OrthodoxChristianity.net
December 18, 2014, 08:50:23 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Fall from Grace?  (Read 8497 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Rho
Running from dead works to Christ.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« on: May 25, 2004, 10:22:09 AM »

I am going to try this again in an Unmoderated forum.  
I understand from reading posts on this site that the Orthodox believe that a tradition, if it ever contradicts the Holy Scriptures, is not big "T" Tradition.
I would like to discuss the Orthodox view of salvation in view of the following passage:  

Romans 8:29-30 >

29  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
30  and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified (NASB).  

Please explain how Paul could mean here that some who are foreknown and justified will not also be glorified, as I understand the Orthodox to believe.
I realise that many of you will be tempted to cite Traditional sources and such.  I guess that's OK for a time, but could we get a good portion, like at least half, of the responses to center around exegesis of the passage?

Of course, if I misunderstand the Orthodox viewpoint, please correct me.  Otherwise, let us discuss.
Logged

"I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap. Then I have fled from both of them to Christ, and in Him I have peace." --David Dickson

Matthew 9:13 - Who is the sinner if not I?
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2004, 10:43:26 AM »

Quote
Rho: I understand from reading posts on this site that the Orthodox believe that a tradition, if it ever contradicts the Holy Scriptures, is not big "T" Tradition.

I'm not sure who told you that, but I see a big problem that involves a misunderstanding of authority, Scripture, and the Apostolic Tradition (and probably a whole lot more).

1. Who decides if something "contradicts the Holy Scriptures?"

There are almost as many private interpretations of the Bible as there are readers of it.

2. The Holy Scriptures are a part of the Apostolic Tradition.

The Bible would not exist if not for the tradition of the Apostles handed down from generation to generation within the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church.

The Bible comes with no inspired table of contents. There is not a single book of the Bible that says, "And the Lord spake unto the Prophet X and told him, 'Assemble the following list of books, for they are the word of the Lord. ' "

It was the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, that decided which books would go into the single volume we now call the Bible.

3. The Church - the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15) - has passed on an understanding of the Bible in the dogmatic decrees of her councils, in her liturgy, her prayers, and in the consensus of the writings of the Fathers.

This understanding the Holy Spirit has provided to keep us from straying in our pride and confidence.

It is not subject to the revisions of any John Calvins, Martin Luthers, or any other private interpreter.

4. The Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ and our communion with Him and with each other.

The Church is a eucharistic community.

Who can expound the Bible and understand it apart from the life of Christ in the Holy Eucharist?





Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Rho
Running from dead works to Christ.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2004, 10:55:45 AM »

Not trying to be mean, but I am looking for straight answers to my questions.  

As for who told me that, I wrangled it out of some other posters in another of my threads, but it only makes sense, if you think about it.

At any rate,
Quote
There are almost as many private interpretations of the Bible as there are readers of it.
>>I know that, but this is a smokescreen.  I'll accept The Eastern Orthodox Church's explanation of how that passage is compatible with The Eastern Orthodox Church's understanding of salvation.  

And by the way, let's stick with relevant information, not on random additions like mentioning the Eucharist.  We're not talking about that.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2004, 10:56:35 AM by Rho » Logged

"I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap. Then I have fled from both of them to Christ, and in Him I have peace." --David Dickson

Matthew 9:13 - Who is the sinner if not I?
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2004, 11:02:16 AM »

I don't want to be mean either, but part of the point in what I posted is that you appear to be a Calvinist with a thinly-disguised agenda.

I think you already know what we believe about salvation, but excuse me if I am wrong.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
countrymouse
cyberklutz
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 115

OC.net


« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2004, 12:11:45 PM »

Not trying to be mean, but I am looking for straight answers to my questions.
 Linus gave you straight answers (and correct ones, too).  

Quote
As for who told me that, I wrangled it out of some other posters in another of my threads, but it only makes sense, if you think about it.
If you really want to know what the EOC teaches about Holy Tradition (which includes the Holy Scriptures) you can find that at the official websites of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the U.S., including oca.org, goarch.org, and the Antiochan archdiocese website.  If you want to dig even deeper, I'd suggest a book titled, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology; I'm told you can read it online. It's also available in print.  


Quote
At any rate, >>I know that, but this is a smokescreen.  I'll accept The Eastern Orthodox Church's explanation of how that passage is compatible with The Eastern Orthodox Church's understanding of salvation.  

And by the way, let's stick with relevant information, not on random additions like mentioning the Eucharist.  We're not talking about that.
 

Only the Eucharistic community is authorized to interpret the Scriptures.  It is vital to the discussion, because the basic division between Orthodoxy and the rest of the Christian world is the question of authority.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2004, 12:13:26 PM by countrymouse » Logged
icxn
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 251


« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2004, 12:55:02 PM »

Personally, I know very little about interpreting scripture, but here's a question for Rho,

How do you understand Matt. 22:10-14

So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.
"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
"For many are invited, but few are chosen."


icxn
Logged
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2004, 01:58:41 PM »

I'm not (yet) Orthodox, but I'll take a stab at it...

Romans 8:29-30 doesn't say that only those who are foreknown are called and justified.  After all, "Many are called but few are chosen."

That Paul believes one can fall from grace is evident in this (among other) passages:
"Well said.  Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith.  Do not be haughty, but fear.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.  Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God:  on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off." Romans 11:20-22.
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2004, 03:41:16 PM »

Also these:

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (I Cor. 9:27).

Col. 1:19-23:
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- 23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Heb. 6:4-6
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
ambrosemzv
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 185


Pray unto God for us, Holy Ambrose of Optino!


« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2004, 04:23:25 PM »

The point being that, whatever Paul means in Romans 8:29-30 (and I take it to be a statement about God's will for each and every one of  us), the passages in Romans 11, I Cor., Col. and Hebrews (assuming it to be Pauline) all make it clear that it cannot be taken that Paul issues a blanket endorsement of the idea that one's Salvation cannot be lost.
Logged

Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne comprend pas.  -Pascal
countrymouse
cyberklutz
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 115

OC.net


« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2004, 08:07:56 PM »

Also consider the parable of the sower, and the epistle of St. James.  

Jesus promised He would not turn His back on us, but the Scriptures do not say that we can't turn our backs on Him.
Logged
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2004, 10:57:23 PM »

Here's a verse this topic always brings to mind.  I've never really understood it, neither as a Protestant nor as an Orthodox Christian:

2 Tim. 2:11-3
 11Here is a trustworthy saying:
   If we died with him,
       we will also live with him;
    12if we endure,
       we will also reign with him.
   If we disown him,
       he will also disown us;
    13if we are faithless,
       he will remain faithful,
       for he cannot disown himself.

Vv. 11 and 12 seem to say that our final experience of the Lord is contingent on a process, a lifelong struggle and experience.  But that last verse...what's the difference between disowning/being disowned and being faithless/remaining faithful?    Verses 12 and 13 in Gk are as follows; any clues from those who are more well versed in Gk than I?  My apologies for the absence of accents or any misspelled Greek:

12. +¦+¦ -à -Ç+++++¦+++++++¦++,
      +¦+¦+¦ -â-Ã +++¦+¦-â+¦+++¦-Ã -â+++++¦++.  
      +¦+¦ +¦-ü++++-Ã +++¦+++¦,
      +¦+¦+¦+¦+¦++++-é +¦-ü++++-â+¦-ä+¦+¦ +++++¦-é.
13. +¦+¦ +¦-Ç+¦-â-ä++-à +++¦++,
      +¦+¦+¦+¦-ü++-é -Ç+¦-â-ä++-é +++¦+++¦+¦.
      +¦-ü++++-â+¦-â+++¦+¦ +¦+¦-Ã -ä++++ ++-Ã  +¦-Ã +++¦-ä+¦+¦.

Any thoughts on the distinction St. Paul makes here?

+á+¦-ä-ü++-é
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2004, 07:23:54 AM »

A quote from St. John Chrysostom from a website which sheds some light on my above post (offered to me by icxn...thanks!)

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-13/npnf1-13-105.htm

"Then on the other side he exhorts him, not from the good, but from the evil. For if wicked men were to partake of the same things, this would be no consolation. And if having endured they were to reign with Him, but not having endured were not indeed to reign with Him, but were to suffer no worse evil, though this were terrible, yet it would not be enough to affect most men with concern. Wherefore he speaks of something more dreadful still. If we deny Him, He will also deny us. So then there is a retribution not of good things only, but of the contrary. And consider What it is probable that he will suffer, who is denied in that kingdom. "Whosoever shall deny Me, him will I also deny." (Matt. x. 33.) And the retribution is not equal, though it seems so expressed. For we who deny Him are men, but He who denies us is God; and how great is the distance between God and man, it is needless to say.

"Besides, we injure ourselves; Him we cannot injure. And to show this, he has added, "If we believe not, He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself": that is, if we believe not that He rose again, He is not injured by it. He is faithful and unshaken, whether we say so or not. If then He is not at all injured by our denying Him, it is for nothing else than for our benefit that He desires our confession. For He abideth the same, whether we deny Him or not. He cannot deny Himself, that is, His own Being. We may say that He is not; though such is not the fact. It is not in His nature, it is not possible for Him not to be, that is, to go into nonentity. His subsistence always abides, always is. Let us not therefore be so affected, as if we could gratify or could injure Him."

So in "deny/disown" (+¦-ü++++-â+¦-ä+¦+¦), we see an actual turning of the person away from God, which affects us, whereas "faithless" (+¦-Ç+¦-â-ä++-Ã +++¦++) would refer to our simple unbelief in the promises of God, which don't affect Him.  Hmmm....

Mulling it over....
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Rho
Running from dead works to Christ.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2004, 04:31:17 AM »

Quote
LINUS: you appear to be a Calvinist with a thinly-disguised agenda.
I think you already know what we believe about salvation, but excuse me if I am wrong.
>>Moderate Calvinist, yes.  Thinly-disguised agenda, no (read my profile).  It's not disguised at all.   Wink
And I thought I knew what EO-y believes about salvation, but I've been smacked a couple of times, so I'm more inclined to ask for clarification these days.

Quote
COUNTRYMOUSE: If you really want to know what the EOC teaches about Holy Tradition
>>I appreciate the references, I always accept more suggestions on what to read to learn more.

Quote
Only the Eucharistic community is authorized to interpret the Scriptures.

>>Yes, I know you believe that.  That's why I asked for The Eastern Orthodox Church's interpretation of this passage, which I so far haven't seen.  Unless there is some retraction or modification of your statement to be made...

Quote
ICXN: How do you understand Matt. 22:10-14?
PEDRO:  1 Corinthians 9:27; Colossians 1:19-23; Hebrews 6:4-6
C-MOUSE: Parable of the sower, Epistle of James
PEDRO: 2 Timothy 2:11-13
DOUBTING THOMAS: Romans 11:20-22.
>>All relevant, and I want to discuss those.  I would like to stick with the original passage right now, though, so we can make sure to deal with it fully.

Quote
D THOMAS: That Paul believes one can fall from grace is evident in this (among other) passages
AMBROSE: all make it clear that it cannot be taken that Paul issues a blanket endorsement of the idea that one's Salvation cannot be lost.
>>No, it's neither evident nor clear if nobody can furnish a good alternative for this Romans 8:30 passage.


Quote
DOUBTING THOMAS: Romans 8:29-30 doesn't say that only those who are foreknown are called and justified.  After all, "Many are called but few are chosen."
>>OK, first, the two words for "called" (kletos and kaleo) don't seem to have a great difference in usage - kletos is used in Romans 8:28 and kaleo in 8:30.  So we must go to the context of Matthew 22.  It appears there are more than one meaning for "called" in the Bible for the passages dealing with salvation to make sense.  It would seem that one is "invited," in terms of this parable, and the other is "called to," as we see in John 6:40-44 and here in Romans 8:30.  
 
Let's explore the two possible meanings if the passage does NOT mean that the same "those" who are justified is the same "those" as who are glorified (since that is what you really mean).

For these two scenarios, I am simply making these numbers up.

Scenario 1:
Foreknown = 4,000 people
Called = 6,000
Justified = 8,000
Glorified = 10,000

Scenario 2:
Foreknown = 10,000 people
Called = 8,000
Justified = 6,000
Glorified = 4,000

In Scenario #1, God did NOT foreknow some of the people who were eventually glorified, and we all know that's impossible, since God sees all things and knows all things.  So #1 is out.
In Scenario #2, God foreknew some people who ended up not justified and others who ended up not glorified, if you use "those" in a consistent way.  

So God foreknew some who did not come to know Christ.  This means God foreknew some people who did not come, so that means that God knew wrongly.  

Well, it looks like neither of these possible solutions holds water.  I do want to ask the EO posters here - is that The Eastern Orthodox Church's interpretation of this passage?  If not, what is it exactly?
Logged

"I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap. Then I have fled from both of them to Christ, and in Him I have peace." --David Dickson

Matthew 9:13 - Who is the sinner if not I?
icxn
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 251


« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2004, 09:19:40 AM »

+í-ë++. 8:30 - ++-ì-é +¦+¦ -Ç-ü++-Ä-ü+¦-â+¦, -ä++-ì-ä++-à -é +¦+¦+¦ +¦+¦+¼+++¦-â+¦, +¦+¦+¦ ++-ì-é +¦+¦+¼+++¦-â+¦, -ä++-ì-ä++-à -é +¦+¦+¦ +¦+¦+¦+¦+¦+»-ë-â+¦++, ++-ì-é +¦+¦ +¦+¦+¦+¦+¦+»-ë-â+¦, -ä++-ì-ä++-à -é +¦+¦+¦ +¦+¦-î+++¦-â+¦.

+£+¦-ä++. 22:14 - -Ç+++++++++» +¦+¦-ü +¦+¦-â+» +¦++++-ä+++», +++++»+¦+++¦ +¦+¦ +¦+¦+++¦+¦-ä+++».


Well, Rho we cannot dismiss Matthew since the word called used there is the same as in Romans. Hence, not all who are called are indeed saved. Now concerning the contradiction that you came up with, it assumes that the calling is a singular event and that all of us who claim to be Christians are indeed +¦++++-ä+++» meaning we have accepted the call. But this is not so. If you go back to verse 28, it says -ä+++»-é +¦+¦-ä+¼ -Ç-ü-î+++¦-â++ +¦++++-ä+++»-é ++-ì-â+¦++ (English: "to them who are called according to His purpose." which BTW is wrong - see footnote), that is to say, to those who show (overall) a good intension. Here ‘s how St. John Chrysostom explains it:

Quote
Now consider, he means, from the calling, for instance, what I have just said. Why then did He not from the first call all? or why not Paul himself as soon as the rest? Does it not seem that the deferring was harmful? But it was still by the event shown to be for the best. The purpose he here mentions, however, that he might not ascribe everything to the calling; since in this way both Greeks and Jews would be sure to cavil. For if the calling alone were sufficient, how came it that all were not saved? Hence he says, that it is not the calling alone, but the purpose of those called too, that works the salvation. For the calling was not forced upon them, nor compulsory. All then were called, but all did not obey the call.

Also,

Quote
Hence elsewhere, too, Paul says, “For those called according to his* purpose:” what concerns virtue and our salvation are not subject to necessity. Yet if the greater role is his - almost the whole - still he also left some little role for us so as to prove the charming occasion for the crowns. - St. John Chrysostom, “Comentary on the Psalms,” Vol. II, pg. 102.

Footnote:
The word His, is not in the Greek, and Theodoret seems not have taken it so; he says, "for he calleth not any as it may be (+¦-Ç++-Ä-é), but those who have a purpose" (a predisposition), -Ç-ü-î+++¦-â++, and so does St. Chrysostom, and Oecumenius. See on Eph. i. 11. Hom. ii. p. 112 O. T. and note. St. Augustin rejects this exposition and adopts "to them who are called according to His purpose," Ad Bonif. l. ii. -º22, De Corr. et. Gr. -º23.

Rho, you may also find these articles interesting:

   -  http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/origen_philocalia_02_text.htm#C25
   -  http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/freewill.aspx
« Last Edit: May 27, 2004, 03:19:48 PM by icxn » Logged
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2004, 10:58:59 AM »

Romans 8:29-30 >

29  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
30  and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified (NASB).  

Please explain how Paul could mean here that some who are foreknown and justified will not also be glorified, as I understand the Orthodox to believe.

OK, here's my two cents on these verses:

Foreknowledge - I think it's fairly safe to say this could mean God knew what we would do, which means that we actually do it.

As for predestined, called, justified and glorified -- I have no problem with these, really -- it seems as though St. Paul is trying to underline the faithfulness of God to those who endure.  We do see that "many are called, but few are chosen," the chosen part being those who themselves were prepared for the wedding feast.  For those who "love God," (Rom. 8:28), who keep his commandments (Jn. 14:21) to the end -- these have nothing to worry about.  God WILL be faithful to do what He said He'd do -- we just have to "endure to the end," as it were.  Not one of those who follow and love him will be lost.

Then again, that's just my take on it after having been Orthodox a little while (relatively speaking).

I invite you to read St. John Cassian's "13th Conference" on Faith AND Works regarding salvation at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/350813.htm.  This might shed some light on why we see the Romans passage the way we do.  As you put it:

Quote
it's neither evident nor clear if nobody can furnish a good alternative for this Romans 8:30 passage...

...but neither is it necessarily ONLY the way you put it (I don't claim that salvation is ONLY the way my verses present it, either, BTW); St. John Cassian provides an outlook that is very Eastern: we don't really have this "what-is-God's-role-and-what-is-ours" thing pinned down and defined -- so we don't know what we CAN say definitively -- but we know what we CAN'T say: that we do it all and God does nothing, OR vice versa.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
countrymouse
cyberklutz
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 115

OC.net


« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2004, 11:48:22 AM »

Quote
Romans 8:29-30 >

29  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
30  and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified (NASB).  

Please explain how Paul could mean here that some who are foreknown and justified will not also be glorified, as I understand the Orthodox to believe.

I have a feeling this is going to get into all kinds of sticky wickets we won't possibly be able to clean up!  (One of the sidetracks to which this inevitably leads is theories of inspiration - especially verbal-plenary vs. simply plenary.)

I don't believe that the Orthodox Church denies that God knows His elect, and that the elect persevere.  Where Calvinism and Orthodoxy part ways about this passage concerns the meaning of "foreknowledge."  (Here's where we start to get into inspiration theories.)  God is not constrained by time as we are.  "Foreknowledge" is a less than perfect way of expressing God's omniscience.  Before you object that God would not have allowed Paul to use a less than adequate word in this passage, remember that Paul himself, in one of his letters, emphasized that people were being saved through his preaching because he preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, not because he preached with great eloquence.  

Calvinism tends to try to reduce the Truth to simple logic, which does not work.  Try reducing the Trinity to simple logic!

Orthodoxy, by contrast, is very comfortable with all the paradoxes in the Scriptures.  

Calvinism seems to revere God's sovereingty by asserting that God saves some and shuts others out for His own, largely unrevealed, reasons, and that none of us have anything to say about it.  

Orthodoxy allows God to be sovereign enough to decide for Himself to give everyone a choice, an opportunity, according to His own inscrutable wisdom.  Yes, it looks, at times, as though some of us get greater opportunity than others, especially when we think of Paul's experience on the road to Damascus.  The secret is, I believe, that God (and only God) knows what each one of us truly desires, and has sovereignly decreed that we each shall have it.  We each either desire Him, or desire to please ourselves.  Love or greed.  Life or death.  There are some who, for a while, think they want life, but it turns out to be too much effort, too uncomfortable, to delay gratification.  

C.S. Lewis said it best... (paraphrased) "In the end, there are two kinds of people - those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'Thy will be done.' "

We will all get what we want, and we will all be quite surprised at what we get.  With all that's been revealed, the elect do not fully realize the splendor of what they desire until they finally have it.  The reprobate finally realize, with great horror, that what they've been pursuing all along was poverty, pain, and loneliness.
Logged
countrymouse
cyberklutz
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 115

OC.net


« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2004, 12:06:03 PM »

Let me go back to one of the sentences in my last post...

Quote
Orthodoxy, by contrast, is very comfortable with all the paradoxes in the Scriptures.  

I recall my college Old Testament teacher putting the question to us, "If God already knows everything you're going to do, do you have any control over what you're doing?"  

The answer is yes.  This is a mystery, a paradox.  

God is omniscient, yet we make choices.  God is sovereign over all things, yet we are responsible for our choices, and if we choose death, God is perfectly justified in rewarding us with it.  

Choosing (or wanting one thing rather than another) is not a meritorious work by which we earn something.  It is a simple reality involved in being human - in being made in God's image, according to His sovereign decree. ("Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.")  In fact, the core difference between Eastern and Western theology goes all the way back to the beginning.  

We are tarnished and cracked mirrors due to the effects of sin, but we are still able to reflect God's glory however imperfectly.  We think Western theology (which logically leads to Calvinism) has left something behind from the very start.  That's the real difference.

 
Logged
Rho
Running from dead works to Christ.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2004, 09:41:31 AM »

Quote
ICXN:we cannot dismiss Matthew since the word called used there is the same as in Romans.

>> I have no intention of dismissing it, but I wanted to discuss the Romans 8 passage.  However, since I kind of brought it up, OK then.  
Quote
Hence, not all who are called are indeed saved.
>>No, the banquet hall is the church, right?  And this guy did not take on the proper garments (submission to God, justification) and so was called out and kicked out by the Master of the banquet. He obviously came in with the desire to be rebellious and refused even to answer the king.  So he was invited (heck, everyone is invited) and he even came in, but he did not respond.  So this passage deals not at all with the issue at hand - this man was never justified.  

Quote
it assumes that the calling is a singular event

>>I wouldn't be forced to make that case.  Justification, on the other hand, in the biblical view is a singular event.  The passages in the Bible that deal with justification contain verbs ("By grace you are savED") that are in the aorist tense, signifying a completed action.  
Quote
and that all of us who claim to be Christians are indeed +¦++++-ä+++» meaning we have accepted the call. But this is not so.
>>No, that is not the case I am making.  I am not dealing at all with any claims that anyone may make.  This is about what people truly are.  According to this passage, it's the same "those" all the way through the progression, and I have illustrated above that to change the "those" to some other "those" is not only not in the text but is also illogical.
Quote
Quote from St. John Chrysostom:
Hence he says, that it is not the calling alone, but the purpose of those called too, that works the salvation. For the calling was not forced upon them, nor compulsory. All then were called, but all did not obey the call.
>>It would seem you are abusing his point here by making “called” into something it’s not.  Obviously “called” is different in the Matt 22 passage than in the Rom 8 passage, since the bad man was ‘called’ but was not ‘glorified.’  For your take on St. Chrysostom’s words to be true, this point of view, then, would hold that God foreknew all of them, but all did not obey the call, so they were not in fact foreknown.  This means God knew the future imperfectly.  Is this what the EOC truly officially believes?
Also, this call is a different call than that expressed in the Matthew passage - the Matthew passage makes *no* mention of any glorification, but it does mention (as frequently was Jesus' wont) false brethren - the guest who was invited and did not dress properly is no friend of God.  This seems to go along very well with EO doctrine - no EO priest would simply give the Eucharist to whomever, would he?

Quote
Quote from St. John Chrysostom:
still he also left some little role for us so as to prove the charming occasion for the crowns.
>>Paul's meaning here does not preclude the exercise of human free will at all points, but merely in regard to his eternal status with God after justification has taken place.

Now, this is interesting...
Quote
Quote from Tertullian (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/origen_philocalia_02_text.htm#C25 - look low in point #2):
And if any one objects, and asks whether what God foreknows might possibly not occur, we shall say it possibly might not; but granting this possibility, there is no necessity that it should occur, or not occur; and the events will not in the least be necessitated, but there is also the possibility of their not occurring.
>>Um, OK.  Is this truly what the EOC believes, that God possibly does not know the future infallibly?  Tertullian's follow-up statement does nothing to diminish the force of the first phrase.
And from here:
Quote
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/freewill.aspx - 3rd paragraph:
Calvinists typically make the point that God's foreknowledge cannot be based on his simply knowing the future, because he knew it prior to these future events, and thus could only know it because he decreed that it would be so.

>>I do not agree with this statement (I am not a 5-point Calvinist), and it is not necessary to hold to this 5-P Cal view for Rom 8:29-30 to carry the meaning that I propose.  
Quote
Thus, we are left with to logically conclude that man's sinful actions originate entirely with God
>>I agree with this statement by Father John (the responder in this website), but this is not relevant.  Let's be careful not to change the title to "Is 5-point Calvinism correct?"  
Quote
PEDRO:Foreknowledge - I think it's fairly safe to say this could mean God knew what we would do, which means that we actually do it.
>>Ah, perhaps there's my answer, but do you other posters agree?  Why is Pedro "putting in *his* two cents"?  Where is The Eastern Orthodox Church's Interpretation of this passage?
Quote
We do see that "many are called, but few are chosen," the chosen part being those who themselves were prepared for the wedding feast.  For those who "love God," (Rom. 8:28), who keep his commandments (Jn. 14:21) to the end -- these have nothing to worry about.  God WILL be faithful to do what He said He'd do -- we just have to "endure to the end," as it were.  Not one of those who follow and love him will be lost.
>>Pedro, I don't want to give you a heart attack from shock, but I forge on, risk be darned!  I agree with everything you just said.  
Quote
St. John Cassian provides an outlook that is very Eastern: we don't really have this "what-is-God's-role-and-what-is-ours" thing pinned down and defined

>>Huh So there is no Infallible Interpretation of the Church for this passage?  Is that what you mean?

Now, let me briefly hit some other excerpts here, 'cause I think I'm being misunderstood, and I want to discuss the real issue.
Quote
but we know what we CAN'T say: that we do it all and God does nothing, OR vice versa.
>>I agree.
Quote
COUNTRYMOUSE: Calvinism seems to revere God's sovereingty by asserting that God saves some and shuts others out for His own, largely unrevealed, reasons, and that none of us have anything to say about it.  

>>I agree with you - I do not support the 5-point Cal view.
Quote
Orthodoxy allows God to be sovereign enough to decide for Himself to give everyone a choice, an opportunity, according to His own inscrutable wisdom.  

>>I agree.

OK, all that to say that I am not saying that God gives no freedom to man to choose whether to accept His justification or not.  What I *am* saying is that this Rom 8:29-30 passage says that all the ones who are justified also end up glorified.  So I'm less interested in discussing what happens to get someone justified (or the meaning of Divine Election).  I'm more interested in what happens *after,* aka the Perseverance of the Saints.

Quote
COUNTRYMOUSE: “Foreknowledge” is a less than perfect way of expressing God's omniscience.

>>Are you saying that you agree that God is omniscient and that we can know that God knows in advance who is glorified?  Or are you saying that this word is implying that God has less than perfect knowledge of the future?

Quote
Before you object that God would not have allowed Paul to use a less than adequate word in this passage, remember that Paul himself, in one of his letters, emphasized that people were being saved through his preaching because he preached in the power of the Holy Spirit, not because he preached with great eloquence.

>>I’m not sure if you mean that Paul was not an eloquent speaker (ever read his Acropolis address in Acts 17?), but at any rate, since you and I are both supposed to believe that Scripture is theopneustos, do you believe that his writing of the NT Epistles was not, then, infallible? I know that I don’t see any Scriptural guarantee that anyone’s preaching will be infallible, right?  But what do you mean?

Quote
Calvinism tends to try to reduce the Truth to simple logic, which does not work.  Try reducing the Trinity to simple logic!
We will all get what we want, and we will all be quite surprised at what we get. With all that's been revealed, the elect do not fully realize the splendor of what they desire until they finally have it.

The reprobate finally realize, with great horror, that what they've been pursuing all along was poverty, pain, and loneliness.!

>>All good points for discussion elsewhere.

Quote
"If God already knows everything you're going to do, do you have any control over what you're doing?"  
The answer is yes.  This is a mystery, a paradox.

>>Yes, the answer is yes, and yes, this is a mystery.  You do realise, however, that a “paradox” is a logical contradiction, right?  If you did mean it that way, do you still hold to what you said?

Quote
Orthodoxy, by contrast, is very comfortable with all the paradoxes in the Scriptures.

>>By paradox, do you mean “things too mysterious for the human mind to comprehend fully” or do you mean “logical contradictions?”  It is very important to our discussion to know this.  Anyone else - does EOC believe contradictory things to be true?  

I’m not disputing that man has free choice.  Please - I *understand* that EO-y teaches that one is not saved until the end (or at least, that’s what I’m getting from everyone here).  If I understand that correctly, we don’t need to go over it anymore.  What I would love to see is The Eastern Orthodox Church’s Interpretation of this passage, and I am still waiting for someone to explain how this Rom 8:29-30 passage does not mean that all who are justified are glorified.  

Logged

"I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap. Then I have fled from both of them to Christ, and in Him I have peace." --David Dickson

Matthew 9:13 - Who is the sinner if not I?
icxn
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 251


« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2004, 11:51:35 AM »

Rho, (concerning Origin's quote) the problem is that we have future events not happening because of God's foreknowledge and intervention in order to "help" some people to be saved or lessen the punishment of those [that would have shown] disobedience (if he would have called them - though is His intention to call all and it can be said that He calls all, yet He does not do so in our timeline but in the timeline of His "non-providence", as opposed to the timeline of His providence, which is the one we experience).

Remember the movie "Back to the future?" When the guy goes back and changes the future? That is what happens; only God does not need to travel, he simply knows what would have happened and intervenes appropriately. In other words, we have God's foreknowledge seeing first and then His providence changing those things that He saw (all or some I do not know) for the better, so that those things foreseen never actually take place.

Now, don't you agree that we are the cause of what God's foreknowledge sees and that we make ourselves "called" (or rather, would have made ourselves "called," but God's grace called us first  Grin It is a paradox isn't it?), and even when we have been called, as we read in Matthew, there is still the possibility of falling away because of not practicing the commandments (or virtues, i.e. the garment)? Sounds like a chaotic system with 3 variables: foreknowldge vs. providence vs. our free will, doesn't?

BTW the banquet is not the Church but the Kingdom of Heaven. Also about our responsibility and that it is possible to fall away after being called. Again from St. John:

Quote
Then in order that not even these should put confidence in their faith alone, He discourses unto them also concerning the judgment to be passed upon wicked actions; to them that have not yet believed, of coming unto Him by faith, and to them that have believed, of care with respect to their life. For the garment is life and practice.

And yet the calling was of grace; wherefore then doth He take a strict account? Because although to be called and to be cleansed was of grace, yet, when called and clothed in clean garments, to continue keeping them so, this is of the diligence of them that are called.

The being called was not of merit, but of grace. It was fit therefore to make a return for the grace, and not to show forth such great wickedness after the honor. "But I have not enjoyed," one may say, "so much advantage as the Jews." Nay, but thou hast enjoyed far greater benefits. For what things were being prepared for them throughout all their time, these thou hast received at once, not being worthy. Wherefore Paul also saith, "And that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy." For what things were due to them, these thou hast received.

Wherefore also great is the punishment appointed for them that have been remiss. For as they did despite by not coming, so also thou by thus sitting down with a corrupt life. For to come in with filthy garments is this namely, to depart hence having one's life impure; wherefore also he was speechless.

Seest thou how, although the fact was so manifest, He doth not punish at once, until he himself, who has sinned, has passed the sentence? For by having nothing to reply he condemned himself, and so is taken away to the unutterable torments.

For do not now, on hearing of darkness, suppose he is punished by this, by sending into a place where there is no light only, but where" there is "also" weeping and gnashing of teeth."19 And this He saith, indicating the intolerable pains.

Hear ye, as many as having partaken of the mysteries, and having been present at the marriage, clothe your souls with filthy deeds Hear whence ye were called.

(Source: http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-10/npnf1-10-75.htm)

Quote
Rho
I am still waiting for someone to explain how this Rom 8:29-30 passage does not mean that all who are justified are glorified.


Isn't it obvious from what other posters quoted so far, such as the parable of the marriage feast?  Huh

Anyway, what is your interpretation exactly?

BTW I 'm not a church father to explain to you the EO position on this. I only have access to a few good books... and what I read and understand that is what I post... that's all.

icxn
« Last Edit: May 28, 2004, 02:27:23 PM by icxn » Logged
countrymouse
cyberklutz
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 115

OC.net


« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2004, 04:57:06 PM »


 Are you saying that you agree that God is omniscient and that we can know that God knows in advance who is glorified?  Or are you saying that this word is implying that God has less than perfect knowledge of the future?


I agree that God is omniscient.  When we use phrases such as "knowledge of the future," we need to remember that the "future" is future to us, but now to God.  We live within time; time exists within God.

Quote
>>I’m not sure if you mean that Paul was not an eloquent speaker (ever read his Acropolis address in Acts 17?), but at any rate, since you and I are both supposed to believe that Scripture is theopneustos, do you believe that his writing of the NT Epistles was not, then, infallible? I know that I don’t see any Scriptural guarantee that anyone’s preaching will be infallible, right?


 We probably have different ideas about how theopneustos works.  I don't believe that God chose each word, but rather that, by inspiration, God ensured that His message, true and pure, is carried in the Scriptures, which are properly interpreted only by His Church, not by any of us as individuals or subgroups.  If we have to defend any particular theological view by prooftexting, we've probably got it wrong.

 
>>All good points for discussion elsewhere. Good point; I tend to sidetrack myself.  

Quote
>>Yes, the answer is yes, and yes, this is a mystery.  You do realise, however, that a “paradox” is a logical contradiction, right?  If you did mean it that way, do you still hold to what you said?

God's triune being is a logical contradiction.  How could any being be three and at the same time one?  Fr. Thomas Hopko does say, "Three Who's, one What," but I have a feeling that falls a bit short.  Human language is rather inadequate for describing God.  So we end up with logical contradictions.  God's full sovereignty and our responsibility is also a logical contradiction, and we can only deal with it as a mystery.

Quote
>>By paradox, do you mean “things too mysterious for the human mind to comprehend fully” or do you mean “logical contradictions?”  It is very important to our discussion to know this.  Anyone else - does EOC believe contradictory things to be true?  
As per above, you can see that I mean both.  Logic isn't everything.  It, too, is inadequate, and we can't use it to really bring God down to us.

Quote
I’m not disputing that man has free choice.  Please - I *understand* that EO-y teaches that one is not saved until the end (or at least, that’s what I’m getting from everyone here).  If I understand that correctly, we don’t need to go over it anymore.  What I would love to see is The Eastern Orthodox Church’s Interpretation of this passage, and I am still waiting for someone to explain how this Rom 8:29-30 passage does not mean that all who are justified are glorified.  

Perhaps someone who has an Orthodox Study Bible could look it up for you.  Perhaps someone can recommend an Orthodox commentary; I don't know of any (other than the Study Bible) but that doesn't mean they don't exist. The OC doesn't systematize the way the West does, though.  

If I'm still not being clear, keep asking, and I'll try again.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2004, 05:04:10 PM by countrymouse » Logged
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2004, 06:58:05 PM »

I would disagree that either the Trinity or the relationship btw God's sovereignty and our responsibility are "logical contradictions".  They are "mysteries", but not contradictions.  A contradiction would be saying God is both only one ousia and three ousia at the same time and in the same sense, or both one hypostasis and three hypostases.  Rather, God is one ousia and three hypostases--the "oneness" and "threeness" referring to different "aspects" of God's existence.  How this can be is a mystery to us, but it is not logically contradictory.
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
countrymouse
cyberklutz
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 115

OC.net


« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2004, 09:49:03 PM »

I would disagree that either the Trinity or the relationship btw God's sovereignty and our responsibility are "logical contradictions".  They are "mysteries", but not contradictions.  A contradiction would be saying God is both only one ousia and three ousia at the same time and in the same sense, or both one hypostasis and three hypostases.  Rather, God is one ousia and three hypostases--the "oneness" and "threeness" referring to different "aspects" of God's existence.  How this can be is a mystery to us, but it is not logically contradictory.  

Hadn't thought of that (and don't know much Greek at all).  So, no, it is not a paradox in the sense of logical contradiction after all.  Thanks for the correction. Smiley
Logged
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2004, 11:19:36 PM »

Before I get started on my reply...very nice post on ousia and hypostasis, DT!

Quote
PEDRO:Foreknowledge - I think it's fairly safe to say this could mean God knew what we would do, which means that we actually do it.  We do see that "many are called, but few are chosen," the chosen part being those who themselves were prepared for the wedding feast.  For those who "love God," (Rom. 8:28), who keep his commandments (Jn. 14:21) to the end -- these have nothing to worry about.  God WILL be faithful to do what He said He'd do -- we just have to "endure to the end," as it were.  Not one of those who follow and love him will be lost.

Quote
>>Ah, perhaps there's my answer, but do you other posters agree?  Why is Pedro "putting in *his* two cents"?  Where is The Eastern Orthodox Church's Interpretation of this passage?

Not just "my two cents" (sorry; I know you're looking to make everything "official"):

Quote
FROM THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE, NOTE, ROM. 8:28, 29:
...Based on His foreknwoledge, God assures or predestines that those who choose to love and obey Him will be fulfilled, being conformed to the image of His son.  (emph. theirs)

Notice that: God's foreknowledge is advance knowledge (complete and perfect) of those who would choose, and (we would say) keep on choosing throughout life to love and follow God.  THESE He WILL call to Himself, as he knows they will respond, though He does call many more (we would say the "called" here in Romans are the "chosen" in Matt, 22, per ixcn's quote of St. John Chrysostom regarding our keeping our wedding garments clean).  The bishops who helped put together the OSB are rather clear: this passage is about God's faithfulness to those who are faithful to Him, which implies action; to those who were not faithful all the way, He is not obliged to glorify, as their wedding gowns are missing, stained, etc.  All we see this as saying is that God holds up his end of the bargain.

Quote
>>Pedro, I don't want to give you a heart attack from shock, but I forge on, risk be darned!  I agree with everything you just said.  

Shocked <clutches left arm>  Seriously, somehow, I'm not surprised!  I think the difference lies merely in whether or not our confessions believe that those cast out of the banquet/those who were not glorified were ever called in the first place.  IIRC:

We say they had been, but gave up (in which case they weren't glorified, for they didn't finish the race, and God's still faithful to those who did).

You say they hadn't been, so God didn't "waste His calling," as it were, on someone He knew wasn't serious enough to go through all of life confessing Christ (in which case they weren't glorified, for they were never called in the first place, and God's still faithful to those who were...called, that is).

Am I right on this?

If so, the question then becomes this: were those who, though they had earlier confessed Christ as Lord, later rejected Him  -- were these people ever called in the first place?  IOW, can we even say that they even made a beginning?  We would say they did.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2004, 09:19:09 AM »

Hadn't thought of that (and don't know much Greek at all).  So, no, it is not a paradox in the sense of logical contradiction after all.  Thanks for the correction. Smiley
Quote
(Pedro:)Before I get started on my reply...very nice post on ousia and hypostasis, DT!

You're both welcome  Smiley.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2004, 09:20:55 AM by Doubting Thomas » Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
TomS
Banned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 3,186


"Look At Me! Look At Me Now! " - Bono


« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2004, 03:12:31 PM »

From "The Teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church" page 32

St. Gregory the Theologian tells us that the study of theology is a privilege and a aweful responsibility. "It is not safe, I say for the impure to touch the pure, even as it is unsafe to fix weak eyes on the rays of the sun" (Theol. Ora I, 4)

It is not a subject for academic debate, nor a sport, nor should it be part of a casual coversation. Neither should everyone presume to discourse on it; not before every audience or not under any circumstances.

The subject of theology is not "so cheap and common." Only he should "speak" or "philosophize" or "theologize about God" who is a "past master of meditation" and, if not purged completely of his passions, is at least "being purified."
Logged
Seraphim Reeves
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 450



WWW
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2004, 03:52:40 PM »

Rho,

Quote
29  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
30  and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified (NASB).

Putting the incorrect definition of "Tradition" aside, I think you would be well served accessing a English-Greek concordance when you come across difficult verses like this.  One of the problems with Latinized tongues is that they tend to phrase things in terms of idealistic, static conditions, rather than their energetic reality (which is how Greek works - and is probably why Divine Providence deigned that the Holy Scriptures come to the Church primarily in Greek - both the Septuagint used by the Apostles, and the original NT itself being composed in Greek).  All western tongues to varying degrees have been affected by the limitations of Latin, as well as their own native limitations, in expressing ideas.  The problem grows even more in translations of the Scriptures, because most that come to us in English suffer from a HEAVY editorial/doctrinal bias.  Sometimes you'll have words which in Greek have several meanings - you'll get the one most congenial to the bias of the editors (even if it violates the more holistic interpretation of the Bible.)

If you don't want to spring for one right now (or even if you do, the link I'll post for you is still pretty handy in any case), you can go to this site and use the searchable translations with Strong's numbers to do your studies.  They offer the KJV (my preference, outside of Dormition Skete's "Orthodox New Testament") and the NAS with references's to Strong's Hebrew and Greek concordances.

The passage you cite, on face value, doesn't seem particularly difficult or controversial to me.  However when I looked up the Strong's numbers for key words, it became even less controversial.

The passage is a statement of the obvious for those who believe God is the primary agent in salvation, and that He's omniscience (know's all.)  I think only Pelagians or people who believe God to be fallible and limited in His knowledge would have problems with the passage.

"Foreknew" is pretty straight forward (and as accurate a translation as any from the Greek - it simply speaks to God's omniscience).  "Predestinate" I'm a little less satisifed with, if only because the term itself carries alot of Calvinist baggage.  The Greek word "proorizo" comes from two root words, pro ("before") and horizo (to define, to set boundaries, to determine.)  The linguistic origin of the verb horizo in turn is a neutral noun, horion which distinctly has the meaning of "boundaries", in terms of a distinct geographical place.

The word "conformed" in verse 29 is summorphos which means to have the same form as another, or to be similar to another.

The first question about verse 29 then, should be, who is it that is being "foreknown"?  Who is it that God knows, what is it about them that He knows, ahead of time - even before they were ever conceived, indeed even before the universe was?

Well whoever these "foreknown" people are, they have been set on a certain path, within certain boundaries to the end that they be conformed (made like) the only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.   I have a hard time getting anything else out of that verse.

As for verse 30 - those who God has "predestinated" (understood strictly according to the original Greek; God pre-ordaining for those He has "foreknown" a certain path - perhaps the "narrow path" the Saviour preached?) He has also "called" (Greek kaleo - to call aloud, to salute, to call by name, to invite).  Well, it's obvious that in time, He calls men - calling them out of the world.

At this point I think we need to stop for a moment, since the Godly calling of men from the world into the Church, from a Calvinistic p.o.v. should be very narrow.  Yet according to the closing of St.Matthew's Gospel, the Apostles were instructed to teach and baptize "all nations", that is to say to as many as would hear them and consent to their teaching.  If Christ is the one Who has instructed this, then it is quite obvious (unless we believe all who are in the Church will persevere and save their souls) that God is not simply calling a narrow group of "elect" Who He foreknows will persevere to the end, but He calls all to Himself.  Rather, what the verse is saying is the obvious - obviously these people that God "foreknows" are going to be amongst those who respond positively to His call.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:30, emphasis mine)

It would seem that this verse is speaking about the same group of people (those God "foreknew") being spoken about in verse 29.  Since we already established that there are those who are "called" who unfortunately will not persevere in Christ, there is little reason to believe the same cannot be true of justification either.  The word translated "justified" is the Greek dikaioo which has the meaning of either declaring someone to in fact be righteous, or to declare one such as he ought to be (I think both are true in this case.)  Given that a holistic reading of the New Testament makes it quite clear that this "justification" can take place on several occassions (for example, St.Paul says Abraham was "justified" by faith; St.James says later Abraham was justified by his righteous deeds - both are true...which is precisely why Luther loathed St.James' epistle).

Given that this "justification" can come in several ways and on several occasions within a single man's lifetime (and given that we've already established that being "called" does not equal perseverance unto the end), there is little reason to believe it's impossible that one can at one point be justified, but still have a bad end.  This is why the Church believes that those not yet in the Church but who desire to become catechumen (preparing to be Baptized) have received "grace before grace" (they've cooperated with God even before receiving the first of the Holy Mysteries, Baptism) - and why She also teaches that when that person is finally Baptized, they receive grace and will come out of the Baptismal font as innocent as newborns even after a lifetime of bad living, etc.

Now since the passage is dealing specifically with those God has "foreknown", we then go from "justification" to "glorification" which in Greek is doxazo which in this context has the meaning of being honoured/held in honour, but also (and more importantly) to be adorned with lustre, or clothed in splendour (theosis.)  Theosis or "divinization" (part of that being made "like" Christ) is an unending process, even in those who have departed this world in the peace of Christ.

Quote
Please explain how Paul could mean here that some who are foreknown and justified will not also be glorified, as I understand the Orthodox to believe.

We are all "foreknown" obviously, in God's omniscience, for either good or bad.  The problem with your interpretation (and it's an easy trap to fall into) is that you're changing the "subject" (who is being talked about here) midway into the passage.  It is those who are "foreknown" in the good way (the elect, those who will die with their baptismal garments still white, in the grace of God) who are being spoken of, since any one of the things referred to in the passage (sadly, even sanctification/glorification if one falls from grace - even the greatest Saints were vigilant against this) can refer to someone who is NOT in fact one of these people God has "foreknown" will save their souls.

What demonstrates absolutely that the clarification I'm offering here is the correct one (and not the one of the Calvinists - who believe the only people called, or at least justified at any time, by God are those who will make it to the end - the elect) is that the contrary, Calvinistic interpretation requires you to throw practically every exhortation to vigilance and call ongoing repentence that you can find in the New Testmament out the window.

The same St.Paul who authored the Epistle to the Romans is the same one who exhorted the faithful to " work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12).  It is the same St.Paul who wrote "wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1st Corinthians 10:12).  St.Paul even wrote of himself (!) the following sobering words - "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1st Corinthians 9:27).

This is to say nothing of Christ's call for us to mourn over our sins, to fast, and to practice humility.  If the God-man deigned to be baptized amongst sinners, and to die the death of a criminal, how can we who have no insight into our destinies have any pretense about ourselves?

Of course there are, and always be those living in our midst who God foreknows (He has known before the begining of all!) will die faithful and full of love for Him, truly contrite for where they "missed the mark."  Affirming this is good, because it's true.  The danger, otoh, is the presumption (which even St.Paul did not have!) that we can know who is amongst this number, let alone that we are to be numbered amongst them.  In other words, it's a valuable truth in so far as it confirms God's providence and provides some meaning for the milieu of savagery and darkness we're currently living through - but that's about it.  It gives absolutely no cause for presumption, since what is implicit to the two verses you cited, is that it is speaking of those who ultimatly persevere.  It's not talking about people arbitrarily picked by God, who despite themselves are going to be saved, while others are left (in equally arbitrary a fashion) to languish in their sins.

Salvation is synergistic - it cannot be done without God, but neither will it be done without a person's cooperation either.

Seraphim
Logged

Seraphim Reeves
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 450



WWW
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2004, 04:00:25 PM »

Tom,

Quote
It is not a subject for academic debate, nor a sport, nor should it be part of a casual coversation. Neither should everyone presume to discourse on it; not before every audience or not under any circumstances.

The subject of theology is not "so cheap and common." Only he should "speak" or "philosophize" or "theologize about God" who is a "past master of meditation" and, if not purged completely of his passions, is at least "being purified."

Lord have mercy.  This is important what you have said, and is certainly a rebuke of my own conscience.  I only hope that whatever I have said here is so much a repetition of what infinitely better men than myself have said, that I will be forgiven for any presumptuousness on my part.

At one time, there was a very sharp differentiation between what the Church taught publically and included in their call of repentence, and what was taught to those coming into the Church or who were already Baptized.  Apparently even some of the weighty, very central ideas about Christ and the Holy Trinity, were not fully disclosed until the time just before the catechuman was to be Baptized.  Certainly this was true of the Holy Mysteries, particularly the Eucharist.  This was one of the big reasons why non-Christians were not allowed to even enter the Churches during the earliest period, and even catechumen were not allowed to stay past the first part of the Divine Liturgy.

You can certainly bet even if they had printing presses, early Christians would not have been in the habit of handing out Bibles the way Protestants are, either.

Unfortunately, heresies began not from the outside, but from within - men who had tasted the good things, who had learned the Church's doctrine, but out of vanity went ahead and tried to do "one better."  It is they who turned over the sacred pearls of the Church to the "swine" (Christ's saying, not mine), and to a degree have made it an ugly necessity to pour over passages with those who really have no business reading them in the first place.

Seraphim
Logged

TomS
Banned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 3,186


"Look At Me! Look At Me Now! " - Bono


« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2004, 04:27:24 PM »

Tom,Lord have mercy.  This is important what you have said, and is certainly a rebuke of my own conscience.  

It was not I who said these things, but St. Gregory and Rev. Michael Azkoul in his book.

There is no WAY that I could have such wisdom!
Logged
Fotina02
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 176



« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2004, 04:52:52 PM »

Unfortunately, heresies began not from the outside, but from within - men who had tasted the good things, who had learned the Church's doctrine, but out of vanity went ahead and tried to do "one better."  It is they who turned over the sacred pearls of the Church to the "swine" (Christ's saying, not mine), and to a degree have made it an ugly necessity to pour over passages with those who really have no business reading them in the first place.

Seraphim


I've wondered why patriarchs, priests, bishops who are prayed for daily by the faithful can still topple from their high places. It strikes fear in my heart when even the Patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, could succumb to error.
Logged
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2004, 05:13:18 PM »

.............
....Salvation is synergistic - it cannot be done without God, but neither will it be done without a person's cooperation either.

Seraphim


Seraphim Reeves, excellent post!  You said much more eloquently what I tried to say earlier in an awkward fashion.  Thanks!  Smiley
« Last Edit: May 29, 2004, 05:19:40 PM by Doubting Thomas » Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2004, 05:18:55 PM »

Tom,
Forgive me if I was being presumptuous.  I was only intending to point out that the doctrine of Trinity as dogmatically "defined" by the Councils is not logically contradictory as if the only wise God could exist irrationally.  Under the guidance of the Spirit the Cappadocian Fathers were able to "explain" (though certainly not to fully comprehend) how God could be One and yet Three without falling into absurdity and contradiction.  I'm in full agreement with you that one must not speculate beyond what has been revealed as if theogical knowledge was a common thing.
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
TomS
Banned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 3,186


"Look At Me! Look At Me Now! " - Bono


« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2004, 05:44:13 PM »

Tom,
Forgive me if I was being presumptuous....

You misunderstand -- I was not judging you or any of the posters on this thread.

I was simply pointing out that when you look at the Church fathers, our opinions are really infantile.

And when you read what Rev Azkoul wrote - it makes sense.
Logged
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2004, 11:41:55 PM »

My goodness, Seraphim Reeves -- that was a wonderful post (I refer to the first one).

Rho -- what do you make of 2 Pet. 2:20-22?

Quote
20For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

21For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

22But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Rho
Running from dead works to Christ.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2004, 04:38:04 AM »

Quote
ICXN: the banquet (Matthew 22) is not the Church but the Kingdom of Heaven. Also about our responsibility and that it is possible to fall away after being called.

>>Perhaps we are using different vocabulary - when *I* say "Kingdom of Heaven," I mean the existence following the earthly one, where one has passed through the veil of death.  If you believe this also, do you believe then that people can fall out of Heaven, as this man obviously got there and was only *then* thrown out?
Quote
what is your interpretation exactly?
>>To reiterate, and Seraphim agrees with me - the “those”s in vv. 29-30 are the same.  
Quote
COUNTRYMOUSE:Logic isn't everything.  It, too, is inadequate, and we can't use it to really bring God down to us.

>>Well, it's what we have to comprehend the world rationally.  First here, you are using logic to deny that Logic is adequate (Logic is EITHER adequate OR inadequate).  Then you would perhaps deny that God reveals Himself in ways compatible with (though sometimes which go beyond) Logic - God communicates EITHER in logical OR in non-logical ways.  You really can't escape it.  Not to deny that God is way beyond our comprehension in a lot of the things He does, but His actions are never against logic.  
Quote
D THOMAS: Rather, God is one ousia and three hypostases--the "oneness" and "threeness" referring to different "aspects" of God's existence.  

>>Words right outta my mouth - thank you sir.
Quote
PEDRO: this passage is about God's faithfulness to those who are faithful to Him, which implies action;
>>No objection - my position assumes that those who are justified WILL have the sanctifying action.  Does the OSB say anything about the next part, the "called-justified-glorified" part?  Also, do you believe *everything* the OSB says (not being sarcastic - this is a real question)?
Quote
I think the difference lies merely in whether or not our confessions believe that those cast out of the banquet/those who were not glorified were ever called in the first place.  

>>Ehh, kinda - I guess that would apply to making the "those" different, so I guess it's relevant.
Quote
were those who, though they had earlier confessed Christ as Lord, later rejected Him  -- were these people ever called in the first place?  IOW, can we even say that they even made a beginning?  We would say they did.

>>OK, I see where you're going - we obviously disagree on the meaning of the Matt 22 passage and I hold that the "those" of Romans 8 is the same throughout... so it depends on one's presuppositions what one makes of whether they were really called.  It doesn't matter to my position whether they made a start - see below.
Quote
SERAPHIM:Well, it's obvious that in time, He calls men - calling them out of the world...the Godly calling of men from the world into the Church, from a Calvinistic p.o.v. should be very narrow.  

>>OK, first, I hear other posters telling me that the Matthew 22 passage represents Heaven, which is a ridiculous interpretation - EOs do not believe one can get tossed out of Heaven, do you?  
With that in mind, there is more than one definition of "called" in the Bible (and Matt 22 uses kletos, a different word, but which seems to have a loose meaning like kaleo), and we see an alternative to "called = invited" in places like 1 Cor 7, 1 Thess 2:12, John 10, and 2 Tim 1:9, and it is questionable in other passages like 2 Thess 2:13-14, 1 Peter 1:15 & 2:9.  So, yes, God "invites" all to Himself, and then sometimes the word means "called directly unto salvation," which refers to the event that precedes logically (though not chronologically - they are simultaneous) justification.
Quote
what is it about them that He knows, ahead of time - even before they were ever conceived, indeed even before the universe was?
>>He knows *everything* about them - every characteristic, and everyone's eternal destiny.
Quote
It would seem that this verse is speaking about the same group of people (those God "foreknew") being spoken about in verse 29... Since we already established that there are those who are "called" who unfortunately will not persevere in Christ, there is little reason to believe the same cannot be true of justification either.
>>First, glad to see that you agree that the "those"s are the same throughout the two verses.
Two kinds of “called” - there’s invited and there’s called effectually to justification.  In your interp, the verse is saying that God did NOT, indeed, foreknow some people who would be justified - that is what you are saying, and it creates difficulty for you.  You claim no Pelagian slant away from God’s omniscience but you belie it in your post - which side do you take, at the end of the day?
What you said is only true when the "calling" means "the invitation" as in Matt 22.  Remember, however, that breaking the sentence down into the Greek (as one should do when studying any passage in-depth) does not change the dire implications for your position.  If we are to hold that God foreknew *even one person* as glorified that did not make it to glorification, we believe that God is not omniscient.  So this is where your argument breaks down.

It bothers my position not at all to say that God, elsewhere, has called all men to follow Christ - that is the one usage of the word “called.”  But in Rom 8:30, His call is effectual and it refers to people actually making the decision to follow Christ (which I also believe to be synergistic).  It has to be this way, otherwise God does not foreknow them.

Quote
--The problem with your interpretation (and it's an easy trap to fall into) is that you're changing the "subject" (who is being talked about here) midway into the passage.

>>No, I am NOT changing them halfway thru - that is my point exactly.  It is the same “those” at every time.  It is rather your position that would change the “those” from “those whom He called” to “those who were called AND who responded, and there were some who did not respond” in your point of view.  So let us make sure we understand who is changing what here.
Quote
--can refer to someone who is NOT in fact one of these people God has "foreknown" will save their soulsGǪ always be those living in our midst who God foreknows (He has known before the begining of all!) will die faithful and full of love for Him, truly contrite for where they "missed the mark."

>>God, in His foreknowledge, will know who will be glorified and who will not, and I am sure you would agree with that.  This is why your dichotomy of “foreknown for good and foreknown for bad” - it’s like God does not foreknow those who are bad - if He knows those who will be conformed to His Son's image, then He knows who won't be, but He'll know it infallibly, right?  All it says is that God foreknew them, and that those are the people who will be glorified, since they are the same “those,” as we both agree.  
Quote
--the contrary, Calvinistic interpretation requires you to throw practically every exhortation to vigilance and call ongoing repentance that you can find in the New Testament out the window
>>This is not true and is a bad caricature of my position.  All I refer to here is whether a person, once justified (which would be known infallibly only by the Lord Himself) *will* ever fall away.  
Quote
This is to say nothing of Christ's call for us to mourn over our sins, to fast, and to practice humility.

>>I do not understand how one could think that my position would make these things unnecessary if they fully understood it.
Quote
It's not talking about people arbitrarily picked by God, who despite themselves are going to be saved, while others are left (in equally arbitrary a fashion) to languish in their sins.
>>I agree with this - it would appear that you have partly been writing under a false idea of my position, thus (perhaps inadvertently) setting up and knocking down a hyper-Calvinist strawman.
Quote
Given that a holistic reading of the New Testament makes it quite clear that this "justification" can take place on several occasions

>>I absolutely dispute this, but I think this is where the line will be drawn between my position and yours, ultimately.  The justification Paul speaks of in Romans 4 and so many other places, which is in the eyes of the Lord, and at which point 33 things happen to the new believer, cannot happen more than once (Heb 6:4-6).  The justification James speaks of is the justification of the believer and his faith in the eyes of others and of the evidence that validates his faith (“justifying” his faith”).  Otherwise, Paul and James contradict.  Do you believe they contradict?  

OK, so we have established so far that the EO interpretation of this passage forces the passage to say that God does not indeed foreknow everyone who will be glorified or that some are glorified who are not foreknown.  Any other input?

I will move on now to responding to some of the other passages brought up so far.
Romans 11:20-22 - "Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off."
>>This verse is a strong warning not to fall away.  But like so many other warnings, it does not assume that one WILL fall away - it simply warns you not to.  And when you think about it, it only makes sense - how will one know with absolute certainty whether one has a faith that leads to glorification?  It is only through self-analysis that one can check to be in the faith still, as in 2 Corinthians 13:5 - “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith, examine yourselves!  Or do you not recognise this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you fail the test?”  So Paul makes in both of these passages stern warnings that we should examine ourselves.  But notice Paul does not cite anyone who stands by faith AND WHO WAS THEN CUT OFF.  The Nation of Israel, cited previously by Paul, was not cut off in its entirety (there were some who were saved by their faith) but the Nation in its general sense was cut off in favor of the Gentiles, so this is a bad prooftext for your position.  

1 Cor. 9:27 - But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
>>What is the “prize” Paul speaks about in v. 24?  It is the reward that the believer might receive if he runs the race with perseverance - see Paul’s previous reference in the same book, ch. 3:10-15.  The fire tests the quality of each builder’s work, and heavenly rewards await those who built with gold and silver rather than straw.  Unless one believes that one can *earn* one’s salvation, this can only mean prizes that await the believer who lived out his faith with great faithfulness.  Would Paul refer to salvation (which to him is a free gift) as a “prize” to be “won?”  No.  Rather, the prize is that which he speaks of during the whole chapter up until the end - the prize of giving up his rights (denying himself, much as an athlete does) in order to preach the Gospel.  

Col. 1:19-23 - 21And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- 23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away
>>This passage does not assume that anyone will - we know from Rom 8 that this is a ridiculous notion.  Instead, this is a warning to examine ourselves, as we would be foolish to presume upon God’s grace.  

Heb. 6:4-6 - 4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
>>I have a question about this verse to whomever might choose to tackle it.  I do not believe necessarily that this refers to people who at any time were truly believers, and we will see the author speaking to the “almost persuaded” in chapter 10 as well.  At any rate, if you believe this verse refers to people who once were justified and now are no longer, do you also believe that someone can come back from this falling away?  I could be mistaken, but in EO theology, can you not come back home if you fall away?  Not according to this verse.

parable of the sower - Matt 13:1-9 - only the good soil *which produces a harvest*, are the people who are truly saved.  All others vary from outright rejection to momentary excitement and then a loss of interest, which shows no influence of the Holy Spirit in their lives and thus no justification.  

Quote
COUNTRYMOUSE: Jesus promised He would not turn His back on us, but the Scriptures do not say that we can't turn our backs on Him.

>>Well, yes it does, actually - John 10:27-29 - “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, Who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Anyone who falls away once they are in Christ’s and the Father’s hands is stronger than the Will of God.

Quote
SERAPHIM: You can certainly bet even if they had printing presses, early Christians would not have been in the habit of handing out Bibles the way Protestants are, either.
>>So you do NOT in fact believe that each believer is supposed to examine himself (how would he without knowledge of godliness)?  Could we try to stay on topic without the cheap shots?

Quote
FOTINA: I've wondered why patriarchs, priests, bishops who are prayed for daily by the faithful can still topple from their high places. It strikes fear in my heart when even the Patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, could succumb to error.
>>Yes, it is a mystery, but keep in mind you neither know anyone’s heart nor see their whole life.  I will skip the opportunity for the cheap shot afforded me here.

2 Peter 2:20-22 - Would the Spirit of God refer to members of His beloved Church, of the Body of Christ, as “dogs” and “sows”?  No - it is clear these false prophets were never believers, as in 1 John 2:19 - “They went out from us, but they *were not really of us*; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.”  (emph. mine)
So these false prophets were never of the Church, in accordance with Rom 8:30.  As for their escaping “the pollutions of the world thru the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” it is no great surprise to learn that, by hanging out with believers, one can escape the pollutions of the world - it is thru the godly influence of those very believers.  And Jesus Christ is not “their” Lord and Savior, but is “the” Lord.  And, just as in Heb. 10 and similar to Matt 12:45, it is worse for these men to have come close and refused what they saw - the Holy Spirit working in people’s hearts - than if they had remained ignorant.  

OK, now that I have answered all those - what do you think of 1 John 5:13 -  “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you might know that you have eternal life” ?
Logged

"I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap. Then I have fled from both of them to Christ, and in Him I have peace." --David Dickson

Matthew 9:13 - Who is the sinner if not I?
icxn
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 251


« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2004, 07:41:39 AM »

So Rho,

What you are saying is that once you have been called (believed?) then you are saved and there is no way to fall away?
Logged
Rho
Running from dead works to Christ.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2004, 08:46:08 AM »

Yes, what I am saying is that once one has been called (the 2nd definition of "called" - that of effectually receiving the truth of God into one's heart), then one is justified by the Spirit of God and one is sealed by the Holy Spirit (as in Ephesians 1:13-14 - "13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.")

One does not infallibly know that one is saved (thus the frequent calls for self-examination, which also serve to help us stay true doctrinally, not leading others astray though we are secure in God's forgiveness), but God does, and once you are, you WILL never go back.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2004, 08:48:02 AM by Rho » Logged

"I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap. Then I have fled from both of them to Christ, and in Him I have peace." --David Dickson

Matthew 9:13 - Who is the sinner if not I?
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2004, 10:06:09 AM »

A quick question for you, Rho: having just glanced over your post, it would seem as though you've used the Rom. passage to interpret the others away from what would seem to be an "obvious" reading of warning against falling away.  Why use this one passage as the "key" to it all?  Seems a bit presumptuous.
Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Rho
Running from dead works to Christ.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2004, 10:13:39 AM »

Pedro,
I am assuming that the Scriptures do not contradict each other.  I know that we've been around that tree before with Countrymouse, for example, but I'm sticking to what I have heretofore understood to be the EO position - the Scriptures do not contradict.

That said, in the absence of any substantive response to my proposed meaning of Rom 8:29-30 without robbing God of His omniscience, I am using it to help interp other passages.  Indeed, that is the method of normal hermeneutics - I interp one passage in the light of the others in the Bible.  

At any rate, so far the passages that I have dealt with do not explicitly assume the possibility of falling away - they merely warn against it, so I could conceivably have left off Rom 8, but my case is bolstered by proper interpretational methodology.
Logged

"I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap. Then I have fled from both of them to Christ, and in Him I have peace." --David Dickson

Matthew 9:13 - Who is the sinner if not I?
Doubting Thomas
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 874

Anglican (but not Episcopagan)


« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2004, 11:04:03 AM »


That said, in the absence of any substantive response to my proposed meaning of Rom 8:29-30 without robbing God of His omniscience, I am using it to help interp other passages.  Indeed, that is the method of normal hermeneutics - I interp one passage in the light of the others in the Bible.  
Actually, Seraphim Reeves answered your "proposed" meaning quite well.  What you are doing is using your interpretation of that passage (taken out of context) to somehow explain away verses that are rather clear that one can fall away from grace.  Your interpretation is not the result of a supposedly objective, "normal" hermeneutic but is the by-product of a novel interpretive tradition which originated less than 500 years ago.

Quote
At any rate, so far the passages that I have dealt with do not explicitly assume the possibility of falling away - they merely warn against it, so I could conceivably have left off Rom 8, but my case is bolstered by proper interpretational methodology.
That's rather weak.  The reason that Paul warned about being "cut off" in the Romans 11 passage is that it is a real possibility for those who don't continue in the faith.   In your mind your case is indeed "bolstered", but it's by hermeneutical gymnastics and not by "proper interpretive methodology".  It's by subconsciously relying on an interpretive tradition which is out of phase with the historic consensus of the Church.
Logged

"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33
icxn
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 251


« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2004, 01:37:02 PM »

1 Cor. 9:27 - But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.

Quote
Rho:
What is the “prize” Paul speaks about in v. 24?  It is the reward that the believer might receive if he runs the race with perseverance - see Paul’s previous reference in the same book, ch. 3:10-15.  The fire tests the quality of each builder’s work, and heavenly rewards await those who built with gold and silver rather than straw.  Unless one believes that one can *earn* one’s salvation, this can only mean prizes that await the believer who lived out his faith with great faithfulness.  Would Paul refer to salvation (which to him is a free gift) as a “prize” to be “won?”  No.  Rather, the prize is that which he speaks of during the whole chapter up until the end - the prize of giving up his rights (denying himself, much as an athlete does) in order to preach the Gospel.

We prefer St. John Chrysostom's interpretation:

Here he implies that they are subject to the lust of the belly and give up the reins to it, and under a pretence of perfection fulfill their own greediness; a thought which before also he was travailing to express, when he said, "meats for the belly, and the belly for meats." (1 Cor. 6:13) For since both fornication is caused by luxury, and it also brought forth idolatry, he naturally oftentimes inveighs against this disease; and pointing out how great things he suffered for the Gospel, he sets this also down among them. "As I went," says he, "beyond the commands, and this when it was no light matter for me:" ("for we endure all things," it is said,) "so also here I submit to much labor in order to live soberly. Stubborn as appetite is and the tyranny of the belly, nevertheless I bridle it and give not myself up to the passion, but endure all labor not to be drawn aside by it."

"For do not, I pray you, suppose that by taking things easily I arrive at this desirable result. For it is a race and a manifold struggle, and a tyrannical nature continually rising up against me and seeking to free itself. But I bear not with it but keep it down, and bring it into subjection with many struggles."
Now this he says that none may despairingly withdraw from the conflicts in behalf of virtue because the undertaking is laborious. Wherefore he says, "I discipline and bring into bondage." He said not, "I kill:" nor, "I punish" for the flesh is not to be hated, but, "I discipline and bring into bondage;" which is the part of a master not of an enemy, of a teacher not of a foe, of a gymnastic master not of an adversary.

"Lest by any means, having preached to others, I myself should be a rejected."

Now if Paul feared this who had taught so many, and feared it after his preaching and becoming an angel and undertaking the leadership of the whole world; what can we say?

For, "think not," says he, "because ye have believed, that this is sufficient for your salvation: since if to me neither preaching nor teaching nor bringing over innumerable persons, is enough for salvation unless I exhibit my own conduct also un-blamable, much less to you."
« Last Edit: June 02, 2004, 01:42:10 PM by icxn » Logged
Fr. David
The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA, Diocese of the South
Posts: 2,831



WWW
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2004, 02:16:44 PM »

Here here, DT and icxn -- yet another example of everybody after the Apostles getting a key issue wrong, I guess... Roll Eyes  

Rho, no offense to you personally, but I think this will be my last post (of length, anyway) on this thread, as I'm not really interested in further debating against something I find so illogical.

Quote
my position assumes that those who are justified WILL have the sanctifying action.  Does the OSB say anything about the next part, the "called-justified-glorified" part?

As I wrote previously, with a bit more added on:
Quote
Based on His foreknwledge, God assures or predestines that those who choose to love and obey Him will be fulfilled, being conformed to the image of His Son...(vs. 30) Paul writes of the overall breadth of salvation.  Glorified is in the past tense, but it also refers to the future glorification of believers through the resurrection.

So, again, we answer -- ALL those who themselves endure, God knows of, and will be faithful to reward them.  They don't have to worry about God being capricious and pulling a "bait and switch" on them, in other words.  God has fully laid out the path of salvation; if we walk it, we WILL arrive home.  ALL of us.  That's what we see the passage as saying.

Quote
Also, do you believe *everything* the OSB says (not being sarcastic - this is a real question)?

Haven't read all the notes, but neither have I yet read anything that smells fishy.  So, yeah, so far.

Quote
OK, first, I hear other posters telling me that the Matthew 22 passage represents Heaven, which is a ridiculous interpretation - EOs do not believe one can get tossed out of Heaven, do you?

Let me (try to) clarify: Matt. 22 relates to Heaven, and yet it doesn't, completely.  This is through our view of eschatology (which Fr. Alexander Schmemann goes over quite a bit), which says that the Kingdom of Heaven is here with us now, in its fulness, and yet will be revealed completely in actuality at the second coming.  So the obtaining and preserving of said garment is now, which is in preparation for the wedding feast of the Lamb in Heaven, where we will ultimately face the consequences for our actions.

Quote
But in Rom 8:30, His call is effectual and it refers to people actually making the decision to follow Christ (which I also believe to be synergistic).

Sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it, too.  What is the "effect" of God's call (seen to be "irresistible grace" in pure Calvinism, which you say you don't buy) if we are still to "make the decision" ourselves?  If one takes vs. 30 by itself, man is completely excluded, with the verse not referring to man doing anything.

Quote
OK, so we have established so far that the EO interpretation of this passage forces the passage to say that God does not indeed foreknow everyone who will be glorified or that some are glorified who are not foreknown.

No, you have set that up in your own mind.  We don't concede this; read what I said about vs. 30 again if you think otherwise.

Quote
Romans 11:20-22...This verse is a strong warning not to fall away.  But like so many other warnings, it does not assume that one WILL fall away - it simply warns you not to.

I think DT expressed the EO frustration at this (frankly) convoluted way of seeing any kind of warning.  Why warn someone of something that definitely will or definitely will not happen? Huh

Quote
And when you think about it, it only makes sense - how will one know with absolute certainty whether one has a faith that leads to glorification?

So the idea is, basically, to keep checking so you can make sure your confession "stuck," right?  Which is something you can never *really* know for sure, right?  Sounds like someone trying to get around the catholic idea of continual work on salvation.

Quote
But notice Paul does not cite anyone who stands by faith AND WHO WAS THEN CUT OFF.  The Nation of Israel, cited previously by Paul, was not cut off in its entirety (there were some who were saved by their faith) but the Nation in its general sense was cut off in favor of the Gentiles, so this is a bad prooftext for your position.


How is this bad?!  Paul cites the majority of individuals within the Isrealite nation who were in the tree of salvation and no longer are; the fact that some Israelites were baptized into the New Israel just proves the point that they had to continue in right belief to stay on the tree, otherwise they (as well as anyone else) would be cut off from where they were before.

Quote
Col. 1:19-23...This passage does not assume that anyone will - we know from Rom 8 that this is a ridiculous notion.  Instead, this is a warning to examine ourselves, as we would be foolish to presume upon God’s grace.

Your notion is what seems ridiculous at this point, Rho; he will present us holy, if indeed we continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which we heard.  We move away, we won't be presented holy.  He knew what we'd do, but the decision to quit is ours to make...whatever we choose to do, He will act accordingly.

Quote
Heb. 6:4-6...if you believe this verse refers to people who once were justified and now are no longer, do you also believe that someone can come back from this falling away?...Not according to this verse.

This refers to those adult converts who renounced Christ and reverted to Judaism, whose baptism cannot be repeated.  This is still true to this day; baptisms cannot be repeated.

Quote
parable of the sower

And you can be sure that the seeds never had to accept, realize, confess, or persevere in anything; it was all done for them.  Really, even the parables break down at some point.

Quote
"My Father, Who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  Anyone who falls away once they are in Christ’s and the Father’s hands is stronger than the Will of God.

Again, this is done for the assurance of the believer in the sense that God is faithful and will not allow other people, principalities, powers, etc. to separate us (transitive verb) from God (Rom. 8 again!), but it says nothing about our being able to leave of our own free will, which He respects.


Quote
2 Peter 2:20-22 - Would the Spirit of God refer to members of His beloved Church, of the Body of Christ, as “dogs” and “sows”?  No - it is clear these false prophets were never believers...As for their escaping “the pollutions of the world thru the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” it is no great surprise to learn that, by hanging out with believers, one can escape the pollutions of the world - it is thru the godly influence of those very believers.  And Jesus Christ is not “their” Lord and Savior, but is “the” Lord.

Hmm..."escaped pollution," only to be "again entangled."
A sow, having washed, returning to her wallowing in the mire.

Sounds enough like a change from one state to another, then back again.  But to deal with the Greek in verse 21:

knowledge: +¦-Ç+¦+¦++-ë-â+¦+¦   having known: +¦-Ç+¦+¦++++-Ã -â+¦++  The words denote experiential knowledge, which they participate in, as opposed to mere "head knowledge.

Quote
what do you think of 1 John 5:13 -  “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you might know that you have eternal life” ?

Well, I think we ought to finish the verse when we quote it: "...and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God," apart from which we cannot have eternal life.  Believe and keep believing.  Otherwise, there will be no eternal life.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2004, 02:17:20 PM by Pedro » Logged

Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
Seraphim Reeves
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 450



WWW
« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2004, 03:11:54 PM »

Rho,

Quote
>>First, glad to see that you agree that the "those"s are the same throughout the two verses.
Two kinds of “called” - there’s invited and there’s called effectually to justification.  In your interp, the verse is saying that God did NOT, indeed, foreknow some people who would be justified - that is what you are saying, and it creates difficulty for you.  You claim no Pelagian slant away from God’s omniscience but you belie it in your post - which side do you take, at the end of the day?

I do not know how you get this out of what I wrote.  God knows who will be saved, and who unfortunately will not.

The problem is you're reading into the word "foreknow" - all it means is that He knew ahead of time.

Quote
What you said is only true when the "calling" means "the invitation" as in Matt 22.  Remember, however, that breaking the sentence down into the Greek (as one should do when studying any passage in-depth) does not change the dire implications for your position.  If we are to hold that God foreknew *even one person* as glorified that did not make it to glorification, we believe that God is not omniscient.  So this is where your argument breaks down.

Once again, you're reading into the word "foreknow" - that is the root of your problem.  The word itself simply means knowledge ahead of time.   God knows who the elect are.  That's the import of the passage you cited from Romans.

The passage follows the elect, how they are called, how they are justified, and brought to glorification - it follows a logical order.

This says absolutely nothing of those who God knows before time (foreknown as well, in a different way) will not save their souls - who will hear the calling, but reject it and all ends there.  Or who will hear the calling, accept it and be received into the Church...but eventually will become like the bad soil, and turn their back on the gift of God.  Or those even who may reach great spiritual heights, only to fall through pride or some other sin and end in ruin.

The problem is rather than looking at the passage in Romans as a discourse on the elect, you're tearing the passage apart and making it a discussion of everyone who is ever "justified" at any time, or anyone who ever gladly hears the evangelical calling, or anyone who tastes of the uncreated glory of the Holy Trinity.  That, and a completely unwarranted "reading into" on your part as far as the term "foreknew"/"foreknow" is concerned, is the root of your problem.

Quote
It bothers my position not at all to say that God, elsewhere, has called all men to follow Christ - that is the one usage of the word “called.”  But in Rom 8:30, His call is effectual and it refers to people actually making the decision to follow Christ (which I also believe to be synergistic).  It has to be this way, otherwise God does not foreknow them.

These are distinctions which are alien to the Biblical/Patristic understanding of what grace "is", and the Scripture/Church's anthropology.  While men cannot do anything without the Light of God, the idea that there are "graces" which compel man's decision (thus his free will is only an illusion) involves false teaching on both grace and man.

Thus, this talk of His call being "effectual", etc...it just means absolutely nothing in an Orthodox context.   It's carrying way too much (heretical) baggage to even be discussed.  Grace, man, and mortality would have to be discussed before this could even begin to be sorted out.

Quote
This is not true and is a bad caricature of my position.  All I refer to here is whether a person, once justified (which would be known infallibly only by the Lord Himself) *will* ever fall away.

If God knows the end of that person, that is what will happen.  Very rarely are we given insight into such things (which is why this subject on the whole is not profitable for discussion, and has created any number of heretics where it did become a pre-occupation).  The only examples I know of, are the false prophet, the anti-Christ, and the devil, who we are told will be thrown into Hell for eternity.  Why will they have a bad end?  Because they will never repent.  The extraordinary thing (though obviously our knowledge of this is important enough that such normally secret counsels are being revealed) is that we are being told this.  Strictly speaking, God could do the same for anyone else.

Either way (whether it be in the case of some joe-schmoe who loses his soul, or the devil) it is ultimatly the bad choices of the individuals involved, and not God's immediate knowledge of all things, which makes that sad situation so.

Quote
I absolutely dispute this, but I think this is where the line will be drawn between my position and yours, ultimately.  The justification Paul speaks of in Romans 4 and so many other places, which is in the eyes of the Lord, and at which point 33 things happen to the new believer, cannot happen more than once (Heb 6:4-6).  The justification James speaks of is the justification of the believer and his faith in the eyes of others and of the evidence that validates his faith (“justifying” his faith”).  Otherwise, Paul and James contradict.  Do you believe they contradict?

I agree that under the umbrella of things referred to as "justification", different things are pointed to.  As Hebrews 6 indicates, re-baptism is impossible (verse four describing a pattern of initiation still practiced in Orthodoxy to this day - Baptism, Chrismation, Holy Communion.)

However, what I disagree with, is that the "justification" St.James speaks about involves the benefit of our fellow man.  This sounds a lot like "human respect".

The importance of this other form of "justification" (basically, anything but the mystery of initiation) is precisely to be found in the repair of fallen Christians.  While re-Baptism and starting with a clean slate is not possible, the hard road of confessing one's sins and struggling to overcome them is very much open.  Such a return would be a form of "justification" in God's sight.

Quote
OK, so we have established so far that the EO interpretation of this passage forces the passage to say that God does not indeed foreknow everyone who will be glorified or that some are glorified who are not foreknown.  Any other input?

A totally false conclusion.

Quote
So you do NOT in fact believe that each believer is supposed to examine himself (how would he without knowledge of godliness)?

I don't believe that examination of conscience was supposed to involve "re-inventing the wheel", or that the "knowledge of Godliness" is primarily something which is self-taught.

Quote
Could we try to stay on topic without the cheap shots?

Sadly it's not a mischaracterization or "cheap shot", since the tangeled ball of yarn you've laid in front of us is itself an eloquent argument against the exagerated/false "Biblicism" of the sectarians.  Everything has it's context, and every reading will have a context whether intended or not - in the case of the Bible it will either be read in the sanctuary of God (one context), or in the temple of personal opinion, social bias, and other false pre-conceptions (another context.)

Seraphim
Logged

Rho
Running from dead works to Christ.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2004, 07:03:19 AM »

More on Seraphim's supposed refutation of my proposed interpretation:
To say that God called some people and that some were not justified reveals that the speaker has not addressed the alternate meanings for "call" or "calling" that is seen in the verses I mentioned above.  
Next, your distinction of several kinds of justification cannot stand - there is no other kind of justification that *God* does but that of forgiving the person who has put his faith in Christ and who has passed from death to life, who is a new creation.  The Epistle of James' kind of justification, I'm sure you will admit, is *not* something God does, so it is not applicable here.  Yet we do see multiple examples of God doing specific activities during justification of the believer in the New Testament.
And I would love to know how God would go about justifying someone several times in a lifetime - given that it is God doing it, did He do such an incomplete job the first time?  Did someone snatch the believer out of His hand (more about that in John 10:26-29)?  
Quote
SERAPHIM: The passage follows the elect, how they are called, how they are justified, and brought to glorification - it follows a logical order.
--Well whoever these "foreknown" people are, they have been set on a certain path, within certain boundaries to the end that they be conformed (made like) the only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is those who are "foreknown" in the good way (the elect, those who will die with their baptismal garments still white, in the grace of God) who are being spoken of, since any one of the things referred to in the passage (sadly, even sanctification/glorification if one falls from grace - even the greatest Saints were vigilant against this) can refer to someone who is NOT in fact one of these people God has "foreknown" will save their souls.

>>So much of what has been said in response to me has been based on unfounded assumptions, and this is no exception.  The passage says nothing about making a dichotomy between anyone who will not continue in the process - you are reading it into the text.  It says that God foreknew those he predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.  It says *nothing* about anyone getting away - this is classic eisegesis.
Quote
If the God-man deigned to be baptized amongst sinners, and to die the death of a criminal, how can we who have no insight into our destinies have any pretense about ourselves?
>>For one thing, I see no connection between Christ's baptism and death and this question.  Surely you are not saying that Christ's baptism and death were not preordained?  At any rate, *my position gives no grounds for pretense or assumption*.  It is a conclusion based on the scriptural text, not a plea for licentious behavior ("I'm saved! I can do whatever I want and still go to heaven!")  God, in His omniscience, knows who are His, and He knows infallibly who WILL "take up his cross daily and follow" Christ.  
Quote
DTHOMAS: What you are doing is using your interpretation of that passage (taken out of context) to somehow explain away verses that are rather clear that one can fall away from grace.  Your interpretation is not the result of a supposedly objective, "normal" hermeneutic but is the by-product of a novel interpretive tradition which originated less than 500 years ago.
>>I'm not trying to be mean or dismissive, but one must defeat the point and not simply assume or assert that it is the way one wants.  As for the normal interpretational method, did not many Church Fathers engage in that method of hermeneutics, as opposed to others who preferred the allegorical method (like Origen)?  If so, I don't know what you mean by "novel interp tradition."
Quote
The reason that Paul warned about being "cut off" in the Romans 11 passage is that it is a real possibility for those who don't continue in the faith.  In your mind your case is indeed "bolstered", but it's by hermeneutical gymnastics and not by "proper interpretive methodology".
>>"Gymnastics."  OK.  Just deal with the points then, please, if they're that easy to defeat.  By the way, *I'm* not the one making all kinds of unfounded assumptions about what Paul did and did not mean - I'm engaging the text.  Do you have some sort of unheard-of power to read Paul's mind without yourself engaging the text?
Quote
From Saint John Chrysostom's Homily on 1 Cor. 9
>>Believe me, I understand that you prefer this interpretation.  1) In his Homily on Romans 8, St. John Chrysostom does not deal with vv.29-30; 2) This interpretation misses the context of the passage - vv. 16-18 are not dealt with, where, in context, Paul defines the prize from which he does not want to be disqualified, namely:  
Quote
15  But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.
16   For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
17   For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.
18   What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
Quote
PEDRO:ALL those who themselves endure, God knows of, and will be faithful to reward them.  They don't have to worry about God being capricious and pulling a "bait and switch" on them, in other words.  God has fully laid out the path of salvation; if we walk it, we WILL arrive home.  ALL of us.  That's what we see the passage as saying.
>>And again you make the assumption that this is what Paul means.  Again *I* ask - do you have some power to read Paul's mind, so that you do not have to take into account the entire corpus of his work to know what he means when he says something of which the meaning is disputed?
Quote
So the obtaining and preserving of said garment is now, which is in preparation for the wedding feast of the Lamb in Heaven, where we will ultimately face the consequences for our actions.
>>I don't really know what to make of this very confusing assertion.  I'd ask what your point is, but since you don't seem like you want to continue this dialogue...
Quote
What is the "effect" of God's call (seen to be "irresistible grace" in pure Calvinism, which you say you don't buy) if we are still to "make the decision" ourselves?
>>I don't see the necessity of inserting that meaning into it. I have cited several other passages where "called" or "calling" holds the meaning of "joined into Christ," and this is clearly what Paul means here.  Neither of us believes that all that God invites are justified, so what I have said is the only remaining proposition.
Quote
If one takes vs. 30 by itself, man is completely excluded, with the verse not referring to man doing anything.
>>That is why I don't take anything by itself, but rather study the Scriptures in their proper context.
Quote
Why warn someone of something that definitely will or definitely will not happen?
>>Let me clarify my position a bit more.
-First, there is no indication in the New Testament that one can know with infallible certainty that he is in Christ; thus the frequent calls to self-examination like in 2 Cor 13:5.
-Second, there is danger of anyone of falling into complacency - it's human nature.  As Paul says in 2 Cor 13:5 - "Or do you not recognise this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you fail the test?"
-These warnings are quite profitable to keep us from falling into poor behavior, loss of witness and loss of credit to the Name of Christ, and laziness towards the work of God.
Quote
Heb. 6:4-6 - This refers to those adult converts who renounced Christ and reverted to Judaism, whose baptism cannot be repeated.  This is still true to this day; baptisms cannot be repeated.
>>OK, no accompanying comment on whether they can ever come back... so no strike against my position.  However, you might want to rethink that - see v.9 - "But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concering you, and *things that accompany salvation*, though we are speaking in this way" (emph. mine).
Quote
Really, even the parables break down at some point.
>>I'll take that as an accord with my statements concerning it, then.  
Quote
but it says nothing about our being able to leave of our own free will, which He respects.
>>So "no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand" *should* read: "no one except for themselves is able..."?  I wonder why it doesn't say that then?
Quote
"escaped pollution," only to be "again entangled."
A sow, having washed, returning to her wallowing in the mire.
Sounds enough like a change from one state to another, then back again.

>>It's still a sow, though it be washed.  What to make of the "dog," according to your logic?  As for experiential knowledge, agreed - these people were obviously hanging out with believers, as I said in my last big post, and the situation is comparable to 1 John 2:18-19, where they are called "antichrists."
Quote
"...and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God," apart from which we cannot have eternal life.  Believe and keep believing.  Otherwise, there will be no eternal life.
>>I had never seen that addition, which is only found in a few English translations, but you must make the assumption that, granted, you have already made, to make that addition into a possibility for the true believer falling away.  But what of "that you may know that you have eternal life"?
Quote
SERAPHIM:This says absolutely nothing of those who God knows before time (foreknown as well, in a different way) will not save their souls - who will hear the calling, but reject it and all ends there.  Or who will hear the calling, accept it and be received into the Church...but eventually will become like the bad soil, and turn their back on the gift of God.  

>>The verse speaks ONLY of the string of the process of saving people from God's perspective.  There is nothing in the passage of people falling away.  There *is* a string of "them...who"s that one would need to break apart to hold your position.
Quote
The problem is rather than looking at the passage in Romans as a discourse on the elect, you're tearing the passage apart and making it a discussion of everyone who is ever "justified" at any time, or anyone who ever gladly hears the evangelical calling, or anyone who tastes of the uncreated glory of the Holy Trinity.

>>I honestly don't know what you mean.  My whole *point* is that it is a discourse on the elect - their identities as well.  It's the "them-who" thing again.  
Quote
"reading into" on your part as far as the term "foreknew"/"foreknow" is concerned, is the root of your problem.
>>OK, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on who is making the assumptions here.  
Quote
While men cannot do anything without the Light of God, the idea that there are "graces" which compel man's decision (thus his free will is only an illusion) involves false teaching on both grace and man.
>>See my clarification above.  As for these hermeneutical analyses "meaning nothing" in an EO context, that would be part of my point, yes.  
Quote
Heb 6:4-6 - The importance of this other form of "justification" (basically, anything but the mystery of initiation) is precisely to be found in the repair of fallen Christians.  While re-Baptism and starting with a clean slate is not possible, the hard road of confessing one's sins and struggling to overcome them is very much open.  

>>OK, but baptism is never mentioned in this passage.
Quote
Everything has it's context, and every reading will have a context whether intended or not

>>Agreed - I suppose the unbiased observer will have to come to a conclusion of whose interpretation is founded on the scriptural text and whose is not.  
Logged

"I have taken my good deeds and my bad deeds and thrown them together in a heap. Then I have fled from both of them to Christ, and in Him I have peace." --David Dickson

Matthew 9:13 - Who is the sinner if not I?
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.237 seconds with 70 queries.