TFI #11

11. What key contributions did Iraneus of Lyons and Origen bring to theological Methodology?

St. Iraneus is considered by some to be the first systematic theologian. He concerned himself with refuting the Gnostic heresy. He appealed to the “rule” of faith handed on from the apostles. He showed how the common beliefs — the “one scheme of faith” — formed a foundation on which we could explore deeper meanings. Apostolic tradition as a source of divine Revelation; what we now call Sacred Tradition.

Origen was firm in his conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God. It was important to learn not only Scripture’s surface meaning, but also the deeper “spiritual meaning.”. He relates these different meanings as analogous to the construct of Body-Soul-Spirit:

Body – surface meaning; the literal sense
Soul – applicability to our own lives; God can speak directly to us through the text
Spirit – God’s hidden wisdom

With Scripture and Tradition together does the theologian have a solid foundation upon which he can begin to uncover the riches of God’s theophany.

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