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The Logos-Christology continued to develop in the late 2nd and the 1st half of the 3rd c. Hippolytus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, in polemic against the monarchians. Karachi Map The latter accused their opponents of introducing a genuine ditheism derived from Greek philosophy and sought to safeguard the monotheistic conception of God, considering Christ either as a mere man, albeit endowed with exceptional divine gifts, assumed as Son of God after the resurrection adoptionists or as a mode of manifestation and operation of the Father who, in the aspect of a Son, became incarnate and suffered on the cross patripassians, Sabellians.

In dispute with these opponents, Hippolytus, Tertullian and, later mid-3rd c., Novatian explored the terms of the Logos-Christology, making clear that the distinction between Father and Son did not compromise the divine unity, conceived by Tertullian as a single divine substance in which Father, Son and also Holy Spirit participated. The distinction within the unity was brought out by the use of the term prosopon Hippolytus, persona in Latin Tertullian, Novatian, attributed to the Father and the Son and, by Tertullian, to the Holy Spirit.

This christological approach was developed further by Origen. Against the monarchians, he further stressed the distinction between the Logos and the Father, which he brought out by using the term hypostasis = individual subsistent reality; he avoided portraying the unity as deriving from a divine substance in which the divine hypostases participated, because he saw the danger of conceiving the divine generation as a division of the divine substrate into two parts, and preferred to speak of a dynamic unity of Father and Son, a unity of willing and acting; he presented the Father’s generation of the Logos as an eternal and continuous generation, by which, from eternity, the Son incessantly receives divine life from the Father.

In presenting the Logos-Christ’s teaching activity, Origen took up and developed the traditional themes of Jesus’ death as expiation and ransom while stressing in a completely new way the presence of the Logos in the heart of every person, particularly every Christian; in this sense he saw the Logos as continually adapting to each person’s everchanging spiritual conditions, so as to be always able to act on him in the most effective way, persuading and never coercing his freedom, using his assumed humanity to prepare human beings to approach his divinity. To bring out this changeable relationship and, more generally, the different ways in which Christ operates in the world, Origen made able use of the many scriptural names traditionally attributed to him: Logos, Wisdom, Image, Justice, Life, Light, Shepherd, Way, Door etc.

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