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Question: Do you think Pelagius was a heretic?
Yes - 18 (64.3%)
No - 6 (21.4%)
Not sure - 4 (14.3%)
Total Voters: 28

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Author Topic: Pelagius and Pelagianism  (Read 12853 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 05, 2007, 12:51:36 PM »

Salve!

What exactly was wrong about Pelagianism? What did Pelagius teach that was in error?
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2007, 12:56:14 PM »

Two of my lesser favorite sources of info might help:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelagianism

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11604a.htm
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2007, 01:13:04 PM »


I don't see where he was in error?
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2007, 02:41:28 PM »

As far as I recall, his main motto was "possere non peccare," meaning, "it is possible not to sin." He meant it in the sense that a human being is perfectly able to be born, grow up, age, and die without committing any sin. Further, he taught that even if God does not shed His saving grace on a person, that person can by his/her effort appreciate what Christ did for the humankind, repent, be forgiven, and be saved. --G.
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2007, 03:12:37 PM »

If this is the same Religion that allows multiple wives? Than I would definitely joint if I weren't Orthodox. Grin
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2007, 03:38:50 PM »

Here's an interesting site you'd probably enjoy:

http://www.monachos.net/library/Study_Area_on_the_Pelagian_Controversy

God bless.
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2007, 04:11:37 PM »

Here's an interesting site you'd probably enjoy:

http://www.monachos.net/library/Study_Area_on_the_Pelagian_Controversy

God bless.


Yes, so my question is what is wrong with Pelagianism? Is Pelagius a Saint in Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2007, 04:47:01 PM »

Yes, so my question is what is wrong with Pelagianism? Is Pelagius a Saint in Orthodoxy?

AFAIK, his teaching was declared a heresy way before the Great Schism of 1054, so no, he cannot be a saint. As for what's wrong, the Church teaches that man cannot live and not sin - everyone sins. Also, without cooperation with God's grace, mere human effort to achieve salvation is futile. We do not believe in "autosoterism" (self-salvation).
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2007, 04:48:58 PM »

AFAIK, his teaching was declared a heresy way before the Great Schism of 1054, so no, he cannot be a saint.

the thing with pelagianism is that pelagius himself was cleared of all charges of heresy (afaik), but teachings ascribed to him were declared heretical.  the monachos site linked above does a good job of pointing that out.

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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 06:09:08 PM »

Pretty much, if you look at it from a monachos.net point of view, there is no official Eastern position or understanding on Pelagius himself.  What is he accused of?  He's accused of believing salvation and prevention of sinning only matters on freedom of human will, not necessarily God's grace.  I think St. Augustine himself seems to stress God's grace in this regard, although many people today accuse St. Augustine of completely ignoring human free will, leading to Calvinistic ideas.  St. John Climacus offers us a nice balance, telling us it requires both free will and God's grace.

Nevertheless, I think Pelagius was condemned on the Council of Ephesus 431 without actually investigating what Pelagianism is exactly.  It was only done I suppose out of revered respect for St. Augustine who never got a chance to appear in the council against Nestorianism (St. Augustine has had a spiritual son who repented from Nestorianism by his fatherly help).

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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2007, 11:30:15 AM »

ignatius, I believe Pelagius taught that man could be saved without the grace of God contrary to Ephesians 2 although I may be wrong on this.
Little about Pelagius is known and all that is comes from the Blessed Augustine's refutation of him as best I recall.
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2007, 01:05:51 PM »

Technically he is wrong. The theotokos counted herself as saved by Christ. Even though she never sinned. What was she saved from? other than bodily death.
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2007, 01:11:17 PM »

Quick side question: what does afaik stand for?
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2007, 01:15:04 PM »

afaik = as far as i know
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2007, 02:59:26 PM »

Technically he is wrong. The theotokos counted herself as saved by Christ. Even though she never sinned. What was she saved from? other than bodily death.

She was saved from ancestral mortality.  She cooperated with God's ever-present, urm, presence (Grace) and avoided personal sin (most Orthodox would say).  W/out God's grace, she wouldn't have had a snowball's chance of doing this.
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2007, 03:14:33 PM »

Same difference. No?
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2007, 08:04:41 PM »

afaik = as far as i know
Thank you sir.
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2010, 07:24:40 AM »

Note the distinction here between Pelagius himself and Pelagianism, because many of the teachings commonly attributed to Pelagianism were denied by him. This seems to be a nuanced issue among certain Orthodox circles today, as some are re-evaluating his teachings in a different light.  Please discuss your choice.
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2010, 07:42:11 AM »

Before I can vote... which ideas attributed to him did he possibly not hold to?
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2010, 08:14:03 AM »

Sorry, on second thought, I think this topic may not be best suited for a poll. Can a mod please close this thread?   Undecided
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2010, 10:17:51 AM »

Please see Message 88 at

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21719.msg331087.html#msg331087

The Beginnings of a Western and Eastern Reassessment of Pelagius

"Pelagius: To Demetrias"
by Deacon Geoffrey Ó Riada
[now Russian Orthodox priest in France]

http://web.archive.org/web/20040102171014/www.nireland.com/orthodox/pelagius.htm
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2010, 10:29:42 AM »

If Pelagius was condemned as a heretic, then he will always be one. I don't believe in rehabilitation. If we rehabilitate him, then we have to dig up all the others and it becomes one big mess.
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« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2010, 10:54:20 AM »

If Pelagius was condemned as a heretic, then he will always be one. I don't believe in rehabilitation. If we rehabilitate him, then we have to dig up all the others and it becomes one big mess.

From the link in message 3 by a ROCA priest:

"Few churchmen have been so maligned as Pelagius in the Christian West. For nearly 1,500 years, all that anyone has known of the British monk's theology has come from what his opponents said about him — and when one's opponents are as eminent as Augustine and Jerome, the chance of getting a fair hearing is not great. Consequently, it has been easy to lay all manner of pernicious heresies at Pelagius's doorstep. Only in the last couple of decades have scholars been able to recover and examine Pelagius's works directly. What they have found is that very little of what has historically passed for "Pelagian" heresy was actually taught by him."

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« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2010, 11:03:27 AM »

Quote from: Fr. Dcn. Geoffrey
Yet no Eastern Fathers were acquainted with him, and condemnations of Pelagianism were included in the Oecumenical Synod of Ephesos only under Western influence.


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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2010, 03:35:23 PM »

According to this reputable source, Pelagius was a mentor to King Arthur.
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« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2010, 03:45:53 PM »

According to this reputable source, Pelagius was a mentor to King Arthur.

The worst King Arthur movie ever made is a reputable source?  Methinks a scantily clad Kiera Knightly has addled your brain.  Cheesy

But, I have it on good authority that he was involved in encouraging a young St Patrick.   Wink
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« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2010, 04:34:23 PM »

According to this reputable source, Pelagius was a mentor to King Arthur.

The worst King Arthur movie ever made is a reputable source?  Methinks a scantily clad Kiera Knightly has addled your brain.  Cheesy

But, I have it on good authority that he was involved in encouraging a young St Patrick.   Wink
I agree that it was a bad one, but The Last Legion was even worse.
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« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2010, 12:00:48 AM »

According to this reputable source, Pelagius was a mentor to King Arthur.

The worst King Arthur movie ever made is a reputable source?  Methinks a scantily clad Kiera Knightly has addled your brain.  Cheesy

But, I have it on good authority that he was involved in encouraging a young St Patrick.   Wink
I agree that it was a bad one, but The Last Legion was even worse.

No kidding. I showed that to my Latin IV class when we were doing Medieval Latin and reading some of the documents related to Arthur. What was I thinking?
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« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2010, 12:06:10 AM »


From the link in message 3 by a ROCA priest:

"Few churchmen have been so maligned as Pelagius in the Christian West. For nearly 1,500 years, all that anyone has known of the British monk's theology has come from what his opponents said about him — and when one's opponents are as eminent as Augustine and Jerome, the chance of getting a fair hearing is not great. Consequently, it has been easy to lay all manner of pernicious heresies at Pelagius's doorstep. Only in the last couple of decades have scholars been able to recover and examine Pelagius's works directly. What they have found is that very little of what has historically passed for "Pelagian" heresy was actually taught by him."

Then let's apply this standard equally.  What we know about Arius and to a lesser extent Nestorius, also come from their opponents.  Do you think that Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria gave a fair hearing to them?  Do you think that Athanasius and Cyril carefully weighed the pros and cons and made a decision?  No, they vigorously defended the truth, had their opponents excommunicated and defended the Orthodox faith.  So if Athanasius and Cyril were vindicated in the treatment of their opponents, why hold Jerome and Augustine to a radically different standard unless, of course, their only fault is that they are from the "evil" West?
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« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2010, 01:05:59 AM »


From the link in message 3 by a ROCA priest:

"Few churchmen have been so maligned as Pelagius in the Christian West. For nearly 1,500 years, all that anyone has known of the British monk's theology has come from what his opponents said about him — and when one's opponents are as eminent as Augustine and Jerome, the chance of getting a fair hearing is not great. Consequently, it has been easy to lay all manner of pernicious heresies at Pelagius's doorstep. Only in the last couple of decades have scholars been able to recover and examine Pelagius's works directly. What they have found is that very little of what has historically passed for "Pelagian" heresy was actually taught by him."


Then let's apply this standard equally.  What we know about Arius and to a lesser extent Nestorius, also come from their opponents.  Do you think that Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria gave a fair hearing to them?  Do you think that Athanasius and Cyril carefully weighed the pros and cons and made a decision?  No, they vigorously defended the truth, had their opponents excommunicated and defended the Orthodox faith.  So if Athanasius and Cyril were vindicated in the treatment of their opponents, why hold Jerome and Augustine to a radically different standard unless, of course, their only fault is that they are from the "evil" West?

I am not sure how to answer you.  This appears to be stretching it to an argumentum ad absurdum.  Maybe someone else can comment?
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« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2010, 12:34:54 PM »


From the link in message 3 by a ROCA priest:

"Few churchmen have been so maligned as Pelagius in the Christian West. For nearly 1,500 years, all that anyone has known of the British monk's theology has come from what his opponents said about him — and when one's opponents are as eminent as Augustine and Jerome, the chance of getting a fair hearing is not great. Consequently, it has been easy to lay all manner of pernicious heresies at Pelagius's doorstep. Only in the last couple of decades have scholars been able to recover and examine Pelagius's works directly. What they have found is that very little of what has historically passed for "Pelagian" heresy was actually taught by him."

Then let's apply this standard equally.  What we know about Arius and to a lesser extent Nestorius, also come from their opponents.  Do you think that Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria gave a fair hearing to them?  Do you think that Athanasius and Cyril carefully weighed the pros and cons and made a decision?  No, they vigorously defended the truth, had their opponents excommunicated and defended the Orthodox faith.  So if Athanasius and Cyril were vindicated in the treatment of their opponents, why hold Jerome and Augustine to a radically different standard unless, of course, their only fault is that they are from the "evil" West?
Well, if we agree that Augustine held some rather "un-Orthodox" ideas, then we might conclude that it's possible that Augustine's "un-0rthodox" ideas are what led him to condemn Pelagius.
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« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2010, 12:52:54 PM »

Let's remember again that we're distinguishing Pelagius the man from the teachings commonly known as Pelagianism. Pelagianism is condemned heresy, there is no argument. But, did Pelagius really teach all of these things? If Pelagius didn't teach Pelagianism, then was he Orthodox?

We aren't tinkering at all with the dogma of the Church, simply how we should understand this single British monk from long ago, separate from what history has labelled as his "teachings."
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« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2010, 12:17:52 AM »


I am not sure how to answer you.  This appears to be stretching it to an argumentum ad absurdum.  Maybe someone else can comment?

You're saying that it is absurd to hold Augustine and Jerome to one standard and Cyril and Athanasius to another when it comes to defending the faith?  Seriously, the priest you quoted said that Jerome and Augustine were the sort of people who wouldn't allow for "fair hearings" when it came to Pelagius and his teachings.  Since when did heresy ever deserve or merit a "fair hearing."  We may question Augustine's and Jerome's own teachings but why should the fact that they were the leaders of condemnation (and the condemnation of Pelagius did follow in the east) against Arius in terms of the theological debate automatically make Pelagius not a heretic or just misunderstood?  What is the standard?
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« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2010, 06:14:08 PM »


I am not sure how to answer you.  This appears to be stretching it to an argumentum ad absurdum.  Maybe someone else can comment?

You're saying that it is absurd to hold Augustine and Jerome to one standard and Cyril and Athanasius to another when it comes to defending the faith?  Seriously, the priest you quoted said that Jerome and Augustine were the sort of people who wouldn't allow for "fair hearings" when it came to Pelagius and his teachings.  Since when did heresy ever deserve or merit a "fair hearing."  We may question Augustine's and Jerome's own teachings but why should the fact that they were the leaders of condemnation (and the condemnation of Pelagius did follow in the east) against Arius in terms of the theological debate automatically make Pelagius not a heretic or just misunderstood?  What is the standard?

Don't we have authenticated writings of Arius? Moreover, the Arian heresy was more of a clear-cut matter than the grace-vs-works dichotomy in the West, which is a very subtle matter and subject to interpretation. It is hard enough to tell what exactly Augustine believed, so how are we ever to know what Pelagius was teaching?
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« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2010, 12:05:46 AM »

^Isn't heresy still heresy?  Or are there now grades of heresy?
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« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2010, 12:37:45 AM »

Why not also rehabilitate Origen? We all know his condemnation was done just to crack down on neo-Origenists. (I'm not for this, just being snarky.)
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« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2010, 02:52:09 AM »

^Isn't heresy still heresy?  Or are there now grades of heresy?

Why not? There are degrees of divine revelation, after all...
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« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2010, 02:38:29 PM »

^Isn't heresy still heresy?  Or are there now grades of heresy?

If heresy is just heresy, period, then we'd better anathematize St. Gregory of Nyssa, since he believed in apokatastasis.
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« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2010, 02:50:53 PM »

^Isn't heresy still heresy?  Or are there now grades of heresy?

If heresy is just heresy, period, then we'd better anathematize St. Gregory of Nyssa, since he believed in apokatastasis.
Apokatastasis means a restoration to a previous condition.

I don't think St. Gregory ever taught a restoration to a previous condition.
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« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2010, 09:56:43 PM »

^Isn't heresy still heresy?  Or are there now grades of heresy?

If heresy is just heresy, period, then we'd better anathematize St. Gregory of Nyssa, since he believed in apokatastasis.
Apokatastasis means a restoration to a previous condition.

I don't think St. Gregory ever taught a restoration to a previous condition.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Apocatastasis#Gregory_of_Nyssa
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« Reply #40 on: November 07, 2010, 03:57:56 AM »

^Isn't heresy still heresy?  Or are there now grades of heresy?

If heresy is just heresy, period, then we'd better anathematize St. Gregory of Nyssa, since he believed in apokatastasis.
Apokatastasis means a restoration to a previous condition.

I don't think St. Gregory ever taught a restoration to a previous condition.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Apocatastasis#Gregory_of_Nyssa
That's not apokatastasis. That's the eventual discontinuation of the sufferings of Gehenna.
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« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2010, 08:16:45 PM »

^Isn't heresy still heresy?  Or are there now grades of heresy?

If heresy is just heresy, period, then we'd better anathematize St. Gregory of Nyssa, since he believed in apokatastasis.
Apokatastasis means a restoration to a previous condition.

I don't think St. Gregory ever taught a restoration to a previous condition.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Apocatastasis#Gregory_of_Nyssa
That's not apokatastasis. That's the eventual discontinuation of the sufferings of Gehenna.

So if it's not apokatastasis, then why is it called apokatastasis?

And what difference does it make if I have still shown that St. Gregory believed in something that the Chruch in general has rejected?
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« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2011, 08:04:44 PM »

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/highdesert/sin_and_grace_east_and_west

I was listening to this Podcast, and Fr. Gabriel says around 14:20 that Pelagius didn't teach what he was condemned of and basically was probably more correct than we give credit for. It bothered me. For both seeming to claim Pelagius was right and also that the Church was wrong (1500 years after the fact).
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« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2011, 08:19:48 PM »

I think you might be overestimating the place of the person of Pelagius in the Tradition of the Church. On the highest and most significant levels that this matter was addressed, teachings attributed to Pelagius were condemned, but through the persons of some of his disciples, such as Rufinus and Celestius. I don't think that there is a really strong condemnation of the person of Pelagius himself, sort of like Origen.
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« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2011, 09:28:42 PM »

http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/highdesert/sin_and_grace_east_and_west

I was listening to this Podcast, and Fr. Gabriel says around 14:20 that Pelagius didn't teach what he was condemned of and basically was probably more correct than we give credit for. It bothered me. For both seeming to claim Pelagius was right and also that the Church was wrong (1500 years after the fact).

He did say "As far as I'm concerned".

Pelagius letter to Demtrias

There are a handful of questionable statements like

"The advantage of being a Christian is that through the teaching of Jesus Christ we learn more fully the nature of goodness; and through his example, we are inspired to choose good."

"Thus the story of their banishment from Eden is in truth the story of how the human race gained its freedom:"

"Through him we are reborn as new men and women, because we can see clearly how we should live."

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« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2011, 11:07:54 PM »

There has been a recent rehash on the study of Pelagius.  The question came up, "was Pelagius really Pelagian?"

Monachos.net has some historical writings by and on Pelagius.  For example:

http://monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/194-pelagius-letters

Go here:

http://monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts

And type "Pelagius" in the author filter, and you'll find some links.
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« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2011, 11:19:56 PM »


The Beginnings of a Western and Eastern Reassessment of Pelagius

"Pelagius: To Demetrias"
by Fr Geoffrey Ready


http://web.archive.org/web/20040102171014/www.nireland.com/orthodox/pelagius.htm


"Few churchmen have been so maligned as Pelagius in the Christian West. For nearly 1,500 years, all that anyone has known of the British monk's theology has come from what his opponents said about him — and when one's opponents are as eminent as Augustine and Jerome, the chance of getting a fair hearing is not great. Consequently, it has been easy to lay all manner of pernicious heresies at Pelagius's doorstep. Only in the last couple of decades have scholars been able to recover and examine Pelagius's works directly. What they have found is that very little of what has historically passed for "Pelagian" heresy was actually taught by him."


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« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2011, 11:51:48 PM »

Thank you all for the replies. You've given me some things to think about.
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« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2011, 11:29:35 AM »

IMO, it's best to let anathematized heretics stay that way.
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« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2011, 11:38:54 AM »

IMO, it's best to let anathematized heretics stay that way.

That would be an anti-Nicene attitude in my opinion:

Quote
Concerning those, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who have been excommunicated in the several provinces, let the provision of the canon be observed by the bishops which provides that persons cast out by some be not readmitted by others. Nevertheless, inquiry should be made whether they have been excommunicated through captiousness, or contentiousness, or any such like ungracious disposition in the bishop. And, that this matter may have due investigation, it is decreed that in every province synods shall be held twice a year, in order that when all the bishops of the province are assembled together, such questions may by them be thoroughly examined, that so those who have confessedly offended against their bishop, may be seen by all to be for just cause excommunicated, until it shall seem fit to a general meeting of the bishops to pronounce a milder sentence upon them. And let these synods be held, the one before Lent, (that the pure Gift may be offered to God after all bitterness has been put away), and let the second be held about autumn.

As far as Church history goes, this was quite an impossibility and filled with contentions and disagreements among bishops (I believe one of the Cappadocian fathers was distressed by these synods), but the message is of the utmost ideal Christian attitude to make sure just judgment was made.
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« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2011, 12:43:38 PM »

Please cite the quote.

Also, the quote deals with excommunications of living people, not anathematizations, and especially not centuries-old anathematizations.

If we allowed for a review of those, cases could be made that Nestorius wasn't actually Nestorian, and that Theodore of Mopsuestia could not be anathematized because he died in communion with the Church (that was Pope Vigilius' beef). It is precisely because of the confusion and upset this would cause that such things are not done. Besides that, there is the faith placed in the holy fathers who pronounced the anathemas.
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« Reply #51 on: February 17, 2011, 12:47:28 PM »

Please cite the quote.

Also, the quote deals with excommunications of living people, not anathematizations, and especially not centuries-old anathematizations.

If we allowed for a review of those, cases could be made that Nestorius wasn't actually Nestorian, and that Theodore of Mopsuestia could not be anathematized because he died in communion with the Church (that was Pope Vigilius' beef). It is precisely because of the confusion and upset this would cause that such things are not done. Besides that, there is the faith placed in the holy fathers who pronounced the anathemas.

Sorry, I forgot to cite the fact that it was canon 5 of the Council of Nicea.

The point is that if there's reason that someone is not who we always thought he was, it is imperative for us (in fact, I would argue it to be a Christian duty) not to mischaracterize the said person.  This goes along with the commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness."  If Nestorius wasn't really Nestorian for instance, we should make due.  If we are able to condemn Theodore of Mopsuestia only after he died, we should be able to lift anathemas to such people as well.
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« Reply #52 on: February 17, 2011, 03:56:38 PM »

Where are these anathemas against the person of Pelagius?
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« Reply #53 on: February 17, 2011, 06:16:12 PM »

Where are these anathemas against the person of Pelagius?

It began in Carthage, made official in Ephesus 431:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.xvi.vii.html
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« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2011, 06:24:56 PM »

IMO, it's best to let anathematized heretics stay that way.

That would be an anti-Nicene attitude in my opinion:

Quote
Concerning those, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who have been excommunicated in the several provinces, let the provision of the canon be observed by the bishops which provides that persons cast out by some be not readmitted by others. Nevertheless, inquiry should be made whether they have been excommunicated through captiousness, or contentiousness, or any such like ungracious disposition in the bishop. And, that this matter may have due investigation, it is decreed that in every province synods shall be held twice a year, in order that when all the bishops of the province are assembled together, such questions may by them be thoroughly examined, that so those who have confessedly offended against their bishop, may be seen by all to be for just cause excommunicated, until it shall seem fit to a general meeting of the bishops to pronounce a milder sentence upon them. And let these synods be held, the one before Lent, (that the pure Gift may be offered to God after all bitterness has been put away), and let the second be held about autumn.

As far as Church history goes, this was quite an impossibility and filled with contentions and disagreements among bishops (I believe one of the Cappadocian fathers was distressed by these synods), but the message is of the utmost ideal Christian attitude to make sure just judgment was made.

I have read that Pelagius himself anathematised when asked the erroneous beliefs of which he was accused.  That says a lot and if that is the case then the question of justice to the man and his memory must be examined.
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« Reply #55 on: February 17, 2011, 06:35:32 PM »

Where are these anathemas against the person of Pelagius?

It began in Carthage, made official in Ephesus 431:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.xvi.vii.html

Mina, I read through the canons and, as I suspected, saw nothing to support the contention that the person of Pelagius was addressed; the only name mentioned was Celestius.
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« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2011, 06:38:12 PM »

Where are these anathemas against the person of Pelagius?

It began in Carthage, made official in Ephesus 431:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.xvi.vii.html

Mina, I read through the canons and, as I suspected, saw nothing to support the contention that the person of Pelagius was addressed; the only name mentioned was Celestius.

The Council of Ephesus does not condemn Theodore of Mopsuestia, but it was a given that he was considered the forerunner of Nestorianism.  Likewise with Celestius and Pelagius.  It was implied or understood.
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« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2011, 06:48:20 PM »

I don't think that something as serious as an anathema can be "implied" or "understood".  He was either anathematized or not.  And so far it is sounding like he was not.

Where are these anathemas against the person of Pelagius?

It began in Carthage, made official in Ephesus 431:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.xvi.vii.html

Mina, I read through the canons and, as I suspected, saw nothing to support the contention that the person of Pelagius was addressed; the only name mentioned was Celestius.

The Council of Ephesus does not condemn Theodore of Mopsuestia, but it was a given that he was considered the forerunner of Nestorianism.  Likewise with Celestius and Pelagius.  It was implied or understood.
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« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2011, 06:53:38 PM »

Well, I don't know what EO's officially take, but from a Coptic perspective, he is indeed condemned.
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« Reply #59 on: February 17, 2011, 06:56:34 PM »

Where are these anathemas against the person of Pelagius?

It began in Carthage, made official in Ephesus 431:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.xvi.vii.html

Mina, I read through the canons and, as I suspected, saw nothing to support the contention that the person of Pelagius was addressed; the only name mentioned was Celestius.

The Council of Ephesus does not condemn Theodore of Mopsuestia, but it was a given that he was considered the forerunner of Nestorianism.  Likewise with Celestius and Pelagius.  It was implied or understood.

The Church, however, does have a history of anathematizing persons if association with them is dangerous enough, or simply anathematizing teachings associated with them if it is not so dangerous and if their legacy as actually having advocated said teachings is in question. As such, it does not appear that the person of Pelagius was anathematized, just as it appears that the person of Theodore was not anathematized, even at Ephesus II after Saint Cyril had written against him and numerous (Theodoret, Ibas, etc.) deviants had attempted to revive the heresies associated with him.
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« Reply #60 on: February 17, 2011, 06:57:12 PM »

Well, I don't know what EO's officially take, but from a Coptic perspective, he is indeed condemned.

How are you so sure? What is the source of synodical condemnation of Pelagius in the Coptic church?
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« Reply #61 on: February 17, 2011, 08:05:10 PM »

Well, I don't know what EO's officially take, but from a Coptic perspective, he is indeed condemned.

How are you so sure? What is the source of synodical condemnation of Pelagius in the Coptic church?

As far as I know, many bishops and even the Pope himself have spoken in their sermons against Pelagianism.

HG Bishop Youssef for instance wrote an article against it as well.
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« Reply #62 on: February 17, 2011, 09:00:22 PM »

Well, I don't know what EO's officially take, but from a Coptic perspective, he is indeed condemned.

How are you so sure? What is the source of synodical condemnation of Pelagius in the Coptic church?

As far as I know, many bishops and even the Pope himself have spoken in their sermons against Pelagianism.

HG Bishop Youssef for instance wrote an article against it as well.

It sounds like you are confusing the issues of Pelagius and Pelagianism.
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« Reply #63 on: February 18, 2011, 11:35:59 AM »

Theodore of Mopsuestia was anathematized at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, along with Origen, and the Three Chapters, IIRC. Theodore was dead when he was anathematized. The unprecedented anathema of a dead man who died in communion with the Church irked Pope Vigilius, but he was later "persuaded" to sign.
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« Reply #64 on: February 18, 2011, 10:19:12 PM »

Theodore of Mopsuestia was anathematized at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, along with Origen, and the Three Chapters, IIRC. Theodore was dead when he was anathematized. The unprecedented anathema of a dead man who died in communion with the Church irked Pope Vigilius, but he was later "persuaded" to sign.

Which only proves my point even further.  If the Church has shown herself to have the power to anathematize a dead person, she also has the power to lift anathemas of dead people (for example, St. Cyril of Alexandria lifted Alexandria's anathema against St. John Chrysostom).
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« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2011, 11:42:41 PM »

Theodore of Mopsuestia was anathematized at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, along with Origen, and the Three Chapters, IIRC. Theodore was dead when he was anathematized. The unprecedented anathema of a dead man who died in communion with the Church irked Pope Vigilius, but he was later "persuaded" to sign.

Which only proves my point even further.  If the Church has shown herself to have the power to anathematize a dead person, she also has the power to lift anathemas of dead people (for example, St. Cyril of Alexandria lifted Alexandria's anathema against St. John Chrysostom).

That anathema was not delivered ecumenically by a synod of the whole Church, but rather by detractors of St. John. For Eastern Orthodox, at least, it's not at all a light thing to reverse a decision of an ecumenical council.
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« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2011, 11:56:17 PM »

Theodore of Mopsuestia was anathematized at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, along with Origen, and the Three Chapters, IIRC. Theodore was dead when he was anathematized. The unprecedented anathema of a dead man who died in communion with the Church irked Pope Vigilius, but he was later "persuaded" to sign.

Which only proves my point even further.  If the Church has shown herself to have the power to anathematize a dead person, she also has the power to lift anathemas of dead people (for example, St. Cyril of Alexandria lifted Alexandria's anathema against St. John Chrysostom).

That anathema was not delivered ecumenically by a synod of the whole Church, but rather by detractors of St. John. For Eastern Orthodox, at least, it's not at all a light thing to reverse a decision of an ecumenical council.

Never said it's an easy decision, but it's possible under proper ecclesiological theology if good reason comes through.  The Church has the power to loose and bind, alive or postmortem.
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« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2011, 01:44:42 AM »

But there would be division and opposition were the Church to make such an unprecedented move. In holy tradition, the rulings and the opinions of the totality of the holy fathers and councils would seem, to me, to outweigh any "new insights" some modern council might possess. Can you think of an occurrence where the Church has always said "N" was the case, and then changed her mind to say the opposite? How could one say, in such an about-face, that the Holy Spirit is behind it?
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« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2011, 07:54:37 AM »

If I'm understanding my history correctly, the Church did not condemn Pelagius himself, but rather Pelagius' teachings (and, IIRC, a couple of those who taught it).

As to Pelagius, it seems there is no anathema to lift, and as to his teaching (or, if you don't believe he actually taught it, that teaching attributed to him), it seems the Church hasn't changed its collective mind on that teaching so there is no reason to lift that condemnation.

Am I missing something?
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« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2011, 10:12:40 AM »

But there would be division and opposition were the Church to make such an unprecedented move. In holy tradition, the rulings and the opinions of the totality of the holy fathers and councils would seem, to me, to outweigh any "new insights" some modern council might possess. Can you think of an occurrence where the Church has always said "N" was the case, and then changed her mind to say the opposite? How could one say, in such an about-face, that the Holy Spirit is behind it?

Indeed.  It's been a problem that bishops in history usually never seemed to get together in a peaceful manner:
Quote
Possibly the opinion of St. Gregory Nazianzen had grown common, for it will be remembered that in refusing to go to the latter sessions of the Second Ecumenical he wrote, “I am resolved to avoid every meeting of bishops, for I have never seen any synod end well, nor assuage rather than aggravate disorders.”
from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.vii.vi.vi.html

You have to remember the Holy Spirit inspires the dogmas and faith of the Church, but on the judgement of individuals in the past, this has been at the discretion of personal clerical duties of binding and loosing.  You're only arguing its difficulties, but not its possibilities.
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« Reply #70 on: February 22, 2011, 07:14:11 PM »

Theodore of Mopsuestia was anathematized at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, along with Origen, and the Three Chapters, IIRC. Theodore was dead when he was anathematized. The unprecedented anathema of a dead man who died in communion with the Church irked Pope Vigilius, but he was later "persuaded" to sign.

Are you responding to me? I was speaking to an OO person, so what the reference to the 553 council of Constantinople does not apply.
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« Reply #71 on: February 22, 2011, 07:15:59 PM »

If I'm understanding my history correctly, the Church did not condemn Pelagius himself, but rather Pelagius' teachings (and, IIRC, a couple of those who taught it).

As to Pelagius, it seems there is no anathema to lift, and as to his teaching (or, if you don't believe he actually taught it, that teaching attributed to him), it seems the Church hasn't changed its collective mind on that teaching so there is no reason to lift that condemnation.

Am I missing something?

Sounds right.
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« Reply #72 on: February 22, 2011, 09:14:35 PM »

Theodore of Mopsuestia was anathematized at the Fifth Ecumenical Council, along with Origen, and the Three Chapters, IIRC. Theodore was dead when he was anathematized. The unprecedented anathema of a dead man who died in communion with the Church irked Pope Vigilius, but he was later "persuaded" to sign.

Are you responding to me? I was speaking to an OO person, so what the reference to the 553 council of Constantinople does not apply.

Can't you be a bit more empathetic to the argument made, rather than deride the source of the argument?  This applies to us as OO's as much as it applies to the EO's.  Consider that St. Cyril also would have quickly signed on for the condemnation of both Diodore and Theodore.
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« Reply #73 on: March 09, 2011, 01:01:37 PM »

Hello, is it OK if I make a comment about this topic?

In my opinion and according to my knowledge, Pelagius didn't teach that man could be sinless without God.

"I did indeed say that a man can be without sin and keep the commandments of God, if he wishes, for this ability has been given to him by God. However, I did not say that any man can be found who has never sinned from his infancy up to his old age, but that, having been converted from his sins, he can be without sin by his own efforts and God's grace, yet not even by this means is he incapable of change for the future." - His answer at the synod of Diospolis.

His ideas were rejected not only on theological but on political grounds too, because he basically rejected(me too) nominal Christians, who continued to live sinful life that they previously had...

Why was his doctrine so eagerly criticized? Didn't early Church Fathers teach the same about moral perfection? Pelagius didn't deny the grace of God, he just emphasized the ability of man to be sinless according to his will, which would obviously be helped by God, why would God desert a man with such enthusiasm? If we fully follow Augustine's idea, that means - men are evil, only God chooses who can follow his commandments - that's just blasphemy - ignoring God's justice...

So, does church anathemize the idea, that Christian should be sinless or that he can be if he wants to?

Augustine's famous refutation is: "It is impossible not to sin" - means even all Church Fathers were continuously sinning after starting holy life...

He rejected original sin, but was that original idea of Church? That human nature was tainted? Can't unbeliever live purely Christian life?
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« Reply #74 on: October 31, 2011, 05:36:03 PM »

Quote
The [Episcopal Church] Diocese of Atlanta has been asked to rehabilitate Pelagius.
 
Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.
....
The proposed resolution has brought mixed responses from the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies chat room, with some ridiculing the notion that the Diocese of Atlanta believed itself capable of redefining church doctrine.  However, other deputies have endorsed the resolution saying it gives a breath of Celtic Christianity to the Episcopal Church and enhances the church’s theological diversity.
 
The vote on Pelagius takes place on 4 Nov 2011.
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« Reply #75 on: October 31, 2011, 06:02:07 PM »

Pelagius gets a bad rep. He may actually not be a Pelagian.
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« Reply #76 on: October 31, 2011, 08:17:07 PM »

If you can deny the resurrection and still remain a bishop in ECUSA, rehabilitating Pelagius is the least of their concerns.
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« Reply #77 on: October 31, 2011, 09:42:40 PM »

Why just the Diocese of Atlanta? Shouldn't they need more people to vote on something that important?  Huh
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« Reply #78 on: October 31, 2011, 09:43:10 PM »

Why just the Diocese of Atlanta? Shouldn't they need more people to vote on something that important?  Huh

They're Episcopalian, remember?  Wink
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« Reply #79 on: October 31, 2011, 09:45:00 PM »

Aha!  Smiley

Sad to see, however, that they keep coming up with things that make it even more difficult to repair their cooperation with the older churches. (The Orthodox & the RCC)  Undecided
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« Reply #80 on: October 31, 2011, 10:09:13 PM »

There are already folks that want to rehabilitate Judas.
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« Reply #81 on: October 31, 2011, 10:10:20 PM »

Elaine Pagels and Lady Gaga, so far...  Tongue
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« Reply #82 on: October 31, 2011, 10:54:38 PM »

What I want to know is how all the non-insane Anglicans worldwide are still in communion with these bishops.
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« Reply #83 on: October 31, 2011, 11:34:16 PM »

What I want to know is how all the non-insane Anglicans worldwide are still in communion with these bishops.
Well the non-insane have simply left.
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« Reply #84 on: November 01, 2011, 08:55:25 AM »

What I want to know is how all the non-insane Anglicans worldwide are still in communion with these bishops.
Well the non-insane have simply left.

So....what are you saying about our Ebor and Keble?
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« Reply #85 on: November 01, 2011, 09:01:09 AM »

What I want to know is how all the non-insane Anglicans worldwide are still in communion with these bishops.

Could be a sense of duty, that's the church in which they've always been, and they can't bring themselves to go somewhere else... just a thought.

I wonder how many will wind up in WR Orthodoxy, or maybe the Roman Catholic Church, or with one of the stratified ultra-conservative Anglican groups that's broken off from the Episcopalians. I think one of them is called the Anglican Church of North America, and they have a church not too far from where I live. There's also an Africa-based group of Anglican churches that has accepted some breakaway parishes. Can't remember that organization's name at the moment.
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« Reply #86 on: November 02, 2011, 09:25:44 PM »

http://www.religiousintelligence.org/churchnewspaper/news/internationalnews/us-diocese-asked-to-rehabilitate-pelagius/

Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.

Resolution R11-7 before the convention states in part:

“Whereas the historical record of Pelagius’s contribution to our theological tradition is shrouded in the political ambition of his theological antagonists who sought to discredit what they felt was a threat to the empire, and their ecclesiastical dominance, and whereas an understanding of his life and writings might bring more to bear on his good standing in our tradition;”

“And whereas his restitution as a viable theological voice within our tradition might encourage a deeper understanding of sin, grace, free will, and the goodness of God’s creation, and whereas in as much as the history of Pelagius represents to some the struggle for theological exploration that is our birthright as Anglicans, Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta appoint a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to honor the contributions of Pelagius and reclaim his voice in our tradition.”


What voice in our tradition?  He was excommunicated as a heretic! I love how a lot of christian organizations today want to make church fathers out of heresiarchs!
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« Reply #87 on: November 02, 2011, 10:45:18 PM »

Speaking of the Episcopalian decision to 'rehabilitate' him- I feel sorry for the people who studied for the priesthood and learned that Pelagius was a heretic, only to have to go through this someday.
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« Reply #88 on: November 03, 2011, 07:55:29 AM »

Speaking of the Episcopalian decision to 'rehabilitate' him- I feel sorry for the people who studied for the priesthood and learned that Pelagius was a heretic, only to have to go through this someday.

There are Orthodox priests who actively apologize for Pelagius, too.

Let me see, if I can find that podcast from AFR...
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« Reply #89 on: November 03, 2011, 08:37:17 AM »

a priest just yesterday said that Pelagius taught that if man desires God then God is obligated to give him the grace to do good. that seems problematic. also, the Synod of Carthage (and later Trullo) condemned the idea that man is intended by God to physically die - a teaching ascribed to Pelagius. and someone offered quotes earlier that really make it seem that Pelagius' notion of salvation is simply moralism.
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« Reply #90 on: November 03, 2011, 09:41:22 AM »

Pelagius gets a bad rep. He may actually not be a Pelagian.

If anyone wants to know what the heretic Pelagius himself really believed, well, all one has to do is read Saint Augustine!

In responding to Pelagius, Saint Augustine quotes him at length. So just read his quotes of him. It's that simple!


And so, instead of going by what other people in modern times say about him, just read him yourself.......by way of Saint Augustine.

Yes it's true that we don't necessarily agree with Saint Augustine on everything, but if you want to know what Pelagius actually believed then go to Saint Augustine, for that is where you will find his quotes.

Saint Jerome also responded to the heresy of Pelagianism and maybe Pelagius himself, I'm not sure who he responded to, but yeah, we indirectly know what he believed by the hand of his enemies.
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« Reply #91 on: November 03, 2011, 10:04:53 AM »

Speaking of the Episcopalian decision to 'rehabilitate' him- I feel sorry for the people who studied for the priesthood and learned that Pelagius was a heretic, only to have to go through this someday.

There are Orthodox priests who actively apologize for Pelagius, too.

Let me see, if I can find that podcast from AFR...

It takes time to actually do the hard work of ACTUALLY READING Saint Augustine. For this is where you will find what Pelagius actually believed.

In some ways I want to say that the heretic Pelagius was hyper, you know how in the protestant world you have the concept of hyper-calvinist or hyper-preterism......etc.

Well, Pelagius was hyper-orthodox in that sense. He went way too far in some areas. The sad thing is we have modern christians who use science and philosophical naturalism in general as their only infallible rule book, who pretty much agree with the heretic pelagius on the issue of death being natural.

Maybe this is why some in our day want to rehabilitate him. It's because they believe like him.

If you look at the various rehabilitate movements, you will notice that the modern gnostics and neo-gnostic professors in Academia want to rehabilitate the ancient gnostics.


Those in modern mainline churches or in Academia who are Arian or Uniterian or who have leanings in that direction want to rehabilitate the heretic Arius. Or they will at least have sympathy for him.

Those who have Nestorian tendencies or who are out right Nestorian in our modern day would like to rehabilitate Nestorius. Or at least have sympathy for him.


This is what I pretty much see. At least in the Academic world and mainline churches in the west. Sometimes I think that some Orthodox just eat up whatever they see in Academia in general or whatever they see what the mainline protestant churches are doing or what the liberal wing of Roman Catholicism is doing. They either want to be like them or be liked by them.


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« Reply #92 on: November 03, 2011, 10:52:23 AM »

Pretty much, if you look at it from a monachos.net point of view, there is no official Eastern position or understanding on Pelagius himself.  What is he accused of?  He's accused of believing salvation and prevention of sinning only matters on freedom of human will, not necessarily God's grace.  I think St. Augustine himself seems to stress God's grace in this regard, although many people today accuse St. Augustine of completely ignoring human free will, leading to Calvinistic ideas.  St. John Climacus offers us a nice balance, telling us it requires both free will and God's grace.

Nevertheless, I think Pelagius was condemned on the Council of Ephesus 431 without actually investigating what Pelagianism is exactly.  It was only done I suppose out of revered respect for St. Augustine who never got a chance to appear in the council against Nestorianism (St. Augustine has had a spiritual son who repented from Nestorianism by his fatherly help).

God bless.

The Monachos site doesn't have the separate Pelagius page anymore, but if you type "Pelagius" here:
http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts

You'll find the pertinent writings.

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« Reply #93 on: November 08, 2011, 03:07:19 AM »

So what was heretical about Pelagius?

1) The sentence: "By telling people that they are unable to be sinless, they feel certain protection in sinning, thus they will be less eager to avoid sin." - Absolute Truth. This desease is evident from Dark Ages and mostly now, when premarital sex is fine, because "no one is sinless".

2) The sentence: "We are not called sinners" - Absolute Truth, why? Because Paul says in Romans Chapter 5: "Christ showed us his love because he died when we were yet sinners." (Epistle of 1 John in chapters 3,4,5 talks about sinlessness)

3) The sentence: "There is no sinful nature" - Absolute Truth, because the phrase is alien with the scriptures and Church Fathers. Even Jews reject that bizarre notion of "original sin".

4) The sentence: "Adam would have still died if he hadn't sinned" - This was refuted by Pelagius himself. It seems it was his personal idea on which he didn't want to risk. There certainly are Church Fathers that refute Adam's immortality before his fall, but it wasn't universal tradition of the Church.


It was Augustine who created idea of Predestination and Original Sin/Sinful Nature.
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« Reply #94 on: November 08, 2011, 04:50:03 AM »

'There is no denying that Orthodox Christians have traditionally called Pelagius a heretic. Yet no Eastern Fathers were acquainted with him, and condemnations of Pelagianism were included in the Oecumenical Synod of Ephesos only under Western influence.'

The Beginnings of a Western and Eastern Reassessment of Pelagius

"Pelagius: To Demetrias"
by Deacon Geoffrey Ó Riada
[formerly Russian Orthodox priest in Belfast Ireland]

http://web.archive.org/web/20040102171014/www.nireland.com/orthodox/pelagius.htm

Contents
Introduction
A Brief Life of Pelagius
The Letter to Demetrias
History and Text
Content and Analysis

Introduction

Few churchmen have been so maligned as Pelagius in the Christian West. For nearly 1,500 years, all that anyone has known of the British monk's theology has come from what his opponents said about him — and when one's opponents are as eminent as Augustine and Jerome, the chance of getting a fair hearing is not great. Consequently, it has been easy to lay all manner of pernicious heresies at Pelagius's doorstep. Only in the last couple of decades have scholars been able to recover and examine Pelagius's works directly. What they have found is that very little of what has historically passed for "Pelagian" heresy was actually taught by him.

This "rehabilitation" of Pelagius by Western scholars calls for an Orthodox Christian response. Indeed, through ecumenical contact and dialogue with Western Christians, Orthodox theologians have come to appreciate the immense impact that Augustine has had in shaping the landscape of Western Christianity; and the divergence of the Augustinian trajectory of theology from the Apostolic and Patristic Tradition has been carefully charted. It is surely time, then, for an evaluation of Augustine's chief opponent, Pelagius. We may even find in the British monk's criticism of Augustinian ideology a voice sympathetic to Orthodox concerns.

There is no denying that Orthodox Christians have traditionally called Pelagius a heretic. Yet no Eastern Fathers were acquainted with him, and condemnations of Pelagianism were included in the Oecumenical Synod of Ephesos only under Western influence. As we shall see, on the couple of occasions during his lifetime that Pelagius was actually tried at local councils in the East, the evaluation was positive. This paper picks up where those councils left off, though a thorough evaluation of Pelagius lies well beyond its scope.

Remainder of article :: http://web.archive.org/web/20040102171014/www.nireland.com/orthodox/pelagius.htm
CLICK on "Impatient?"  at the bottom right of the webpage.
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« Reply #95 on: November 08, 2011, 04:53:00 AM »

It was Augustine who created idea of Predestination and Original Sin/Sinful Nature.
Kind of, there's alot of misinterpretation about St. Augustine's Predestination theology, in fact he later recanted it. Humans do have free will, but Augustine argues that because the fall was such a cataclysmic occurence and so extensive, that man ulitmately can only choose to be evil and must need the grace of God for salvation.

And BTW the Original Sin doctrine actually predates Augustine, and comes in the form of some gnosticism in the 2nd century. But Augustine did kind of suggest that all humans inherit the guilt Adam did in the Garden of Eden.

The problem with the above though is those that unbaptized infants are doomed to Hell, which isn't the Church's teaching or atleast I don't see any Patristic support for it in the Orthodox Church.

St. Augustine was a brilliant theologian, it's just a shame his errors became so popular and started movements. I've read a few hyperdox who consider him to be a heretic, which is complete nonsense because nothing in his theology to me seems heretical at all, he was simply mistaken.
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« Reply #96 on: November 08, 2011, 04:57:35 AM »

In the case of predestination to salvation or damnation/reprobation Saint Augustine was unfortunately just as fierce and just as heretical as John Calvin 1000 years later.  Calvin was simply re-presenting the Augustinian teaching which the Church of the West had wisely laid to one side and ignored.

See this EWTN article
by Fr William Most.

ST. AUGUSTINE ON GRACE AND PREDESTINATION Fr. William Most
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/AUGUSTIN.HTM

The article deals with Augustine's teaching of the "Massa damnata et damnabilis." 

We remember that when Saint Photios of Constantinople began to read Augustine in Greek translation he found these and other ideas so heretical that he assumed, very charitably, that Augustine cannot have been responsible for them.  He thought that heretics in later centuries had corrupted Saint Augustine's text.

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« Reply #97 on: November 08, 2011, 05:00:39 AM »

Irish Hermit

Don't forget, that Pelagius once wrote: "I don't know why we are being blamed for negating the God's grace. In all our writings, we emphasize that God's grace is very important."

It seems Augustine considered "grace of God" to be some sort of predestination, which is why he accuses of Pelagius denying it.

And I have read about Acts of Synods on which Pelagius was considered Orthodox.

Achronos


Recanted or not, that was the ground on which Pelagius was declared anathema.

Canons of Council of Carthage are accepted and it's written: "Whoever says unbaptized infant has chance of not going to hell - let him be anathema" and Augustine was the head of this council. He maintained this view for many years and I am unaware of his repentance.

But Pelagius didn't even argue about baptism of infants, although he may have said, that if baby died unbaptized, he still has chance.
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« Reply #98 on: November 08, 2011, 09:00:42 AM »

The problem with the above though is those that unbaptized infants are doomed to Hell, which isn't the Church's teaching or atleast I don't see any Patristic support for it in the Orthodox Church.

John 3:
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5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Wonder not that I said to you: You must be born again.

The salvation of children is trust that God wouldn't forsake the innocent.
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« Reply #99 on: November 08, 2011, 09:09:49 AM »

Canons of Council of Carthage are accepted and it's written: "Whoever says unbaptized infant has chance of not going to hell - let him be anathema" and Augustine was the head of this council. He maintained this view for many years and I am unaware of his repentance.

LOL, I don't think that's an actual quote.

Quote
Canon CX.  (Greek cxii. bis)
That infants are baptized for the remission of sins.

Likewise it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother’s wombs should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which needs to be removed by the laver of regeneration, from whence the conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.

For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, “By one man sin is come into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have sinned,” than the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it.  For on account of this rule of faith (regulam fidei) even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.iv.cxi.html
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« Reply #100 on: November 08, 2011, 11:36:19 AM »

In the case of predestination to salvation or damnation/reprobation Saint Augustine was unfortunately just as fierce and just as heretical as John Calvin 1000 years later.  Calvin was simply re-presenting the Augustinian teaching which the Church of the West had wisely laid to one side and ignored.


I don't think even Augustine would look at the Reformed traditions of Luther and Calvin and recognize his own work in them. 
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« Reply #101 on: November 08, 2011, 01:48:36 PM »

Canons of Council of Carthage are accepted and it's written: "Whoever says unbaptized infant has chance of not going to hell - let him be anathema" and Augustine was the head of this council. He maintained this view for many years and I am unaware of his repentance.

LOL, I don't think that's an actual quote.

Quote
Canon CX.  (Greek cxii. bis)
That infants are baptized for the remission of sins.

Likewise it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother’s wombs should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which needs to be removed by the laver of regeneration, from whence the conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.

For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, “By one man sin is come into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have sinned,” than the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it.  For on account of this rule of faith (regulam fidei) even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.iv.cxi.html


Canons of Council of Carthage are accepted and it's written: "Whoever says unbaptized infant has chance of not going to hell - let him be anathema" and Augustine was the head of this council. He maintained this view for many years and I am unaware of his repentance.


BTW, the Council of Carthage in 418 is included in the 6th Ecumenical Council. Therefore, those canons are now Ecumenical. They are not something to be recanted.
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« Reply #102 on: November 10, 2011, 08:53:21 AM »

Quote
The [Episcopal Church] Diocese of Atlanta has been asked to rehabilitate Pelagius.
 
Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.
....
The proposed resolution has brought mixed responses from the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies chat room, with some ridiculing the notion that the Diocese of Atlanta believed itself capable of redefining church doctrine.  However, other deputies have endorsed the resolution saying it gives a breath of Celtic Christianity to the Episcopal Church and enhances the church’s theological diversity.
 
The vote on Pelagius takes place on 4 Nov 2011.

Update: Pelagius resolution defeated


R11-7

Contributions of Pelagius

Amended as follows (otherwise unchanged):


Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta recommend that


the bishop
appoint and oversee a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to


consider these matters as a means to honor understand the contributions of Pelagius


and reclaim his voice in to our tradition.



DEFEATED






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« Reply #103 on: November 10, 2011, 12:15:00 PM »

^
Frankly, I'm astonished.  I wonder what the vote tally was.
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« Reply #104 on: November 11, 2011, 04:59:56 AM »

So what was heretical about Pelagius?

1) The sentence: "By telling people that they are unable to be sinless, they feel certain protection in sinning, thus they will be less eager to avoid sin." - Absolute Truth. This desease is evident from Dark Ages and mostly now, when premarital sex is fine, because "no one is sinless".

2) The sentence: "We are not called sinners" - Absolute Truth, why? Because Paul says in Romans Chapter 5: "Christ showed us his love because he died when we were yet sinners." (Epistle of 1 John in chapters 3,4,5 talks about sinlessness)

3) The sentence: "There is no sinful nature" - Absolute Truth, because the phrase is alien with the scriptures and Church Fathers. Even Jews reject that bizarre notion of "original sin".

4) The sentence: "Adam would have still died if he hadn't sinned" - This was refuted by Pelagius himself. It seems it was his personal idea on which he didn't want to risk. There certainly are Church Fathers that refute Adam's immortality before his fall, but it wasn't universal tradition of the Church.


It was Augustine who created idea of Predestination and Original Sin/Sinful Nature.

Augustine didn't create the idea of Predestination. The word itself exist in Scripture and you can find the word in the writings of Eastern Church Fathers and pre-Augustine western church fathers.


Did Saint Augustine have a different interpretation of what Predestination means? Yes! But he didn't create the idea. Now, was the heretic Pelagius wrong about everything? No!

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« Reply #105 on: November 11, 2011, 05:03:20 AM »

Quote
The [Episcopal Church] Diocese of Atlanta has been asked to rehabilitate Pelagius.
 
Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.
....
The proposed resolution has brought mixed responses from the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies chat room, with some ridiculing the notion that the Diocese of Atlanta believed itself capable of redefining church doctrine.  However, other deputies have endorsed the resolution saying it gives a breath of Celtic Christianity to the Episcopal Church and enhances the church’s theological diversity.
 
The vote on Pelagius takes place on 4 Nov 2011.

Update: Pelagius resolution defeated


R11-7

Contributions of Pelagius

Amended as follows (otherwise unchanged):


Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta recommend that


the bishop
appoint and oversee a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to


consider these matters as a means to honor understand the contributions of Pelagius


and reclaim his voice in to our tradition.



DEFEATED

Knowing the Episcopal church, this isn't going to settle the issue. They will probably have another vote next year or the year after until they get the desired results.
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« Reply #106 on: November 11, 2011, 05:05:48 AM »

Canons of Council of Carthage are accepted and it's written: "Whoever says unbaptized infant has chance of not going to hell - let him be anathema" and Augustine was the head of this council. He maintained this view for many years and I am unaware of his repentance.

LOL, I don't think that's an actual quote.

Quote
Canon CX.  (Greek cxii. bis)
That infants are baptized for the remission of sins.

Likewise it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother’s wombs should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which needs to be removed by the laver of regeneration, from whence the conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.

For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, “By one man sin is come into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have sinned,” than the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it.  For on account of this rule of faith (regulam fidei) even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.iv.cxi.html


Canons of Council of Carthage are accepted and it's written: "Whoever says unbaptized infant has chance of not going to hell - let him be anathema" and Augustine was the head of this council. He maintained this view for many years and I am unaware of his repentance.


BTW, the Council of Carthage in 418 is included in the 6th Ecumenical Council. Therefore, those canons are now Ecumenical. They are not something to be recanted.

Bingo! Although the 6th council didn't originally have decrees. They were added later with Trullo/Quintesext.

If I'm wrong about the exact name of the council then I'm sure someone will correct me. But yes, you are correct!


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« Reply #107 on: November 11, 2011, 05:12:03 AM »

In the case of predestination to salvation or damnation/reprobation Saint Augustine was unfortunately just as fierce and just as heretical as John Calvin 1000 years later.  Calvin was simply re-presenting the Augustinian teaching which the Church of the West had wisely laid to one side and ignored.


I don't think even Augustine would look at the Reformed traditions of Luther and Calvin and recognize his own work in them.  

He would for they often quoted him. Especially John Calvin. In some ways, the protestant Reformation was a revival of hard-Augustinianism. After the death of Saint Augustine, the western church adopted a semi-pelagian view with Arles of 473 A.D. against the hard-Augustinian Lucidus. In 2nd Orange of 529 A.D. the western church mostly attacked Saint John Cassian and the monks in southern gaul (the original semi-pelagians). They adopted a semi-Augustinian / Moderate-Augustinian view at that time.

And it mostly stayed this way for a good bit of time. Every now and then you had hard-Augustinianism pop up, but the dominant theology of the post-Augustinian western church was Semi-Augustinian/Moderate-Augustinianism.

The fusian of Arles of 473 A.D. and 2nd Orange of 529 A.D. will get you a resistible grace sorta view.
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« Reply #108 on: November 11, 2011, 05:18:15 AM »

It was Augustine who created idea of Predestination and Original Sin/Sinful Nature.
Kind of, there's alot of misinterpretation about St. Augustine's Predestination theology, in fact he later recanted it. Humans do have free will, but Augustine argues that because the fall was such a cataclysmic occurence and so extensive, that man ulitmately can only choose to be evil and must need the grace of God for salvation.

And BTW the Original Sin doctrine actually predates Augustine, and comes in the form of some gnosticism in the 2nd century. But Augustine did kind of suggest that all humans inherit the guilt Adam did in the Garden of Eden.

The problem with the above though is those that unbaptized infants are doomed to Hell, which isn't the Church's teaching or atleast I don't see any Patristic support for it in the Orthodox Church.

St. Augustine was a brilliant theologian, it's just a shame his errors became so popular and started movements. I've read a few hyperdox who consider him to be a heretic, which is complete nonsense because nothing in his theology to me seems heretical at all, he was simply mistaken.

Saint Augustine never recanted his deterministic view of Predestination. Also, I disagree with alot of what you said up above. I read huge chunks of Saint Augustine over the years(mostly in my protestant years, but every now and then I will re-read some of his stuff now as an Orthodox Christian), and I don't see how you can say some of the stuff you just said up above.

Sorry!
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 05:21:06 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #109 on: November 11, 2011, 06:29:44 AM »

Augustine didn't create the idea of Predestination. The word itself exist in Scripture and you can find the word in the writings of Eastern Church Fathers and pre-Augustine western church fathers.


Did Saint Augustine have a different interpretation of what Predestination means? Yes! But he didn't create the idea. Now, was the heretic Pelagius wrong about everything? No!

The word "apokatastasis" is also in the scriptures.

I agree, that Augustine's idea was biblical, but Pelagius's idea was more noble.

Sometimes I think(sorry Sad ) Church created(formed gradually) best type of theology while rejecting some of the obvious teachings in Bible and adding Greek philosophy. Predestination is a terrible idea in it's strictest sense, while Pelagius fought to make God more connected with justice and people more connected to virtue.

Although, predestination is strictly only Paul's idea, as well as the original sin - IF they really are in his epistles at all.

P.S. In overall, I consider anathema of Pelagius serious inhumane act. But I am not so positive about Caelestius.

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« Reply #110 on: November 11, 2011, 09:02:08 AM »

Canons of Council of Carthage are accepted and it's written: "Whoever says unbaptized infant has chance of not going to hell - let him be anathema" and Augustine was the head of this council. He maintained this view for many years and I am unaware of his repentance.

LOL, I don't think that's an actual quote.

Quote
Canon CX.  (Greek cxii. bis)
That infants are baptized for the remission of sins.

Likewise it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother’s wombs should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam no original sin, which needs to be removed by the laver of regeneration, from whence the conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.

For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, “By one man sin is come into the world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have sinned,” than the Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it.  For on account of this rule of faith (regulam fidei) even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation may be cleansed by regeneration.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.iv.cxi.html


Canons of Council of Carthage are accepted and it's written: "Whoever says unbaptized infant has chance of not going to hell - let him be anathema" and Augustine was the head of this council. He maintained this view for many years and I am unaware of his repentance.


BTW, the Council of Carthage in 418 is included in the 6th Ecumenical Council. Therefore, those canons are now Ecumenical. They are not something to be recanted.

Bingo! Although the 6th council didn't originally have decrees. They were added later with Trullo/Quintesext.

If I'm wrong about the exact name of the council then I'm sure someone will correct me. But yes, you are correct!




No you are correct. I just try not to bog down in details unless someone trys to question it.
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« Reply #111 on: November 11, 2011, 12:31:46 PM »

In the case of predestination to salvation or damnation/reprobation Saint Augustine was unfortunately just as fierce and just as heretical as John Calvin 1000 years later.  Calvin was simply re-presenting the Augustinian teaching which the Church of the West had wisely laid to one side and ignored.


I don't think even Augustine would look at the Reformed traditions of Luther and Calvin and recognize his own work in them.  

He would for they often quoted him.

Is that the best you can do?  I quote Marx alot but that hardly makes me a Marxist.  Besides, a lot of Augustine's  writings, particularly his early ones, were the ones used almost exclusively by the fathers of the Reformation and Radical Reformation.  Almost never did they refer to Augustine's Retractations where he clarified, denied and flat out abnegated and changed his earlier views. Augustine would never have sanctioned what Luther and Calvin did nor would he see his view of the Church, in praxis and in doctrine, in the churches that resulted from their actions.
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« Reply #112 on: November 11, 2011, 01:55:59 PM »

In the case of predestination to salvation or damnation/reprobation Saint Augustine was unfortunately just as fierce and just as heretical as John Calvin 1000 years later.  Calvin was simply re-presenting the Augustinian teaching which the Church of the West had wisely laid to one side and ignored.


I don't think even Augustine would look at the Reformed traditions of Luther and Calvin and recognize his own work in them.  

He would for they often quoted him.

Is that the best you can do?  I quote Marx alot but that hardly makes me a Marxist.  Besides, a lot of Augustine's  writings, particularly his early ones, were the ones used almost exclusively by the fathers of the Reformation and Radical Reformation.  Almost never did they refer to Augustine's Retractations where he clarified, denied and flat out abnegated and changed his earlier views. Augustine would never have sanctioned what Luther and Calvin did nor would he see his view of the Church, in praxis and in doctrine, in the churches that resulted from their actions.

Sorry, but Calvinism borrows heavily from Saint Augustine's later works. They pretty much ignore his early christian works. Saint Augustine in his early christian years advocated the libertarian freedom of the will. However, from the year 396 A.D. onward he started to advocate determinism. At first soft determinism and over the years it gradually hardened. I'm sorry to say, but Saint Augustine died a determinist. His Retractationes aren't always a retraction of earlier views.....sometimes they were a more deeper thought.

But regardless. His earlier christian views was one of libertarian freedom of the will, predestination based on foreseen faith........etc. His later views  is one of determinism and predestination based on God's unconditional election. And so you had it backwards.

He never changed his mind on unconditional election, a double election view of being elected to grace(water Baptism or initial salvation) and elected to glory(final perseverance). He never changed his mind about the individual not knowing if they were elect or not. He never changed his mind about determinism.....he died a determinist. He didn't change his mind about his view of quote on quote infallible grace.......what a number of Calvinists would spin as irresistible grace. He never changed his mind about free will being lost, destroyed.....etc. with the fall of Adam and Eve. Thus for the need of created, infallible and particular prevenient grace that leads to the grace of water Baptism view.

 Nope, he didn't change his mind about any of that.


 And in regards to what he changed in regards to his early years. Well, a good book to get, that I have......is this:

http://www.amazon.com/Augustine-Earlier-Writings-Christian-Classics/dp/066424162X (Augustine: Earlier Writings (Library of Christian Classics))

This not only includes his early writings, but it also includes his Retractationes to his early writings.


You are making it seem as if Saint Augustine started out as a Calvinist in his early years only to come out as a free willer Arminian in his later years. No, I'm sorry to say that the truth is the opposite. In his early christian years he started out closer to us on these issues. Over time he changed into a determinist and thus someone that alot of Calvinists, including John Calvin(if you read his institutes then you would know that he did indeed quote from his later works. I don't want to be mean by saying this and so if you think I am coming off snooty, please let me know) quoted.

Also, if you read Luther's bondage of the will then you would know that he was relying on Saint Augustine, and post 396 A.D. Saint Augustine at that. Whereas the Roman Catholic he was arguing against(Erasmus) was relying heavily on Origen(if you read first principles then you would be able to tell where Erasmus was getting his thoughts from).


I don't want to be rude, but they did quote Saint Augustine in his later years.


Now in saying this, I am not talking about Saint Augustine's view of the Church, Sacraments.......etc I am only talking about this issue......Pelagius and Pelagianism. When it comes to this issue, then yes! They quote from Saint Augustine's later works like crazy!
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« Reply #113 on: November 11, 2011, 02:17:28 PM »

Augustine didn't create the idea of Predestination. The word itself exist in Scripture and you can find the word in the writings of Eastern Church Fathers and pre-Augustine western church fathers.


Did Saint Augustine have a different interpretation of what Predestination means? Yes! But he didn't create the idea. Now, was the heretic Pelagius wrong about everything? No!

The word "apokatastasis" is also in the scriptures.

I agree, that Augustine's idea was biblical, but Pelagius's idea was more noble.

Sometimes I think(sorry Sad ) Church created(formed gradually) best type of theology while rejecting some of the obvious teachings in Bible and adding Greek philosophy. Predestination is a terrible idea in it's strictest sense, while Pelagius fought to make God more connected with justice and people more connected to virtue.

Although, predestination is strictly only Paul's idea, as well as the original sin - IF they really are in his epistles at all.

P.S. In overall, I consider anathema of Pelagius serious inhumane act. But I am not so positive about Caelestius.


Augustine's idea wasn't Biblical. Just the word was.

If you read Josephus, hmm, I might be wrong for I am going off of memory right now, but I want to say that Josephus mentions 3 different groups of jews and how the party of the Pharisees believed in free will. Ah man, I forgot.

But the point I want to make is that Saint Paul came from the party of the Pharisees and according to Josephus, they didn't understand things in the same way as well...... Saint Augustine lived many centuries later, but they didn't believe what Augustine believed. I want to say that they were somewhere in the middle. Similar to how the semi-pelagians were somewhere in the middle.



hmm, I need to read Josephus again just to make sure. I might come back to this when I refresh my memory.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 02:24:33 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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« Reply #114 on: November 15, 2011, 07:36:19 PM »

Even if we say that Council of Carthage didn't put unbaptized infants in hell, Augustine himself did. He clearly said in his writings that he objects Pelagius's saying that unbaptized infants had hope for salvation. So I am pretty sure this would have been general consensus of council itself.

As for what Pelagius believed:

1) Pelagius never denied grace of God.

2) He thought it was possible to reach(!) sinlessness, but nobody was sinless from the birth.

3) Pelagius thought unbaptized infants could go to heaven, but was never against children baptism.

4) He denied original sin, sinful nature and also Adam's immortality in the beginning. Jews also say that they have heard nothing of the doctrine of original sin and in Judaism, every child is born pure.

Jesus said: "Unless you be like children, you can't enter kingdom of heaven" - and he didn't mean baptized children. Nor he thought of putting the children whom he blessed in hell if they didn't get baptism.
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« Reply #115 on: November 15, 2011, 10:05:22 PM »

The problem with the above though is those that unbaptized infants are doomed to Hell, which isn't the Church's teaching or atleast I don't see any Patristic support for it in the Orthodox Church.

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5 Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Wonder not that I said to you: You must be born again.

The salvation of children is trust that God wouldn't forsake the innocent.
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« Reply #116 on: November 23, 2011, 11:18:23 AM »

Even if we say that Council of Carthage didn't put unbaptized infants in hell, Augustine himself did. He clearly said in his writings that he objects Pelagius's saying that unbaptized infants had hope for salvation. So I am pretty sure this would have been general consensus of council itself.

As for what Pelagius believed:

1) Pelagius never denied grace of God.

2) He thought it was possible to reach(!) sinlessness, but nobody was sinless from the birth.

3) Pelagius thought unbaptized infants could go to heaven, but was never against children baptism.

4) He denied original sin, sinful nature and also Adam's immortality in the beginning. Jews also say that they have heard nothing of the doctrine of original sin and in Judaism, every child is born pure.

Jesus said: "Unless you be like children, you can't enter kingdom of heaven" - and he didn't mean baptized children. Nor he thought of putting the children whom he blessed in hell if they didn't get baptism.

What was his understanding of the word "grace"? What did he mean by it? Did he mean what Saint Augustine meant? Or did he have a different understanding of the word itself?


When talking about this issue we have to keep in mind what Pelagius meant by his use of the word "grace".
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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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