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Luther and Erasmus: The Controversy Concerning the Bondage of the Will
Protestant Reformed Theological Journal ^ | April 1999 | Garrett J. Eriks

Posted on 01/01/2006 4:48:03 PM PST by HarleyD

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Comment #4,401 Removed by Moderator

To: Kolokotronis; stripes1776
[+Gregory Palamas:] " ... as St. Paul said, 'He who cleaves to the Lord is one spirit with Him' (I Cor. 6:17) - are not united to God with respect to His essence, since all theologians testify that with respect to His essence God suffers no participation.

This is what I thought your position was, and I was only talking about the terminology used because, as Stripes notes very well in his follow-up post, it is difficult for us Protestants to wrap our arms around it. :)

[from your link:] "Since divinity and humanity are infinitely different, the latter cannot evolve into the former either. So theosis has nothing in common with the Mormon doctrine of Eternal Progression, that is, the belief that men can achieve "Godship". Human nature is not embryonic Divine Nature. Finite creatures cannot be transformed into Uncreated, Infinite Divinity." (emphasis added)

Thanks for the link, Kolo. This part is exactly what I was thinking of, that some people could miss the distinction in beliefs based on the terminology.

FK: "What did she [Mary] do to deserve credit?"

She said "Yes", FK.

I still don't understand this part. If Mary was free to say "No", then what would God have done if she did? If no one else had spent a sinless life, then no one else would have been worthy by the standards you use, right? In the way we experience time, would God have started from scratch and graced someone else? I don't see how it was even POSSIBLE for Mary to have said "No", which is why I have trouble giving her independent credit.

Thank you for the Hymn.

4,402 posted on 04/05/2006 12:17:32 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: annalex; HarleyD; Forest Keeper; AlbionGirl; qua

Jesus asked that his mother be taken care of. If Mary were here today, I'd offer her a chair and some coffee.

But she's not my mother. Nor yours. The attention you show Mary would be put to better use by glorifying Jesus Christ, the only mediator who matters.


4,403 posted on 04/05/2006 12:53:42 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

This is your heretical spin on a very clear scripture.

Do you really imagine that Christ's next-to-last words before His death were an economic arrangement for His mother's coffee?


4,404 posted on 04/05/2006 12:56:49 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex

Yep. That's exactly what they were. I think He'd be appalled at the cult that's grown up around His simple request to watch out for mom.

I understand your reverence for Mary. She was blessed among women and deserving of our admiration.

But to take that respect and turn it into worship is blasphemous. I think your very soul is in jeopardy.


4,405 posted on 04/05/2006 1:01:28 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
That's exactly what they were

Says who?

4,406 posted on 04/05/2006 1:03:40 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
Scripture, which clearly points towards your way of seeing things as blasphemous.

One God; One Christ; One Holy Spirit.

No more; no less.

"...we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one." -- 1 Corinthians 8

4,407 posted on 04/05/2006 1:26:07 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
Veneration of Mary does not contradict monotheism. As you know.

By why did you bring this up anyway? De Sales slams Calvinism primarily in his Controversies, extracts of which are available online. Veneration of Our Lady has nothing to do with it, because Calvin's error is more fundamental than mere defective mariology.

4,408 posted on 04/05/2006 1:58:35 PM PDT by annalex
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To: jo kus; Dr. Eckleburg
[From New Advent:] Mortal sin is defined by St. Augustine ...

St. Augustine is NOT the official source of Catholic teaching. I don't know if you are taking him out of context or what.

WHAT??? LOL! I told you that I was quoting from New Advent, AND I gave you the direct link. Did I hack into the site? If St. Augustine was all wet about the nature of mortal sin, then why would New Advent LEAD with him in its explanation on the subject?

How exactly does that work? How do you "not choose" to persevere in the actions that you do?

It's easy. If I am of the elect, then I am capable of blowing it because I still have a remnant of sin, and most certainly use it, to my shame. Since God promises that He will lose none of His elect, the only way that will happen is if He takes it out of our hands. Otherwise, some or all would blow it. So, while in my human experience I "feel" like I'm choosing, it really isn't me at all, it is God doing His will through me.

So what is the difference between you and another Christian, all things equal, who both love God and claim eternal salvation - but then, ten years from now, you are still persevering and the other is not?

The difference is that the other one was never a Christian, and did not love God. To love God is to obey Him (persevere), right? Millions of people claim to be Christians and don't come close to obeying God. That's why I cannot say with certainty about the salvation of anyone else.

HOW on earth would that other Christian KNOW TODAY that he would fail in the future? Or you?

Now you're baiting me. :) I actually wrote down what you said from before so I wouldn't forget. :)

FK: "Yes, I do believe that the elect must have knowledge of Jesus and believe on Him."

Romans and 1 John disagree with that statement. So does Jesus Himself. Paul in Romans 2 says that even the pagan can follow the law the Christ wrote on their hearts (as Jeremiah prophesied). Thus, they are spiritually circumcised and are able to obey the Commandments, even though they don't have a copy of the Decalogue.

I was basing my statement in part on Peter in Acts 4:12: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." I thought you agreed that all of the elect are saved. If so, how does anyone go to heaven by following the Commandments?

1 John says that anyone who loves abides in Christ. Those who abide in Christ will be saved. And Jesus talks about judging the nations and separating the goats from the Sheep. Note that the principle guideline is not whether they know Christ, but whether they ACT like Christ - which can only come from God's Spirit Himself. (emphasis added)

So, a person does not have to know Christ, he just has to love .... some unknown thing .... and abide in .... some unknown thing, and this person is saved? You are telling me right here that salvation is based on ACTS, and in the same breath you'll tell me you do not believe in a works-based salvation? Can you see why some of us have a hard time following this? :)

Being elected for grace is not the same thing as being elected for glory.

There are now TWO categories of election? So every time I see the word "elect" in the Bible, I have to guess which one? Sometimes "the elect" means everyone, and sometimes it means those who are saved? What is the point of "electing" everyone for something anyway? Doesn't the word involve the concept of choice?

4,409 posted on 04/05/2006 2:03:04 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: All

My God! Have your people really been beating this horse for forty-four hundred posts???


4,410 posted on 04/05/2006 3:09:45 PM PDT by infidel dog (nearer my God to thee....)
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To: infidel dog

Please don't call Luther horse. We do not stoop to such vituperation on this thread.


4,411 posted on 04/05/2006 4:35:53 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
Here’s another situation, Dr. E, where I seem to be caught somewhere in the middle.

My affection for Our Lord’s Blessed Mother is pronounced, as it is for John the Baptist and Paul.

If I were able to sit down with Mary today, I would be in a certain manner, awed, as I would be if I had the chance to sit down with St. Paul or blessed John the Baptist. While all these people should be viewed strictly as human beings, they were Divinely selected, and that seems significant to me. They were part of God‘s plan of Salvation in a way that I was not. That isn‘t to say I think them intrinsically more worthy than other human beings, but that they have something to say that I need to listen to.

If I had a chance to offer Our Lord’s Mother a cup of coffee, which is an image I like, by the way, I’d be beside myself with questions concerning Her Son’s human side. I’d ask her if He was prone to be disinclined to certain personality types, did He tend to shy away from those who were verbose? Was He easily annoyed? What were His favorite foods? Did he like to sleep or was He prone to staying awake into the wee hours? Was His tendency to be melancholy or enthusiastic? What were His eyes like? In short, what were His human qualities that were so identifiable with hers?

One of my favorite scenes in The Passion of The Christ is the scene where He finished crafting the table that was a little higher than normally used at the time, and the dialogue between Him and her consists of Him trying to convince her that it’s the wave of the future, and her shaking her head in a loving manner, indicating that she thinks ‘it’ll never catch on.’

I don’t really think she’s a means of tipping the scales in a person’s favor, in terms of influencing God’s disposition towards that person. That seems to me to be an extra-Scriptural accretion.

As I mentioned before, kneeling before her statue always seemed unnatural to me, so I don’t know her the way most Catholics do. I rarely prayed the Rosary. When I did, I tired to pray it slowly, and to concentrate on the Mysteries associated with the decades. Probably one of the reasons I didn’t take praying the Rosary more seriously, is that every time I heard it prayed, people were rushing through it or monotonously mouthing the prayers. I couldn’t pray like that, and attain the succor, guidance and strength that I was searching for.

4,412 posted on 04/05/2006 6:56:05 PM PDT by AlbionGirl (God made the Gate so narrow. No man has the right to make it more narrow still.)
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To: annalex
Kosta, this has nearly nothing to do with the rest of the discussion, but no, you cannot [define any surface with a mathematical formula]

I disagree. Any surface can be expressed as a series of intervals (a separate function) relative to the previous one. The integrated sum of such functions carried to asigned limits becomes the expression for the entire surface.

It is either Christian faith or faith in the scientific method, or some combination of the two

I would say that one's belief in gravity is an entirely different kind of belief than the belief in God. I think you are comparing apples and organges. Very few people will disagree on anything having to do with gravity. Our "knowledge" of God, however, is subject of diverse opinions, sharp disagreements, numerous interpretations and, indeed, thousands of unrelated religions.

4,413 posted on 04/05/2006 7:50:22 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Kolokotronis; jo kus; kosta50; annalex; Agrarian; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg
Why do you think it would have been a bad thing if sin had never entered the world?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. :) I suppose I'll say that anything that is not God's will is bad. And, God gets everything that He wants because He is sovereign and omnipotent. Therefore, God must have ordained that sin enter the world. If sin had never entered the world, then the human experience would have been completely different. Most of the human qualities we pat ourselves on the back for, like striving to become better, or reaching for God, or having a chance to understand the greatness of God, would all be moot without sin, IMO. I theorize that Adam and Eve did not fully appreciate the greatness of God because they did not know sin until they did it. THEN, they understood. So, while evil and sin are of course bad, I can appreciate to some extent why God chose to order this planet as He did.

Man was the author of his own Fall by the exercise of the free will he possessed.

I agree with you with the addendum that God ordained it.

God has control of everything to the extent He chooses to use it.

Is this your way of saying that God allows things He would not author Himself, or does God sometimes relinquish control in favor of our free will to do good or evil?

If you read it [+Athanasius "On the Incarnation".], it becomes readily apparent why the Incarnation is the ultimate example of God's love for His creatures, but it is also apparent that but for our sin, the Incarnation would have been quite unnecessary and what the Incarnation does is return us to our original potential.

Thanks for the passage. I'm sure you linked me to the text, and I'm sure I looked at it, even if I didn't read the whole thing word for word. I agree with you that the Incarnation was the ultimate example of God's love. But I wonder whether the alternative of Adam and Eve never sinning would have really been better for mankind, partly for the reasons I gave above. Had they never sinned, then yes, the Incarnation would not have been necessary and we would not have experienced God's ultimate love. This is a tough one. :)

4,414 posted on 04/06/2006 12:32:03 AM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: AlbionGirl
I enjoyed your post on Mary, although it wasn't addressed to me. I think a lot of people have the same questions you have regarding her. "Where does she fit in in my own personal spirituality?" As a Catholic, I am aware of the rich heritage of devotion to Mary - but it doesn't necessarily filter in to practice. Most of the saints swear by it, so it must be useful towards one's walk in Christ. Frankly, I wish my devotion was stronger to her.

I’d ask her if He was prone to be disinclined to certain personality types, did He tend to shy away from those who were verbose? Was He easily annoyed? What were His favorite foods? Did he like to sleep or was He prone to staying awake into the wee hours? Was His tendency to be melancholy or enthusiastic? What were His eyes like? In short, what were His human qualities that were so identifiable with hers?

It sounds like you are well on your way to successfully walking the ways of Christ's greatest disciple. I think the questions you ask are the same types that the Apostles had to ask her! I imagine she was plied with hundreds of questions in the Upper Room before the Holy Spirit came upon them during Pentecost. Being the mother of God, she must have been very highly regarded while alive. Yet, her humility (much like her spouse's, the Holy Spirit) keeps her largely as a side charecter in the narratives of the Gospel. There is a lot of fruitful meditation that can be had on the subject of their humility.

One of my favorite scenes in The Passion of The Christ is the scene where He finished crafting the table that was a little higher than normally used at the time, and the dialogue between Him and her consists of Him trying to convince her that it’s the wave of the future, and her shaking her head in a loving manner, indicating that she thinks ‘it’ll never catch on.’

I enjoyed that scene, too! I also liked the scene where Christ was tied up in the basement, reaching up to the ceiling, while Mary was on the floor of the next level, sensing her Son below her. I cannot begin to imagine the suffering she underwent, seeing all of the good her Son did and watching the religious institution slowly kill Him right before her eyes. "A sword shall also pierce your heart" was certainly a prophesy pointing to this pain.

I rarely prayed the Rosary. When I did, I tired to pray it slowly, and to concentrate on the Mysteries associated with the decades. Probably one of the reasons I didn’t take praying the Rosary more seriously, is that every time I heard it prayed, people were rushing through it or monotonously mouthing the prayers.

There are many forms of prayer. For many people, the rosary is truly an effective tool in meditating on Christ. If it seems to work for you, you should continue to use it, despite what some Catholics practice. I prefer the Psalms, but I have found the rosary effective at times. If you feel close to Mary because you share an affinity for her Son, then there is nothing wrong with praying with her to our Lord. I can't imagine Jesus being unhappy with someone who loves His mother.

Regards

4,415 posted on 04/06/2006 6:01:47 AM PDT by jo kus (Stand fast in the liberty of Christ...Do not be entangled AGAIN with a yoke of bondage... Gal 5:1b)
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To: jo kus
"Yet, her humility (much like her spouse's, the Holy Spirit) keeps her largely as a side character in the narratives of the Gospel. There is a lot of fruitful meditation that can be had on the subject of their humility."

Nicely put, and I couldn't agree more!

"I cannot begin to imagine the suffering she underwent, seeing all of the good her Son did and watching the religious institution slowly kill Him right before her eyes. "A sword shall also pierce your heart" was certainly a prophesy pointing to this pain."

When I was a kid, it was the practice to cover the Crucifix and all the statues with a silken, purple cloth. I can't remember if that occurred one or two weeks before Easter Sunday, but it had a very powerful effect on me.

As Lent drew to a close and we began to concentrate more on the narratives of His Passion, an enormous desire to punish the Romans who had so abused Him, welled up inside of me in a very intense and vivid way. I never had to be coaxed, in any way, in to loving Christ. He was my Protector and my insuperable Hero from the very beginning. You'll have to forgive the quality of my reflections, should they seem jejune to you. My love for Christ was formed in this way.

Jo kus, when I was 20 years old, I lost my youngest brother. His name was Patrick, he was 7 years old, and he was hit and killed by his school bus about 25 yards or so from our house. He was born on March 23, 1969, so he would have turned 37 years old, a few weeks past, had he lived.

His little friends came running up the driveway, yelling 'Patrick's been hit by the bus', and when my Mom and I ran to him, she dropped to her knees to attend to him, and felt the life draining from his little arms. I'm often reminded of Our Lord's Blessed Mother, when that scene replays itself in my thoughts. He was a sweet boy who was wounded easily, and loved his sister a lot and wasn't shy about showing it.

I tell you this, not to gain your empathy, but to remember him, and all who have passed from this world, especially at this moment, because Easter Sunday draws nigh.

4,416 posted on 04/06/2006 6:57:24 AM PDT by AlbionGirl (God made the Gate so narrow. No man has the right to make it more narrow still.)
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To: kosta50
A collection of local-domain functions is not the same as a single function, although indeed that set is not enumerable. But then the number of independent integrations you need is also not enumerable.

few people will disagree on anything having to do with gravity

Only because we have a single science taught in schools, so that people do not disagree on the elementary Newtonian level taught in school. Once advance physics are contemplated on a post graduate level, people do disagree. As to religion, members of the same religious community do not disagree either; the difference is simply that for historical reasons we do not have unified theology taught in school. Christians, outside of seminaries, understand religion pretty poorly, just like pre-Newton men understood gravity poorly.

Besides, I am talking not of belief in gravity but belief in the scientific method. I agree that once you believe in the scientific method, there is little serious argument about gravity; just like if you believe in God there is little argument about the afterlife.

4,417 posted on 04/06/2006 7:44:31 AM PDT by annalex
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To: AlbionGirl
When I was a kid, it was the practice to cover the Crucifix and all the statues with a silken, purple cloth. I can't remember if that occurred one or two weeks before Easter Sunday, but it had a very powerful effect on me.

Yes, we still do that, the 5th week of Lent, which would be last Sunday. When we are aware of all of these symbols, they help us so much in experiencing our Lord and Savior. Christ is not just an intellectual notion, but a God who we experience. Symbols most strongly brings to mind and heart that experience.

He was a sweet boy who was wounded easily, and loved his sister a lot and wasn't shy about showing it. I tell you this, not to gain your empathy, but to remember him, and all who have passed from this world, especially at this moment, because Easter Sunday draws nigh.

Thank you for sharing that very difficult experience with me. It helps me to understand why you have a certain empathy towards Mary and her own sufferings of seeing her Son die. I can't imagine seeing someone close to me die in that matter. It is something one must experience, no doubt. Perhaps that might be why my devotion to her is not very strong - I haven't experienced anything like she did, so it is harder for me to appreciate that awful suffering and agony of seeing her beloved Son die. Yours is certainly a strong experience of God's love in the midst of pain and suffering.

Regards

4,418 posted on 04/06/2006 8:43:40 AM PDT by jo kus (Stand fast in the liberty of Christ...Do not be entangled AGAIN with a yoke of bondage... Gal 5:1b)
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To: annalex
But then the number of independent integrations you need is also not enumerable

Just as our ability to express or conceive of the the Divine is. Theoretical concepts must be tailored to the realities of life -- let's face it, we are limited in everything we do, know or say -- and I would say, believe.

Once advance physics are contemplated on a post graduate level, people do disagree

Because it becomes more intellectual and not readily verifiable; you go from a working model to a theoretical construct, informed speculation, an educated "guess."

Besides, I am talking not of belief in gravity but belief in the scientific method

That's apples and oranges. People recognized that things fall on earth. One does not need scientific method to come to that conclusion. To this day we have no clue why gravity exists. It is an "invisible force" that is made evident by falling objects, water flowing downhill, etc. We know that it is related to mass and that it is an integral "property" of mass.

We don't need Scripture to believe in God. Our belief without them may be somewhat "deficient" but we recognize that we live in a physical world, a universe. We recognize that nothing in it is the way we would have built or designed. We recognize that it is "limitless" from our perspective and we recognize that (1) either nature existed eternally or (2) something that existed before nature did, probably eternally, created it. This is not theology (or religious scientific method) but simple facts which we all believe because we see them. As they say, "seeing is believing."

I guarantee you that it would be easier to claim Christian teaching if there was a preponderance of historical and other kind of evidence of the story of both Testaments.

What we do know is that +Ignatius was ordained bishop by +Paul, and +Polycarp by +John. They were real people because we have evidence of their existence. Therefore, the two Apostles in question existed, and since the teachings of the aforementioned bishops agreed with those, and used the teachings of, the Apostles as true -- first hand -- we have every reason to believe that their faith was the same faith we proclaim today.

Where certitude begins to break down is when we start making claims such as "multitudes" following Christ and no one making a single note of it. There is no historical evidence of the massacre Herod allegedly ordered in order to kill baby Jesus. Surely, someone like Josephus would have mentioned something about it -- after all, Josephus went into extraordinary detail of Herod's life. But there is no mention of anywhere (which doesn't mean it didn't happen, only that we have not found it yet).

Believing in God and in gravity are two distinct and incomparable processes. As for the scientific process, a belief in it is never absolute.

4,419 posted on 04/06/2006 9:31:56 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper; HarleyD; AlbionGirl; qua
If sin had never entered the world, then the human experience would have been completely different. Most of the human qualities we pat ourselves on the back for, like striving to become better, or reaching for God, or having a chance to understand the greatness of God, would all be moot without sin, IMO. I theorize that Adam and Eve did not fully appreciate the greatness of God because they did not know sin until they did it. THEN, they understood...But I wonder whether the alternative of Adam and Eve never sinning would have really been better for mankind, partly for the reasons I gave above. Had they never sinned, then yes, the Incarnation would not have been necessary and we would not have experienced God's ultimate love. This is a tough one. :)

A tough one, for sure, but you've answered it beautifully. Life for the creature is as the Creator determined it for the creature -- all for His divine glory alone. Our salvation declares His might, His goodness, His sovereignty.

As Warfield wrote...

THE THEOLOGY OF JOHN CALVIN

"...Calvinism however, is not merely a soteriology. Deep as its interest is in salvation, it cannot escape the question--"Why should God thus intervene in the lives of sinners to rescue them from the consequences of their sin?" And it cannot miss the answer--"Because it is to the praise of the glory of His grace." Thus it cannot pause until it places the scheme of salvation itself in relation with a complete world-view in which it becomes subsidiary to the glory of the Lord God Almighty. If all things are from God, so to Calvinism all things are also unto God, and to it God will be all in all. It is born of the reflection in the heart of man of the glory of a God who will not give His honour to another, and draws its life from constant gaze upon this great image. And let us not fail punctually to note, that "it is the only system in which the whole order of the world is thus brought into a rational unity with the doctrine of grace, and in which the glorification of God is carried out with absolute completeness."

4,420 posted on 04/06/2006 10:01:03 AM 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: AlbionGirl
to remember him, and all who have passed from this world, especially at this moment, because Easter Sunday draws nigh.

My father died on Good Friday, much too young.

We will see them again one day.

4,421 posted on 04/06/2006 10:37:32 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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Comment #4,422 Removed by Moderator

To: jo kus
FK: "I just believe that [my] frame of reference is faithful to the scriptures, as opposed to also being faithful to other teachings. As little as possible is added or subtracted from the plain meaning."

Do you realize that EVERYONE says what you are? Jehovah Witnesses, Unitarians, Docetists, Arians, and any other group of people looking at the Book? We ALL have our perceptions of what God is trying to say...

Yes, I would expect everyone to say what I am saying. Part of it comes down to what "plain meaning" really means. I know what I think it means, and am very comfortable with that position. Other persons or organizations will have to decide that for themselves.

These people [various heretics] don't think that God could suffer and die, so any "clear" Scripture is obviously a spiritual, not literal meaning. It is the Catholic faith that you draw the majority of your paradigms from.

In this case I'll take it because Catholics are right about whether Jesus suffered and died on the cross. In addition, that also happens to be exactly what the text says happened. You could line up a hundred third graders, read them the "death" verses, and then ask them what they thought happened. Virtually all, if not all, would say that Jesus died.

Who said that everything must be written down for it to be official?

Generically, I suppose no one. When the boss gives an oral order, it's official! However, I don't see the Roman Catholic Church as my boss, so I don't see its oral orders as official. Written orders, though, are better because they better stand the test of time. Luke agrees with me with the first words of his Gospel. He said that he was writing so that the audience could be CERTAIN.

Many of our ancient manuscripts of history or biographies are written hundreds of years AFTER the fact.

That's right, which is one reason I find the Bible to be much more reliable.

Do you think people 1500 years ago learned by reading books?

No, during all of those years everyone was dependent on fallible men to relay the scriptures. Just by the laws of mathematics, you must agree that heresies were taught by individual clergy here and there. Now with the advent of the printing press and greater global education, many more people can be like the beloved Bereans.

For example, when Paul talks about "knowing" the Lord, he is not discussing "book" knowledge, but experiential knowledge attained from a personal relationship.

Yes, that's true, but I'm sure you would agree that the experiential knowledge would have to be in accordance with, or consistent with, what is in the Bible.

Catholics are taught that the elect are predestined irresistibly by God. He actively brings His elect to Him WITHOUT overriding their will. This is an important thing to keep in balance - both realities must be maintained.

I don't understand how the concepts of irresistibility and free will can work together here. With free will, anything can and does happen. This is not the case if predestination is irresistible.

4,423 posted on 04/06/2006 12:02:10 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: qua; Dr. Eckleburg
Excellent and uplifting, qua!

I don't have much to add except the following quote, by John Piper, I believe: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."

The reason this strikes me as so profound is that I think the history of man is the history of his dissatisfaction with God, and the attendant desire to compensate while still pretending to be satisfied. Does that make any sense?

And to you, dear, Dr. E., I say Amen to your "we shall see them again comment."

Dr. E, a while back, in a post to me you made the comment that we we came into the world as human beings, and that we would leave in the same way, and I remarked to you that it touched me quite a bit, though I didn't quite know why.

Since that time, I've come to realize that it is in my brokeness (sp?;word?) that I feel the Power, the Glory and the Love of God, most acutely.

4,424 posted on 04/06/2006 12:02:49 PM PDT by AlbionGirl (God made the Gate so narrow. No man has the right to make it more narrow still.)
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To: kosta50
People recognized that things fall on earth. One does not need scientific method to come to that conclusion

The faith in scientific method is the faith that because things have fallen on earth they will continue to fall on earth. It is so ingrained in you that you don't see it for what it is, a belief.

4,425 posted on 04/06/2006 1:02:57 PM PDT by annalex
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
We will see them again one day

And offer them a chair and some coffee.

4,426 posted on 04/06/2006 1:07:23 PM PDT by annalex
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To: annalex
The faith in scientific method is the faith that because things have fallen on earth they will continue to fall on earth. It is so ingrained in you that you don't see it for what it is, a belief

Whoever believes that needs a reality check. I am keenly aware that there are no guarantees and that what we have is here and now; yesterday is gone; next hour, or tomorrow is a maybe. There is no faith in it.

Knowing that gravity is a "property" of matter that affects even light is not faith -- it's a fact. Can matter suddenly change into anti-matter so gravity would become anti-gravity? Probably, but not very likely. That's harly a faith, annalex.

God is not an "observable" phenomenon; nor is He a statistical probability.

4,427 posted on 04/06/2006 1:31:41 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50

I am just not reaching yah...

I am not talking about a particular physical theory. The scientific method is inductive, from observations to theory. The transition from observation, -- any observation, -- to theory -- any theory, -- requires faith.

God is an observable phenomenon in the same way gravity is, by his effects, even outside of the plain observability of the Incarnate Christ.


4,428 posted on 04/06/2006 1:41:42 PM PDT by annalex
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To: AlbionGirl
As for the ultimate "why" of allowing covenant breaking ... for the glory of God alone

And you bought into this -- self-loving god AG?

4,429 posted on 04/06/2006 1:44:01 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: annalex
I am just not reaching yah...

No, I am not reaching you. There is no dispute over gravity. Everyone believes in gravity. Not everyone believes in God. Not everyone who believes in God agrees with others who believe in God. You are comparing apples and oranges.

4,430 posted on 04/06/2006 1:47:10 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50

If the state of natural science instruction were the same as the state of theological instruction not everyone would believe in gravity either, and those who would believe would dispute the particulars. Examples: flight observationally contradicts gravity; the fact that all objects fall with the same acceleration observationally contradicts gravity. The medieval man would have found a belief in God far easier than belief in Newtonian gravity.


4,431 posted on 04/06/2006 2:01:57 PM PDT by annalex
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To: kosta50
I believe God created all, good and bad and everything in between. The whys and hows of how His Sovereignty comes together is not something I can know. I don't believe I can understand the mind of God, or that I can tap into His Energies, but instead, that through the continual bestowing of His Grace, I can live a life that honors the Sacrifice of His Son.

This 'self-loving' God, so styled by you, and who you seem repulsed by, seems to me to be indeed a 'self-loving', self-regarding God, as is evidenced by His inability to tolerate the broken covenant between Him and our first parents, Adam and Eve.

I'm not sure what this communication of mine to you is worth, as I don't know whether you believe Adam and Eve to be fable or truth, based on your comments on this thread as regards Scripture. Though, that isn't really a concern of mine, as it's your business, it's just that it seems relevant based on this present discussion.

If you find, this, my, view to be so totally missing the mark or repugnant, that doesn't trouble me in the least, as I have little confidence in your powers of theological analysis, based on your myriad comments to this thread. So, Kosta, we'll just have to agree to disagree, and to wish each other peace.

4,432 posted on 04/06/2006 3:07:42 PM PDT by AlbionGirl (God made the Gate so narrow. No man has the right to make it more narrow still.)
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To: jo kus
FK: "Are you saying that the man Jesus used His free will to just choose not to sin?"

Is the man Jesus separate from the God Jesus? They are the same person! Thus, when Jesus did something, BOTH natures acted - ...

In that case, it appears you are saying that God could sin. It appears that you are saying that God COULD have turned away from Himself, or else what was the point, as you said. What do you suppose would have happened to Jesus had He decided to sin? For one thing, He would have needed one heck of a shrink. :)

He already foresaw Adam's sin before He even created Adam in time.

I totally agree with you here. So, can you make the leap to saying that God ordained that Adam sin, before He made him in time?

My personal view is that God, from within eternity, sees all actions and takes into account these actions by granting His graces to ensure that the final result of His will is met. Thus, God is not "waiting" on us. He sees something and acts on it - but before it happens. Thus, He is the driving force AND we have free will.

OK, thank you for your view. I would respectfully disagree because God sees first, and then acts. Yes, this is all before anything actually happens in real time, but it still has God making decisions based on His foreknowledge. Therefore, when the Book of Life was written God looked ahead to see who would accept Him and wrote down those names. I see it in reverse order, that God wrote down the names first, and then made sure that every one of those people would be worthy of heaven upon their earthly deaths. This He did not on a day to day basis during our lives, but it was completed before the foundation of the world. From our POV, all that is left is the playing out, although FOR US, all is new.

The God of Love condemning His creation for not doing what that man CANNOT do to begin with! What a Just Judge your God is... Sorry, you need to put things in perspective here.

Yes, my God is the ultimate judge of justice. Adam sinned and condemned himself to death. Likewise, it was perfectly just that all of his progeny also be condemned to death. That is justice, as God defines it, not me. Fortunately, God also has mercy on some, and chooses to save them. I would say you are the one enamored with the US Justice System, since you seem to think that man's justice should apply to God.

4,433 posted on 04/06/2006 3:18:41 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: kosta50; Kolokotronis; jo kus; annalex; Agrarian; stripes1776; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg
In our faith, God is doing everything for us; in theirs, God is doing everything for Himself and His own Glory. In ours we are His children; in theirs, we are His tools and toys, like little lead soldiers.

What is God doing for you when you choose against Him permanently? Nothing, right? He just steps out of the way. In our belief, God actively steps in and prevents that from ever happening for His elect. That's DOING something, and it's not only for Himself, it is out of His love for His elect.

How does God treat His beloved children under your view? He lets them walk straight off a cliff because He loves them so much, right? I would never do that to my children, and I don't think God would ever do that to His elect. I would infinitely prefer to be a little lead soldier in heaven, than left to my own devices (even with help) and wind up in hell.

4,434 posted on 04/06/2006 3:53:47 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: annalex

My dear sir! I would never compare Luther to equus caballus. I might compare John Calvin and some of his disciples to equus asinus, but that's a horse of a different color...


4,435 posted on 04/06/2006 4:24:51 PM PDT by infidel dog (nearer my God to thee....)
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To: annalex
Examples: flight observationally contradicts gravity; the fact that all objects fall with the same acceleration observationally contradicts gravity. The medieval man would have found a belief in God far easier than belief in Newtonian gravity

Flying does not contradict gravity. Anything that flies does so temporarily, as long as there is active force involved to counter gravity.

Equal acceleration is observed in vacuum. I doubt that it was known to anyone in the Midle Ages. They would surely think a rock would fall faster than a feather -- and that is true as long as the effects of air resistance are present.

A medieval man would have no problems accepting gravity. He knew just as we do that jumping off a great height is not a good idea. He accepted God on authority of the Church.

4,436 posted on 04/06/2006 6:39:52 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: AlbionGirl
I believe God created all, good and bad and everything in between

So, in your belief, a perfect God is the author of good and "bad?"

self-regarding God, as is evidenced by His [sic] inability to tolerate the broken covenant between Him and our first parents, Adam and Eve

So, your God is the creator of good as well as "bad" and He is also unable is some respects? If you believe that God is intolerant of Adam's and Eve's transgression, you must believe that it was done against His will. Correct? Or did God set them up for a failure?

I don't know whether you believe Adam and Eve to be fable or truth, based on your comments on this thread as regards Scripture

What I believe is that God gives us many treasures, and choices, and that He has endowed us with the ability to live a virtuous life, but we choose not to. In that sense, we are all Adam and Eve, disobeying God on a daily basis. We know what is good and we know what we should not partake of. Yet we do partake of that which we should not.

And just like Adam, we blame God or, like Eve, we blame the devil, for our decision. But we never blame ourselves. In that sense, the story of the Garden of Eden is playing itself out every day in every human life on earth, past, present and future.

I have little confidence in your powers of theological analysis, based on your myriad comments to this thread. So, Kosta, we'll just have to agree to disagree, and to wish each other peace

I confess my ignorance and I confess my doubts. I am glad others are perfect. I wish you peace.

4,437 posted on 04/06/2006 6:59:56 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper
What is God doing for you when you choose against Him permanently?

Before I can answer that, you will have to answer me how can I do anything God did not "ordain" me to do. If He "ordained" me to choose against Him, where is my fault?

4,438 posted on 04/06/2006 7:08:10 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Kolokotronis; kosta50; Agrarian; HarleyD; annalex
Re: the idea of two separate, but united natures living in the person of Jesus --- Thank you for the link and the summary. I don't think that my point was to go as far as to what the Council was objecting to, the idea that there was only one blended nature.

I was trying to figure out how Jesus could have spoken through His lips sometimes as God, and sometimes as a man. When He initially prayed to have the cup taken away, that was as a man. When He said "I and the Father are one", that was as God. I thought that meant there must be some element of mixing, without there being a dilution of, or affront to, either nature. How can one mouth speak from two completely separate natures? Today, there are medical conditions that describe just such a thing! :)

4,439 posted on 04/06/2006 8:07:39 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: kosta50; jo kus
[Jo Kus to Kosta:] What they say is that God judges and condemns people because they cannot pick up 10,000 pounds over there head by themselves, while God judges and rewards other people for "watching" God driving a forklift and doing it for them entirely.

That's how I see it, Jo, but I am sure FK will say it's not so, just as he keeps reminding us that (1) If God ordains something He is not the source of it or responsible for it; yet, Calvinists will tell you that each and every one of us is exactly as God ordained! (2) He will tell you that giving us freedom of will somehow "diminishes" Him, but fails to consider that perhaps our free will is exactly what God ordained in order for us to be able to love Him, freely, because love that is not free is no love. ...

You are correct, it is not so. :) God does not judge anyone for salvation based on what he can or cannot do. We do not believe in a works-based salvation.... God chose His elect before "the beginning". Those chosen will be saved and the others will not. He had no duty to choose any of us so all of your human applications of doctrines of "fairness" do not apply. God's ways are not our ways.

(1) If God ordains something SINFUL, such as the betrayal by Judas, then He is not the author or responsible because He allows it rather than causes it. I have already made my case for this. If God ordains something GOOD, then He is the author. ... Yes, each of us is exactly as God ordained us to be. Some will be saved, some will not.

(2) Generally, God did give us the freedom to sin, the precise reason for which I cannot be certain. Perhaps it was to show us our need for Him and that we must be completely dependent on Him. Perhaps it was simply His will in how to order the universe and nothing more need be said. In any event, the appearance of sin could not have been an accident, as you seem to imply. ... When you say that the only true love is free will love, you continue to mix man's and God's points of view. In our human experience, we do experience "free will" to love, and we experience that it is real. For us, it is true. However, from God's POV, it is res judicata, the thing has already been decided. His chosen elect will love Him and He will love them.

[Jo Kus to Kosta:] "You can give a bible to an atheist and will he necessarily turn to God? Not if his heart and mind is closed to the possibility."

A false comparison to Protestantism. None of us believe that. The Bible isn't faith itself, that only comes from God. The Bible is the tangible authority of the faith, on earth.

4,440 posted on 04/06/2006 11:41:00 PM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: Kolokotronis; jo kus; Agrarian; annalex
In a sense, what you would prefer is sort of like what an Orthodox priest says. Here are the words of absolution usually used by Greek Orthodox priests.

Thank you so much for sharing that, Kolo, that is fascinating. I really like the humility, sincerity, and style of what the priest says. All in all I would have to say that (if it were proper for me as an outsider) it would be very agreeable to me to give a confession to such a response. I have never heard a more artful "bridge" concerning John 20:23 in my life. I didn't think it was possible for there to be a bridge. :)

4,441 posted on 04/07/2006 1:36:30 AM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: kosta50; jo kus; Agrarian; HarleyD; Dr. Eckleburg
[FK to jo kus] The Biblical errors that you and Kosta are claiming are not self-evident. It takes a specific disbelief on your parts to cast those scriptures aside.

When did I say that I don't believe the Scriptures?

I'm not saying that you don't believe in scriptures. :) I am saying that you have declared multiple factual errors in the scriptures, and do not believe that many passages/stories in the Bible are true in full, but only true in part. I disagree and say that without sufficient evidence to the contrary, that the scriptures are meant to be taken at face value in the factual sense. How do you separate which Biblical facts to take literally, and which to take symbolically?

So, why condemn someone who believes Scripture is true and inerrant but not as you see it? I never said I wanted to throw any part out, or intentionally disbelieve?

I wasn't condemning you. :) However, I do have to say that you do throw out a large portion of scripture when you convert plainly stated words to myth or symbolism. You'll keep part of the meaning, but you will also throw out other meaning. As Agrarian said, in effect, parables are fairly easy to spot for their intended purpose. But with the factual sides of the scriptures you want to dismiss, it isn't so easy.

For example, how much of the Book of Numbers would you keep as fact? I mean, if you threw out all the "numbers" and all the lists, and all of the specifications, then you could sum up the whole thing spiritually in maybe one chapter, couldn't you? Do you see that as being God's intended purpose, to make us weed through all that falsity to get, comparatively, a small amount of spiritual truth? In all honesty, I do not. My attitude is that if it is that hard for me to get through end to end, it had better be important! :)

4,442 posted on 04/07/2006 3:48:10 AM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: Forest Keeper
" Thank you so much for sharing that, Kolo, that is fascinating."

I am curious. Why do you find it fascinating, FK? The Holy Spirit approaches us in humilty. Christ, in dying on the Cross, gave us the supreme example of humilty (in fact there is an icon called exactly that which is particularly appropriate right about now)

Shouldn't one of God's holy priests approach us in the same way? I am happy to have had the opportunity to demonstrate one of the Mysteries of The Church (my favorite after the Eucharist) to you and perhaps dispel what might have been a misconception.

4,443 posted on 04/07/2006 3:49:09 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Forest Keeper
Jo kus has withdrawn from this discussion, so I am replying only to you.

He allows it rather than causes it. I have already made my case for this

Well, when you figure out why He allows it, let me know. You seem to know How He thinks for everything else, contrary to what you said a paragraph earlier. But, as for your "case" it seems you have convinced yourself more than those you are trying to convince. Maybe you should start with your more recent Calvinist member, Albion Girl (post #4432); she seems to believe that God made everything, the good -- and the bad.

Perhaps it was to show us our need for Him and that we must be completely dependent on Him

Maybe you can explain to me first why would the "rejects" depend on, and need Him if they have been "condemned" to hell from all eternity?

...you continue to mix man's and God's points of view

And you continue to write as if you know what God thinks? Everyone else seems to be doing that. This is why I am skeptical about the Bible. Everyone reads into it what he or she wants.

4,444 posted on 04/07/2006 3:53:13 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Forest Keeper
I'm not saying that you don't believe in scriptures. :) I am saying that you have declared multiple factual errors in the scriptures, and do not believe that many passages/stories in the Bible are true in full, but only true in part

I see different interpretations of the same books by various Christian groups and even by the Jews who use them. This tells me that none of us has a full understanding of, or can claim biblical literacy.

The Bible does say that all Scripture is good, but doe snot say what precisely is Scripture. We do not agree what is Scripture, we do not read the Scripture the same way and we, individually do not, within our own denominations, understand them the same way. So, the one who knows the Scripture, or who knows what Scripture is, please stand up!

Is Scripture "scripture" simply because we call it that? Is the Koran "scripture?" Is the Book of Mormon? To the Muslims and the Mormons, they are. That means, Scripture is what men consider "scripture." How is that different from my assertions?

4,445 posted on 04/07/2006 4:04:50 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50; qua; Agrarian; Kolokotronis
[Qua to Agrarian as quoted by Kosta:] "The problem that still captivates the Greek and [sic] latin Churches is that [sic] it's doctrines of Holy Tradition [sic] keeps it imprisoned within the Greek system..."

I know I'm not part of this line, but when you start attacking the form of a post, rather than its substance, then I'm forced to say something. If you would like to know the proper use of the word "sic", then I suggest you start here: AskOxford . I am certain there are others on this thread who could back me up that your use is improper.

In addition, out of courtesy, I have corrected well more than 25 of your spelling errors when I have quoted back to you. I am certain that others have done the same for me. Come on, Kosta, we all make typos and grammar errors. :)

4,446 posted on 04/07/2006 5:22:43 AM PDT by Forest Keeper
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To: kosta50

I think your point was that believing in God is hard and believing in gravity is easy. I point out that observation of flying and falling objects does not support gravity as we know it to operate, but observation of the Creation confirms our faith in God every time we open our eyes. The reason you look at falling or flying objects and wisper "gravity" is because of the school indoctrination. You should be wispering, "God".


4,447 posted on 04/07/2006 7:38:59 AM PDT by annalex
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To: Forest Keeper; HarleyD; kosta50; annalex; jo kus; Agrarian

FK, you will find this comment by Fr. John Romanides, an eminent and recently deceased Orthodox theologian, informative on the subject we have been discussing.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frjr_sin.aspx


4,448 posted on 04/07/2006 11:11:58 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Forest Keeper
I have seen "[sic]" used either way, but thanks for the link. As for Qua, his presentation improved since then, although his choice of words hasn't.
4,449 posted on 04/07/2006 2:49:46 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: annalex
I point out that observation of flying and falling objects does not support gravity as we know it to operate, but observation of the Creation confirms our faith in God every time we open our eyes

And I point out that observing the Creation does not support God as we believe He is, or as He operates. In fact, the more I look at Creation, the more I realize that we do not design or make anything that resembles it. So, the revelation that God's ways and thoughts are not ours, is quite obvious to me -- which leads me to believe that everything we say we know about God is probably not the way He is, or how He operates — but how we imagine it.

By the way, when the Japanese look at the Creation they don't see Creation, they see "God." They say God is nature, not God created Nature. We look at the Creation and see an expression of God's creativity, but not God. And that, my friend, is a belief based on our theology, as our interpretation of gravity is based on our belief in scientific method. So, in both cases, we have a different "system" that was devised by man. That much is clear by looking at various religions and "Scriptures."

4,450 posted on 04/07/2006 3:15:39 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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