Why isn’t Origen a saint? Questions for Discussion: Lesson 8A – Chapter 6 “Origen of Alexandria Leaves a Troubling Legacy”  from The Story of Christian Theology by Roger Olson

1. Olson indicates that Origen was not canonized as a saint, and in fact came under suspicion of heresy many years after his death. What were the key doctrinal formulations that triggered the Church’s negative assessment?

2. How did Origen’s positive, orthodox contributions influence future generations of Christian theologians? Who were some of these theologians?

3. What were the events leading to Origen’s move from Alexandria to Caesarea (Palestine)?

4. What were some of the weaknesses Origen identified in Greek philosophy?

5. How did Origen employ allegorical interpretation in his study of the Scriptures? What was his underlying purpose in using this hermeneutical technique?

6. Why did Origen’s Doctrine of God become a “troubling legacy for the church”? How did he view God’s nature and attributes?

7. How did Origen view the incarnation? What was his approach to the Logos and incarnation, and how did this shape his Christology?

8. How would an Origenist define salvation?

See Lesson 8B for Correlated Readings

Selections from Origen’s De Principiis and Contra Celsum

Bible Verses for Reflection


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