By Christopher Zoukis Image courtesy www.romancatholicism.org.
His name was Origenes Admantios. Origen. And it was he who, pushing the envelope of the idea of human free will as far as it would go, found the idea of an unending Hell unbelievable.
For a while, he even entertained the notion of reincarnation, although in the end he could not bind himself to it philosophically. It just didn’t line up with Scripture, this method of ascending or descending the hierarchy of being called reincarnation by most, and metempsychosis by the philosophers.
Instead, Origen anticipated, all human beings would in due course choose to repent. Aristotle came up with something similar. In Aristotle’s eschatology, which means ‘how things will turn out in the end, finally, when all is said and done,’ everyone receives salvation at the end because the Prime Mover’s grace is “wide.” Of course, this negates the concept of a perpetual Hell where sinners suffer forever.
And this kind of thing was expected from Aristotle because he was a pagan philosopher, not a Christian. But Origen, well, he should know better than to buy into this junk.
This kind of thinking, this idea of universal redemption is called apocastastasis, which is a fancy word for ‘restoration,’ and is used in astronomy to mean the return of a planet to the same position after an orbital revolution. Fancy theological words are nothing more than an attempt at job security by the clergy.