Skip to comments.Luther and Erasmus: The Controversy Concerning the Bondage of the Will
Posted on 01/01/2006 4:48:03 PM PST by HarleyD
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I believe that kosta was referring to this statement of yours:
"The devil has devised an ingenious system that prevents repentance, at least in the natural sense."
Like kosta, I found it hard to find another explanation for this statement other than to say that the Orthodox Church is a "devil's system."
If you mean to retract or restate what you really meant, that's fine.
But the point remains that it is really quite remarkable that the fruit of the work of the divinely inspired Apostles of Christ was for the faith to disappear after the end of the writing of the NT, only to be rediscovered 1500 years later in Northern Europe in the wake of the Renaissance.
But we digress. My main concern is still to learn exactly how it is that Orthodox Christianity (not Origen's speculations) is not a Scriptural faith, but rather a thinly veiled pagan Greek philosophy. Which is why I ignored the "devil" comment, since it is an unprofitable rabbit trail to follow.
Wrong! That is the Word of God! It is NOT a "tradition" as you say ... According to the "Book", Jesus was a "failed Messiah". ...
I think you are completely missing my point. The "Book" doesn't say that Jesus was a failed Messiah, the "Book" says that the JEWS said He was a failed Messiah. The "Book" also says THEY WERE WRONG! Deut. could not possibly have meant that an innocent man hung from a tree was truly accursed of God. That would not even be man's justice.
Thus, Jesus solves their cognitive dissonance by bringing about a new paradigm.
Jesus corrects the error of the interpretation of the Jews, He does not correct the scriptures themselves. You sort of say this, but then you say "Christ is hidden in the Old Testament". I don't agree with that at all. Obviously He was more fully revealed when He appeared, but all those who had faith in the OT knew of His coming.
You follow yourself, correct? Thus, you slavishly follow a man - not knowing whether God is guiding you or not.
No, that is just your accusation, just as I accuse you of following men not necessarily led by God. In a way it is very similar.
Do we or do we not agree that the Jews had incomplete revelation?
Yes, as compared to the revelation that Jesus completed. And, the Jews still had enough revelation to be saved.
How do you know that you are not misreading what the early church Fathers did? How do you know that they weren't molding Greek philosophical language to conform to Christian teaching? If a Christian teacher wanted to communicate to and convert an intelligent Hellenistic philosopher to Christianity, what better way than to frame the argument in the language that he spoke and wrote?
For example, the word hypostasis means substance in Greek philosophy. But when the Christians writers borrowed this word, they redefined it to mean Person. That is a profound change. To understand this requires a shift in perspective.
Another of those many flexible Catholic positions...
I take that to mean that it is acceptable to hold either view in Catholicism. After thinking about it, I am now wondering why it is not required that all Catholics believe that John the Baptist was sinless. What is your interpretation of this:
Matt. 11:11 : I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Presumably, this elevates John over Mary, or at least puts them on equal footing, and yet how could this be so if she was sinless and he was not?
And what, FK, is Jesus correcting??? That HE is God and the Pharisees should already know that - thus had the power to forgive sins??? We are talking about Mark's Gospel - where NO ONE knows WHO Jesus is (except for the demons He casts out) until the centurion on the cross recognizes Him. Jesus sets out to PROVE that God forgives sin through MAN BY healing the man first.
I'm just reading the scripture as it is, not reinterpreting it to fit the paradigm of my leaders. Here it is:
Mark 2:8-10 : 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, ... (emphasis added)
Jesus doesn't say "But that you may know that the Son of Man has transferred His authority to man to forgive sins..." Another distortion, another twisting of scripture.
Perhaps you should consider the Matthew version of this story. Here is the pertinent verse for you:
"when the multitudes saw [it], they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men." Mat 9:8
You just got through telling me several times that the crowds did not know that Jesus was God, so what other conclusion could they have drawn? Of course the crowds were wrong. This passage in no way helps your case that God transferred His authority to forgive sins to humans who did not also happen to be God.
Thus, when they witnessed Christ forgiving sins, and THEN curing the man of his physical maladies, the people understood that God was blessing Jesus' words and confirming them. Thus, their response in Mat 9. Thus, it was quite easy for them to understand that this power was passed onto the Apostles with John 20:23.
That is a monumental leap in logic, unless you equate the Apostles with Jesus Himself, and I don't think you do.
Christ came to heal men. Psychologically, what better way are we healed then to actually hear the words "I forgive you" from the person we have offended - Jesus Christ - through the voice of the priest?
I wonder how healed tens of thousands of Catholics, or more, felt when they learned that the priests they had been confessing to were unworthy of ever being priests.
I apologize if I was implying that. We first are to believe the literal sense of any Scripture given, discounting it only after some verifiable and subsequent knowledge comes forth to correct past interpretations of what the literary genre was meant by the author. Honestly, we don't really know. As an orthodox Catholic, a person CAN hold to the idea that Jonah was a parable, or a real event. There is enough evidence to discount it as an historical event, but not enough for the Church to rule definitively on. The fact that Christ used many parables in explaining the Kingdom does not dimish His teachings or lessen their value to us as Christians. I reserve the right to privately hold my opinion on the matter in one direction or the other - it doesn't effect my faith on whether Jonah actually existed or not. I realize this story has nothing to do with the veracity of the Resurrection.
Brother in Christ
I never said any of the above. And from my reading of the Orthodox replies to your questions, neither did they. The nature that humans possess now, before Baptism, is not "human nature" as created by God. Jesus took on that nature - and He certainly IS sanctifying grace.
All is done but the doing, so to speak. Fortunately, we do not have to rely on ourselves for the doing, or else it would be as you say, and not really done.
Perhaps you should start thinking from man's point of view, since you don't possess God's knowledge. We work out our salvation in fear and trembling, PRECISELY because it is NOT done yet.
You rely on the teachings of extra-Biblical men for your salvation. You say the Spirit leads them only, I say the Spirit leads them and all believers.
As do you. How do you know that the "Bible" is really the Word of God? Do you have any originals? How do you know that you don't have forged copies and that the Gnostic Gospels (a la Da Vinci Code) are the "real" Gospels of Christ?
Secondly, you are beginning to construct quite a strawman of Catholicism, aren't you? When did I say that the Spirit ONLY leads those in the heirarchy? I said in matters of doctrine, they lead the Bishops. You claim the Spirit leads you, I claim that, and all of your Baptist friends claim the same thing. Obviously, He doesn't lead us all in the same direction... And your idea that "as I become sanctified, I will be led more properly" is patently false on matters of doctrine.
I read 1 Cor 10:1-12 and it doesn't say that any of them ever had true faith, it says they acted like others of faith and practiced similar rituals. So what? Anyone can do that.
"True faith"? Where exactly does the Scripture use those two words together? Another Protestant concoction, I suppose. Either someone has faith, or they don't. The Jews who crossed the Red Sea had faith at that moment. They lost it in the desert. Paul uses this as an example for the Christians in Corith. What exactly is the point of this story (AN EXAMPLE, Paul calls it) for the Corinthians IF the Jews didn't have "true faith". This is another great example of Protestant eigesis.
You haven't proven that in any case. You seem to believe that the Scriptures can only be read in one way, your way. Any other way is "carnage" to God's Word. I have provided Scripture verses that show that God has delegated power to men to forgive sins. The ancient Church recognized these Scriptures as authority from God to continue His ministry. People practiced it and continue to practice it. Christ's healing is administered through these sacraments, these visible means of grace. There is no carnage here. I believe that you are coming to Scriptures with the preconceived notion that God WILL NOT do such a thing. Thus, when it clearly says "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them", it cannot possibly mean what it says! What can I say? Who is doing the carnage here?
Perhaps not specifically, but you are the champion of things being true that are not in the Bible. I'm just saying that it is not consistent with scripture, as I have shown. Therefore, I don't believe it.
Every verse you have given me so far, I believe I have argued against successfully. Catholicism is consistent with Scripture. It just doesn't fit into YOUR paradigm, so that is why you refuse it. It has nothing to do with "not being consistent" with Scripture. Jesus didn't fit into the Pharisees' paradigm, either. They interpreted Scripture one way and refused to see it any other way. Perhaps if you approached the Bible with an open mind and let the Spirit move you, not Jean Calvin, you might see it more clearly.
My knowledge is like the former.
That is inconsistent with the Scriptures and the idea of perseverance. Would you like another long list of Scripture verses?
I don't think so. Ever since I learned about what God has to say about it, I've never had any worries.
I don't see the point in continuing anymore on this subject. I have amply discussed the false sense of absolute certainty that you hold in contradistinction to the Scriptures' discussion on perseverance and the possibility of falling. There are dozens of Scripture verses that talk about a "saved" person losing their eternal salvation. Saying it doesn't make it so...
Well, now that we have reached post #4300 and this is where we are at, I believe I will bid you good bye for now.
When you were "regenerated" and were eternally saved and made of the elect, what love was involved?
Do you want a number? I'm not sure what kind of an answer you are looking for. God had given me faith, which included love for Him. I knew that I needed Him and I knew that He loved me. It was a child-like faith, meaning without any sophisticated knowledge of theology. Now I have some measure of sanctification, and that only confirms to me that the faith I originally had was from God and was real.
Again, Perman is reaching. He tries to make such things as 2 Cor 4 and Mat 5 show DIFFERENT versions of the vision of heaven.
Not different from each other. At the beginning of where I start quoting him, he compares them to make the same point. But you must mean different from the Catholic vision of heaven, so that could be. It's a difference of opinion. I do think that salvation and rewards in heaven are two distinct subjects and are both discussed in the Bible. Do you think that everyone from John the Baptist all the way down someone like me, who MIGHT barely get in, will all get the same sized double-wide in heaven? :)
And the Luke 19 parable is taken out of context. God gave the first man a particular gift - and he received a reward parallel to the gift God gave him. The second man also received a smaller gift - and God rewarded him accordingly. IT was NOT based on HOW WELL the man did it! Read it more closely.
I read it very closely and what are you talking about? :) Every man received the same amount, one mina. Ten servants, ten minas. This is proved when they start giving their accounts. Each says "your mina [earned]..." (singular). How do you conclude differently? In my Bible this parable is directly contrasted AGAINST the parable of the talents, in which different amounts were given to different people.
Where does Scripture talk about different rewards in heaven?
That was the whole point of the Perman article, with many scriptural references. I can't top it. :)
Human self-consciousness refutes the idea that man has no free will.
Ask your cookie daughter what she did with her free will. :)
It doesn't bother me at all. The difference is that Jesus was OPEN about it. He even announced at least one parable as a parable and then explained its meaning. He was "open and notorious" about it. The same cannot be said about the other stories that are being questioned by some here. There is no hint that the flood was just an illustration, or that Jonah never spent time in the belly of the whale. Only human disbelief accounts for dismissing the truth of these stories.
So why can't the WORD inspire another story, the creation story, to teach what God wants us to know?
For the same reason the WORD CANNOT inspire the "story" of the resurrection as an allegory. Or do you believe that Jesus did not literally rise from the dead? I mean, the story tells us everything we need to know, right? It didn't really have to happen for us to get the message, right? How would your science judge a story of literally raising from the dead to a story of spending 3 days in a FISH? (Note to Kosta, just like with the bats, it was only later that man decided to reclassify the animals, it doesn't make this wrong.) How do you judge which stories are literally true and which are literally false? Today's level of science? Do you think that's going to hold up forever?
IF science comes out with hard evidence of earth's old age, we, as God's creation who seeks God out, (who is Truth) we should NOT be embarrassed to admit that Gen 1-3 MIGHT be a "parable".
You just elevated man's current science above God's word. Therefore, to you, man's science determines the truth of the Bible. Man's science is ever-changing, so it makes sense that your views as to which stories in the Bible are true will also be ever-changing. Choose as you will, I'm sticking with God's word. It doesn't change.
So when your leaders declare Biblical spiritual truths, they are not from God? Very interesting. What makes you think it is up to God to preserve the gift of His Church with men able to act in place of God, and to speak for God? Why isn't that on all of us to preserve it, and to safeguard it against corruption?
Yes, some do. In fact qua went a step further: he called the Church what amounts to being a Greek pagan cult, decorated with Christian symbols.
I would only "need" to do that if my only goal was to "convert" a Catholic. :) I do not believe that popularity equals truth. For example, how long were the Jews wrong about salvation? I think that men, and even large groups of men, are always subject to creating error and making it last a long time. That's why I don't agree with everything that "famous" writers on my side have said, and of course, they disagree with each other on some things.
This tends to be the universal problem for Protestants, -- that apart from some very tendentious reading of St. Augustine, Protestant ideas have no patristic support.
Harley has been the expert on answering this issue, so when he gets a chance, I'll let the master work his craft. :)
My leaders? Please, take me to my leaders, FK. Biblical spiritual truths come from the Faith alone, and the Faith comes from God. The veracity of the Bible is a matter of faith, not fact, that much should be clear to anyone.
You don't believe because you read the Bible; you read the Bible because you believe. Once you have faith, the Bible becomes the Holy Word of God and everything in it is true and real -- on faith alone.
To those who do not believe, the Bible is nothing, as the Koran is nothing to me. The Jews read the same Old Testament but believe in it differently.
The Protestants claim the same Christian faith as the Apostolic Church, but we are night and day apart when it comes to Trinity, Christology, Divine Economy, etc. not to mention, as qua said after calling Church theology "superstition," that Protestants approached the faith with "Hebrew glasses." Indeed, one often wonders if they do not feel more "Hebrew" than Christian.
You Protestants have substituted the Church (from which you were thrown out by your own heresy) with a Bible -- which exists in the form you use because of the very Church you deny.
But there is one thing no one can argue with when it comes to the New Testament: it's spiritual message, apart from all the events, facts and parables. Whether you believe or do not believe, the spiritual message is loud and clear -- it proclaims God's Justice as mercy, love, compassion, and salvation for all mankind. OT doesn't.
One can believe or disbelieve, but the spiritual message of the NT cannot be disputed. It proclaims the ideal of which humanity is capable, with God's help, but unwilling. There is nothing to dispute; there is nothing to disprove in its spiritual message: it remains loving, true, hopeful, eternal and inerrant.
Mortification of flesh is necessary if one wants to unlock the mysteries of the creation; but why restrict it to beer? A hairshirt, fasting, or flagellation can focus the mind as well, and unlike beer, these things do not make one sleepy.
The subject there is difficult for Calvin, since faith, hope and charity fit into the double predestination theory like square pegs in round holes. The pattern of his discourse is familiar: he starts with the theory and explains it in his own monotone, oversized paragraphs. Toward the end a scripture or two is thrown in, usually unrelated or loosely related to the theory. On occasion, stuff is bent by sheer exegetical fiat, for example, in 9 we learn that when St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians that faith is nothing without charity, it is, somehow, not faith he is talking about.
In 12 Calvin begins
Although faith is a knowledge of the divine favor towards us, and a full persuasion of its truth, it is not strange that the sense of the divine love, which though akin to faith differs much from it, vanishes in those who are temporarily impressed. The will of God is, I confess, immutable, and his truth is always consistent with itself; but I deny that the reprobate ever advance so far as to penetrate to that secret revelation which Scripture reserves for the elect only. I therefore deny ...On and on he goes, denying this, admitting that, in a flight of theological fancy, chatting a bit about Saul, building up his mythology of the "reprobates". Then there is a hard bump in Romans 5:5 "And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us". This is how Calvin dismisses it: "there can be no doubt that the [just quoted] words of Paul apply to the elect only". Really? Would it have killed him to read the next verse, "6 For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak, according to the time, die for the ungodly?". This cavalier waving off the scripture he does not like pervades the discourse.
Now and then angry jabs at the "Schoolmen" and "Papists" appear. Here is an amusing one:
24. Here, however, we give no countenance to that most pestilential philosophy which some semi-papists are at present beginning to broach in corners. Unable to defend the gross doubt inculcated by the Schoolmen, they have recourse to another fiction, that they may compound a mixture of faith and unbelief. They admit, that whenever we look to Christ we are furnished with full ground for hope; but as we are ever unworthy of all the blessings which are offered us in Christ, they will have us to fluctuate and hesitate in the view of our unworthiness. In short, they give conscience a position between hope and fear, making it alternate, by successive turns, to the one and the other. Hope and fear, again, they place in complete contrast, - the one falling as the other rises, and rising as the other falls. Thus Satan, finding the devices by which he was wont to destroy the certainty of faith too manifest to be now of any avail, is endeavoring, by indirect methods, to undermine it.29 But what kind of confidence is that which is ever and anon supplanted by despair?
Stupid, stupid papists. If only they read a few paragraphs down that
The fear of the Lord, therefore, may be defined reverence mingled with honor and fear. It is not strange that the same mind can entertain both feelings; for he who considers with himself what kind of a father God is to us, will see sufficient reason, even were there no hell, why the thought of offending him should seem more dreadful than any death. But so prone is our carnal nature to indulgence in sin, that, in order to curb it in every way, we must also give place to the thought that all iniquity is abomination to the Master under whom we live; that those who, by wicked lives, provoke his anger, will not escape his vengeance.-- thay would have known that fear is not offset by hope, but rather mingles with reverence. Got that? There is another scripture bump, 1 John 4:18, that says that indeed fear (whether mingled with reverence or not) is offset by charity. But Calvin blazes on:
27. There is nothing repugnant to this in the observation of John: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear has torment," (1 John 4:18). For he is speaking of the fear of unbelief, between which and the fear of believers there is a wide difference.Hm. How about that first person plural used by St. John throughout the passage and in the next verse, "Let us therefore love God"? Is St. John among the unbelievers?
The overall conclusion is that there are two faiths, the faith of the reprobate and the faith of the elect; two hopes, the foolish hope of the reprobate and the certainty-hope, a strange hybrid, of the elect. Charity seems to be entirely dismissed as the useful notion, because, Calvin teaches, charity is another term for the faith of the elect.
I think I need a drink.
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