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St. Irenaeus on Free Will (Adversus Haereses IV,37)
The Catholic Encyclopedia ^ | AD 150-202 | St. Irenaeus

Posted on 09/26/2006 3:48:44 PM PDT by annalex

Adversus Haereses (Book IV, Chapter 37)

Men are possessed of free will, and endowed with the faculty of making a choice. It is not true, therefore, that some are by nature good, and others bad.

1. This expression [of our Lord], "How often would I have gathered thy children together, and thou wouldest not," set forth the ancient law of human liberty, because God made man a free [agent] from the beginning, possessing his own power, even as he does his own soul, to obey the behests (ad utendum sententia) of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God. For there is no coercion with God, but a good will [towards us] is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man, as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves. On the other hand, they who have not obeyed shall, with justice, be not found in possession of the good, and shall receive condign punishment: for God did kindly bestow on them what was good; but they themselves did not diligently keep it, nor deem it something precious, but poured contempt upon His super-eminent goodness. Rejecting therefore the good, and as it were spuing it out, they shall all deservedly incur the just judgment of God, which also the Apostle Paul testifies in his Epistle to the Romans, where he says, "But dost thou despise the riches of His goodness, and patience, and long-suffering, being ignorant that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest to thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God." "But glory and honour," he says, "to every one that doeth good." God therefore has given that which is good, as the apostle tells us in this Epistle, and they who work it shall receive glory and honour, because they have done that which is good when they had it in their power not to do it; but those who do it not shall receive the just judgment of God, because they did not work good when they had it in their power so to do.

2. But if some had been made by nature bad, and others good, these latter would not be deserving of praise for being good, for such were they created; nor would the former be reprehensible, for thus they were made [originally]. But since all men are of the same nature, able both to hold fast and to do what is good; and, on the other hand, having also the power to cast it from them and not to do it -- some do justly receive praise even among men who are under the control of good laws (and much more from God), and obtain deserved testimony of their choice of good in general, and of persevering therein; but the others are blamed, and receive a just condemnation, because of their rejection of what is fair and good. And therefore the prophets used to exhort men to what was good, to act justly and to work righteousness, as I have so largely demonstrated, because it is in our power so to do, and because by excessive negligence we might become forgetful, and thus stand in need of that good counsel which the good God has given us to know by means of the prophets.

3. For this reason the Lord also said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." And, "Take heed to yourselves, lest perchance your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and worldly cares." And, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lamps burning, and ye like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He returns from the wedding, that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open to Him. Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall find so doing." And again, "The servant who knows his Lord's will, and does it not, shall be beaten with many stripes." And, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" And again, "But if the servant say in his heart, The Lord delayeth, and begin to beat his fellow-servants, and to eat, and drink, and to be drunken, his Lord will come in a day on which he does not expect Him, and shall cut him in sunder, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites." All such passages demonstrate the independent will of man, and at the same time the counsel which God conveys to him, by which He exhorts us to submit ourselves to Him, and seeks to turn us away from [the sin of] unbelief against Him, without, however, in any way coercing us.

4. No doubt, if any one is unwilling to follow the Gospel itself, it is in his power [to reject it], but it is not expedient. For it is in man's power to disobey God, and to forfeit what is good; but [such conduct] brings no small amount of injury and mischief. And on this account Paul says, "All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient;" referring both to the liberty of man, in which respect "all things are lawful," God exercising no compulsion in regard to him; and [by the expression] "not expedient" pointing out that we "should not use our liberty as a cloak of maliciousness,. for this is not expedient. And again he says, "Speak ye every man truth with his neighbour." And, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor scurrility, which are not convenient, but rather giving of thanks." And, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk honestly as children of the light, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in anger and jealousy. And such were some of you; but ye have been washed, but ye have been sanctified in the name of our Lord." If then it were not in our power to do or not to do these things, what reason had the apostle, and much more the Lord Himself, to give us counsel to do some things, and to abstain from others? But because man is possessed of free will from the beginning, and God is possessed of free will, in whose likeness man was created, advice is always given to him to keep fast the good, which thing is done by means of obedience to God.

5. And not merely in works, but also in faith, has God preserved the will of man free and under his own control, saying, "According to thy faith be it unto thee; " thus showing that there is a faith specially belonging to man, since he has an opinion specially his own. And again, "All things are possible to him that believeth;" and, "Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee." Now all such expressions demonstrate that man is in his own power with respect to faith. And for this reason, "he that believeth in Him has eternal life while he who believeth not the Son hath not eternal life, but the wrath of God shall remain upon him." In the same manner therefore the Lord, both showing His own goodness, and indicating that man is in his own free will and his own power, said to Jerusalem, "How often have I wished to gather thy children together, as a hen [gathereth] her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Wherefore your house shall be left unto you desolate."

6. Those, again, who maintain the opposite to these ['conclusions], do themselves present the Lord as destitute of power, as if, forsooth, He were unable to accomplish what He willed; or, on the other hand, as being ignorant that they were by nature "material," as these men express it, and such as cannot receive His immortality. "But He should not," say they, "have created angels of such a nature that they were capable of transgression, nor men who immediately proved ungrateful towards Him; for they were made rational beings, endowed with the power of examining and judging, and were not [formed] as things irrational or of a [merely] animal nature, which can do nothing of their own will, but are drawn by necessity and compulsion to what is good, in which things there is one mind and one usage, working mechanically in one groove (inflexibiles el sine judicio), who are incapable of being anything else except just what they had been created." But upon this supposition, neither would what is good be grateful to them, nor communion with God be precious, nor would the good be very much to be sought after, which would present itself without their own proper endeavour, care, or study, but would be implanted of its own accord and without their concern. Thus it would come to pass, that their being good would be of no consequence, because they were so by nature rather than by will, and are possessors of good spontaneously, not by choice; and for this reason they would not understand this fact, that good is a comely thing, nor would they take pleasure in it. For how can those who are ignorant of good enjoy it? Or what credit is it to those who have not aimed at it? And what crown is it to those who have not followed in pursuit of it, like those victorious in the contest?

7. On this account, too, did the Lord assert that the kingdom of heaven was the portion of "the violent;" and He says, "The violent take it by force;" that is, those who by strength and earnest striving axe on the watch to snatch it away on the moment. On this account also Paul the Apostle says to the Corinthians, "Know ye not, that they who run in a racecourse, do all indeed run, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. Every one also who engages in the contest is temperate in all things: now these men ida it] that they may obtain a corruptible crown, but we an incorruptible. But I so run, not as uncertainty; I fight, not as One beating the air; but I make my body livid, and bring it into subjection, lest by any means, when preaching to others, I may myself be rendered a castaway." This able wrestler, therefore, exhorts us to the struggle for immortality, that we may be crowned, and may deem the crown precious, namely, that which is acquired by our struggle, but which does not encircle us of its own accord (sed non ultro coalitam). And the harder we strive, so much is it the more valuable; while so much the more valuable it is, so much the more should we esteem it. And indeed those things axe not esteemed so highly which come spontaneously, as those which are reached by much anxious care. Since, then, this power has been conferred upon us, both the Lord has taught and the apostle has enjoined us the more to love God, that we may reach this [prize] for ourselves by striving after it. For otherwise, no doubt, this our good would be [virtually] irrational, because not the result of trial. Moreover, the faculty of seeing would not appear to be so desirable, unless we had known what a loss it were to be devoid of sight; and health, too, is rendered all the more estimable by an acquaintance with disease; light, also, by contrasting it with darkness; and life with death. Just in the same way is the heavenly kingdom honourable to those who have known the earthly one. But in proportion as it is more honourable, so much the more do we prize it; and if we have prized it more, we shall be the more glorious in the presence of God. The Lord has therefore endured all these things on our behalf, in order that we, having been instructed by means of them all, may be in all respects circumspect for the time to come, and that, having been rationally taught to love God, we may continue in His perfect love: for God has displayed long-suffering in the case of man's apostasy; while man has been instructed by means of it, as also the prophet says, "Thine own apostasy shall heal thee;" God thus determining all things beforehand for the bringing of man to perfection, for his edification, and for the revelation of His dispensations, that goodness may both be made apparent, and righteousness perfected, and that the Church may be fashioned after the image of His Son, and that man may finally be brought to maturity at some future time, becoming ripe through such privileges to see and comprehend God.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Mainline Protestant; Orthodox Christian; Other Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: calvinism; catholicism; freewill; predestination
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The earliest condemnation of Calvinist double predestination is also the fullest and the clearest.
1 posted on 09/26/2006 3:48:46 PM PDT by annalex
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To: HarleyD; jo kus; Campion; Forest Keeper; Dr. Eckleburg; AlbionGirl; wmfights; blue-duncan; ...
A companion for our venerable Luther and Erasmus: The Controversy Concerning the Bondage of the Will thread.
2 posted on 09/26/2006 3:54:41 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; HarleyD; jo kus; Campion; Forest Keeper; Dr. Eckleburg; AlbionGirl; wmfights; ...

I do so like +Irenaeus!


3 posted on 09/26/2006 4:27:37 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis; annalex
I remember posting a snippet from this chapter on that behemoth of a thread, so long ago...

Pretty much ignored. Poor St. Irenaeus gets no respect among the reformers.

Regards

4 posted on 09/26/2006 4:46:05 PM PDT by jo kus (Humility is present when one debases oneself without being obliged to do so- St.Chrysostom; Phil 2:8)
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To: Kolokotronis
Kolokotronis, why are you pinging me to this? I am, according to your St John Chrysostom, an 'enemy of God.'

"Chrysostomos loudly declares not only heretics, but also those who have communion with them, to be enemies of God." St. Theodore the Studite, Epistle of Abbot Theophilus

Contentions," he means, with heretics, in which he would not have us labor to no purpose, where nothing is to be gained, for they end in nothing. For when a man is perverted and predetermined not to change his mind, whatever may happen, why shouldest thou labor in vain, sowing upon a rock, when thou shouldest spend thy honorable toil upon thy own people, in discoursing with them upon almsgiving and every other virtue? How then does he elsewhere say, "If God peradventure will give them repentance" (2 Tim. ii.25); but here, "A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself"? In the former passage he speaks of the correction of those of whom he had hope, and who had simply made opposition. But when he is known and manifest to all, why dost thou contend in vain? why dost thou beat the air? What means, "being condemned of himself"? Because he cannot say that no one has told him, no one admonished him; since therefore after admonition he continues the same, he is self-condemned." St John Chrysostom, Homily 6 on Titus

What has a 'friend' of God to do with an 'enemy of God?'

5 posted on 09/26/2006 4:55:31 PM PDT by AlbionGirl (Salvation is free, ... but discipleship will cost you your life.-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
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To: annalex

Not directly a condemnation of Calvinism, of course... since Irenaueus lived about a millennium and a half before Calvin! :^D


6 posted on 09/26/2006 5:12:08 PM PDT by dangus (Pope calls Islam violent; Millions of Moslems demonstrate)
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To: AlbionGirl; annalex

"Kolokotronis, why are you pinging me to this? "

Ummmmmmm, cause Alex did and you were part of the Luther thread discussion, AG. Frankly it didn't occur to me that you are heretic; in fact, had I thought of it I'd have assumed you aren't.


7 posted on 09/26/2006 5:33:56 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: annalex; HarleyD; jo kus; Campion; Forest Keeper; Dr. Eckleburg; AlbionGirl; wmfights
Last Sunday a lady came to my church for the first time. She was from out of town and it took over 45 minutes to get there. She trusted Christ for salvation during the service. When she was talking with us during the fellowship hour she wanted to meet "Charlotte". When asked why, she said someone from the church had been calling for "Charlotte" on her cell phone and leaving the church's name and number. After the second or third wrong number she thought someone was telling her to come to the church. She did and was saved. You can imagine the excitement that went through the church on hearing this. Now there is a Charlotte in the church but her cell phone number is nowhere near this ladies and no one in the church would could remember calling for Charlotte last week.
8 posted on 09/26/2006 6:13:02 PM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: annalex; dangus
The earliest condemnation of Calvinist double predestination is also the fullest and the clearest.

Apart from the fact that it does not mention predestination per se, how can any biblcial discussion of free will fail to take into account the fall and our sin nature? And not a mention of Romans 9.

Just goes to show you that old Irenaeus put his toga on one leg at a time.

9 posted on 09/26/2006 6:37:10 PM PDT by topcat54
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To: topcat54
It is a large treatise.

the fall and our sin nature?

Adversus Haereses (Book IV, Chapter 38)

Why man was not made perfect from the beginning.

1. If, however, any one say, "What then? Could not God have exhibited man as perfect from beginning?" let him know that, inasmuch as God is indeed always the same and unbegotten as respects Himself, all things are possible to Him. But created things must be inferior to Him who created them, from the very fact of their later origin; for it was not possible for things recently created to have been uncreated. But inasmuch as they are not uncreated, for this very reason do they come short of the perfect. Because, as these things are of later date, so are they infantile; so are they unaccustomed to, and unexercised in, perfect discipline. For as it certainly is in the power of a mother to give strong food to her infant, [but she does not do so], as the child is not yet able to receive more substantial nourishment; so also it was possible for God Himself to have made man perfect from the first, but man could not receive this [perfection], being as yet an infant. And for this cause our Lord in these last times, when He had summed up all things into Himself, came to us, not as He might have come, but as we were capable of beholding Him. He might easily have come to us in His immortal glory, but in that case we could never have endured the greatness of the glory; and therefore it was that He, who was the perfect bread of the Father, offered Himself to us as milk, [because we were] as infants. He did this when He appeared as a man, that we, being nourished, as it were, from the breast of His flesh, and having, by such a course of milk nourishment, become accustomed to eat and drink the Word of God, may be able also to contain in ourselves the Bread of immortality, which is the Spirit of the Father.

2. And on this account does Paul declare to the Corinthians, "I have fed you with milk, not with meat, for hitherto ye were not able to bear it." That is, ye have indeed learned the advent of our Lord as a man; nevertheless, because of your infirmity, the Spirit of the Father has not as yet rested upon you. "For when envying and strife," he says, "and dissensions are among you, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" That is, that the Spirit of the Father was not yet with them, on account of their imperfection and shortcomings of their walk in life. As, therefore, the apostle had the power to give them strong meat -- for those upon whom the apostles laid hands received the Holy Spirit, who is the food of life [eternal] -- but they were not capable of receiving it, because they had the sentient faculties of the soul still feeble and undisciplined in the practice of things pertaining to God; so, in like manner, God had power at the beginning to grant perfection to man; but as the latter was only recently created, he could not possibly have received it, or even if he had received it, could he have contained it, or containing it, could he have retained it. It was for this reason that the Son of God, although He was perfect, passed through the state of infancy in common with the rest of mankind, partaking of it thus not for His own benefit, but for that of the infantile stage of man's existence, in order that man might be able to receive Him. There was nothing, therefore, impossible to and deficient in God, [implied in the fact] that man was not an uncreated being; but this merely applied to him who was lately created, [namely] man.

3. With God there are simultaneously exhibited power, wisdom, and goodness. His power and goodness [appear] in this, that of His own will He called into being and fashioned things having no previous existence; His wisdom [is shown] in His having made created things parts of one harmonious and consistent whole; and those things which, through His super-eminent kindness, receive growth and a long period of existence, do reflect the glory of the uncreated One, of that God who bestows what is good ungrudgingly. For from the very fact of these things having been created, [it follows] that they are not uncreated; but by their continuing in being throughout a long course of ages, they shall receive a faculty of the Uncreated, through the gratuitous bestowal of eternal existence upon them by God. And thus in all things God has the pre-eminence, who alone is uncreated, the first of all things, and the primary cause of the existence of all, while all other things remain under God's subjection. But being in subjection to God is continuance in immortality, and immortality is the glory of the uncreated One. By this arrangement, therefore, and these harmonies, and a sequence of this nature, man, a created and organized being, is rendered after the image and likeness of the uncreated God, -the Father planning everything well and giving His commands, the Son carrying these into execution and performing the work of creating, and the Spirit nourishing and increasing [what is made], but man making progress day by day, and ascending towards the perfect, that is, approximating to the uncreated One. For the Uncreated is perfect, that is, God. Now it was necessary that man should in the first instance be created; and having been created, should receive growth; and having received growth, should be strengthened; and having been strengthened, should abound; and having abounded, should recover [from the disease of sin]; and having recovered, should be glorified; and being glorified, should see his Lord. For God is He who is yet to be seen, and the beholding of God is productive of immortality, but immortality renders one nigh unto God.

4. Irrational, therefore, in every respect, are they who await not the time of increase, but ascribe to God the infirmity of their nature. Such persons know neither God nor themselves, being insatiable and ungrateful, unwilling to be at the outset what they have also been created -- men subject to passions; but go beyond the law of the human race, and before that they become men, they wish to be even now like God their Creator, and they who are more destitute of reason than dumb animals [insist] that there is no distinction between the uncreated God and man, a creature of to-day. For these, [the dumb animals], bring no charge against God for not having made them men; but each one, just as he has been created, gives thanks that he has been created. For we cast blame upon Him, because we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods; although God has adopted this course out of His pure benevolence, that no one may impute to Him invidiousness or grudgingness. He declares, "I have said, Ye are gods; and ye are all sons of the Highest." But since we could not sustain the power of divinity, He adds, "But ye shall die like men," setting forth both truths -- the kindness of His free gift, and our weakness, and also that we were possessed of power over ourselves. For after His great kindness He graciously conferred good [upon us], and made men like to Himself, [that is] in their own power; while at the same time by His prescience He knew the infirmity of human beings, and the consequences which would flow from it; but through [His] love and [His] power, He shall overcome the substance of created nature. For it was necessary, at first, that nature should be exhibited; then, after that, that what was mortal should be conquered and swallowed up by immortality, and the corruptible by incorruptibility, and that man should be made after the image and likeness of God, having received the knowledge of good and evil.

(Book IV, Chapter 38)

not a mention of Romans 9

Adversus Haereses (Book IV, Chapter 29)

Refutation of the arguments of the Marcionites, who attempted to show that God was the Author of sin, because he blinded Pharaoh and his servants.

1. "But," say they, "God hardened the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants." Those, then, who allege such difficulties, do not read in the Gospel that passage where the Lord replied to the disciples, when they asked Him, "Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?" -- "Because it is given unto you to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven; but to thorn I speak in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not hear, understanding they may not understand; in order that the prophecy of Isaiah regarding them may be fulfil leading, Make the heart of this people gross and make their ears dull, and blind their eyes. But blessed are your eyes, which see the things that ye see; and your ears, which hear what ye do hear. For one and the same God [that blesses others] inflicts blindness upon those who do not believe, but who set Him at naught; just as the sun, which is a creature of His, [acts with regard] to those who, by reason of any weakness of the eyes cannot behold his light; but to those who believe in Him and follow Him, He grants a fuller and greater illumination of mind. In accordance with this word, therefore, does the apostle say, in the Second the] to the Corinthians: "In whom the this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine [unto them]." And again, in that to the Romans: "And as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things that are not convenient." Speaking of antichrist, too, he says clearly in the Second to the Thessalonians: "And for this cause God shall send them the working of error, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but consented to iniquity."

2. If, therefore, in the present time also, God, knowing the number of those who will not believe, since He foreknows all things, has given them over to unbelief, and turned away His face from men of this stamp, leaving them in the darkness which they have themselves chosen for themselves, what is there wonderful if He did also at that time give over to their unbelief, Pharaoh, who never would have believed, along with those who were with him? As the Word spake to Moses from the bush: "And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, unless by a mighty hand." And for the reason that the Lord spake in parables, and brought blindness upon Israel, that seeing they might not see, since He knew the [spirit of] unbelief in them, for the same reason did He harden Pharaoh's heart; in order that, while seeing that it was the finger of God which led forth the people, he might not believe, but be precipitated into a sea of unbelief, resting in the notion that the exit of these [Israelites] was accomplished by magical power, and that it was not by the operation of God that the Red Sea afforded a passage to the people, but that this occurred by merely natural causes (sed naturaliter sic se habere). (Book IV, Chapter 29)


10 posted on 09/26/2006 7:41:52 PM PDT by annalex
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To: dangus
Not directly a condemnation of Calvinism

Since Calvin had no original ideas, there was no need for St. Irenaeus to wait that long.

11 posted on 09/26/2006 8:20:12 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
That thread still going in circles? Hmm, might need to check into it again.
12 posted on 09/26/2006 9:16:38 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: blue-duncan

Hi, this is Charlotte. Do I have any messages?

8~)


13 posted on 09/26/2006 11:38:25 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

Oh, Charlotte,

I'm so glad you got back to me. If you would just send in your winning lottery ticket by 11:00P.M. Tuesday September 26, 2006 you will receive the first prize of 4 gazillion dollars otherwise just leave a sobbing message in the voice mail. Have a nice day!!


14 posted on 09/27/2006 5:48:29 AM PDT by blue-duncan
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To: jo kus

What did he know? He hadn't benefited from the insights of the Heresiarchs :)


15 posted on 09/27/2006 6:16:32 AM PDT by bornacatholic
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To: annalex
Indeed. I also like this portion from Irenaeus:

If Irenaeus was correct in his assertion, then there is no reason for a redeemer. Man has received the knowledge of good and evil. He has the ability. That should be good enough.

While I appreaciate the early church fathers, it is a mistake to pull snippets (or even whole blocks) of their statements out. This is a good example. Irenaeus is really more Orthodoxy in his view than Catholic. I doubt if you'll find many in the Church back then that would say man knows good and evil and all he has to do is will himself. Irenaeus is in error on this point. But can you blame him? Nobody knew what the scriptures were until 200 years later. ;O)

16 posted on 09/27/2006 6:18:30 AM PDT by HarleyD ("Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" Luke 24:45)
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To: blue-duncan; annalex; jo kus; Campion; Forest Keeper; Dr. Eckleburg; AlbionGirl; wmfights

That is a great story b-d and one that illustrates how God "calls" people-in this case literally. ;O)


17 posted on 09/27/2006 6:19:43 AM PDT by HarleyD ("Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" Luke 24:45)
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To: self

self ping


18 posted on 09/27/2006 8:07:37 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: HarleyD
then there is no reason for a redeemer.

This is strictly by your own fallible reasoning. St. Irenaeus sees the reason perfectly well:

it was possible for God Himself to have made man perfect from the first, but man could not receive this [perfection], being as yet an infant. And for this cause our Lord in these last times, when He had summed up all things into Himself, came to us, not as He might have come, but as we were capable of beholding Him. He might easily have come to us in His immortal glory, but in that case we could never have endured the greatness of the glory; and therefore it was that He, who was the perfect bread of the Father, offered Himself to us as milk, [because we were] as infants. He did this when He appeared as a man, that we, being nourished, as it were, from the breast of His flesh, and having, by such a course of milk nourishment, become accustomed to eat and drink the Word of God, may be able also to contain in ourselves the Bread of immortality, which is the Spirit of the Father.

[...]

Now it was necessary that man should in the first instance be created; and having been created, should receive growth; and having received growth, should be strengthened; and having been strengthened, should abound; and having abounded, should recover [from the disease of sin]; and having recovered, should be glorified; and being glorified, should see his Lord. For God is He who is yet to be seen, and the beholding of God is productive of immortality, but immortality renders one nigh unto God.

[...]

through [His] love and [His] power, He shall overcome the substance of created nature. For it was necessary, at first, that nature should be exhibited; then, after that, that what was mortal should be conquered and swallowed up by immortality, and the corruptible by incorruptibility, and that man should be made after the image and likeness of God, having received the knowledge of good and evil.

(IV, 38 quoted at #10)

Nobody knew what the scriptures were until 200 years later

All his reasoning is from scripture, either by direct quotations or is close paraphrase. There are two direct quotations forming the bulk of the argument, and a paraphrase in (1); a reference to many parts of the scripture in (2); seven quotes in (3), seven in (4). Contrast that with Calvin's contortions.

more Orthodoxy in his view than Catholic

Here you go again telling Catholics what their views are.

19 posted on 09/27/2006 5:20:11 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
This is strictly by your own fallible reasoning.

It is not my reasoning along. You, of course, understand this puts Irenaeus squarely at odds with Augustine's, A Treatise on Predestination which you reject. Shall I start quoting that. We might as well pull this or that out of every writer. It won't matter because NONE of it is inspired writings.

Irenaeus statements are interesting but it really doesn't change anything. It only validates my point that in the western church two views were held. Irenaeus comments would not square with the Council of Oranges decrees.


20 posted on 09/28/2006 1:32:15 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: annalex

Nothing against Calvin in there.


21 posted on 09/28/2006 7:15:12 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: HarleyD; topcat54
Irenaeus comments would not square with the Council of Oranges decrees.

If they did not square, then Irenaeus's view, as closer to the apostolic teaching, would have prevailed.

However, the contradiction between Irenaeus and Orange does not exist, as the quotation you chose shows. The contradiction is with Calvin's teaching on depravity of man and predestination of the reprobates.

22 posted on 09/28/2006 7:27:36 AM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; HarleyD
The contradiction is with Calvin's teaching on depravity of man and predestination of the reprobates.

What particular comments from Calvin do you have in mind?

Since Irenaeus was only one person, wouldn't you also need to demonstrate this was the universal position of the church?

23 posted on 09/28/2006 7:34:17 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: topcat54; annalex

More specifically, what is the universal position of the Church on predestination?


24 posted on 09/28/2006 8:06:16 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD; topcat54
what is the universal position of the Church on predestination?

"Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God"

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of "predestination", he includes in it each person's free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place."395 For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.396

395 Acts 4:27-28; cf. Ps 2:1-2.
396 Cf. Mt 26:54; Jn 18:36; 19:11; Acts 3:17-18.

Catechism:600

Also see

Catholic Predestination
by Ludwig Ott
Introduction

The Catholic Church, following St. Augustine (e.g., Grace and Free Will, 1,1; Sermon 169, 11,13), accepts predestination of the elect to heaven, but also affirms the freedom of the human will, thus staking out a position distinct from Calvinism. Predestination to hell, in Catholicism, always involves man's free will, and foreseen sins, so that man is ultimately responsible for his own damnation, not God (double predestination is rejected).

God is sovereign, in our view, every bit as much as in Protestantism (particularly Calvinism), as will amply be demonstrated below. All that is disputed are the intricacies of the grace / free will antinomy, which is one of the most mysterious and difficult questions in the history of both Christian theology and theistic philosophy. Of course, the allowance of free will is also present in Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, most charismatic, non-denominational and Baptist theologies, etc.

The Catholic Church affirms predestination as a de fide dogma (the highest level of binding theological certainty), while at the same time affirming free will and the possibility of falling away from the faith. The following material from Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, IL: TAN Books, 1974 {orig. 1952}, pp.242-45) ought to be most helpful for Protestants seeking to understand what Catholics believe about this ever-mysterious, controversial, complex, highly abstract theological question:

Continued at source

Chosen In Him: The Catholic Teaching on Predestination

Issue: How does the Catholic Church understand predestination?

Response: Predestination is a term used to identify God’s plan of salvation, in which according to His own decree, He “accomplishes all things according to his will” (Eph. 1:11). God gives us the gift of salvation through grace and faith. In turn, we must use our free will to persevere in good works “prepared beforehand” by God Himself (Eph. 2:8-10; cf. Phil. 2:12, 13).

Discussion: There are two opposite and equally erroneous positions about predestination that have always been rejected in authentic Catholic teaching. The first is that of the Pelagians.[1] Pelagius taught that a person, by the exercise his free will, could obtain salvation unaided by grace. The obvious error here is that God has nothing to do with salvation.

Calvinists and Jansenists teach the second error.[2] They teach that Christ died only for the elect; those predestined to salvation. The rest He predestined to eternal damnation by His own decree. Furthermore, they taught that if God predestined someone to eternal life, it is impossible that he should fall away. Likewise, one chosen for damnation has no choice in the matter, but will surely perish in hell. In short, the individual has nothing to do with his own salvation.

Continued at source

This is a more popular in form essay from an Orthodox source.

On Predestination
From the Writings of Bishop Elias Minatios

The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. (John 1:43) There is nothing as proud or as curious as the human mind. Though sin has severely weakened it, though faith demands of it blind obedience, it nonetheless still spreads one hundred wings in order to fly up to the highest height; it opens one hundred eyes to investigate the greatest secrets. Yet, all would be well, if it strained so in order to investigate the wondrous works of nature on earth, for this is the innate inclination of man through which he is led to the understanding of all that exists. But, the mind attempts to penetrate the very intangible depths of divine judgements, as if to check that the most high providence of God directs everything wisely and deals properly in regard to the affairs of humans. This is obscene arrogance! Divine predestination is one of the most inaccessible mysteries, locked in the abyss of divine reason and wisdom. The human mind, short on comprehension and limited in its ability to grasp concepts, will never be able to understand this mystery even if it studies and investigates it endlessly. Oh, you learned theologians, I know how you deliberate on divine predestination. You say: "predestination is the foreknowledge and preparation of God's good things by which those who are saved are unalterably saved; that it is the ascension of rational creatures to eternal life, and is the process of being chosen to grace and glory." Yet you do not understand that God foresees from the beginning all that people do within time, that this divine foreknowledge is stable, but the works of humans within time are free. How can we reconcile the unchangeability of God's providence with the free self-determination of intelligent creatures? How is it that the immutability of divine decisions does not lead to inevitability? Why is it beyond question and not subject to chance?

Continued at source


25 posted on 09/28/2006 2:53:14 PM PDT by annalex
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To: topcat54; HarleyD
What particular comments from Calvin do you have in mind?

This is a good treatment of the Calvinist TULIP:

A TIPTOE THROUGH TULIP
By JAMES AKIN

PREDESTINATION means many things to many people. All Christian churches believe in some form of predestination, because the Bible uses the term, [See Rom. 8:29-30, Eph. 1:5, 11. For the Catholic Church's teaching on predestination see Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 242-244, and William G. Most, Catholic Apologetics Today, 114-122], but what predestination is and how it works are in dispute.

In Protestant circles there are two major camps when it comes to predestination: Calvinism and Arminianism. [Calvinists are followers of John Calvin (1509-1564). Arminians are followers of Jacob Arminius (1560-1609), not people from the Republic of Armenia]. Calvinism is common in Presbyterian, Reformed, and a few Baptist churches. Arminianism is common in Methodist, Pentecostal, and most Baptist churches.[ In Catholic circles, the two major groups discussing predestination are the Thomists and the Molinists, the followers of Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and Luis de Molina (1536-1600). Thomists emphasize the role of grace, while Molinists emphasize free will. Neither school ignores grace or free will].

Even though Calvinists are a minority among Protestants today, their view has had enormous influence, especially in this country. This is partly because the Puritans and the Baptists who helped found America were Calvinists, but it is also because Calvinism traditionally has been found among the more intellectual Protestants, giving it a special influence.

Continued at source


26 posted on 09/28/2006 2:58:50 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; HarleyD

But it's not Calvin.

I would think that someone who took the time to take a potshot at a great church father -- who wrote thousands of pages and preached hundreds of sermons and who had the greatest respect for the earlier church fathers -- would have the decency to actually read Calvin.


27 posted on 09/28/2006 5:49:17 PM PDT by topcat54
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To: topcat54
I read what was offered on the Erasmus thread and found Calvin an intriguing philosopher but a third rate theoloian, chiefly because of his ingnorance of the Holy Scripture.

[...]

Calvin's attempt to cram his theological speculation of limited atonement into this context is nothing but fraud. It would be excusable to skim 1 Timothy 2:1-5 alone, discover that it is talking about kings and hastily conclude that "all" means "men of all social class". But Calvin has just gone over the first chapter and commented (feebly but lengthily) on Hymeneus and Alexander. He saw the context. He just wants to lead us away from it.

2679

I think I need a drink

4320

He does not understand the scripture he quotes, and I am left with the impression that he does not care very much, happy to present the first excuse that turns up when the scripture does not agree with him. I pointed out several examples in my previous posts.

In this discourse about the Eucharist, we see that same regrettable quality. [...]

4370

[...] So wat fills this 60 chapters that an AWANA kid would not figure out from the scant verses mentioned? Angry extrascriptural speculation.

8676


28 posted on 09/28/2006 9:30:24 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; topcat54
I read what was offered on the Erasmus thread and found Calvin an intriguing philosopher but a third rate theoloian, chiefly because of his ingnorance of the Holy Scripture.

When you see a 24 volume, concise commentary on the Holy Scriptures laying out a well documented theology with valid scripture references coming out of the Roman Catholic Church, give me a call. You guys can even use a word processor. Start with the veneration of Mary, praying to the dead, and the paying of getting love ones out of purgatory. I'd love to see the concise references that justify these practices. I'll compare anything of Calvin (even the stuff I don't agree with) with the gobbly-gook that represents theology on newadvent.

It is rather disingenuous IMO for someone who base their theology on external writings to say someone else ignorant of the scriptures.

BTW-You spell "theoloian" and "ingnorance" wrong. As I'm often in a hurry and make typing errors I can understand. However, in this case, if you are going to huddle insults by saying a theologian is ignorant, then I would be careful to use the spell checker. It doesn't boost your cause.

29 posted on 09/29/2006 5:26:21 AM PDT by HarleyD ("Man's steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way?" Prov 20:24)
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To: HarleyD; topcat54

My points stand: St. Ireneaus based his book, quoted here, squarely on the text of the Holy Scripture; I did read Calvin (Topcat complained thaty no one does) and did not see any fidelity to the scripture. Granted, I did not read the 24 volumes, but I read what Calvin's defenders offeres as arguments from Calvin.

Now, if you wish to compare the wordcount of Calvin's work to the wordcount of Adversus Haereses, you might have a point there.


30 posted on 09/29/2006 7:44:51 AM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; topcat54
When I was researching the Reformed view it wasn't to Calvin that I went; it was to Augustine. To be up front, while I have his commentaries, I have not read that much of Calvin.

Would you agree with Augustine's statement?

If not, why not?
31 posted on 09/29/2006 7:55:12 AM PDT by HarleyD ("Man's steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way?" Prov 20:24)
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To: HarleyD; topcat54
"[W]e are not able to will unless we are called; and when, after our calling, we would will, our willing is not sufficient, nor our running, unless God gives strength to us" I find questionable, because the question becomes, "called when?".

God wishes salvation of all men, and He calls all men to sainthood (1 Timothy 2:4, Matthew 5:48). This is the strength given ab initio, from which our will proceeds for the good. I am pretty sure St. Augustine meant just that; it is probably not how you read it. Why do I say so? -- Because if you read St. Augustine talking about "call" you are likely to understand it in terms of a Protestant altar call, -- which is properly not the Divine call itself but a man's response to it. At any rate I find St. Irenaeus dispositive when he says, with great clarity,

God therefore has given that which is good, as the apostle tells us in this Epistle, and they who work it shall receive glory and honour, because they have done that which is good when they had it in their power not to do it; but those who do it not shall receive the just judgment of God, because they did not work good when they had it in their power so to do

[...]

All such passages demonstrate the independent will of man, and at the same time the counsel which God conveys to him, by which He exhorts us to submit ourselves to Him, and seeks to turn us away from [the sin of] unbelief against Him, without, however, in any way coercing us.

[...]

because man is possessed of free will from the beginning, and God is possessed of free will, in whose likeness man was created, advice is always given to him to keep fast the good, which thing is done by means of obedience to God.

5. And not merely in works, but also in faith, has God preserved the will of man free and under his own control, saying, "According to thy faith be it unto thee; " thus showing that there is a faith specially belonging to man, since he has an opinion specially his own


32 posted on 09/29/2006 9:51:17 AM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; HarleyD
Calvin ... chiefly because of his ingnorance of the Holy Scripture.

Well, this is where I came in. Even the most belligerent Calvin-haters would not be so bold as to make such a silly remark.

I leave you to your fantasy world.

33 posted on 09/29/2006 10:11:11 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: topcat54
You are welcome to go to the links and find examples of ignorance and obfuscation.

As to belligerence,

Here is a sample of Papa Calvin's reasoning skill:

the devil has introduced the fashion of celebrating the Supper without any doctrine, and for doctrine has substituted ceremonies partly inept and of no utility, and partly dangerous, having proved the cause of much mischief. To such an extent has this been done, that the Mass, which in the Popish Church is held to be the Supper, is, when well explained, nothing but pure apishness and buffoonery. I call it apishness, because they there counterfeit the Lord's Supper without reason, just as an ape at random and without discernment imitates what he sees done.

Wipe the froth off his mouth and you'll see -- nothing.

8676


34 posted on 09/29/2006 10:44:18 AM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; topcat54
God wishes salvation of all men

This has been the call of some for just about 2000 years by millions of people. Sorry, it's not true. If it was true God would save all men. But I suppose if you keep saying it loud and long enough others will continue to believe this lie.

Because if you read St. Augustine talking about "call" you are likely to understand it in terms of a Protestant altar call, -- which is properly not the Divine call itself but a man's response to it. At any rate I find St. Irenaeus dispositive when he says, with great clarity,

It was Augustine who made me a Calvinist.
35 posted on 09/29/2006 1:00:19 PM PDT by HarleyD ("Man's steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way?" Prov 20:24)
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To: HarleyD
Sorry, it's not true

Your argument is with the scripture, not me. "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature", Mark 16:15, and similar in every gospel.

"Faith, then, as well in its beginning as in its completion, is God's gift; and let no one have any doubt whatever, unless he desires to resist the plainest sacred writings, that this gift is given to some, while to some it is not given."

The call is to all. Faith is a response that different people have differently. Faith can be increased (Luke 17:5) or destroyed (1 Timothy 1:19).

36 posted on 09/29/2006 1:25:42 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
I don't have a problem with ANY of those scriptures. Throw out a hundred of them to me. The call of salvation is ALWAYS made to EVERYONE. Noah preached to everyone for a 120 years. It didn't do any good except to Noah and family.

The trouble is a person CAN'T hear the call unless God grants them understanding.

GOD must open up our minds to understand the scriptures. Otherwise we will see things that we really don't believe and hear things we don't understand. The wisdom of God sounds like foolishness to non-believers. Why? Because God must grant them understanding. But the scriptures states that He doesn't do this.
37 posted on 09/29/2006 5:18:34 PM PDT by HarleyD ("Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" Luk 24:45)
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To: HarleyD

The ability to believe the Gospel -- that is, deposit of faith -- is given everyone, or Christ would not be calling us to have childlike faith. The distinction with the parables is temporal, preceding the Resurrection and the Great Commission, according to which the entire gospel is to be preached to "all creation". The church is sent to overcome the limited ability of some to understand the scripture; such understanding, however, cannot be equated with faith.

I find it, however, remarkable that you acknowledge that the call is to all. Is it the standard Calvinist teaching? How does it square with the notion that God does not want all to be saved?


38 posted on 09/29/2006 8:19:46 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
The ability to believe the Gospel -- that is, deposit of faith -- is given everyone

I find it, however, remarkable that you acknowledge that the call is to all. Is it the standard Calvinist teaching?

How does it square with the notion that God does not want all to be saved?


39 posted on 09/30/2006 2:56:31 AM PDT by HarleyD ("Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" Luk 24:45)
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To: HarleyD

It is true that the man limited to his passions (more precise meaning of 1 Cor 2:14) cannot understand the Spirit without God calling him; but God does call. What remains is the response of faith, and not all respond.

I am intrigued by this "outward call", and your quote from the Confession does not really elucidate that. What I see looks comical: God calling everyone ("outwardly", you say) but at the same time winks to some "effectually", and those who receive a call but not a wink are somehow called and not called at the same time. In my simple Catholic mind God either call or He doesn't call, -- no mixed signals.


40 posted on 10/01/2006 1:19:59 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
Chosen In Him: The Catholic Teaching on Predestination

Once again I find myself in agreement with the Catholic teachings.

41 posted on 10/01/2006 2:18:53 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: annalex; ladyinred
No mixed signals. There are plenty of scriptural evidence for this. Noah built an ark for 120 years that would only seat 8, all the while preaching to the entire world. Isaiah's mission was to preach to the nation of Israel for the purpose of hardening their hearts; not bringing them to salvation.

The message is clear. People cannot understand unless God opens up our minds to the scripture. The only way we understand the call of God is by God opening up our minds. Those who do not believe is evidence that God does not open up everyone's mind for no one would choose hell.

To think that we are capable of making an educated decision is nothing more than humanism.

42 posted on 10/01/2006 5:07:14 PM PDT by HarleyD ("Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" Luk 24:45)
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To: ladyinred

Thank you. It has been my experience that anyone who studies the scripture free from the interpretations imposed by the Protestant pastors, and studies the Catholic/Orthodox teaching from Catholic/Orthodox sources, becomes either Catholic or Orthodox.


43 posted on 10/01/2006 6:39:58 PM PDT by annalex
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To: HarleyD; ladyinred
There is no dispute that not all understand the Call and consequently not all are saved.

The issue is, how does God call everyone and not call everyone at the same time in the Calvinist framework that denies free will?

For the Church, there is no conundrum:

God made man a free [agent] from the beginning, possessing his own power, even as he does his own soul, to obey the behests (ad utendum sententia) of God voluntarily, and not by compulsion of God. For there is no coercion with God, but a good will [towards us] is present with Him continually. And therefore does He give good counsel to all. And in man, as well as in angels, He has placed the power of choice (for angels are rational beings), so that those who had yielded obedience might justly possess what is good, given indeed by God, but preserved by themselves.

[...]

it is in man's power to disobey God, and to forfeit what is good


44 posted on 10/01/2006 6:47:26 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex; ladyinred
The issue is, how does God call everyone and not call everyone at the same time in the Calvinist framework that denies free will?

For the Church, there is no conundrum


45 posted on 10/02/2006 5:21:10 AM PDT by HarleyD ("Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" Luk 24:45)
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To: HarleyD; ladyinred
There is no conundrum for the Calvinist

If the individual's free will is not there then you have God Who calls and doesn't call at the same time.

46 posted on 10/02/2006 11:06:41 AM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
Some interesting thoughts for all to ponder:


Reading A treatise against the heresies, by St Irenaeus
Eve and Mary
The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to Mary, a virgin subject to a husband, undid the evil lie that seduced Eve, a virgin espoused to a husband.
As Eve was seduced by the word of an angel and so fled from God after disobeying his word, Mary in her turn was given the good news by the word of an angel, and bore God in obedience to his word. As Eve was seduced into disobedience to God, so Mary was persuaded into obedience to God; thus the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve.
Christ gathered all things into one, by gathering them into himself. He declared war against our enemy, crushed him who at the beginning had taken us captive in Adam, and trampled on his head, in accordance with God’s words to the serpent in Genesis: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall lie in wait for your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.
The one lying in wait for the serpent’s head is the one who was born in the likeness of Adam from the woman, the Virgin. This is the seed spoken of by Paul in the letter to the Galatians: The law of works was in force until the seed should come to whom the- promise was made.
He shows this even more clearly in the same letter when he says: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman. The enemy would not have been defeated fairly if his vanquisher had not been born of a woman, because it was through a woman that he had gained mastery over man in the beginning, and set himself up as man’s adversary.
That is why the Lord proclaims himself the Son of Man, the one who renews in himself that first man from whom the race born of woman was formed; as by a man’s defeat our race fell into the bondage of death, so by a man’s victory we were to rise again to life.


47 posted on 12/15/2006 9:01:47 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

The epithet Virgin in itself shows that Our Lady was called that way through her life, which would be incompatible with anything but the perpetual virginity.

It is also notable that he calls Eve "virgin espoused" while Mary is "virgin subject to a husband".


48 posted on 12/15/2006 7:23:54 PM PST by annalex
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To: annalex
Reading From the treatise Against Heresies by Saint Irenaeus, bishop
Knowledge of the Father consists in the self-revelation of the Son
No one can know the Father apart from God’s Word, that is, unless the Son reveals him, and no one can know the Son unless the Father so wills. Now the Son fulfils the Father’s good pleasure: the Father sends, the Son is sent, and he comes. The Father is beyond our sight and comprehension; but he is known by his Word, who tells us of him who surpasses all telling. In turn, the Father alone has knowledge of his Word. And the Lord has revealed both truths. Therefore, the Son reveals the knowledge of the Father by his revelation of himself. Knowledge of the Father consists in the self-revelation of the Son, for all is revealed through the Word.
The Father’s purpose in revealing the Son was to make himself known to us all and so to welcome into eternal rest those who believe in him, establishing them in justice, preserving them from death. To believe in him means to do his will.
Through creation itself the Word reveals God the Creator. Through the world he reveals the Lord who made the world. Through all that is fashioned he reveals the craftsman who fashioned it all. Through the Son the Word reveals the Father who begot him as Son. All speak of these things in the same language, but they do not believe them in the same way. Through the law and the prophets the Word revealed himself and his Father in the same way, and though all the people equally heard the message not all equally believed it. Through the Word, made visible and palpable, the Father was revealed, though not all equally believed in him. But all saw the Father in the Son, for the Father of the Son cannot be seen, but the Son of the Father can be seen. The Son performs everything as a ministry to the Father, from beginning to end, and without the Son no one can know God. The way to know the Father is the Son. Knowledge of the Son is in the Father, and is revealed through the Son. For this reason the Lord said: No one knows the Son except the Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son, and those to whom the Son has revealed him. The word “revealed” refers not only to the future – as though the Word began to reveal the Father only when he was born of Mary; it refers equally to all time. From the beginning the Son is present to creation, reveals the Father to all, to those the Father chooses, when the Father chooses, and as the Father chooses. So, there is in all and through all one God the Father, one Word and Son, and one Spirit, and one salvation for all who believe in him.


49 posted on 01/10/2007 9:30:56 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Thank you.

To believe in him means to do his will.
How Catholic! Faith is what we do.
50 posted on 01/10/2007 1:50:58 PM PST by annalex
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