How to handle philosophy

by Andrea Elizabeth

The beginning of the Origen Problematic

Just as the ancient Hebrews spoiled the Egyptians of their
treasure to decorate the tabernacle and sacred vessels, so, Origen states,
Christians should take over the treasure of the Greek mind and employ it
in the service of Christian theology.

Having stated this, however, Origen then goes on to draw a
cautionary lesson:

He is rare who takes the useful things of Egypt and comes out of it and
fashions the things for the worship of God, but there is many a brother of
the Edomite Ader. These latter are they who from some Greek liaison
beget heretical notions. 180

This sounds a familiar motif, one which we shall encounter again in
our examination of St. Augustine, who, like Origen, will refer to it, but who,
unlike Origen, will not even draw the cautionary lesson. But Origen himself
will beget heretical notions from a “Greek liaison” of which he is scarcely
aware. (God, History and Dialectic, p. 89)

How unaware we all are of our earthly thinking.

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