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"Those who have the disease called Jesus will never be cured" ~Old Russian Proverb

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Do You Know This Man?

When he was 17, this man wrote a letter to his imprisoned father, Leonides, urging him to be strong in his profession of faith in Jesus Christ even if it meant being beheaded. In that same letter he promised that he would take care of his mother and six siblings if his father was indeed martyred. He learned of his father's beheading only a few days later.

During his lifetime he experienced much violent persecution himself. As a noted theologian and teacher, his following grew so large as to make other church leaders envious, thereby drawing their ire instead of camaraderie.

A biographer wrote: "A man of broad compassion and deep insight, he insisted the Christian faith could not be isolated from the world. Instead he attempted to always relate Biblical faith to the culture in which he lived."

He was born in Alexandria in 185. He died at 69 due to lingering illness and infection, the result of beatings he took for his faith in Jesus. Do you think you know this man?


  • OK, sometimes Google takes all the fun out... But this post drove me to some understandings that I missed in Church History classes (or had forgotten).

    The answer is Origen. He's deeply respected by secular as well as Christian thinkers. His "First Principles" is considered by most to be the foundational work of Western Thought. He tied the methods and thinking of the Greek world, particularly Plato, to the Gospel. He packaged, in a way, the Christian faith in a package that could be absorbed easily by his audience.

    I'm struck that we need to do that. We need to go deep into Scripture and into our lives with Christ. We need to maintain, at the same time, who we are in the world. I have seen, sometimes, people come to Christ and be pressed into a different mold. As though some church effort existed to stamp us all alike.

    What Origen did, what I see at CCA, what we can do, is we can so aborb Christ and so be our unique, God-created selves, that what comes out is a critical presentation of the Gospel, of the good-news Jesus story, for OUR times. Using the music of our times. Using the words of our times... well MOST of the words of our time :).

    "Relevance" was a watchword of my generation as we came of age. But it's not really about relevance. Jesus is supremely relevant. So relevant that we miss sometimes how He encompasses everything.

    But as Christ takes us, washes us, crushes us and shines in us, we become ... touchable. Origen was touchable. He used the intellect God gave him and the background he grew up in (Alexandria being the center of academia, the Boston of it's time) and crafted an expression of faith that is the touchstone for today.



    By Higher Up, Further In, at 9/29/2005 8:37 AM  

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