Clement of Alexandria by Eric Osborn

By Eric Osborn

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Kutter, Clemens Alexandrinus und das Neue Testament (Giessen, 1897). ‘Klemens kennt keine grundlegenden Wirkungen des Herrn fu¨r die Gegenwart. Gottes Heil ist eine in der Vergangenheit abgeschlossene Gro¨sse’ (152). This is plainly wrong. 3). 5). 1). The effect of the gospel on the world is stated with Johannine clarity. The divine power has illuminated the earth and scattered everywhere the seed of salvation. The speed with which God has acted proves that only he could be the author of salvation.

Clement restates Paul’s theme of the righteousness of God which spreads salvation through a new creation. The beginning of Clement’s thought, as for other second-century theologians, is the primitive Christian kerygma, which speaks of a good and only God, and of his plan of salvation, which comes to perfection in Christ and may be received by all. Clement is so remarkable for his philosophical accounts of God that his devotion to the kerygma is commonly overlooked. Yet, like Irenaeus, he had only one gospel to proclaim: the goodness of God from the beginning to the end, God’s 1 D.

5 Clement states the primitive Christian kerygma of salvation. When we look at what God’s goodness has done, we find the following story: the first man played in paradise with childlike freedom,6 since he was a child of God. But when he fell a victim to pleasure, and was led astray by lusts, the child, coming to manhood through disobedience and refusing to listen to the father, was ashamed to meet God. See how pleasure prevailed! The man who had been free by reason of innocence was discovered to be bound by sins.

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