Welcome to Patristic Universalism:
An Alternative View To Divine Judgment
by David Burnfield
Origen and Apokatastasis
Many believe that 'Universalism' or rather the Greek term apokatastasis is an old heresy that was condemned at the Fifth Ecumenical Council (A.D. 553). Much of this assertion is up for debate. Patristic Universalism will explore some of these common objections through scripture, reason, and church history.
"Like many fields of study, once information is out there and accepted, it takes a long time to reverse the thinking".....
Thankfully, due to the work of a few dedicated scholars, Origen’s credibility and skill as an exegete is being slowly restored. According to Harmon, opinions on Origen's theology underwent a major change in the mid-twentieth century. Prior to this period, Origen was often tied to the dogmas of later Origenism but in the twenty years between 1930 and 1950 breakthroughs in the understanding of Origen's theology restored—in the minds of scholars at least—Origen's place as a "towering figure" of early Christianity with one scholar describing Origen as the second most widely read of the ecclesiastical writers after Augustine. ....
It should be noted that while Origen was known for the allegorical approach to Scripture—another area for which he is often ridiculed—it is also true that Origen believed there were very few passage of Scripture for which the “literal, historical meaning” was absent and that he believed—unlike many Christians today—most of the Bible “recounts historical facts that really happened at a certain time.”Origen’s allegorical interpretations were intended as deeper meanings to the literal, historical view, not as a replacement for it.
The other common misconception about Origen – that he was a heretic – is still widely promoted even though the foundation for this claim is extremely shaky. And while Geisler is correct that Origen’s name does appear alongside other ‘heretics’ at the Fifth Ecumenical Council in A.D. 553, let me make a few points in response.
Read more in Chapter Seven, Patristic Universalism by David Burnfield