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Lee Sytsma

Lee W. Sytsma received his Ph.D in Historical Theology at Marquette University, where he is a regular lecturer. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of divine grace and moral psychology in the pre-Augustinian church. He has also taught courses at Marquette University on the relationship between Christian faith, modern science, and the transhumanism movement. He currently works at Brookfield Christian Reformed Church.

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Picture of Universal Salvation and Freedom of Choice according to Origen of Alexandria

Universal Salvation and Freedom of Choice according to Origen of Alexandria

ISBN: 978-1-4632-3950-3
The 3rd century theologian Origen of Alexandria has traditionally been famous for his belief in universal salvation. Yet, Origen is also famous for his insistence on moral autonomy, the fact that God allows each creature to freely choose to move in the direction of good or evil. How can these two beliefs not result in a paradox or logical inconsistency in Origen’s theology, as many contemporary scholars suggest they do? This book explores the intersection between moral autonomy and God’s foreordained universal salvation in Origen’s writings. Origen was, in fact, aware of the apparent contradiction between these two ideas. He nevertheless stipulated that God can achieve universal salvation without violating a soul’s freedom of choice. God accomplishes this through his foreknowledge of future voluntary possibilities, which God then prearranges into a sequence leading to God’s desired outcome.