confirms by distorting the sense of the Scriptures and making them mean what they do not mean at all. He quotes this passage from the Psalms: "Before you humbled me by reason of my wickedness, I went wrong;" and this, "Return unto your rest, O my soul;" this also, "Bring my soul out of prison;" and this, "I will make confession unto the Lord in the land of the living," although there can be no doubt that the meaning of the divine Scripture is different from the interpretation by which he unfairly wrests it to the support of his own heresy. "
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 11:15:43 AM »

St Augustine taught the heresy or heterodox ideas that became original sin in the West. Many of his ideas were not orthodox, yet we still recognize him as a Saint.

What do you say of men like St. Basil who were heavily influenced by Origen?

Origen, like St Augustine, wrote A LOT, and unfortunately that worked against him.

As I said in the other discussion, there is debate whether or not Origen actually taught the form of apokatasasis as condemned by our church. He was also condemned posthumously, unable to defend himself. He was condemned because of an later, unrelated group of heretics who used his writings.
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 11:20:23 AM »

St Augustine taught the heresy or heterodox ideas that became original sin in the West. Many of his ideas were not orthodox, yet we still recognize him as a Saint.

What do you say of men like St. Basil who were heavily influenced by Origen?

Origen, like St Augustine, wrote A LOT, and unfortunately that worked against him.

As I said in the other discussion, there is debate whether or not Origen actually taught the form of apokatasasis as condemned by our church. He was also condemned posthumously, unable to defend himself. He was condemned because of an later, unrelated group of heretics who used his writings.

My favorite church father - St. Gregory of Nyssa - was heavily influenced by Origen and might have held the idea of the apokatastasis himself. However I do not see the need to defend Origen, the intellectual father of Arius, from that which he is justly accused of. Have you read Peri Archôn?

And I can't seem to recall that the augustinian understanding of original sin was one of the reasons for the great schism
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 11:25:56 AM »

Origen, like St Augustine, wrote A LOT, and unfortunately that worked against him.

Peri Archôn was Origen's big doctrinal work  Huh
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 11:51:24 AM »

It might be worthwhile here to have reference to the specific canons against Origenism from the run-up to the Fifth Ecumenical Council:


1. If anyone advocates the mythical pre-existence of souls and the monstrous restoration that follows from this, let him be anathema.

2. If anyone says that the origin of all rational beings was incorporeal and material minds without any number or name, with the result that there was a henad of them all through their union with and knowledge of God the Word, but that they reached satiety with divine contemplation and turned to what is worse, according to what the drive to this in each one corresponded to, and that they took more subtle or denser bodies and were allotted names such that the powers above have different names just as they have different bodies, as a result of which they became and were named some cherubim, some seraphim, and others principalities, powers, dominations, thrones, angels, and whatever heavenly order they are, let him be anathema.

3. If anyone says that the sun, the moon and the stars, belonging themselves to the same henad of rational beings, became what they are through turning to what is worse, let him be anathema.

4. If anyone says that the rational beings who grew cold in divine love were bound to our more dense bodies and were named human beings, while those who had reached the acme of evil were bound to cold and dark bodies and are called demons and spirits of wickedness, let him be anathema.

5. If anyone says that from the state of the angels and archangels originates that of the soul, and from that of the soul that of demons and human beings, and from that of human beings angels and demons originate again, and that each order of the heavenly powers is constituted either entirely from those below or those above or from both those above and those below, let him be anathema.

6. If anyone says that the genus of demons had a double origin, being compounded both from human souls and from more powerful spirits that descend to this, but that from the whole henad of rational beings one mind alone remained constant in divine love and contemplation, and that it became Christ and king of all rational beings and created the whole of corporeal nature, both heaven and earth, and what is intermediate, and that the universe came into being containing real elements that are older than its own existence, that is, the dry, the liquid, heat and cold, and also the form according to which it was fashioned, and that the all-holy and consubstantial Trinity did not fashion the universe as the cause of its creation but that mind, as they assert, existing before the universe as creator, gave being to the universe itself and made it created, let him be anathema.

7. If anyone says that Christ, described as existing in the form of God, united to God the Word even before all the ages, and as having emptied himself in the last days into what is human, took pity, as they assert, upon the multifarious fall of the beings in the same henad and, wishing to restore them, passed through everything and took on various bodies and received various names, becoming all things to all, among angels an angel, among powers a power, and among the other orders or genera of rational beings took on appropriately the form of each, and then like us partook of flesh and blood and became for human beings a human being, [if anyone says this] and does not profess that God the Word emptied himself and became a human being, let him be anathema.

8. If anyone says that God the Word, consubstantial with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, who was incarnate and became man, one of the holy Trinity, is not truly Christ but only catachrestically, on account of the mind which, as they assert, emptied itself, because it is united to God the Word and is truly called Christ, while the Word is called Christ because of this mind and this mind is called God because of the Word, let him be anathema.

9. If anyone says that it was not the Word of God incarnate in flesh ensouled by a rational and intelligent soul, who descended into hell and the same ascended back to heaven, but rather the mind they mention, whom impiously they assert to have truly been made Christ through knowledge of the monad, let him be anathema.

10. If anyone says that the Lord's body after the resurrection was ethereal and spherical in form, and that the same will be true of the other bodies after the resurrection, and that, with first the Lord himself shedding his own body and [then] all likewise, the nature of bodies will pass into non-existence, let him be anathema.

11. If anyone says that the coming judgment means the total destruction of bodies and that the end of the story will be an immaterial nature, and that thereafter nothing that is material will exist but only pure mind, let him be anathema.

12. If anyone says that the heavenly powers, all human beings, the devil, and the spirits of wickedness will be united to God the Word in just the same way as the mind they call Christ, which is in the form of God and emptied itself, as they assert, and that the kingdom of Christ will have an end, let him be anathema.

13. If anyone says that there will not be a single difference at all between Christ and other rational beings, neither in substance nor in knowledge nor in power over everything nor in operation, but that all will be at the right hand of God as Christ beside them will be, as indeed they were also in their mythical pre-existence, let him be anathema.

14. If anyone says that there will be one henad of all rational beings, when the hypostases and numbers are annihilated together with bodies, and that knowledge about rational beings will be accompanied by the destruction of the universe, the shedding of bodies, and the abolition of names, and there will be identity of knowledge as of hypostases, and that in this mythical restoration there will be only pure spirits, as there were in their nonsensical notion of pre-existence, let him be anathema.

15. If anyone says that the mode of life of the minds will be identical to the earlier one when they had not yet descended or fallen, with the result that the beginning is identical to the end and the end is the measure of the beginning, let him be anathema.


[From Richard Price, tr. The Acts of the Council of Constantinople of 553, vol. ii, pp. 284-286]
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 01:02:01 PM »

I don't think the debate is about whether those teachings are wrong, they are certainly wrong. The debate is whether Origen actually taught them, and whether or not Origen should have been anathematized posthumously without the ability to defend himself or recant.

As for St. Augustine and the schism. The schism didn't happen in 1054, we can't attribute a specific date to it other than notice that it was finalized by the 13th Century. It wasn't just the debate over the authority of Rome, but the overall theological divides between East & West. St. Augustine's writings played a very large part in the apostasy of the West between the 4th Century & the 13th.
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 01:05:08 PM »

I don't think the debate is about whether those teachings are wrong, they are certainly wrong. The debate is whether Origen actually taught them, and whether or not Origen should have been anathematized posthumously without the ability to defend himself or recant.

They're in his Peri Archôn, so unless you say they're interpolated Origen taught them.
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 01:14:41 PM »

An oldish English translation of Peri Archon is available here---

http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/origen/principia.asp
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 01:30:49 PM »

St Augustine taught the heresy or heterodox ideas that became original sin in the West.

Except that I've yet to see any Western or Eastern denomination or even a single Christian that has the same view about original sin that St. Augustine had.
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 01:33:37 PM »

St Augustine taught the heresy or heterodox ideas that became original sin in the West.

Except that I've yet to see any Western or Eastern denomination or even a single Christian that has the same view about original sin that St. Augustine had.

But the blame-St. Augustine-for-everything game is so much fun!  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 01:40:15 PM »

St Augustine taught the heresy or heterodox ideas that became original sin in the West.

Except that I've yet to see any Western or Eastern denomination or even a single Christian that has the same view about original sin that St. Augustine had.

But the blame-St. Augustine-for-everything game is so much fun!  Wink

Is outrage! Blessed, not Saint!
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 01:45:05 PM »

St Augustine taught the heresy or heterodox ideas that became original sin in the West.

Except that I've yet to see any Western or Eastern denomination or even a single Christian that has the same view about original sin that St. Augustine had.

But the blame-St. Augustine-for-everything game is so much fun!  Wink

Is outrage! Blessed, not Saint!

Making a distinction between blessed and saint? Is papist outrage!
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2012, 02:09:03 PM »

You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry! Western Captivity is coming to town!

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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2012, 11:14:13 PM »

I disagree with those who called Origen a heretic.

Not in any Christian writing or logic, has the trinity been so well explained. The man was genius, and his writing are not for dozing off to.
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2012, 11:22:38 PM »

The way I figure it...

Origen = (Philocalia [+Sts. Basil+Gregory+Gregory] + Commentaries + Heresies + Riots + Choppy Choppy) / Condemnation of St. Justinian and/or Ecumenical Council

Augustine = (Questionable Theology + Brilliant Theology + Corrections of Sts. John+Others) / Defended and Quoted by Lots of Saints and Councils

Origen + Augustine = ∞
 
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2012, 01:22:59 PM »

The way I figure it...

Origen = (Philocalia [+Sts. Basil+Gregory+Gregory] + Commentaries + Heresies + Riots + Choppy Choppy) / Condemnation of St. Justinian and/or Ecumenical Council

Augustine = (Questionable Theology + Brilliant Theology + Corrections of Sts. John+Others) / Defended and Quoted by Lots of Saints and Councils

Origen + Augustine = ∞
 

Great post.

How Origen explained the Trinity is the most complicated and wonderful break down I've ever read.  You post is worth a million thoughts though...  I laughed (with you), it is kind of a confusing mess and I know exactly what you mean... But I just disagree with those who labeled him a heretic.  His faith seemed a lot greater than a heretic.
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2012, 01:26:53 PM »


Not in any Christian writing or logic, has the trinity been so well explained. The man was genius, and his writing are not for dozing off to.

"For what Catholic, what Christian who adorns his faith with good works, can hear with calmness Origen's teaching and counsel, or believe in his extraordinary preaching? "The Son," he tells us, "cannot see the Father, and the Holy Spirit cannot see the Son." These words occur in his book "On First Principles;" thus we read, and thus Origen has spoken. "For as it is unsuitable to say that the Son can see the Father, it is consequently unsuitable to suppose that the Spirit can see the Son."

-- St. Jerome, letter 51.

"Never been so well explained"  Undecided
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2012, 03:15:45 PM »


Not in any Christian writing or logic, has the trinity been so well explained. The man was genius, and his writing are not for dozing off to.

"For what Catholic, what Christian who adorns his faith with good works, can hear with calmness Origen's teaching and counsel, or believe in his extraordinary preaching? "The Son," he tells us, "cannot see the Father, and the Holy Spirit cannot see the Son." These words occur in his book "On First Principles;" thus we read, and thus Origen has spoken. "For as it is unsuitable to say that the Son can see the Father, it is consequently unsuitable to suppose that the Spirit can see the Son."

-- St. Jerome, letter 51.

"Never been so well explained"  Undecided
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2012, 03:24:19 PM »

We owe a great debt to Origen.
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2012, 03:31:17 PM »

We owe a great debt to Origen.

I agree with you here. I would commit a murder to get a copy of the Hexapla.
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2012, 03:47:03 PM »

We owe a great debt to Origen.

I agree with you here. I would commit a murder to get a copy of the Hexapla.
LOL are you some librarian?
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2012, 05:19:30 PM »

Augustine = (Questionable Theology + Brilliant Theology + Corrections of Sts. John+Others) / Defended and Quoted by Lots of Saints and Councils


In what way you find Augustine's theology brilliant?
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2012, 05:30:58 PM »


Not in any Christian writing or logic, has the trinity been so well explained. The man was genius, and his writing are not for dozing off to.

"For what Catholic, what Christian who adorns his faith with good works, can hear with calmness Origen's teaching and counsel, or believe in his extraordinary preaching? "The Son," he tells us, "cannot see the Father, and the Holy Spirit cannot see the Son." These words occur in his book "On First Principles;" thus we read, and thus Origen has spoken. "For as it is unsuitable to say that the Son can see the Father, it is consequently unsuitable to suppose that the Spirit can see the Son."

-- St. Jerome, letter 51.

"Never been so well explained"  Undecided

Nothing like hearsay.
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2012, 05:38:54 PM »

Augustine = (Questionable Theology + Brilliant Theology + Corrections of Sts. John+Others) / Defended and Quoted by Lots of Saints and Councils


In what way you find Augustine's theology brilliant?

I don't think I've read enough of him to say for sure, I was mostly saying that as a confirmation (agreement) of what many others say, but I would say that, of what I have read of him, and what I get out of it, I find in him more breadth of vision rather than depth of insight.
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2012, 11:24:29 PM »


Not in any Christian writing or logic, has the trinity been so well explained. The man was genius, and his writing are not for dozing off to.

"For what Catholic, what Christian who adorns his faith with good works, can hear with calmness Origen's teaching and counsel, or believe in his extraordinary preaching? "The Son," he tells us, "cannot see the Father, and the Holy Spirit cannot see the Son." These words occur in his book "On First Principles;" thus we read, and thus Origen has spoken. "For as it is unsuitable to say that the Son can see the Father, it is consequently unsuitable to suppose that the Spirit can see the Son."

-- St. Jerome, letter 51.

"Never been so well explained"  Undecided

Nothing like hearsay.

Not sure if St. Jerome just couldn't follow the Greek or was working from a corrupt/incomplete version, but when Origen talks about the members of the Trinity not 'seeing' each other, he is actually making a *correct* apophatic point:

Quote
Whatever, therefore, is a property of bodies, cannot be predicated either of the Father or of the Son; but what belongs to the nature of deity is common to the Father and the Son.  Finally, even He Himself, in the Gospel, did not say that no one has seen the Father, save the Son, nor any one the Son, save the Father; but His words are:  “No one knoweth the Son, save the Father; nor any one the Father, save the Son.”  By which it is clearly shown, that whatever among bodily natures is called seeing and being seen, is termed, between the Father and the Son, a knowing and being known, by means of the power of knowledge, not by the frailness of the sense of sight.  Because, then, neither seeing nor being seen can be properly applied to an incorporeal and invisible nature, neither is the Father, in the Gospel, said to be seen by the Son, nor the Son by the Father, but the one is said to be known by the other. -De Principis, Book I
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