Sunday Quote

Sunday Quote!- Why invite sinners?

Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!

Why Invite Sinners?

Origen is one of the greatest thinkers in the history of Christianity. In one of his works, Contra Celsum (available in an excellent Kindle edition of his works), he replies to the skeptic, Celsus, who charged Christians with effectively dismissing sin and inviting the unrighteous into Christianity instead of the righteous. Origen replied in Book III, Chapter LXI:

Not to participate in mysteries, then, and to fellowship in the wisdom hidden in a mystery, which God ordained before the world to the glory of His saints, do we invite the wicked, and the thief, and the housebreaker, and the prisoner, and the committer of sacrilege, and the plunderer of the dead, and all those others whom Celsus may enumerate in his exaggerating style, but such as these we invite to be healed.

Origen’s point is that Christianity is a religion that does call sinners of all varieties, but it does not call them to a kind of “free pass”- it calls them to the healing that can only be had through the washing by the Lord Jesus Christ.


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On Christian Music– I wrote a post about the label “Christian music” and how that can lead to a number of difficulties with discernment.

Christian Discernment Regarding Music: A Reflection and Response– I reflect in depth on how we can use our discernment properly when it comes to music.

Sunday Quote– If you want to read more Sunday Quotes and join the discussion, check them out! (Scroll down for more)

Eclectic Theist– Check out my other blog for my writings on science fiction, history, fantasy movies, and more!



About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick is a Lutheran, feminist, Christ-follower. A Science Fiction snob, Bonhoeffer fan, Paleontology fanboy and RPG nerd.


3 thoughts on “Sunday Quote!- Why invite sinners?

  1. Good to hear someone citing Origen, one of my favourite fathers. If you will permit an aside, the last Pope’s rehabilitation of Origen raised an interesting issue relating to the doctrine of papal infallibility. Catholics regard both the Pope (when ruling from Peter’s seat) and the Ecumenical ouncils as infallible, yet Origen was declared a heretic by the fifth council.
    I asked a Catholic apologetics site how they reconciled the council’s anathema of Origen with the Pope’s praise of him but got no reply. I can think of several possible answers though.
    1. The Pope subscribes to the theory held by some that Origen’s name was interpolated into the council records.
    2. The fifth council was not approved by the Pope and whilst it is counted as an honorary council due to the Pope’s subsequent approval of its key rulings that approval did not extend to details such as the anathema against Origen.
    3. Origen has repented post mortem and God revealed this to the Pope.
    The third however could be taken to mean that Origen hadn’t repented by the time of the fifth council two centuries after his death,, which would be intriguing. A last resort might be to say that the Pope’s statement didn’t fall into the category of infallible pronouncements and was simply wrong.
    I know this doesn’t concern us directly as non Catholics but I find it interesting nonetheless.

    Posted by Giles | August 7, 2016, 10:46 PM
    • Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment.

      First, I have been blown away by reading Origen. I only had some vague idea of him having somewhat strange interpretations of various parts of the Bible and that his ideas were later condemned. But, I also kind of thought that because he was such an early writer, it’s hard to maintain that he was specifically heretical, given that he wrote during the formative years of Christian teaching and helped to flesh out what we now believe. Anyway, now that I’ve started reading him, my perception has changed. He’s deeply thoughtful and incredibly adept. I’m loving “Contra Celsum.”

      Anyway, regarding your specific point, I think that does present something of a difficulty, but suspect that what you said towards the end is the most likely approach from the Roman Catholic. That is, they would say something about the Pope not speaking infallibly on that topic, so they aren’t bound to see it as conflict.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | August 8, 2016, 2:09 PM

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