Origen on Apologetics

Ben Myers recently wrote a blog post on Origen and the problem of writing, Origen and the problem of writing, within the post he quotes Origen’s stance on apologetics….

When Origen was asked to respond to Celsus, a pagan writer who had attacked Christianity in a book called True Doctrine, Origen observed that a written response was not really appropriate for the Christian faith. “Now Jesus is always being falsely accused,” Origen says in the preface to Contra Celsum. “He is still silent in face of this and does not answer with his voice; but he makes his defence in the lives of his genuine disciples, for their lives cry out the real facts and defeat all false charges.” The only real apologetics is the life of Christ’s followers, not written arguments. Indeed Origen suggests that producing a written defence of the faith might actually diminish the vitality of the Christian community: “I would therefore go so far as to say that the defence which you ask me to compose will weaken the force of the defence that is in the mere facts, and detract from the power of Jesus.

Do you agree with Origen?


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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