Reflection: Ancient Christian Doctrines Vol 5 – And the Life of the World to Come

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My final reflection on this volume, which is perhaps one of the finest series produced on early Christian writers. It doesn’t seek to analysis, but provides a dictionary and encyclopedia or sorts to let the early writers speak unhindered as much as possible.

Those who receive the presentation of Scripture according to the understanding of the apostles entertain the hope that the saints will eat indeed, but that it will be the bread of life that may nourish the soul with the food of truth and wisdom, and enlighten the mind and cause it to drink from the cup of divine wisdom. Origen, On First Principles 2.11.3.

He will learn, too, the judgment of divine Providence on each individual thing. He will learn, for instance, that of those events that happen to people, none occur by accident or chance. They occur in agreement with a plan so carefully considered and so amazing that it does not overlook even the number of the hairs on heads – not merely of the saints by perhaps all human beings….But once they know all these things, having the grace of that full knowledge, they may then enjoy an unspeakable joy. Origen, On First Principles 2.11.5.

Do not be mistaken, my brothers. Those who corrupt families will not inherit the kingdom of God. If, then, those who do this as respects the flesh have suffered death, how much more will this be the case with anyone who corrupts by wicked doctrine the Faith of God, for which Jesus Christ was crucified! Ignatius of Antioch, Ephesians 16

Understand, then, you children of gladness, that the good Lord showed us all these things ahead of time so that we might know to whom we ought to render thanksgiving and praise for everything. If therefore the Son of God, who is Lord of all things and who will judge the living and the dead, suffered so that his being stricken might give us life, let us believe that the Son of God could not have suffered except for our sakes. Epistle of Barnabas 7

All who fly from the eternal light of God, which contains in itself all good things, are themselves the reason why they inhabit eternal darkness, destitute of all good things, having become to themselves the cause of their consignment to an abode of that nature. Ireneaus, Against Heresies 4.39.4

No repentance is too late for the person who still remains in this world. Cyprian, To Demetrian 25

You may order the other books in the series from here, or here.

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