Monday, July 6, 2015

ANF VI: Gregory Thaumaturgus Oration and Panegyric

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume VI

Gregory Thaumaturgus: Part I: Acknowledged Writings: The Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen

This is Gregory's gift to Origen out of gratitude for Origen's time teaching and instructing him in the mental arts. Origen was especially helpful in teaching Gregory about the place of philosophy in the Christian life.
For he [Origen] asserted further that there could be no genuine piety towards the Lord of all in the man who despised this gift of philosophy-- a gift which man alone of all the creatures of the earth has been deemed honourable and worthy enough to possess, and one which every man whatsoever, be he wise or be he ignorant, reasonably embraces, who has not utterly lost the power of thought by some mad distraction of mind.
In this work, Gregory follows the standard Hellenistic philosophical method of walking through logic, physics, and ethics individually and in connection with each other. Origen specifically emphasizes how human understanding in each of these fields is simply wrong outside of the grace that comes to the Christian through Christ. Grace, however, enables us to look at the world properly through the filter of God's character as revealed in His Word. Through the lens of Scripture our logic is corrected, our view of physics and the operations of the world fall into its proper place, and our personal ethics begin to mature and grow us into a picture of the Lord.

This work is simply excellent, and well worth reading.

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