Overview (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
Origen was the first Christian to write systematic theology, to explain how all the things the Bible teaches can be true, and to show how those truths relate to one another. In On First Principles, Origen begins the first book with a preface that states what is clear from the teaching of the Apostles. First, there is only one God the creator, who gave the Law and sent Jesus Christ. Second, God the Son was born of the Father, was the servant of God in the creation of all things, became a man, was born of a virgin, died, and rose from the dead. Third, the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets and apostles. Fourth, souls exist with free will and rationality, and they are rewarded or punished after death. Fifth, a devil and bad angels exist. Sixth, the world began and will end. Seventh, the Scriptures were written by the Holy Spirit and have both an obvious and a hidden meaning. Eighth, good angels help in human salvation. Origen says that anyone who wants to make a “connected series and body of truths” must begin from this foundation.
The first book of On First Principles begins by disproving the idea that God exists materially. While various Scriptures give this impression, Origen shows that they are metaphors. God is also incomprehensible, far better than any human understanding can fathom. Of God the Son, Origen says that he is also the wisdom and Word of God. Because God has always been the Father and has always possessed wisdom and his...
(The entire section is 1344 words.)
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