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Author Topic: Semipelagianism, Original Sin and Ancestral Sin  (Read 22936 times) Average Rating: 0
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AlexanderOfBergamo
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« on: June 08, 2009, 08:38:46 AM »

Dear brethren,
in the recent and still on-going discussion on the Immaculate conception, it came as a result that the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian views on sin are noticeably different. For the sake of clarifying this point of view, I propose to face this topic again – hoping that this might interest you and also clarify our position, especially in regards to our denial of the immaculate conception without getting off-topic on that thread...
As a result of the discussion with our Eastern Catholic brother Marduk, Orthodoxy came to be accused of Pelagianism.
Now, Pelagianism was invented by Pelagius, who thought that man at conception is entirely immaculate and needs no intervention of God's grace: free will is the only instrument of salvation, and anyone can merit salvation through his own efforts. Bringing to strong anti-Christian conclusions, this doctrine, manipulated by Celestius was condemned and anathematized as heresy in the decrees of the 3rd Ecumenical Council held at Ephesus in 431 AD. This included an excommunication, deposition and condemnation of Celestius in Canon 4. Also, there's also the condemnation of Pelagius at the local Council of Carthage, which is among the synods confirmed at the Council of Trullo, whose canonicity is clarified at the 7th Ecumenical Council. So, no doubt the ideas of Pelagius have been authoritatively and infallibly condemned by the Universal church.
Now, it must be said, no Ecumenical Council of the Orthodox Church mentions directly the opposite view, namely Augustinism. Augustine believed in the total depravity of humanity. Even if the Second Vatican Council mitigated this concept, it is well known that according to Augustine of Hippo men are conceived in a condition of total disgrace and can't be saved except by God's will and grace. This position held by the African Church was never adopted officially by Eastern Christianity, nevertheless Augustine's contribution occurred to be useful in the condemnations of Pelagius and Celestius.
A third school of thought emerged, anyway, in Gaul. It is called Semipelagianism, but this name was a later Western invention. The theory was initially proposed as a condemnation both of Pelagianism and of Augustinism by st. John Cassian, and was even supported by st. Vincent of Lérins and his monastery in Marseille. This doctrine was never officially anathematized in the Ecumenical Councils, but only in the Second Council of Orange, a French local synod approved by papal signature in 529 AD. No Ecumenical council ever listed this synod as “canonical” so the Orthodox are not bound to its decrees.
Semipelagianism teaches a limited depravity view. In other words, as an Orthodox theologian admitted, "if Latin babies are born blind, and Pelagian babies are born with 20/20 vision, then Greek babies are born in need of spectacles". Since the Roman Catholic Church affirms papal infallibility, the decrees of the Second Council of Orange – being signed by the pope – constitute at least an official statement and, I think, also a proclamation de fide and ex cathedra. The Latin Church is bound to believe this theory as dogma. On the contrary, the position of the Orthodox Church seems to be more similar to Semipelagianism then to Augustine's view, yet none of them is “official” in our interpretation of the Scriptures. A position similar to Semipelagianism was held not only by the aforementioned John Cassian and Vincent of Lérins, but also by Irenaus, Origen, Justin Martyr and Ignatius. I'll copy and paste this citations from Wikipedia of these Fathers:
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"If a man were created evil, he would not deserve punishment, since he was not evil of himself, being unable to do anything else than what he was made for." Justin Martyr (First Apology Chap. 43)
"If anyone is truly religious, he is a man of God; but if he is irreligious, he is a man of the devil, made such, not by nature, but by his own choice." Ignatius (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume One, p. 61)
"The Scriptures…emphasize the freedom of the will. They condemn those who sin, and approve those who do right… We are responsible for being bad and worthy of being cast outside. For it is not the nature in us that is the cause of the evil; rather, it is the voluntary choice that works evil." Origen (A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 289, published by Hendrickson Publishers)
"Those who do not do it [good] will receive the just judgment of God, because they had not work good when they had it in their power to do so. But if some had been made by nature bad, and others good, these latter would not be deserving of praise for being good, for they were created that way. Nor would the former be reprehensible, for that is how they were made. However, all men are of the same nature. They are all able to hold fast and to do what is good. On the other hand, they have the power to cast good from them and not to do it." Irenaeus (A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 287, published by Hendrickson Publishers)
Now, the doctrine outlined here is what we call “Ancestral Sin” (in Greek προπατορικό αμάρτημα) and was also held by st. Gregory Palamas.
In other words, while Augustine's "Original Sin" doctrine has never been condemned and can be confessed by Orthodox theologians (as it seems its been in some cases), in general Semipelagian Ancestral Sin seems to be more "in line" with modern Orthodoxy, as it was never canonically anathematized by the Ecumenical Councils.

In conclusion of this long and, I hope, clarifying personal study I'm glad to partake and discuss with you all, I hope this might have dissolved the misunderstandings from the Roman Catholic members.

In Christ,    Alex
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"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2009, 10:15:53 AM »

Working our way back, a modern Orthodox exposition, from Bp. Hilarion of the Church of Mosocw:
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THE ORIGIN OF EVIL

At the dawn of creation, before God made the visible world, but after the creation of the angels, there was a great catastrophe, of which we have knowledge only by its consequences. A group of angels opposed itself to God and fell away from Him, thereby becoming enemies of all that was good and holy. At the head of this rebellion stood Lucifer, whose very name (literally meaning ‘light-bearing’) indicates that originally he was good. By his own will he changed from his natural state into one which was unnatural; he opposed himself to God and fell away from good into evil. Lucifer, also called the devil (Greek diabolos — ‘divider’, ‘separator’, ‘slanderer’), belonged to one of the highest ranks in the angelic hierarchy. Together with him other angels also defected, as the Book of Revelation tells us metaphorically: ‘And a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch... and a third of the stars was struck, so that a third of their light was darkened’ (Rev.8:10, 12). Some commentators therefore say that along with the morning star a third of the angels fell away.

By exercising their own free will the devil and his demons found themselves in darkness. Every reasonable living creature, whether angel or human being, possesses free will: the right to choose between good and evil. Free will is the property of everyone so that we can, by practicing good, become an ontological part of that good. In other words, goodness was never meant to be granted externally to us but must become our very own possession. If God imposed goodness as a necessity or an inevitability, then no one could ever become a perfectly free person. ‘Nobody has ever become good by force’, says St Symeon the New Theologian. Through unceasing growth in virtue the angels were meant to ascend to the plenitude of perfection, to the point of utter assimilation to the God of supreme goodness. Yet some of them chose to reject God and thereby sealed their own fate and the fate of the universe, which from that moment onwards became an arena for two contending polar (yet not equal) principles and powers: the Divine and the demonic, God and the devil.

The problem of the origin of evil has always been a challenge for Christian theology as it has often had to contend with overt or hidden manifestations of dualism. According to some dualistic sects, the entirety of being is made up of two realms which have forever existed together: the kingdom of light filled with many good aeons (angels), and the kingdom of darkness, filled with evil aeons (demons). Spiritual reality is subject to the god of light, while the god of darkness (Satan) has unlimited dominion over the material world. Matter itself is a sinful and evil entity: the humans should by all means possible mortify their bodies in order to be liberated from matter and return to the non-material world of good.

Christian theology viewed the nature and origin of evil differently. Evil is not a primeval essence that is coeternal and equal to God; it is a falling away from good, it is a revolt against good. In this sense it would be wrong to call evil a ‘substance’, as it does not exist in its own right. As darkness or shadow are not independent beings but are simply the absence or lack of light, so evil is merely the absence of good. ‘Evil’, writes St Basil the Great, ‘is not a living and animated substance, but a condition of the soul which is opposed to virtue and which springs up in the slothful because of their falling away from Good. Do not, therefore, contemplate evil from without; and do not imagine some original nature of wickedness, but let each one recognize himself as the first author of the vice that is in him’.

God did not create anything evil: both angels and humans, as well as the material world, are good and beautiful by nature. However, rational creatures, possessing free will, can direct their freedom against God and thereby engender evil. This is precisely what happened: the light-bearing morning star (Lucifer), originally created good, abused his freedom, defaced his own virtuous nature and fell away from the Source of goodness.

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THE EVIL-DOER

Without intrinsic substance or being, evil materialized into an active agent of destruction when it was ‘hypostasized’, that is, when it became a reality in the form of the devil and the demons. Fr Geogres Florovsky speaks of evil as ‘nothingness’, as ‘a pure negation, a privation or a mutilation’. Evil is primarily a lack, an absence of goodness. Compared with the Divine being, the operation of evil is illusory and imagined: the devil has no power where God does not allow him to operate.

Yet, as being a slanderer and a liar, the devil uses falsehood as his main weapon: he deceives his victim into believing that within his hands are concentrated great power and authority. The truth is that he does not have this power at all. As Vladimir Lossky emphasizes, in the Lord’s Prayer we do not ask God to deliver us from a general evil, but to deliver us from the evil one, from the evil-doer, a concrete person that embodies evil. This ‘evil-doer’, whose nature was originally good, is the bearer of that deadly non-being, non-life, which leads to his own death and the death of his victim.

Most assuredly, God is not a party to evil, yet evil is somehow under His control: it is God Who sets the boundaries in which evil can operate. As the opening of the book of Job shows, there is a certain direct and personal relationship between God and the devil (cf. Job 1-2); the nature of this relationship is, however, unknown to us. According to the mysterious ways of His Providence, and for purposes of edification, God allows evil to act as a means of setting people aright. This is evident from those parts of Scripture where God is recorded as visiting evil upon people: thus God hardened the heart of Pharaoh (Ex.4:21; 7:3; 14:4); God visited Saul with an evil spirit (1 Sam.16:14; 19:9); God gave the people ‘statutes that were not good’ (Ezek.20:25); God gave the people up to ‘impurity’, ‘dishonourable passions’ and a ‘base mind’ (Rom.1:24-32). In all of these instances it is not God Who is the source of evil: in possessing utter power over both good and evil, God can allow evil to operate in order to transform it into a source of virtue and to direct it towards good consequences. He can also use it to deliver people from a yet greater evil.

The obvious question still remains: why does God allow evil and the devil to exist? Why does He permit evil? St Augustine confessed that he could not answer this question: ‘I am unable to penetrate the depths of this ordinance and I confess that it is beyond my powers’, he wrote. St Gregory of Nyssa answered the question in a more optimistic manner: God permits the devil to act for a certain time only, yet there will come a time when evil will be ‘finally obliterated by the long cycle of ages’ and when ‘nothing outside of good will remain, but the confession of Christ’s lordship will be unanimous even from the demons’. The belief in the final restoration of the demons and the devil into their initial state was held also by St Isaac of Nineveh, as well as by some other early church writers. However, this opinion has never become a magisterial teaching of the Church.

The Church knows that evil is neither co-eternal with God nor equal to Him. That the devil rebelled against God and even became the king and ruler of hell does not mean that his kingdom will last for ever. On the contrary, Christian eschatology, as we shall see later, is profoundly optimistic and strongly holds faith in the final victory of good over evil, God over the devil, Christ over the Antichrist. Yet, what this victory will entail and what the final outcome of the existence of evil will be still remains unclear in Christian teaching. Pondering on this, the human mind once more falls silent in the presence of the mystery, powerless to delve into the depths of Divine destinies. As God says in the book of Isaiah, ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways’ (Is.55:8-9 in Septuagint translation).

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THE HUMAN PERSON

Human beings constitute the crown of creation, the peak of the creative process of the Divine Trinity. Before creating Adam, the three Persons took counsel together: ‘Let Us make man in Our own image, after Our likeness’ (Gen.1:26). The ‘Pre-eternal Counsel’ of the Three was necessary first because humans were a higher creature with reason, will, and dominion over the visible world, and second, because, being free and independent, humanity would break the commandment and fall away from the bliss of Paradise. The Son’s sacrifice on the Cross would then be required to show humans the way back to God. In creating human beings God knew their subsequent destiny, for nothing is hidden from the gaze of God Who sees the future as much as He sees the present.

God formed Adam ‘of dust from the ground’, that is, from matter. Thus he was flesh of the flesh of the earth from which he was moulded by the hands of God. Yet God also ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being’ (Gen.2:7). Being material or earthly, Adam received a Divine principle, a pledge of his communion with the Divine being. ‘The breath of life’ can be taken to mean the Holy Spirit. The human person partakes of the divine nature by the very act of creation and is thereby utterly different from other living beings: he does not simply assume a higher position in the hierarchy of animals but is a ‘semi-god’ set over the animal kingdom. The church Fathers call the human being a ‘mediator’ between the visible and invisible worlds, a ‘mixture’ of both worlds.

As the heart of the created world, combining within himself both the spiritual and the corporeal, the human being in a certain sense surpasses the angels. It was not the angel but the human being who was created by God in His own image. And it was not angelic, but human nature that was assumed by God in the Incarnation.

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IMAGE AND LIKENESS

‘So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them’ (Gen.1:27). Because a solitary egocentric monad is incapable of love, God created not a unit but a couple with the intention that love should reign among people. And because the love of the couple is not yet the perfection of love and being, God commands: ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ (Gen.1:28). From two human beings the third, their child, must be born: the perfect family — husband, wife and child, is the reflection of divine love in three Hypostases. Indeed one cannot but notice the affinity of the interchange between the singular and plural when the Bible speaks of God (‘Let Us make man in Our image’ — ‘God created man in His own image’) and the singular and plural when it speaks of humans (‘created him’ — ‘created them’). This interchange emphasizes the unity of the nature of the human race even when there is a distinction between the hypostases of each individual person.

The theme of image and likeness is central to Christian anthropology: to a greater or lesser extent it was addressed by nearly all early church writers. The Fathers of the Church usually equated ‘the image of God’ to the rational and spiritual nature of the human person. ‘What is after the image if not our intellect?’ asks St John of Damascus. ‘We are created in the image of the Maker, we possess reason and the faculty of speech, which comprise the perfection of our nature’, writes St Basil the Great.

‘The image of God’ has been understood by some Fathers as our free will and self-determination. ‘When God in His supernal goodness creates each soul in His own image, He brings it into being endowed with self-determination’, says St Maximus the Confessor. God created the person absolutely free: in His love He wishes to force him neither into good nor evil. In return, He does not expect from us blind obedience but love. It is only in our being free that we can be assimilated to God through love for Him.

Other Fathers identified as ‘the image of God’ the human person’s immortality, his dominant position in the world and his striving towards good.

Our ability to create, as the reflection of the creative ability of the Maker Himself, is also regarded as being ‘in God’s image’. God is the ‘worker’: ‘My Father is working still, and I am working’, says Christ (John 5:17). The human person was also commanded to ‘till’ the garden of Eden (Gen.2:15), that is, to labour in it and to work the land. While the human person is unable to create ex nihilo (‘out of nothing’), he can create from material given to him by God, and this material is the entire earth, over which he is lord and master. The world has no need to be improved by people; rather, humans themselves need to apply their creative abilities in order to be assimilated to God.

Some church Fathers distinguish ‘image’ from ‘likeness’ by identifying the image as that which had been originally fixed by the Creator in the human person, and the likeness as that which is to be attained through a life of virtue: ‘The expression according to the image indicates that which is reasonable and endowed with free will, while the expression according to the likeness denotes assimilation through virtue, in as far as this is possible’ (St John of Damascus). The human person is called upon to realize all of his creative abilities in ‘tilling’ the world, in creativity, in virtue, in love, so that he can be assimilated to God. For, as St Gregory of Nyssa says, ‘the limit of a life of virtues is the assimilation of God’.

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SOUL AND BODY

All ancient religious tradition maintain that humans are composed of both material and spiritual elements; but the correlation between the two has been understood in different ways. The dualistic religions view matter as originally evil and hostile towards humanity: the Manichaeans even believed that Satan was the maker of the material world. Classical philosophy regards the body as a prison in which the soul is kept captive or incarcerated. Indeed Plato deduces the word soma (body) from sema (tombstone, tomb): ‘Many people believe that the body is like a tombstone concealing the soul buried beneath it in this life... The soul endures punishment... while the flesh does duty as its fortress so that it can be healed, while located in the body as in a torture chamber’.

The ancient Indian philosophies speak of the transmigration of souls from one body to another, even from a human being to an animal (and vice versa). The doctrine of metempsychosis (reincarnation) was rejected by early church tradition as incompatible with divine revelation. It was proclaimed senseless and erroneous on the basis of the assertion that a human being, who possesses reason and free will, cannot be transformed into an unintelligible animal, since all intelligible being is immortal and cannot disappear. Moreover, what is the point of someone’s being punished for sins committed in an earlier life if he does not know why he has to endure it (after all, it is impossible to recollect one’s previous ‘existence’)?

The church Fathers, basing themselves on Scripture, teach that the soul and the body are not foreign elements united temporarily in the individual, but are bestowed simultaneously and for all time in the very act of creation: the soul is ‘betrothed’ to the body and is inseparable from it. Only the totality of soul and body together comprises a complete personality, a hypostasis. St Gregory of Nyssa calls the unbreakable link between soul and body an ‘inclination of affection’, ‘commixture’, ‘community’, ‘attraction’ and ‘acquaintance’, which are preserved even after death. Such a concept is far removed from Platonic and Eastern dualism.

Christianity is quite falsely accused of preaching that the flesh should be despised and the body be treated with contempt. A contempt for the flesh was held by a number of heretics (the Gnostics, Montanists, Manichaeans), as well as by some Greek philosophers, the views of whom were subjected to rigorous criticism by church Fathers.

In Christian ascetical literature, whenever we encounter questions of enmity between flesh and spirit — beginning with St Paul: ‘For the desires of the flesh are against the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are against the flesh’ (Gal.5:17) — they concern sinful flesh as the totality of passions and vices and not the body in general. Also, when we read in monastic sources of the ‘mortification of the flesh’, this is about the putting to death of sinful proclivities and ‘lusts of the flesh’, not contempt for the body as such. The Christian ideal is not to debase the flesh, but to purify it and transfigure it, to liberate it from the consequences of the Fall, to return it to its primordial purity and make it worthy of assimilation to God.

Christian tradition has always held an exceptionally elevated view of the human person. What is a human being from the point of view of an atheist? An ape, only with more developed abilities. What is a human being as perceived by a Buddhist? One of the reincarnations of the soul, which before its abode in a human body could have existed in a dog or a pig, and which following bodily death could again find itself within an animal. Buddhist teaching denies the very concept of personal existence: the human being is regarded not as the totality of body and soul, but as a type of transient stage in the wandering of the soul from body to body.

Christianity alone presents an exalted image of the human being. In Christianity each of us is regarded as a personality, a person created in the image of God, an icon of the Creator.

When God created human nature, He created it not only for us but also for Himself, since He knew that one day He would Himself become a human being. Thus, He fashioned something adequate to Himself, something possessing an infinite potential. St Gregory Nazianzen calls the human person a ‘created god’. The human person is called to become god. In his potential man is a god-man.

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PRIMORDIAL HUMANITY BEFORE THE FALL

Materialists claim that in the early developmental stages of the human race people were like animals and led a bestial way of life: they neither knew God nor did they possess concepts of morality. Opposed to this are the Christian beliefs in the bliss of the first humans in Paradise, their subsequent fall and their eventual expulsion from Eden.

According to the Book of Genesis, God creates Adam and brings him into Paradise, where he lives in harmony with nature: he understands the language of the animals, and they obey him; all of the elements are subject to him as if to a king.

God brings to Adam all of the animals ‘to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name’ (Gen.2:19). Adam gives a name to every animal and bird a name: by doing so he demonstrates his ability to know the meaning, the hidden logos (reason) of every living creature. By giving Adam the right to name to the whole of creation, God brings him into the very heart of His creative process and calls him to co-creativeness, to co-operation.

God brings the primordial man into existence to be a priest of the entire visible creation. He alone of all living creatures is capable of praising God verbally and blessing Him. The entire universe is entrusted to him as a gift, for which he is to bring a ‘sacrifice of praise’ and which he is to offer back to God as ‘Thine own of Thine own’. In this unceasing eucharistic offering lies the meaning and justification of human existence. The heavens, the earth, the sea, the fields and mountains, the birds and the animals, indeed the whole of creation assign humans to this high priestly ministry in order that God may be praised through their lips.

God allows Adam and Eve to taste of all the trees of Paradise, including the tree of life which grants immortality. However, He forbids them to taste of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because ‘to know evil’ is to become party to it and to fall away from bliss and immortality. Adam is given the right to choose between good and evil, even though God makes him aware of the correct choice and warns him of the consequences of falling from grace. In choosing evil, Adam falls away from life and ‘dies a death’; in choosing good, he ascends to perfection and attains the highest goal of his existence.

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THE FALL

The biblical story of the Fall prefigures the entire tragic history of the human race. It shows us who we were and what we have become. It reveals that evil entered the world not by the will of God but by fault of humans who preferred diabolical deceit to divine commandment. From generation to generation the human race repeats Adam’s mistake in being beguiled by false values and forgetting the true ones — faith in God and verity to Him.

Sin was not ingrained in human nature. Yet the possibility to sin was rooted in the free will given to humans. It was indeed freedom that rendered the human being as an image of the Maker; but it was also freedom that from the very beginning contained within itself the possibility to fall away from God. Out of His love for humans God did not want to interfere in their freedom and forcibly avert sin. But neither could the devil force them to do evil. The sole responsibility for the Fall is borne by humans themselves, for they misused the freedom given to them.

What constituted the sin of the first people? St Augustine believes it to be disobedience. On the other hand, the majority of early church writers say that Adam fell as a result of pride. Pride is the wall that separates humans from God. The root of pride is egocenticity, the state of being turned in on oneself, self-love, lust for oneself. Before the Fall, God was the only object of the humans’ love; but then there appeared a value outside of God: the tree was suddenly seen to be ‘good for food’, ‘a delight to the eyes’, and something ‘to be desired’ (Gen.3:6). Thus the entire hierarchy of values collapsed: my own ‘I’ occupied the first place while the second was taken by the object of ‘my’ lust. No place has remained for God: He has been forgotten, driven from my life.

The forbidden fruit failed to bring happiness to the first people. On the contrary, they began to sense their own nakedness: they were ashamed and tried to hide from God. This awareness of one’s nakedness denotes the privation of the divine light-bearing garment that cloaked humans and defended them from the ‘knowledge of evil’. Adam’s first reaction after committing sin was burning sensation of shame. The second reaction was his desire to hide from the Creator. This shows that he had lost all notion of God’s omnipresence and would search for any place where God was ‘absent’.

However, this was not a total rupture with God. The Fall was not a complete abandonment: humans could repent and regain their former dignity. God goes out to find the fallen Adam; between the trees of Paradise He seeks him out asking ‘Where are you?’ (Gen.3:9). This humble wandering of God through Paradise prefigures Christ’s humility as revealed to us in the New Testament, the humility with which the Shepherd seeks the lost sheep. God has no need to go forth and look for Adam: He can call down from the heavens with a voice of thunder or shake the foundations of the earth. Yet He does not wish to be Adam’s judge, or his prosecutor. He still wants to count him as an equal and puts His hope in Adam’s repentance. But instead of repenting, Adam utters words of self-justification, laying the blame for everything on his wife: ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate’ (Gen.3:12). In other words, ‘It was You who gave me a wife; it is You who is to blame’. In turn, Eve lays the blame for everything on the serpent.

The consequences of the Fall for the first humans were catastrophic. They were not only deprived of the bliss and sweetness of Paradise, but their whole nature was changed and disfigured. In sinning they fell away from their natural condition and entered an unnatural state of being. All elements of their spiritual and corporeal make-up were damaged: their spirit, instead of striving for God, became engrossed in the passions; their soul entered the sphere of bodily instincts; while their body lost its original lightness and was transformed into heavy sinful flesh. After the Fall the human person ‘became deaf, blind, naked, insensitive to the good things from which he had fallen away, and above all became mortal, corruptible and without sense of purpose’ (St Symeon the New Theologian). Disease, suffering and pain entered human life. Humans became mortal for they had lost the opportunity of tasting from the tree of life.

Not only humanity but also the entire world changed as a result of the Fall. The original harmony between people and nature had been broken; the elements had become hostile; storms, earthquakes and floods could destroy life. The earth would no longer provide everything of its own accord; it would have to be tilled ‘in the sweat of your face’, and would produce ‘thorns and thistles’. Even the animals would become the human being’s enemy: the serpent would ‘bruise his heel’ and other predators would attack him (Gen.3:14-19). All of creation would be subject to the ‘bondage of decay’. Together with humans it would now ‘wait for freedom’ from this bondage, since it did not submit to vanity voluntarily but through the fault of humanity (Rom.8:19-21).

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CONSEQUENCES OF ADAM’S SIN

After Adam and Eve sin spread rapidly throughout the human race. They were guilty of pride and disobedience, while their son Cain committed fratricide. Cain’s descendants soon forgot about God and set about organizing their earthly existence. Cain himself ‘built a city’. One of his closest descendants was ‘the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle’; another was ‘the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe’; yet another was ‘the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron’ (Gen.4:17-22). The establishment of cities, cattle-breeding, music and other arts were thus passed onto humankind by Cain’s descendants as a surrogate of the lost happiness of Paradise.

The consequences of the Fall spread to the whole of the human race. This is elucidated by St Paul: ‘Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned’ (Rom.5:12). This text, which formed the Church’s basis of her teaching on ‘original sin’, may be understood in a number of ways: the Greek words ef’ ho pantes hemarton may be translated not only as ‘because all men sinned’ but also ‘in whom [that is, in Adam] all men sinned’. Different readings of the text may produce different understandings of what ‘original sin’ means.

If we accept the first translation, this means that each person is responsible for his own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. Here, Adam is merely the prototype of all future sinners, each of whom, in repeating Adam’s sin, bears responsibility only for his own sins. Adam’s sin is not the cause of our sinfulness; we do not participate in his sin and his guilt cannot be passed onto us.

However, if we read the text to mean ‘in whom all have sinned’, this can be understood as the passing on of Adam’s sin to all future generations of people, since human nature has been infected by sin in general. The disposition toward sin became hereditary and responsibility for turning away from God sin universal. As St Cyril of Alexandria states, human nature itself has ‘fallen ill with sin’; thus we all share Adam’s sin as we all share his nature. St Macarius of Egypt speaks of ‘a leaven of evil passions’ and of ‘secret impurity and the abiding darkness of passions’, which have entered into our nature in spite of our original purity. Sin has become so deeply rooted in human nature that not a single descendant of Adam has been spared from a hereditary predisposition toward sin.

The Old Testament writers had a vivid sense of their inherited sinfulness: ‘Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me’ (Ps.51:7). They believed that God ‘visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation’ (Ex.20:5). In the latter words reference is not made to innocent children but to those whose own sinfulness is rooted in the sins of their forefathers.

From a rational point of view, to punish the entire human race for Adam’s sin is an injustice. But not a single Christian dogma has ever been fully comprehended by reason. Religion within the bounds of reason is not religion but naked rationalism, for religion is supra-rational, supra-logical. The doctrine of original sin is disclosed in the light of divine revelation and acquires meaning with reference to the dogma of the atonement of humanity through the New Adam, Christ: ‘...As one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous... so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom.5:18-21).
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2009, 10:23:53 AM »

Now from the other side, from the CCC:
Quote
Paragraph 6. MAN

355 "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them."218 Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is "in the image of God"; (II) in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; (III) he is created "male and female"; (IV) God established him in his friendship.

I. "IN THE IMAGE OF GOD"

356 of all visible creatures only man is "able to know and love his creator".219 He is "the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake",220 and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity:
What made you establish man in so great a dignity? Certainly the incalculable love by which you have looked on your creature in yourself! You are taken with love for her; for by love indeed you created her, by love you have given her a being capable of tasting your eternal Good.221

357 Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. and he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.

358 God created everything for man,222 but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him:
What is it that is about to be created, that enjoys such honour? It is man that great and wonderful living creature, more precious in the eyes of God than all other creatures! For him the heavens and the earth, the sea and all the rest of creation exist. God attached so much importance to his salvation that he did not spare his own Son for the sake of man. Nor does he ever cease to work, trying every possible means, until he has raised man up to himself and made him sit at his right hand.223

359 "In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear."224

St. Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men: Adam and Christ. . . the first man, Adam, he says, became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit. the first Adam was made by the last Adam, from whom he also received his soul, to give him life... the second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when he created him. That is why he took on himself the role and the name of the first Adam, in order that he might not lose what he had made in his own image. the first Adam, the last Adam: the first had a beginning, the last knows no end. the last Adam is indeed the first; as he himself says: "I am the first and the last."225

360 Because of its common origin the human race forms a unity, for "from one ancestor (God) made all nations to inhabit the whole earth":226

O wondrous vision, which makes us contemplate the human race in the unity of its origin in God. . . in the unity of its nature, composed equally in all men of a material body and a spiritual soul; in the unity of its immediate end and its mission in the world; in the unity of its dwelling, the earth, whose benefits all men, by right of nature, may use to sustain and develop life; in the unity of its supernatural end: God himself, to whom all ought to tend; in the unity of the means for attaining this end;. . . in the unity of the redemption wrought by Christ for all.227

361 "This law of human solidarity and charity",228 without excluding the rich variety of persons, cultures and peoples, assures us that all men are truly brethren.

II. "BODY AND SOUL BUT TRULY ONE"

362 The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. the biblical account expresses this reality in symbolic language when it affirms that "then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."229 Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.

363 In Sacred Scripture the term "soul" often refers to human life or the entire human person.230 But "soul" also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him,231 that by which he is most especially in God's image: "soul" signifies the spiritual principle in man.

364 The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ, a temple of the Spirit:232

Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. Through his very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of the material world. Through him they are thus brought to their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise freely given to the Creator. For this reason man may not despise his bodily life. Rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and to hold it in honour since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day 233

365 The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the "form" of the body:234 i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.

366 The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God - it is not "produced" by the parents - and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.235

367 Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people "wholly", with "spirit and soul and body" kept sound and blameless at the Lord's coming.236 The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul.237 "Spirit" signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.238

368 The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one's being, where the person decides for or against God.239

III. "MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM"

Equality and difference willed by God

369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, in perfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man and woman. "Being man" or "being woman" is a reality which is good and willed by God: man and woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God their Creator.240 Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity "in the image of God". In their "being-man" and "being-woman", they reflect the Creator's wisdom and goodness.

370 In no way is God in man's image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective "perfections" of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband.241

"Each for the other" - "A unity in two"

371 God created man and woman together and willed each for the other. the Word of God gives us to understand this through various features of the sacred text. "It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him."242 None of the animals can be man's partner.243 The woman God "fashions" from the man's rib and brings to him elicits on the man's part a cry of wonder, an exclamation of love and communion: "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh."244 Man discovers woman as another "I", sharing the same humanity.

372 Man and woman were made "for each other" - not that God left them half-made and incomplete: he created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be "helpmate" to the other, for they are equal as persons ("bone of my bones. . .") and complementary as masculine and feminine. In marriage God unites them in such a way that, by forming "one flesh",245 they can transmit human life: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth."246 By transmitting human life to their descendants, man and woman as spouses and parents co-operate in a unique way in the Creator's work.247

373 In God's plan man and woman have the vocation of "subduing" the earth248 as stewards of God. This sovereignty is not to be an arbitrary and destructive domination. God calls man and woman, made in the image of the Creator "who loves everything that exists",249 to share in his providence toward other creatures; hence their responsibility for the world God has entrusted to them.

IV. MAN IN PARADISE

374 The first man was not only created good, but was also established in friendship with his Creator and in harmony with himself and with the creation around him, in a state that would be surpassed only by the glory of the new creation in Christ.

375 The Church, interpreting the symbolism of biblical language in an authentic way, in the light of the New Testament and Tradition, teaches that our first parents, Adam and Eve, were constituted in an original "state of holiness and justice".250 This grace of original holiness was "to share in. . .divine life".251

376 By the radiance of this grace all dimensions of man's life were confirmed. As long as he remained in the divine intimacy, man would not have to suffer or die.252 The inner harmony of the human person, the harmony between man and woman,253 and finally the harmony between the first couple and all creation, comprised the state called "original justice".

377 The "mastery" over the world that God offered man from the beginning was realized above all within man himself: mastery of self. the first man was unimpaired and ordered in his whole being because he was free from the triple concupiscence254 that subjugates him to the pleasures of the senses, covetousness for earthly goods, and self-assertion, contrary to the dictates of reason.

378 The sign of man's familiarity with God is that God places him in the garden.255 There he lives "to till it and keep it". Work is not yet a burden,256 but rather the collaboration of man and woman with God in perfecting the visible creation.

379 This entire harmony of original justice, foreseen for man in God's plan, will be lost by the sin of our first parents.

IN BRIEF

380 "Father,. . . you formed man in your own likeness and set him over the whole world to serve you, his creator, and to rule over all creatures" (Roman Missal, EP IV, 118).

381 Man is predestined to reproduce the image of God's Son made man, the "image of the invisible God" (⇒ Col 1:15), so that Christ shall be the first-born of a multitude of brothers and sisters (cf ⇒ Eph 1:3-6; ⇒ Rom 8:29).

382 "Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity" (GS 14 # 1). the doctrine of the faith affirms that the spiritual and immortal soul is created immediately by God.

383 "God did not create man a solitary being. From the beginning, "male and female he created them" (⇒ Gen 1:27). This partnership of man and woman constitutes the first form of communion between persons" (GS 12 # 4).

384 Revelation makes known to us the state of original holiness and justice of man and woman before sin: from their friendship with God flowed the happiness of their existence in paradise.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
218 ⇒ Gen 1:27.


219 GS 12 # 3.


220 GS 24 # 3.


221 St. Catherine of Siena, Dialogue IV, 13 "On Divine Providence": LH,
   Sunday, week 19, OR.


222 Cf. GS 12 # 1; 24 # 3; 39 # 1.


223 St. John Chrysostom, In Gen. sermo 2, 1: PG 54, 587D-588A.


224 GS 22 # 1.


225 St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 117: PL 52, 520-521.


226 ⇒ Acts 17:26; cf. ⇒ Tob 8:6.


227 Pius XII. Enc. Summi pontificatus 3; cf. NA 1.


228 Pius XII Summi pontificatus 3.


229 ⇒ Gen 2:7.


230 Cf. ⇒ Mt 16:25-26; ⇒ Jn 15:13; ⇒ Acts 2:41


231 Cf. ⇒ Mt 10:28; ⇒ 26:38; ⇒ Jn 12:27; ⇒ 2 Macc 6 30.


232 Cf. ⇒ I Cor 6:19-20; ⇒ 15:44-45.


233 GS 14 # 1; cf. ⇒ Dan 3:57-80.


234 Cf. Council of Vienne (1312): DS 902.


235 Cf. Pius XII, Humani generis: DS 3896; Paul VI, CPC # 8; Lateran
   Council V (1513): DS 1440.


236 1 Th 5:23.


237 Cf. Council of Constantinople IV (870): DS 657.


238 Cf. Vatican Council I, Dei Filius: DS 3005; GS 22 # 5; Humani generis:
   DS 3891.


239 Cf. ⇒ Jer 31:33; Dt 6:5; 29:3; ⇒ Is 29:13; ⇒ Ezek 36:26; ⇒ Mt 6:21; ⇒ Lk 8:15; ⇒ Rom 5:5.


240 Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:7, ⇒ 22.


241 Cf. ⇒ Is 49:14-15; ⇒ 66: 13; ⇒ Ps 131:2-3; ]⇒ Hos 11:1-4; ⇒ Jer 3:4- 19.


242 ⇒ Gen 2:18.


243 ]⇒ Gen 2:19-20.


244 ⇒ Gen 2:23


245 ⇒ Gen 2:24


246 ⇒ Gen 1:28.


247 Cf. GS 50 # 1.


248 ⇒ Gen 1:28.


249 Wis 11:24.


250 Cf. Council of Trent (1546): DS 1511.


251 Cf. LG 2.


252 Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:17; ⇒ 3:16, ⇒ 19.


253 Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:25.


254 Cf. I ⇒ Jn 2:16.


255 Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:8.


256 ⇒ Gen 2:15; cf. ⇒ 3:17-19
Quote
Paragraph 7. THE FALL

385 God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine,257 and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion".258 The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace.259 We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.260

I. WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE

The reality of sin

386 Sin is present in human history; any attempt to ignore it or to give this dark reality other names would be futile. To try to understand what sin is, one must first recognize the profound relation of man to God, for only in this relationship is the evil of sin unmasked in its true identity as humanity's rejection of God and opposition to him, even as it continues to weigh heavy on human life and history.

387 Only the light of divine Revelation clarifies the reality of sin and particularly of the sin committed at mankind's origins. Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God's plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.

Original sin - an essential truth of the faith

388 With the progress of Revelation, the reality of sin is also illuminated. Although to some extent the People of God in the Old Testament had tried to understand the pathos of the human condition in the light of the history of the fall narrated in Genesis, they could not grasp this story's ultimate meaning, which is revealed only in the light of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.261 We must know Christ as the source of grace in order to know Adam as the source of sin. the Spirit-Paraclete, sent by the risen Christ, came to "convict the world concerning sin",262 by revealing him who is its Redeemer.

389 The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the "reverse side" of the Good News that Jesus is the Saviour of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. the Church, which has the mind of Christ,263 knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.

How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265

II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy.266 Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil".267 The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."268

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels.269 This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God."270 The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".271

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."272

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father.273 "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil."274 In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature - to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."275

III. ORIGINAL SIN

Freedom put to the test

396 God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God. the prohibition against eating "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" spells this out: "for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die."276 The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil"277 symbolically evokes the insurmountable limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with trust. Man is dependent on his Creator, and subject to the laws of creation and to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.

Man's first sin

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Created in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to "be like God", but "without God, before God, and not in accordance with God".279

399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness.280 They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.281

400 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination.282 Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.283 Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay".284 Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground",285 for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.286

401 After that first sin, the world is virtually inundated by sin There is Cain's murder of his brother Abel and the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. and even after Christ's atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among Christians.287 Scripture and the Church's Tradition continually recall the presence and universality of sin in man's history:

What Revelation makes known to us is confirmed by our own experience. For when man looks into his own heart he finds that he is drawn towards what is wrong and sunk in many evils which cannot come from his good creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his source, man has also upset the relationship which should link him to his last end, and at the same time he has broken the right order that should reign within himself as well as between himself and other men and all creatures.288

The consequences of Adam's sin for humanity

402 All men are implicated in Adam's sin, as St. Paul affirms: "By one man's disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners": "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned."289 The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. "Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men."290

403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the soul".291 Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.292

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? the whole human race is in Adam "as one body of one man".293 By this "unity of the human race" all men are implicated in Adam's sin, as all are implicated in Christ's justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state.294 It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. and that is why original sin is called "sin" only in an analogical sense: it is a sin "contracted" and not "committed" - a state and not an act.

405 Although it is proper to each individual,295 original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

406 The Church's teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. the first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. the Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529)296 and at the Council of Trent (1546).297

A hard battle. . .

407 The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents' sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails "captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil".298 Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action299 and morals.

408 The consequences of original sin and of all men's personal sins put the world as a whole in the sinful condition aptly described in St. John's expression, "the sin of the world".300 This expression can also refer to the negative influence exerted on people by communal situations and social structures that are the fruit of men's sins.301

409 This dramatic situation of "the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one"302 makes man's life a battle:

The whole of man's history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.303

IV. "YOU DID NOT ABANDON HIM TO THE POWER OF DEATH"

410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall.304 This passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium ("first gospel"): the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.

411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the "New Adam" who, because he "became obedient unto death, even death on a cross", makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.305 Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the "Proto-evangelium" as Mary, the mother of Christ, the "new Eve". Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ's victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.306

412 But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, "Christ's inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon's envy had taken away."307 and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "There is nothing to prevent human nature's being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says, 'Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more'; and the Exsultet sings, 'O happy fault,. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!'"308

IN BRIEF

413 "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . It was through the devil's envy that death entered the world" (⇒ Wis 1:13; ⇒ 2:24).

414 Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God.

415 "Although set by God in a state of rectitude man, enticed by the evil one, abused his freedom at the very start of history. He lifted himself up against God, and sought to attain his goal apart from him" (GS 13 # 1).

416 By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings.

417 Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called "original sin".

418 As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence").

419 "We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, "by propagation, not by imitation" and that it is. . . 'proper to each'" (Paul VI, CPG # 16).

420 The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us: "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (⇒ Rom 5:20).

421 Christians believe that "the world has been established and kept in being by the Creator's love; has fallen into slavery to sin but has been set free by Christ, crucified and risen to break the power of the evil one. . ." (GS 2 # 2).





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
257 St. Augustine, Conf. 7, 7, 11: PL 32, 739.


258 2 Th 2:7; I Tim 3:16.


259 Cf. ⇒ Rom 5:20.


260 Cf. ⇒ Lk 11:21-22; ⇒ Jn 16:11; ⇒ I Jn 3:8.


261 Cf. ⇒ Rom 5:12-21.


262 ⇒ Jn 16:8.


263 Cf. ⇒ I Cor 2:16.


264 Cf. GS 13 # 1.


265 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1513; Pius XII: DS 3897; Paul VI: AAS 58
   (1966), 654.


266 Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:1-5; Wis 2:24.


267 Cf ⇒ Jn 8:44; ⇒ Rev 12:9.


268 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800.


269 Cf. ⇒ 2 Pt 2:4.


270 ⇒ Gen 3:5.


271 ⇒ I Jn 3:8; ⇒ Jn 8:44.


272 St. John Damascene, Defide orth. 2, 4: PG 94, 877.


273 ⇒ Jn 8:44; cf. ⇒ Mt 4:1-11.


274 I ⇒ Jn 3:8.


275 ⇒ Rom 8:28.


276 ⇒ Gen 2:17.


277 ⇒ Gen 2:17.


278 Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:1-11 ; ⇒ Rom 5:19.


279 St. Maximus the Confessor, Ambigua: PG 91, 1156C; cf. ⇒ Gen 3:5.


280 Cf. ⇒ Rom 3:23.


281 Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:5-10.


282 Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:7-16.


283 Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:17, ⇒ 19.


284 ⇒ Rom 8:21.


285 ⇒ Gen 3:19; cf. ⇒ 2:17.


286 Cf. ⇒ Rom 5:12.


287 Cf. ⇒ Gen 4:3-15; ⇒ 6:5, ⇒ 12; ⇒ Rom 1:18-32; ⇒ I Cor 1-6; ⇒ Rev 2-3.


288 GS 13 # 1.


289 ⇒ Rom 5:12, ⇒ 19.


290 ⇒ Rom 5:18.


291 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1512.


292 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1514.


293 St. Thomas Aquinas, De malo 4, I.


294 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1511-1512


295 Cf. Council of Trent: DS 1513.


296 DS 371-372.


297 Cf. DS 1510-1516.


298 Council of Trent (1546): DS 1511; cf. ⇒ Heb 2:14.


299 Cf. John Paul II, CA 25.


300 ⇒ Jn 1:29.


301 Cf. John Paul II, RP 16.


302 I ⇒ Jn 5:19; cf. ⇒ I Pt 5:8.


303 GS 37 3 2.


304 Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:9, ⇒ 15.


305 Cf. ⇒ I Cor 15:21-22, ⇒ 45; ⇒ Phil 2:8; ⇒ Rom 5:19-20.


306 Cf. Pius IXs Ineffabilis Deus: DS 2803; Council of Trent: DS 1573.


307 St. Leo the Great, Sermo 73, 4: PL 54, 396.


308 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, I, 3, ad 3; cf. ⇒ Rom 5:20.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 10:25:08 AM by ialmisry » Logged

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and urgent strife sheds blood.
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2009, 10:29:43 AM »

So that there can be a complete comparison between the two modern Catechism, from the CCC on the invisible creation, and the origin of evil:
Quote
Paragraph 4. THE CREATOR

279 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."116 Holy Scripture begins with these solemn words. the profession of faith takes them up when it confesses that God the Father almighty is "Creator of heaven and earth" (Apostles' Creed), "of all that is, seen and unseen" (Nicene Creed). We shall speak first of the Creator, then of creation and finally of the fall into sin from which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to raise us up again.

280 Creation is the foundation of "all God's saving plans," the "beginning of the history of salvation"117 that culminates in Christ. Conversely, the mystery of Christ casts conclusive light on the mystery of creation and reveals the end for which "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth": from the beginning, God envisaged the glory of the new creation in Christ.118

281 And so the readings of the Easter Vigil, the celebration of the new creation in Christ, begin with the creation account; likewise in the Byzantine liturgy, the account of creation always constitutes the first reading at the vigils of the great feasts of the Lord. According to ancient witnesses the instruction of catechumens for Baptism followed the same itinerary.119

I. CATECHESIS ON CREATION

282 Catechesis on creation is of major importance. It concerns the very foundations of human and Christian life: for it makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic question that men of all times have asked themselves:120 "Where do we come from?" "Where are we going?" "What is our origin?" "What is our end?" "Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?" the two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.

283 The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. With Solomon they can say: "It is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements. . . for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me."121

284 The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose physically, or when man appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such an origin: is the universe governed by chance, blind fate, anonymous necessity, or by a transcendent, intelligent and good Being called "God"? and if the world does come from God's wisdom and goodness, why is there evil? Where does it come from? Who is responsible for it? Is there any liberation from it?

285 Since the beginning the Christian faith has been challenged by responses to the question of origins that differ from its own. Ancient religions and cultures produced many myths concerning origins. Some philosophers have said that everything is God, that the world is God, or that the development of the world is the development of God (Pantheism). Others have said that the world is a necessary emanation arising from God and returning to him. Still others have affirmed the existence of two eternal principles, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, locked, in permanent conflict (Dualism, Manichaeism). According to some of these conceptions, the world (at least the physical world) is evil, the product of a fall, and is thus to be rejected or left behind (Gnosticism). Some admit that the world was made by God, but as by a watch-maker who, once he has made a watch, abandons it to itself (Deism). Finally, others reject any transcendent origin for the world, but see it as merely the interplay of matter that has always existed (Materialism). All these attempts bear witness to the permanence and universality of the question of origins. This inquiry is distinctively human.

286 Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins. the existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works, by the light of human reason,122 even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error. This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth: "By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear."123

287 The truth about creation is so important for all of human life that God in his tenderness wanted to reveal to his People everything that is salutary to know on the subject. Beyond the natural knowledge that every man can have of the Creator,124 God progressively revealed to Israel the mystery of creation. He who chose the patriarchs, who brought Israel out of Egypt, and who by choosing Israel created and formed it, this same God reveals himself as the One to whom belong all the peoples of the earth, and the whole earth itself; he is the One who alone "made heaven and earth".125

288 Thus the revelation of creation is inseparable from the revelation and forging of the covenant of the one God with his People. Creation is revealed as the first step towards this covenant, the first and universal witness to God's all-powerful love.126 and so, the truth of creation is also expressed with growing vigour in the message of the prophets, the prayer of the psalms and the liturgy, and in the wisdom sayings of the Chosen People.127

289 Among all the Scriptural texts about creation, the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place. From a literary standpoint these texts may have had diverse sources. the inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation - its origin and its end in God, its order and goodness, the vocation of man, and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation. Read in the light of Christ, within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church, these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the "beginning": creation, fall, and promise of salvation.

II. CREATION - WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY

290 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth":128 three things are affirmed in these first words of Scripture: the eternal God gave a beginning to all that exists outside of himself; he alone is Creator (the verb "create" - Hebrew bara - always has God for its subject). the totality of what exists (expressed by the formula "the heavens and the earth") depends on the One who gives it being.

291 "In the beginning was the Word. . . and the Word was God. . . all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made."129 The New Testament reveals that God created everything by the eternal Word, his beloved Son. In him "all things were created, in heaven and on earth.. . all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."130 The Church's faith likewise confesses the creative action of the Holy Spirit, the "giver of life", "the Creator Spirit" (Veni, Creator Spiritus), the "source of every good".131

292 The Old Testament suggests and the New Covenant reveals the creative action of the Son and the Spirit,132 inseparably one with that of the Father. This creative co-operation is clearly affirmed in the Church's rule of faith: "There exists but one God. . . he is the Father, God, the Creator, the author, the giver of order. He made all things by himself, that is, by his Word and by his Wisdom", "by the Son and the Spirit" who, so to speak, are "his hands".133 Creation is the common work of the Holy Trinity.

III. "THE WORLD WAS CREATED FOR THE GLORY OF GOD"

293 Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: "The world was made for the glory of God."134 St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things "not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it",135 for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness: "Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand."136 The First Vatican Council explains:

This one, true God, of his own goodness and "almighty power", not for increasing his own beatitude, nor for attaining his perfection, but in order to manifest this perfection through the benefits which he bestows on creatures, with absolute freedom of counsel "and from the beginning of time, made out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal. . ."137

294 The glory of God consists in the realization of this manifestation and communication of his goodness, for which the world was created. God made us "to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace",138 for "the glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man's life is the vision of God: if God's revelation through creation has already obtained life for all the beings that dwell on earth, how much more will the Word's manifestation of the Father obtain life for those who see God."139 The ultimate purpose of creation is that God "who is the creator of all things may at last become "all in all", thus simultaneously assuring his own glory and our beatitude."140

IV. THE MYSTERY OF CREATION

God creates by wisdom and love

295 We believe that God created the world according to his wisdom.141 It is not the product of any necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance. We believe that it proceeds from God's free will; he wanted to make his creatures share in his being, wisdom and goodness: "For you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."142 Therefore the Psalmist exclaims: "O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all"; and "The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made."143 God creates "out of nothing"

296 We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create, nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance.144 God creates freely "out of nothing":145

If God had drawn the world from pre-existent matter, what would be so extraordinary in that? A human artisan makes from a given material whatever he wants, while God shows his power by starting from nothing to make all he wants.146

297 Scripture bears witness to faith in creation "out of nothing" as a truth full of promise and hope. Thus the mother of seven sons encourages them for martyrdom:

I do not know how you came into being in my womb. It was not I who gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws. . . Look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being.147

298 Since God could create everything out of nothing, he can also, through the Holy Spirit, give spiritual life to sinners by creating a pure heart in them,148 and bodily life to the dead through the Resurrection. God "gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist."149 and since God was able to make light shine in darkness by his Word, he can also give the light of faith to those who do not yet know him.150

God creates an ordered and good world

299 Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered: "You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight."151 The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the "image of the invisible God", is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the "image of God" and called to a personal relationship with God.152 Our human understanding, which shares in the light of the divine intellect, can understand what God tells us by means of his creation, though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work.153 Because creation comes forth from God's goodness, it shares in that goodness - "and God saw that it was good. . . very good"154- for God willed creation as a gift addressed to man, an inheritance destined for and entrusted to him. On many occasions the Church has had to defend the goodness of creation, including that of the physical world.155

God transcends creation and is present to it

300 God is infinitely greater than all his works: "You have set your glory above the heavens."156 Indeed, God's "greatness is unsearchable".157 But because he is the free and sovereign Creator, the first cause of all that exists, God is present to his creatures' inmost being: "In him we live and move and have our being."158 In the words of St. Augustine, God is "higher than my highest and more inward than my innermost self".159

God upholds and sustains creation

301 With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence:

 

For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.160

V. GOD CARRIES OUT HIS PLAN: DIVINE PROVIDENCE

302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. the universe was created "in a state of journeying" (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call "divine providence" the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:

By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, "reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well". For "all are open and laid bare to his eyes", even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.161

303 The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. the sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events: "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases."162 and so it is with Christ, "who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens".163 As the book of Proverbs states: "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established."164

304 And so we see the Holy Spirit, the principal author of Sacred Scripture, often attributing actions to God without mentioning any secondary causes. This is not a "primitive mode of speech", but a profound way of recalling God's primacy and absolute Lordship over history and the world,165 and so of educating his people to trust in him. the prayer of the Psalms is the great school of this trust.166

305 Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children's smallest needs: "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?". . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."167

Providence and secondary causes

306 God is the sovereign master of his plan. But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures' co-operation. This use is not a sign of weakness, but rather a token of almighty God's greatness and goodness. For God grants his creatures not only their existence, but also the dignity of acting on their own, of being causes and principles for each other, and thus of co-operating in the accomplishment of his plan.

307 To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of "subduing" the earth and having dominion over it.168 God thus enables men to be intelligent and free causes in order to complete the work of creation, to perfect its harmony for their own good and that of their neighbours. Though often unconscious collaborators with God's will, they can also enter deliberately into the divine plan by their actions, their prayers and their sufferings.169 They then fully become "God's fellow workers" and co-workers for his kingdom.170

308 The truth that God is at work in all the actions of his creatures is inseparable from faith in God the Creator. God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes: "For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."171 Far from diminishing the creature's dignity, this truth enhances it. Drawn from nothingness by God's power, wisdom and goodness, it can do nothing if it is cut off from its origin, for "without a Creator the creature vanishes."172 Still less can a creature attain its ultimate end without the help of God's grace.173

Providence and the scandal of evil

309 If God the Father almighty, the Creator of the ordered and good world, cares for all his creatures, why does evil exist? To this question, as pressing as it is unavoidable and as painful as it is mysterious, no quick answer will suffice. Only Christian faith as a whole constitutes the answer to this question: the goodness of creation, the drama of sin and the patient love of God who comes to meet man by his covenants, the redemptive Incarnation of his Son, his gift of the Spirit, his gathering of the Church, the power of the sacraments and his call to a blessed life to which free creatures are invited to consent in advance, but from which, by a terrible mystery, they can also turn away in advance. There is not a single aspect of the Christian message that is not in part an answer to the question of evil.

310 But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better.174 But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world "in a state of journeying" towards its ultimate perfection. In God's plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.175

311 Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil.176 He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it:

For almighty God. . ., because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself.177

312 In time we can discover that God in his almighty providence can bring a good from the consequences of an evil, even a moral evil, caused by his creatures: "It was not you", said Joseph to his brothers, "who sent me here, but God. . . You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive."178 From the greatest moral evil ever committed - the rejection and murder of God's only Son, caused by the sins of all men - God, by his grace that "abounded all the more",179 brought the greatest of goods: the glorification of Christ and our redemption. But for all that, evil never becomes a good.

313 "We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him."180 The constant witness of the saints confirms this truth:

St. Catherine of Siena said to "those who are scandalized and rebel against what happens to them": "Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind."181
St. Thomas More, shortly before his martyrdom, consoled his daughter: "Nothing can come but that that God wills. and I make me very sure that whatsoever that be, seem it never so bad in sight, it shall indeed be the best."182
Dame Julian of Norwich: "Here I was taught by the grace of God that I should steadfastly keep me in the faith... and that at the same time I should take my stand on and earnestly believe in what our Lord shewed in this time - that 'all manner (of) thing shall be well.'"183

314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God "face to face",184 will we fully know the ways by which - even through the dramas of evil and sin - God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest185 for which he created heaven and earth.

IN BRIEF

315 In the creation of the world and of man, God gave the first and universal witness to his almighty love and his wisdom, the first proclamation of the "plan of his loving goodness", which finds its goal in the new creation in Christ.

316 Though the work of creation is attributed to the Father in particular, it is equally a truth of faith that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together are the one, indivisible principle of creation.

317 God alone created the universe, freely, directly and without any help.

318 No creature has the infinite power necessary to "create" in the proper sense of the word, that is, to produce and give being to that which had in no way possessed it to call into existence "out of nothing") (cf  DS 3624).

319 God created the world to show forth and communicate his glory. That his creatures should share in his truth, goodness and beauty - this is the glory for which God created them.

320 God created the universe and keeps it in existence by his Word, the Son "upholding the universe by his word of power" (⇒ Heb 1:3), and by his Creator Spirit, the giver of life.

321 Divine providence consists of the dispositions by which God guides all his creatures with wisdom and love to their ultimate end.

322 Christ invites us to filial trust in the providence of our heavenly Father (cf ⇒ Mt 6:26-34), and St. Peter the apostle repeats: "Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you" (⇒ I Pt 5:7; cf. ⇒ Ps 55:23).

323 Divine providence works also through the actions of creatures. To human beings God grants the ability to co-operate freely with his plans.

324 The fact that God permits physical and even moral evil is a mystery that God illuminates by his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose to vanquish evil. Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit an evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil, by ways that we shall fully know only in eternal life.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
116 ⇒ Gen 1:1.


117 GCD 51.


118 ⇒ Gen 1:1; cf. ⇒ Rom 8:18-23.


119 Cf. Egeria, Peregrinatio at loca sancta 46: PLS 1, 1047; St. Augustine,
   De catechizantis rudibus 3, 5: PL 40, 256.


120 Cf. NA 2.


121 Wis 7: 17-22.


122 Cf. Vatican Council I, can. 2 # I: DS 3026.


123 ⇒ Heb 11:3.


124 Cf. ⇒ Acts 17:24-29; ⇒ Rom 1:19-20.


125 Cf. ⇒ Is 43:1; ⇒ Pss 115:15; ⇒ 124:8; ⇒ 134:3.


126 Cf. ⇒ Gen 15:5; ⇒ Jer 33:19-26.


127 Cf. ⇒ Is 44:24; ⇒ Ps 104; ⇒ Prov 8:22-31.


128 ⇒ Gen 1:1.


129 ⇒ Jn 1:1-3.


130 ⇒ Col 1:16-17.


131 Cf. Nicene Creed: DS 150; Hymn Veni, Creator Spiritus; Byzantine
   Troparion of Pentecost Vespers, "O heavenly King, Consoler".


132 Cf. ⇒ Pss 33 6; ⇒ 104:30; ⇒ Gen 1:2-3.


133 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 2, 30, 9; 4, 20, I: PG 7/1, 822, 1032.


134 Dei Filius, can. # 5: DS 3025.


135 St. Bonaventure, In II Sent. I, 2, 2, 1.


136 St. Thomas Aquinas, Sent. II, prol.


137 Dei Filius I: DS 3002; cf Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800.


138 ⇒ Eph 1:5-6.


139 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4, 20, 7: PG 7/1, 1037.


140 AG 2; cf. I Cor 15:28.


141 Cf. Wis 9:9.


142 ⇒ Rev 4:11.


143 ⇒ Pss 104:24; ⇒ 145:9.


144 Cf. Dei Filius, cann. 2-4: DS 3022-3024.


145 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 800; cf. DS 3025.


146 St. Theophilus of Antioch, Ad Autolycum II, 4: PG 6, 1052.


147 2 Macc 7:22-21, 28.


148 Cf. ⇒ Ps 51:12.


149 ⇒ Rom 4:17.


150 Cf. ⇒ Gen 1:3; ⇒ 2 Cor 4:6.


151 Wis 11:20.


152 ⇒ Col 1:15, ⇒ Gen 1:26.


153 Cf. ⇒ Ps 19:2-5; ⇒ Job 42:3.


154 ⇒ Gen 1:4, ⇒ 10, ⇒ 12, ⇒ 18, ⇒ 21, ⇒ 31.


155 Cf. DS 286; 455-463; 800; 1333; 3002.


156 ⇒ Ps 8:1; cf. ⇒ Sir 43:28.


157 ⇒ Ps 145:3.


158 ⇒ Acts 17:28.


159 St. Augustine, Conf: 3, 6, 11: PL 32, 688.


160 Wis 11:24-26.


161 Vatican Council I, Dei Filius I: DS 3003; cf. Wis 8:1; ⇒ Heb 4:13.


162 ⇒ Ps 115:3.


163 ⇒ Rev 3:7.


164 ⇒ Prov 19:21.


165 Cf. ⇒ Is 10:5-15; ⇒ 45:51; Dt 32:39; ⇒ Sir 11:14.


166 Cf. ⇒ Pss 22; ⇒ 32; ⇒ 35; ⇒ 103; ⇒ 138; et al.


167 ⇒ Mt 6:31-33; cf ⇒ 10:29-31.


168 Cf. ⇒ Gen 1:26-28.


169 Cf. ⇒ Col 1:24.


170 I Cor 3:9; I Th 3:2; ⇒ Col 4:11.


171 ⇒ Phil 2:13; cf. ⇒ I Cor 12:6.


172 GS 36 # 3.


173 Cf. ⇒ Mt 19:26; ⇒ Jn 15:5; ⇒ 14:13


174 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 25, 6.


175 Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, SCG III, 71.


176 Cf. St. Augustine, De libero arbitrio I, 1, 2: PL 32, 1221- 1223; St.
   Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 79, 1.


177 St. Augustine, Enchiridion II, 3: PL 40, 236.


178 ⇒ Gen 45:8; ⇒ 50:20; cf. Tob 2:12 (Vulgate).


179 Cf. ⇒ Rom 5:20.


180 ⇒ Rom 8:28.


181 St. Catherine of Siena, Dialogue IV, 138 "On Divine Providence".


182 The Correspondence of Sir Thomas More, ed. Elizabeth F. Rogers
   (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1947), letter 206, lines 661-663.


183 Julian of Norwich, the Revelations of Divine Love, tr. James Walshe
   SJ (London: 1961), ch. 32, 99-100.


184 ⇒ I Cor 13:12.


185 Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:2.
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Moderated
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Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2009, 11:05:39 AM »

I was wondering.  Do you have Father Justin's "Dogmatika"?   My copy is out on loan.  I cannot recall how he approaches the question.

There are Internet sources which are probably useful...

Rags of Mortality: Original Sin and Human Nature
by Archpriest Alexander Golubov, Ph.D.
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm


Original Sin According to St. Paul
by Fr. John S. Romanides
http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frjr_sin.aspx
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2009, 12:14:01 PM »

Dear ialmisry,
i must admit i almost had a heart attack looking at your citations...  Grin but I'll try and read it (I'll take a lot of time, but I guess it's worth do it, huh?)
In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2009, 12:53:11 PM »

Here is my stand : My opinion is that people are born being more inclined to evil than good , and without knowing the good in it`s own essence.This is a consequece of the ancestral sin. Look for example at sectars wich don`t baptise children , look at the way they are.I believe the ancestral sin is a corruption of the good conscience.I incline more to the Augustine`s view about the Ancestral Sin. Also in the psalm of repentance David says : in sin i was born and in sins had my mother conceived me.That is why the ancestors of Abraham needed to be circumcised. But the righteouss that comes from the Law is not like the righteouss that comes from Grace.The circumcision was a prefiguration of the baptize.But the circumcision did not have the same effect of baptize.That is why God gave the Law , cause it was very hard to understand the grace of God being in a fallen state.Look what is says in Tit :  []KJV[] Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
[]KJV[] Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
[]KJV[] Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

That is why the state of grace the righteouss from the Law achieved is not the same as the state of grace wich comes from faith and Jesus Christ.That is why he says the renewing of the Holy Spirit wich now comes abundantly.So I do believe we are all born in a fallen and denigrated state , trough Adam wich affects our good conscience but not entirely.As Romans say : In Adam all die , but in Jesus Christ all are made alive.
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2009, 12:56:46 PM »

This:
A position similar to Semipelagianism was held not only by the aforementioned John Cassian and Vincent of Lérins, but also by Irenaus, Origen, Justin Martyr and Ignatius.

Is why this:

A third school of thought emerged, anyway, in Gaul. It is called Semipelagianism, but this name was a later Western invention. The theory was initially proposed as a condemnation both of Pelagianism and of Augustinism by st. John Cassian, and was even supported by st. Vincent of Lérins and his monastery in Marseille.

needs correction.

The theory was not 'initially proposed' by St. John Cassian. Rather St. John (and St. Vincent) defended the consensus of the most ancient Fathers (i.e., the Holy Tradition), against both the innovation of Pelagius *and* the reactionary innovation of St. Augustine. (i.e., St. Augustine was right to have a negative reaction to and oppose Pelagius. But in doing so, he ended up taking an extreme, and innovative, position himself.)
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2009, 01:28:38 PM »

Dear ialmisry,
i must admit i almost had a heart attack looking at your citations...  Grin but I'll try and read it (I'll take a lot of time, but I guess it's worth do it, huh?)
In Christ,   Alex

LOL.  I just posted the material for reference so we can start out with authoritative material.  You, know, before the accusations of misrepresentations start flying.
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2009, 01:34:47 PM »

LOL I know I know  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2009, 01:39:30 PM »

Alexander, you really are (again) mischaracterizing Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church does not believe in total depravity of the soul after the Fall. In fact, after it was proposed by the Protestants, the Council of Trent condemned it:

CANON V.-If any one saith, that, since Adam's sin, the free will of man is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing with only a name, yea a name without a reality, a figment, in fine, introduced into the Church by Satan; let him be anathema.

CANON VII.-If any one saith, that all works done before Justification, in whatsoever way they be done, are truly sins, or merit the hatred of God; or that the more earnestly one strives to dispose himself for grace, the more grievously he sins: let him be anathema.

CANON VIII.-If any one saith, that the fear of hell,-whereby, by grieving for our sins, we flee unto the mercy of God, or refrain from sinning,-is a sin, or makes sinners worse; let him be anathema.

CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.


http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct06.html

Now, the Jansenists in the 17th century came to believe in the heresy of total depravity, but their belief and related heretical beliefs were condemned by Pope Clement XI in his Apostolic Constitution Unigenitus in 1713.

-

I also submit that you should read the text of the Council of Orange (BTW, not an ecumenical council), which, though it (correctly) affirms that all good in the human soul is the result of grace, explicitly condemns the double predestination which some view St. Augustine as espousing.

--------

You must understand that the Catholic position is quite different than what you characterize, which is why Reformed theologians have been accusing us Catholics as being semi-Pelagians for centuries. We do not subscribe to semi-Pelagianism, and I submit that Orthodoxy historically has not either, despite your claims---I think both Churches have always taught that grace is involved at every step of the way---no doubt our wills were grievously wounded by the Fall, but there always remained some latent grace which allows all of us to choose restoration and eternal life (though only ever in cooperation with grace and not separated from it---we are nothing apart from God, before and after the Fall).

-

I finally submit that this online-forum armchair theology debate by laypeople is quite useless. We should leave such disputation to the theologians.
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2009, 01:47:37 PM »

In fact I'm waiting for the help of people greater then me and you in this aspect. Can you clarify what difference passes from Roman Catholic position, Semipelagianism and total depravity? that would clear all doubts out.
I thank you in advance
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2009, 01:49:13 PM »

Dear ialmisry,
i must admit i almost had a heart attack looking at your citations...  Grin but I'll try and read it (I'll take a lot of time, but I guess it's worth do it, huh?)
In Christ,   Alex

LOL.  I just posted the material for reference so we can start out with authoritative material.  You, know, before the accusations of misrepresentations start flying.

See what I mean?

Alexander, you really are (again) mischaracterizing Catholic teaching.

LOL I know I know  Wink
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2009, 01:52:50 PM »

I finally submit that this online-forum armchair theology debate by laypeople is quite useless. We should leave such disputation to the theologians.
Isn't that what Isodore of Kiev said at Florence?
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2009, 01:55:38 PM »

I`m of the opinion that debating theologicall aspects , can help us improve our theology.
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2009, 05:38:45 PM »

Let's see if I have this understood correctly:

Pelagius: man does not need grace to be saved

Catholicism: man needs grace
Orthodoxy: man needs grace
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« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2009, 07:53:05 PM »

Let's see if I have this understood correctly:

Pelagius: man does not need grace to be saved

Catholicism: man needs grace
Orthodoxy: man needs grace

Bingo. Don't ask me why this thread exists. Let the theologians debate the minutiae.
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2009, 09:35:06 PM »

Let's see if I have this understood correctly:

Pelagius: man does not need grace to be saved

Catholicism: man needs grace
Orthodoxy: man needs grace

Bingo. Don't ask me why this thread exists.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.0.html

Quote
Let the theologians debate the minutiae.

Better yet, let certain theologians cease to create more minutiae.
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2009, 12:17:13 PM »

Let's see if I have this understood correctly:

Pelagius: man does not need grace to be saved

Catholicism: man needs grace
Orthodoxy: man needs grace

Bingo. Don't ask me why this thread exists.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.0.html

Quote
Let the theologians debate the minutiae.

Better yet, let certain theologians cease to create more minutiae.

Good answer to the reason why this thread exists. We want to consider why we are legitimate to object to the Immaculate Conception. Since the Roman position on the hereditary sin of Adam and Eve incredibly minute in each aspect, and our theology is slightly simplier, I want to understand the distinctions between Original Sin and Ancestral sin, and also to know how near are both theories to Semipelagianism, which is half-way between the extreme position of Celestius and the extreme position of Jansen. I hoped for the help of both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic members, but it seems there's some resistence on this since the beginning. Maybe my intentions were not so clear?

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2009, 03:18:53 PM »

Let's see if I have this understood correctly:

Pelagius: man does not need grace to be saved

Catholicism: man needs grace
Orthodoxy: man needs grace

Bingo. Don't ask me why this thread exists.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.0.html

Quote
Let the theologians debate the minutiae.

Better yet, let certain theologians cease to create more minutiae.

Good answer to the reason why this thread exists. We want to consider why we are legitimate to object to the Immaculate Conception. Since the Roman position on the hereditary sin of Adam and Eve incredibly minute in each aspect, and our theology is slightly simplier, I want to understand the distinctions between Original Sin and Ancestral sin, and also to know how near are both theories to Semipelagianism, which is half-way between the extreme position of Celestius and the extreme position of Jansen. I hoped for the help of both Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic members, but it seems there's some resistence on this since the beginning. Maybe my intentions were not so clear?

In Christ,   Alex

It seems to me that (perhaps) the Orthodox objection to the dogma of the IC, has its roots in differing notions regarding the grace needed for salvation. Both Catholics and Orthodox believe grace is needed for salvation. But now the question becomes: salvation from what, exactly? It seems that the Catholics say: salvation from physical death itself (thus, the implication in Catholicism that Mary did not die, or did not have to die). Whereas Orthodoxy seems to say: salvation is salvation from spiritual death (thus, Mary, though saved, did indeed die).

And then there's the concept of salvation itself. Is salvation the state of being (1) totally incapable of even thinking about sinning; or (2) capable of thinking about sin, but having the free-will to resist the temptation and to always choose the good? Regarding Mary, it seems to me that Catholics, following the IC, tend to suggest the first choice; whereas Orthodoxy seem to argue the second choice. (Though I'm probably mistaken Shocked)

I also think that the very term "semi-Pelagianism" is something that Augustinians might use in a derogatory manner, so I would prefer to replace the term with something else.
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2009, 05:42:39 PM »

It is a derogatory term to them, not to me. Afterall, we don't find strange to use filioquists and ultramontanists as epithetes for them...
Personally I don't think the word semi-pelagianism is so strange, but if you want I'll use the more neutral expression "Ancestral Sin according to John Cassian" or i could invent the term "Cassianism" laugh
Different words don't change the concepts, as well as "Papal infallibility" doesn't mean RC's believe anything but ultramontanism.

In Christ,   Alex

PS: it seems the question of Assumption has already been treated; not all RC's have the same interpretation of her death or non-death, so we can't extract theological differences from it.
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« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2009, 05:04:07 AM »

Dear brother AlexanderofBergamo,

I think there is much misunderstanding of Augustine (and the Catholic teaching) on this matter.  I don't have too much time right now, but I will say this.  Semi-Pelagianism is not what you think it is.  The essence of semi-Pelagianism is the idea that ABSOLUTELY NO DIVINE GRACE IS NEEDED for the initial movement of Faith.  The orthodox teaching is that Grace is necessary for any action.  Grace exists before, during and after the initial free will response of Faith.  Faith, at any stage, is always a free-will response to Grace. It seems you are confusing the Catholic teaching with the Calvinist teaching.  It is Calvinism that teaches total depravity, not Catholicism nor Augustine.  Calvinism (twisting the Augustinian teaching) asserts that the free will of a sinful man before baptism is not involved at all in the initial response of Faith.  Augustine and Catholicism, as well as Orthodoxy, teaches that though man's will is damaged by concupiscence, it IS indeed involved in the initial response to Faith.

Though Augustine taught that humanity is indeed depraved by sin, and so depraved that he could not come out of his sinfulness without Grace, he at least taught that the human will can indeed be aided by Grace to respond to the initial Gift of Faith. Augustine taught explicitly in several places that Free Will is not destroyed by the necessity of Grace.  IN CONTRAST, the heretical teaching on Total Depravity insists that not even human will is involved in the initial Gift of Faith, but is TOTALLY dependant on the Grace of God.

I hope that helps you to understand it a bit more.

In any case, what I have a question on is your idea that nothing is washed away at infant Baptism.  Let's focus our discussion on that.  Why do you believe that nothing is washed away at Infant Baptism?

Blessings
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« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2009, 05:41:48 AM »

Here is Canon 110 of the African Code that was accepted by the Third Ecumenical Council (in their condemnation of Pelagius and Celestius) and the Sixth and Seventh Ecumenical Councils:

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.

How can you possibly reconcile this with the modern EO teaching that infants are only baptized for actual sin (since they soon, as you claim, begin to sin after birth), and not original sin?

Blessings

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« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2009, 06:40:49 AM »

Here is Canon 110 of the African Code that was accepted by the Third Ecumenical Council (in their condemnation of Pelagius and Celestius) and the Sixth and Seventh Ecumenical Councils:

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.

How can you possibly reconcile this with the modern EO teaching that infants are only baptized for actual sin (since they soon, as you claim, begin to sin after birth), and not original sin?

Blessings



Weren't you just the one who said that canonical anathema's weren't part of Faith and Morals, and hence not infallible?
Yes, you claim this often: any thing to substantiate the claim?
Aren't you aware of the object of infallibility?  FAITH AND MORALS.  It does not include ecclesiastical censures, or matters of discipline
I knew you were.

Let's consult a modern Orthodox (different from any other Orthodox of any age only by living in our days), Bp. Hilarion:
Quote
BAPTISM

The sacrament of Baptism is the door into the Church, the Kingdom of grace. It is with Baptism that Christian life begins. Baptism is the frontier that separates the members of Christ’s Body from those who are outside it. In Baptism the human person is arrayed in Christ, following the words of St Paul which are sung as the newly-baptized is led around the baptismal font: For as many of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ’ (Gal.3:27). In Baptism the human person dies to his sinful life and rises again to new spiritual life.

The sacrament of Baptism was instituted by Christ Himself: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matt.28:19). Christ’s commandment already contains the basic elements of the baptismal rite: preliminary teaching (‘catechization’), without which the adoption of faith cannot be conscious; immersion in water (Greek baptismos, literally ‘immersion’); and the formula ‘in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. In the early Church Baptism was accomplished through complete immersion in water. However, at an early date special pools (baptisteries) were built and into these the candidates for baptism were plunged. The practice of pouring water over the person or sprinkling him with water existed in the early Church, though not quite as a norm.

At the time of Constantine (fourth century) adult baptism was more common than the baptism of infants, the emphasis being laid on the conscious acceptance of the sacrament. Some postponed the sacrament until the end of their life in the knowledge that sins were forgiven in Baptism. The Emperor Constantine was baptized just before his death. St Gregory the Theologian, a son of a bishop, was baptized only when he reached maturity. Saints Basil the Great and John Chrysostom were baptized only after completing their higher education.

However, the practice of baptizing infants is no less ancient — the apostles baptized whole families which might well have included children (cf/ Acts 10:48). St Irenaeus of Lyons (second century) says: ‘Christ came to save those who through Him are reborn into God: infants, children, adolescents and the elderly’. Origen in the third century calls the custom of baptizing infants an ‘apostolic tradition’. The local Council of Carthage (third century) pronounced an anathema upon those who rejected the necessity of baptizing infants and newly-born children.

The sacrament of Baptism, like all other sacraments, must be received consciously. Christian faith is the prerequisite for the validity of the sacrament. If an infant is baptized, the confession of faith is solemnly pronounced by his godparents, who thereby are obliged to bring the child up in the faith and make his Baptism conscious. An infant who receives the sacrament cannot rationally understand what is happening to him, yet his soul is fully capable of receiving the grace of the Holy Spirit. ‘I believe’, writes St Symeon the New Theologian, ‘that baptized infants are sanctified and are preserved under the wing of the All-Holy Spirit and that they are lambs of the spiritual flock of Christ and chosen lambs, for they have been imprinted with the sign of the life-giving Cross and freed completely from the tyranny of the devil’. The grace of God is given to infants as a pledge of their future belief, as a seed cast into the earth: for the seed to grow into a tree and bring forth fruit, the efforts both of the godparents and of the one baptized as he grows are needed.

Immediately after Baptism or in the days that follow, the newly-baptized, irrespective of age, receives Holy Communion. In the Roman Catholic Church Chrismation (Confirmation) and First Communion take place after the child has reached the age of seven, but the Orthodox Church admits children to these sacraments as early as possible. The understanding behind this practice is that children ought not to be deprived of a living, even if not a fully conscious, contact with Christ.

The sacrament of Baptism occurs only once in a person’s life. In Baptism the human person is granted freedom from original sin and forgiveness of all his personal transgressions. However, Baptism is only the first step in the human person’s ascent towards God. If it is not accompanied by a renewal of one’s entire life and a spiritual regeneration, it might be fruitless. The grace of God, received in Baptism as a pledge or as a seed, will grow within the person and be made manifest throughout his whole life so long as he strives towards Christ, lives in the Church and fulfills God’s commandments.
http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/5_1#BAPTISM

Can you give us a quote so we know what YOU are talking about?
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« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2009, 07:26:09 AM »

Weren't you just the one who said that canonical anathema's weren't part of Faith and Morals, and hence not infallible?
No. I said ecclesiastical censures are not matters of Faith and Morals, but, typical of your tactics, you simply neglect the other part where I said that the doctrinal teaching upon which the canon is based is indeed infallible.  I guess you were not aware that ecclesiastical censures are against people. Roll Eyes

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I knew you were.
Nah.  As usual, it's all in your imagination.  laugh

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Can you give us a quote so we know what YOU are talking about?
Ask Alexander.  He's the one that said it.  Or did you skip that part, too?

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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2009, 08:11:30 AM »

...

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.

...


When quoting the first paragraph of canon 110 of Carthage here in English, one should also note introductory remark http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.ii.html
Quote
...This is impossible and therefore, interesting as the field would be, I have been compelled to restrain my pen, and rather than give a scant and insufficient annotation, I have contented myself with providing the reader with as good a translation as I have been able to make of the very corrupt Latin (correcting it at times by the Greek), and have added the Ancient Epitome and the quaint notes in full of John Johnson from the Second Edition, of 1714, of his “Clergyman’s Vade-mecum,” Pt. II., which occupy little space, but may not be easily reached by the ordinary reader.  The student will find full scholia on these Canons in Van Espen in the Latin, and in Zonaras and Balsamon in the Greek.  These latter are in Beveridge’s Synodicon.

Therefore, it should read:

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 nothing from Adam's 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.
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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2009, 08:29:14 AM »

...

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.

...


When quoting the first paragraph of canon 110 of Carthage here in English, one should also note introductory remark http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.ii.html
Quote
...This is impossible and therefore, interesting as the field would be, I have been compelled to restrain my pen, and rather than give a scant and insufficient annotation, I have contented myself with providing the reader with as good a translation as I have been able to make of the very corrupt Latin (correcting it at times by the Greek), and have added the Ancient Epitome and the quaint notes in full of John Johnson from the Second Edition, of 1714, of his “Clergyman’s Vade-mecum,” Pt. II., which occupy little space, but may not be easily reached by the ordinary reader.  The student will find full scholia on these Canons in Van Espen in the Latin, and in Zonaras and Balsamon in the Greek.  These latter are in Beveridge’s Synodicon.

Therefore, it should read:

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 nothing from Adam's 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.

Thanks for the new translation, but ... How does that exactly change the context of it?  Are you telling us that Adam's sin is not the Original Sin?  Huh ???In any case, something was derived from Adam that is removed by Baptism.  It can't be physical death, so what else is removed? Huh
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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2009, 08:38:10 AM »

Let's consult a modern Orthodox (different from any other Orthodox of any age only by living in our days), Bp. Hilarion:
BAPTISM
I don't see anything here that opposes the Catholic teaching on Original Sin.  You and certain other EO (though not all EO) always claim there is.  Please point it out.  Thanks.
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« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2009, 11:58:36 AM »

Alexander, you really are (again) mischaracterizing Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church does not believe in total depravity of the soul after the Fall. In fact, after it was proposed by the Protestants, the Council of Trent condemned it:

CANON V.-If any one saith, that, since Adam's sin, the free will of man is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing with only a name, yea a name without a reality, a figment, in fine, introduced into the Church by Satan; let him be anathema.

CANON VII.-If any one saith, that all works done before Justification, in whatsoever way they be done, are truly sins, or merit the hatred of God; or that the more earnestly one strives to dispose himself for grace, the more grievously he sins: let him be anathema.

CANON VIII.-If any one saith, that the fear of hell,-whereby, by grieving for our sins, we flee unto the mercy of God, or refrain from sinning,-is a sin, or makes sinners worse; let him be anathema.

CANON IX.-If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.


http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct06.html

Now, the Jansenists in the 17th century came to believe in the heresy of total depravity, but their belief and related heretical beliefs were condemned by Pope Clement XI in his Apostolic Constitution Unigenitus in 1713.

-

I also submit that you should read the text of the Council of Orange (BTW, not an ecumenical council), which, though it (correctly) affirms that all good in the human soul is the result of grace, explicitly condemns the double predestination which some view St. Augustine as espousing.

--------

You must understand that the Catholic position is quite different than what you characterize, which is why Reformed theologians have been accusing us Catholics as being semi-Pelagians for centuries. We do not subscribe to semi-Pelagianism, and I submit that Orthodoxy historically has not either, despite your claims---I think both Churches have always taught that grace is involved at every step of the way---no doubt our wills were grievously wounded by the Fall, but there always remained some latent grace which allows all of us to choose restoration and eternal life (though only ever in cooperation with grace and not separated from it---we are nothing apart from God, before and after the Fall).

-

I finally submit that this online-forum armchair theology debate by laypeople is quite useless. We should leave such disputation to the theologians.


Back when I was protestant, I would hear Calvinistic protestants say that Rome changed her mind at the council of Trent.

We can look at Trent later, but what some on this thread have said in regards to the local council of 2nd Orange was true. The Jansenists and Calvinists were just following Saint Augustine's teachings in his older years. 2nd Orange didn't go as far as Saint Augustine did, and Trent modified it even more.

But what you call "total depravity" is really known as "total inability". This is what the doctrine really is. "TOTAL INability". And it comes from Saint Augustine's later teachings.

I was never a Calvinist, but I use to hold to "total inability" in my protestant years as a classical Arminian. So I know about this issue very well. I also know about the different interpretations that Roman Catholics have about it in regards to the Molinist vs Congruent vs Thomistic vs Augustinian divide.

And depending on what school of thought the Roman Catholic is from will determine how he/she will interpret Roman Catholic doctrine........especially in this area.




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« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2009, 12:02:56 PM »

...

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.

...


When quoting the first paragraph of canon 110 of Carthage here in English, one should also note introductory remark http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xv.iv.ii.html
Quote
...This is impossible and therefore, interesting as the field would be, I have been compelled to restrain my pen, and rather than give a scant and insufficient annotation, I have contented myself with providing the reader with as good a translation as I have been able to make of the very corrupt Latin (correcting it at times by the Greek), and have added the Ancient Epitome and the quaint notes in full of John Johnson from the Second Edition, of 1714, of his “Clergyman’s Vade-mecum,” Pt. II., which occupy little space, but may not be easily reached by the ordinary reader.  The student will find full scholia on these Canons in Van Espen in the Latin, and in Zonaras and Balsamon in the Greek.  These latter are in Beveridge’s Synodicon.

Therefore, it should read:

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 nothing from Adam's 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.

Even the translation that you provide supports the Catholic view of Origninal sin. Are you now a Catholic apologists? Wink
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« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2009, 01:09:43 PM »

Weren't you just the one who said that canonical anathema's weren't part of Faith and Morals, and hence not infallible?
No. I said ecclesiastical censures are not matters of Faith and Morals, but, typical of your tactics, you simply neglect the other part where I said that the doctrinal teaching upon which the canon is based is indeed infallible.  I guess you were not aware that ecclesiastical censures are against people. Roll Eyes

I saw that too. If such a "tactic" (as you describe it) was purposeful (as I suspect it is), I would suggest you ignore him from now on, as he is not interested in truth here but in polemics at the expense of truth.
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2009, 01:16:24 PM »

Thanks for the new translation, but ... How does that exactly change the context of it?  Are you telling us that Adam's sin is not the Original Sin?  Huh ???In any case, something was derived from Adam that is removed by Baptism.  It can't be physical death, so what else is removed? Huh

Indeed. If you consult the New Testament, you see that baptism ain't washing off carbuncles.  Wink

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« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2009, 01:25:19 PM »


Back when I was protestant, I would hear Calvinistic protestants say that Rome changed her mind at the council of Trent.

Rome did no such thing. If Rome believed as the Calvinists did before Trent, do you think the Calvinists would have left the Catholic Church in the first place?

You are right that the Catholics have never accepted all of St. Augustine's theological ideas---and neither did St. Augustine! He had an enormous and sometimes conflicting body of work over many decades, and he offered all of it up for correction.

As for "total inability"---such is true in the absence of grace. But Catholics believe latent grace IS present for all to make that first movement of will.
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« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2009, 01:33:49 PM »

Weren't you just the one who said that canonical anathema's weren't part of Faith and Morals, and hence not infallible?
No. I said ecclesiastical censures are not matters of Faith and Morals, but, typical of your tactics, you simply neglect the other part where I said that the doctrinal teaching upon which the canon is based is indeed infallible.  I guess you were not aware that ecclesiastical censures are against people. Roll Eyes

I saw that too. If such a "tactic" (as you describe it) was purposeful (as I suspect it is), I would suggest you ignore him from now on, as he is not interested in truth here but in polemics at the expense of truth.

Quote
The Definition of Faith [of the Sixth Ecumenical Council]

The holy and Ecumenical Synod further says, this pious and orthodox Creed of the Divine grace would be sufficient for the full knowledge and confirmation of the orthodox faith.  But as the author of evil, who, in the beginning, availed himself of the aid of the serpent, and by it brought the poison of death upon the human race, has not desisted, but in like manner now, having found suitable instruments for working out his will (we mean Theodorus, who was Bishop of Pharan, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul and Peter, who were Archbishops of this royal city, and moreover, Honorius who was Pope of the elder Rome, Cyrus Bishop of Alexandria, Macarius who was lately bishop of Antioch, and Stephen his disciple), has actively employed them in raising up for the whole Church the stumbling-blocks of one will and one operation in the two natures of Christ our true God
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.xiii.x.html
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« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2009, 01:37:15 PM »

I would suggest you ignore him from now on, as he is not interested in truth here

Which of Markudm's "truths" do you think are being ignored?  Huh
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« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2009, 01:37:36 PM »

Sorry brethren for my absence in the last few days.
I still repeat that I'm not accusing or misinterpreting, but I've received support but my brethren on this forum that we don't accept Original Sin as a doctrine. How can you RCs say that we must believe it when no proof comes from our Tradition?
The words "original sin" are completely foreign to our religion.
I still think that the first step comes from humans, and that God's grace cooperates after conversion. I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time. They were pagans... they had no grace. Jesus said: "Repent and believe in the Gospel". That's our first step: we must repent and believe. It's us who must accept God's grace first, as if it were a gift. Accuse me of being Semipelagianist... maybe I am, but until I don't receive an accusation from my brethren on this point, I'll keep professing this idea. I don't believe humans can't accept grace by their own as if God determined who would be saved or not.
On the question of baptism: I still believe that Adam's sin (not original sin) is a spiritual infection we inherit when we get out of mom's womb. We bare the consequences of death and concupiscence, but not immediately guilt. You can say whatever you want, RC brethren, but if one is cursed he must be guilty. Is a new-born child guilty so that he's cursed by God? Or can the guilt of another one be worth a curse to his innocent heirs?

When we approach the matter of Original Sin we must discuss: 1) who's the guilt? Adam's? Ours by nature? Ours but only by our personal sins?
2) what consequences does Adam's sin on our lives? 3) how strong is the effect of Adam's sin in our relationship with God? 4) is the acceptance of grace an act of faith by the individual, a cooperation between God and man, or an act of God's will alone? 5) what does baptism solve regarding our fallen condition - in other words, which sin(s) does it repair?
I'd like to have answers from both sides, so that we can have a valid and "scientifical" confrontation between the different RC and OC positions.
I hope you like better this approach. I'm waiting for your answers. If u like, you can also provide magisterial documents (for RC)/ ecclesiastical canons (OC).

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2009, 08:04:37 PM »

Dear brother Alex,

Sorry brethren for my absence in the last few days.
I still repeat that I'm not accusing or misinterpreting, but I've received support but my brethren on this forum that we don't accept Original Sin as a doctrine. How can you RCs say that we must believe it when no proof comes from our Tradition?
I don't know how you can claim the canon I quoted is not part of your Tradition. Huh  Huh

Quote
The words "original sin" are completely foreign to our religion.
If you just want to focus on "words," and not meaning, then is there any purpose for this discussion?

Quote
I still think that the first step comes from humans, and that God's grace cooperates after conversion. I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time. They were pagans... they had no grace. Jesus said: "Repent and believe in the Gospel". That's our first step: we must repent and believe. It's us who must accept God's grace first, as if it were a gift. Accuse me of being Semipelagianist... maybe I am, but until I don't receive an accusation from my brethren on this point, I'll keep professing this idea. I don't believe humans can't accept grace by their own as if God determined who would be saved or not.
I pray you reconsider, because these very words of yours was one of the condemnations against Pelagius by the Third Ecumenical Council. Canon 113 (114 in Greek) of the African Code adopted by the Third Ecumenical Council (and two other subsequent Ecumenical Councils) in its condemnation of Pelagius and Celestius:
"It seemed good that whosoever should say that the grace of justification [IOW, the initial Gift of Faith] was given to us only that we might be able more readily by grace to perform what we were ordered to do through our free will as if though grace was not give, although not easily, yet nevertheless we could even without grace fulfill the divine commandments, let him be anathema.  For the Lord spake concerning the fruits of the commandments, when he said: "Without me you can do nothing," and not "Without me ye could do it but with difficultly."

I am asking this sincerely out of concern for you - Why should you care that you have been supported by some of your brethren in your ideas? Should you rather not be more concerned with what the Scripture and the Church Fathers have taught us?

I know that it is against Forum policy to say anything bad about EO'xy, and I don't think I am violating the rules by stating that what you are proposing here is not historic Traditional Eastern Orthodox teaching.

Quote
On the question of baptism: I still believe that Adam's sin (not original sin) is a spiritual infection we inherit when we get out of mom's womb. We bare the consequences of death and concupiscence, but not immediately guilt. You can say whatever you want, RC brethren, but if one is cursed he must be guilty. Is a new-born child guilty so that he's cursed by God? Or can the guilt of another one be worth a curse to his innocent heirs?

When we approach the matter of Original Sin we must discuss: 1) who's the guilt? Adam's? Ours by nature? Ours but only by our personal sins?
2) what consequences does Adam's sin on our lives? 3) how strong is the effect of Adam's sin in our relationship with God? 4) is the acceptance of grace an act of faith by the individual, a cooperation between God and man, or an act of God's will alone? 5) what does baptism solve regarding our fallen condition - in other words, which sin(s) does it repair?
I am having a discussion with brother DeusVeritasEst on this matter at the "Immaculate Conception" thread right now.  Please have a look over there.  Thanks.

Quote
I'd like to have answers from both sides, so that we can have a valid and "scientifical" confrontation between the different RC and OC positions.
I hope you like better this approach. I'm waiting for your answers. If u like, you can also provide magisterial documents (for RC)/ ecclesiastical canons (OC).
I provided you a canon with Ecumenical authority on the matter.

Blessings,
Marduk
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« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2009, 10:21:49 PM »

I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time. They were pagans... they had no grace.

Is the idea that pagans lack grace (of any sort) Patristic?
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« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2009, 10:39:00 PM »

I still think that the first step comes from humans, and that God's grace cooperates after conversion. I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time.

"...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."

1 Corinthians 12:3
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« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2009, 10:48:39 PM »

I still think that the first step comes from humans, and that God's grace cooperates after conversion. I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time.

"...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."

1 Corinthians 12:3


"Not everyone who keeps saying to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will get into the kingdom of heaven...."

-- Matthew 7:21
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« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2009, 11:48:27 PM »

Let's consult a modern Orthodox (different from any other Orthodox of any age only by living in our days), Bp. Hilarion:
BAPTISM
I don't see anything here that opposes the Catholic teaching on Original Sin.  You and certain other EO (though not all EO) always claim there is.  Please point it out.  Thanks.
No response?  Good.  I guess that means we can get rid of the notion that one can use this false dichotomy between the EO and Latin teaching on Original Sin as a basis for disunity.  Thank you.

Blessings
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« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2009, 11:53:46 PM »

Dear brother Jetavan,

I still think that the first step comes from humans, and that God's grace cooperates after conversion. I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time.

"...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."

1 Corinthians 12:3


"Not everyone who keeps saying to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will get into the kingdom of heaven...."

-- Matthew 7:21
Are you trying to say that Scripture is contradicting itself?  It seems to me, given the CONTEXT of the passages, that all it is saying is that one whose gift of faith does not flower into good works, then that faith is really dead.

Blessings
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« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2009, 12:07:14 AM »

I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time. They were pagans... they had no grace.

Is the idea that pagans lack grace (of any sort) Patristic?
Alls I know as an Oriental and Catholic is that God offers the Grace of salvation TO ALL OF HUMANITY.  The offer itself is a different Grace than the Grace of salvation.  To Catholics, this offer is known as "prevenient Grace."  People have free will to respond positively or negatively to this Grace.

Blessings
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« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2009, 12:12:05 AM »

I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time. They were pagans... they had no grace.

Is the idea that pagans lack grace (of any sort) Patristic?
Alls I know as an Oriental and Catholic is that God offers the Grace of salvation TO ALL OF HUMANITY.  The offer itself is a different Grace than the Grace of salvation.  To Catholics, this offer is known as "prevenient Grace."  People have free will to respond positively or negatively to this Grace.

Blessings

Yes, John Wesley was a big fan of prevenient grace.
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« Reply #44 on: June 11, 2009, 12:15:39 AM »

Dear brother Jetavan,

I still think that the first step comes from humans, and that God's grace cooperates after conversion. I don't think grace was already upon those who converted to Christianism for the first time.

"...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."

1 Corinthians 12:3


"Not everyone who keeps saying to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will get into the kingdom of heaven...."

-- Matthew 7:21
Are you trying to say that Scripture is contradicting itself?

Nope, I'm saying verses have to be properly understood. The Corinthians verse is not to be literally interpreted, whereas the Matthew verse is.
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Tags: pelagianism 
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