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Author Topic: Was human nature corrupted by the Fall?  (Read 6472 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2011, 12:56:14 PM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.

Father,

Ever-since Saint Augustine, the christian west had a tendency to believe in a "sin-nature". When we(EO) say corrupt nature, what we mean by it is death/decay or being mortal along with a tendency to sin. The west has a tendency to believe that one can only choose what their nature is and so if one has a sin-nature then the onlything they are able to choose is sin.
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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

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« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2011, 01:04:34 PM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.

I found this quote on the web: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm

Quote
It can be said that while we have not inherited the guilt of Adam's personal sin, because his sin is also of a generic nature, and because the entire human race is possessed of an essential, ontological unity,[12] we participate in it by virtue of our participation in the human race. "The imparting of Original Sin by means of natural heredity should be understood in terms of the unity of the entire human nature, and of the homoousiotitos [13] of all men, who, connected by nature, constitute one mystic whole. Inasmuch as human nature is indeed unique and unbreakable, the imparting of sin from the first-born to the entire human race descended from him is rendered explicable: 'Explicitly, as from the root, the sickness proceeded to the rest of the tree, Adam being the root who had suffered corruption'" [St. Cyril of Alexandria].[14]

I do not understand the distinction. I honestly feel like the Orthodox reaction against this is a well-meaning attack of the straw-man of total depravity, which John Calvin taught. This quote, from Archpriest Golubov, seems to agree that the entirety of humanity has been corrupted - which is what I understood Latins to mean when we say that human nature was corrupted. Not that the state of being human became an evil, but that all men, while men, of which being one is good, also were twisted to be inclined to sin and evil and were born lacking communion with the divine - a situation which needs rectification.

No Catholic teaches that the state of being human is evil - humans are not totally depraved and unable to please God (thanks for that one, Calvin).

Calvin, Luther, Jansen, John Wesley, James Arminius as well as alot of other people in the christian west got it from Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine went further than the other fathers before him in the area of what happened at the fall. He believed that free will was lost at the fall. the other church fathers didn't teach that.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 01:11:22 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2011, 01:11:49 PM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.

I found this quote on the web: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm

Quote
It can be said that while we have not inherited the guilt of Adam's personal sin, because his sin is also of a generic nature, and because the entire human race is possessed of an essential, ontological unity,[12] we participate in it by virtue of our participation in the human race. "The imparting of Original Sin by means of natural heredity should be understood in terms of the unity of the entire human nature, and of the homoousiotitos [13] of all men, who, connected by nature, constitute one mystic whole. Inasmuch as human nature is indeed unique and unbreakable, the imparting of sin from the first-born to the entire human race descended from him is rendered explicable: 'Explicitly, as from the root, the sickness proceeded to the rest of the tree, Adam being the root who had suffered corruption'" [St. Cyril of Alexandria].[14]

I do not understand the distinction. I honestly feel like the Orthodox reaction against this is a well-meaning attack of the straw-man of total depravity, which John Calvin taught. This quote, from Archpriest Golubov, seems to agree that the entirety of humanity has been corrupted - which is what I understood Latins to mean when we say that human nature was corrupted. Not that the state of being human became an evil, but that all men, while men, of which being one is good, also were twisted to be inclined to sin and evil and were born lacking communion with the divine - a situation which needs rectification.

No Catholic teaches that the state of being human is evil - humans are not totally depraved and unable to please God (thanks for that one, Calvin).

Calvin, Luther, Jansen, John Wesley, James Arminius as well as alot of other people in the christian west got it from Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine went further than the other fathers before him in the area of what happened at the fall. He believed that free will was lost at the fall. the other church fathers didn't teach that.

 Huh
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« Reply #48 on: November 22, 2011, 01:20:27 PM »

I honestly feel like the Orthodox reaction against this is a well-meaning attack of the straw-man of total depravity, which John Calvin taught.alvin).

Touché. That's how most of the anti-Latin Orthodox polemics are. In the end we both believe that due to the Fall something happened to mankind. And that something was more than bodily mortality. Modern EOs just refuse to call it as "Original sin" or "corrupted nature".

"If looks like a duck, swims like a duck..."

There is a difference and it's mostly because of the Augustinian tradition. Yes, the western church did take a modified or semi-Augustinian view after the death of Saint Augustine, and so we are close in our views, but we should at least know the differences. Because they are different.
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« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2011, 01:21:42 PM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.

I found this quote on the web: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm

Quote
It can be said that while we have not inherited the guilt of Adam's personal sin, because his sin is also of a generic nature, and because the entire human race is possessed of an essential, ontological unity,[12] we participate in it by virtue of our participation in the human race. "The imparting of Original Sin by means of natural heredity should be understood in terms of the unity of the entire human nature, and of the homoousiotitos [13] of all men, who, connected by nature, constitute one mystic whole. Inasmuch as human nature is indeed unique and unbreakable, the imparting of sin from the first-born to the entire human race descended from him is rendered explicable: 'Explicitly, as from the root, the sickness proceeded to the rest of the tree, Adam being the root who had suffered corruption'" [St. Cyril of Alexandria].[14]

I do not understand the distinction. I honestly feel like the Orthodox reaction against this is a well-meaning attack of the straw-man of total depravity, which John Calvin taught. This quote, from Archpriest Golubov, seems to agree that the entirety of humanity has been corrupted - which is what I understood Latins to mean when we say that human nature was corrupted. Not that the state of being human became an evil, but that all men, while men, of which being one is good, also were twisted to be inclined to sin and evil and were born lacking communion with the divine - a situation which needs rectification.

No Catholic teaches that the state of being human is evil - humans are not totally depraved and unable to please God (thanks for that one, Calvin).

Calvin, Luther, Jansen, John Wesley, James Arminius as well as alot of other people in the christian west got it from Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine went further than the other fathers before him in the area of what happened at the fall. He believed that free will was lost at the fall. the other church fathers didn't teach that.

 Huh

Do you disagree?

I'm actually writing a book that talks about this issue in passing:
http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-secondary-sources-for-book-im.html (my secondary sources)

http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-i-am-writing-book.html (why I'm writing a book)



And so I have a tendency to post on topics like these because the issues are still fresh in my head.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 01:31:37 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #50 on: November 22, 2011, 01:26:19 PM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.

I found this quote on the web: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm

Quote
It can be said that while we have not inherited the guilt of Adam's personal sin, because his sin is also of a generic nature, and because the entire human race is possessed of an essential, ontological unity,[12] we participate in it by virtue of our participation in the human race. "The imparting of Original Sin by means of natural heredity should be understood in terms of the unity of the entire human nature, and of the homoousiotitos [13] of all men, who, connected by nature, constitute one mystic whole. Inasmuch as human nature is indeed unique and unbreakable, the imparting of sin from the first-born to the entire human race descended from him is rendered explicable: 'Explicitly, as from the root, the sickness proceeded to the rest of the tree, Adam being the root who had suffered corruption'" [St. Cyril of Alexandria].[14]

I do not understand the distinction. I honestly feel like the Orthodox reaction against this is a well-meaning attack of the straw-man of total depravity, which John Calvin taught. This quote, from Archpriest Golubov, seems to agree that the entirety of humanity has been corrupted - which is what I understood Latins to mean when we say that human nature was corrupted. Not that the state of being human became an evil, but that all men, while men, of which being one is good, also were twisted to be inclined to sin and evil and were born lacking communion with the divine - a situation which needs rectification.

No Catholic teaches that the state of being human is evil - humans are not totally depraved and unable to please God (thanks for that one, Calvin).

Calvin, Luther, Jansen, John Wesley, James Arminius as well as alot of other people in the christian west got it from Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine went further than the other fathers before him in the area of what happened at the fall. He believed that free will was lost at the fall. the other church fathers didn't teach that.

 Huh

Do you disagree?

Indeed I do.  With both you and Father.  I don't know how these kinds of ideas get started but they certainly are damaging when they take hold.

M.
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« Reply #51 on: November 22, 2011, 01:34:31 PM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.

I found this quote on the web: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm

Quote
It can be said that while we have not inherited the guilt of Adam's personal sin, because his sin is also of a generic nature, and because the entire human race is possessed of an essential, ontological unity,[12] we participate in it by virtue of our participation in the human race. "The imparting of Original Sin by means of natural heredity should be understood in terms of the unity of the entire human nature, and of the homoousiotitos [13] of all men, who, connected by nature, constitute one mystic whole. Inasmuch as human nature is indeed unique and unbreakable, the imparting of sin from the first-born to the entire human race descended from him is rendered explicable: 'Explicitly, as from the root, the sickness proceeded to the rest of the tree, Adam being the root who had suffered corruption'" [St. Cyril of Alexandria].[14]

I do not understand the distinction. I honestly feel like the Orthodox reaction against this is a well-meaning attack of the straw-man of total depravity, which John Calvin taught. This quote, from Archpriest Golubov, seems to agree that the entirety of humanity has been corrupted - which is what I understood Latins to mean when we say that human nature was corrupted. Not that the state of being human became an evil, but that all men, while men, of which being one is good, also were twisted to be inclined to sin and evil and were born lacking communion with the divine - a situation which needs rectification.

No Catholic teaches that the state of being human is evil - humans are not totally depraved and unable to please God (thanks for that one, Calvin).

Calvin, Luther, Jansen, John Wesley, James Arminius as well as alot of other people in the christian west got it from Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine went further than the other fathers before him in the area of what happened at the fall. He believed that free will was lost at the fall. the other church fathers didn't teach that.

 Huh

Do you disagree?

Indeed I do.  With both you and Father.  I don't know how these kinds of ideas get started but they certainly are damaging when they take hold.

M.

Do you disagree with what I said about Saint Augustine and his view of what happened to free will when Adam and Eve fell?

In his early christian years he did believe in the doctrine of free will, but after his ordination he started to believe in a form of soft determinism. Over the years his determinism became stronger and stronger. This is why there is more than one interpretation of the word Free Will. It is because of Saint Augustine's compatibilism that we now have more than one interpretation of free will.


But yes, Saint Augustine became a determinist.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 01:39:26 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #52 on: November 22, 2011, 02:02:28 PM »


We were created mortal. It is no sin to be mortal. It is no sin to be corruptible. This is how we were created. This is how Adam was created.


Here's the problem I think.  I don't know enough about Oriental Orthodox teachings to know if this is part of it but it certainly is not part of Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic teaching as I have learned them.

This is not a personal criticism of you Father.  I am sorry to be in a position to counter your assertion.

M.

Will this work?


Theophilus (2nd century bishop of Antioch)
Theophilus to Autolycus: Book II
Chapter XXVII.—The Nature of Man.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.iv.ii.ii.xxvii.html (the link)


"But some one will say to us, Was man made by nature mortal? Certainly not. Was he, then, immortal? Neither do we affirm this. But one will say, Was he, then, nothing? Not even this hits the mark. He was by nature neither mortal nor immortal. For if He had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have made him God. Again, if He had made him mortal, God would seem to be the cause of his death. Neither, then, immortal nor yet mortal did He make him, but, as we have said above, capable of both; so that if he should incline to the things of immortality, keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from Him immortality, and should become God; but if, on the other hand, he should turn to the things of death, disobeying God, he should himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, and with power over himself. That, then, which man brought upon himself through carelessness and disobedience, this God now vouchsafes to him as a gift through His own philanthropy and pity, when men obey Him. Apparently meaning, that God turns death, which man brought on himself by disobedience, into a blessing. For as man, disobeying, drew death upon himself; so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting. For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption."



You can go here to see if there is anything else that could be helpful in regards to this issue:
http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2010/11/free-will.html (my link of quotes in the area of free will)

« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 02:04:43 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #53 on: November 22, 2011, 02:10:33 PM »

First of all I can't read it in pretty lime green print but I know the passage and it is NOT what Father had said at all...I can only deal with what people say and not what they might mean.


We were created mortal. It is no sin to be mortal. It is no sin to be corruptible. This is how we were created. This is how Adam was created.


Here's the problem I think.  I don't know enough about Oriental Orthodox teachings to know if this is part of it but it certainly is not part of Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic teaching as I have learned them.

This is not a personal criticism of you Father.  I am sorry to be in a position to counter your assertion.

M.

Will this work?


Theophilus (2nd century bishop of Antioch)
Theophilus to Autolycus: Book II
Chapter XXVII.—The Nature of Man.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.iv.ii.ii.xxvii.html (the link)


"But some one will say to us, Was man made by nature mortal? Certainly not. Was he, then, immortal? Neither do we affirm this. But one will say, Was he, then, nothing? Not even this hits the mark. He was by nature neither mortal nor immortal. For if He had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have made him God. Again, if He had made him mortal, God would seem to be the cause of his death. Neither, then, immortal nor yet mortal did He make him, but, as we have said above, capable of both; so that if he should incline to the things of immortality, keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from Him immortality, and should become God; but if, on the other hand, he should turn to the things of death, disobeying God, he should himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, and with power over himself. That, then, which man brought upon himself through carelessness and disobedience, this God now vouchsafes to him as a gift through His own philanthropy and pity, when men obey Him. Apparently meaning, that God turns death, which man brought on himself by disobedience, into a blessing. For as man, disobeying, drew death upon himself; so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting. For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption."



You can go here to see if there is anything else that could be helpful in regards to this issue:
http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2010/11/free-will.html (my link of quotes in the area of free will)


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« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2011, 02:13:18 PM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.
Pelegianism?

Saint Cyril condemns Pelagianism either at the 3rd ecumenical council or in one of his writings. I recall a quote in where he said something. Hmm, But I agree with you that we weren't created mortal. Theophilus said we were created neither mortal or immortal. We became mortal at the fall.
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"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2011, 02:15:10 PM »

First of all I can't read it in pretty lime green print but I know the passage and it is NOT what Father had said at all...I can only deal with what people say and not what they might mean.


We were created mortal. It is no sin to be mortal. It is no sin to be corruptible. This is how we were created. This is how Adam was created.


Here's the problem I think.  I don't know enough about Oriental Orthodox teachings to know if this is part of it but it certainly is not part of Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic teaching as I have learned them.

This is not a personal criticism of you Father.  I am sorry to be in a position to counter your assertion.

M.

Will this work?


Theophilus (2nd century bishop of Antioch)
Theophilus to Autolycus: Book II
Chapter XXVII.—The Nature of Man.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.iv.ii.ii.xxvii.html (the link)


"But some one will say to us, Was man made by nature mortal? Certainly not. Was he, then, immortal? Neither do we affirm this. But one will say, Was he, then, nothing? Not even this hits the mark. He was by nature neither mortal nor immortal. For if He had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have made him God. Again, if He had made him mortal, God would seem to be the cause of his death. Neither, then, immortal nor yet mortal did He make him, but, as we have said above, capable of both; so that if he should incline to the things of immortality, keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from Him immortality, and should become God; but if, on the other hand, he should turn to the things of death, disobeying God, he should himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, and with power over himself. That, then, which man brought upon himself through carelessness and disobedience, this God now vouchsafes to him as a gift through His own philanthropy and pity, when men obey Him. Apparently meaning, that God turns death, which man brought on himself by disobedience, into a blessing. For as man, disobeying, drew death upon himself; so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting. For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption."



You can go here to see if there is anything else that could be helpful in regards to this issue:
http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2010/11/free-will.html (my link of quotes in the area of free will)



Sorry about the color, but I never said Father said that. I just quoted Theophilus to help you out. Unless, you disagree with Theophilus too? I know Calvinists who disagree with it, but I don't think you're a Calvinist.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2011, 02:20:17 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

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

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2011, 03:21:17 PM »

My friend's blog
http://classicalchristianity.com/2011/02/21/on-depraved-nature/ (On Depraved Nature)


and

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm (rags of mortality)

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

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2011, 03:23:19 PM »

St Cyril is a Pelagian?

What?!
No, I was talking about your interpretation of St.Cyril's words.
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« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2011, 02:28:17 AM »

It all depends upon what is meant by the word "corruption"? 

As I see, the word "corruption" refers to human mortality after the fall, but of course being mortal does not mean that a human being has inherited Adam's guilt or personal sin (see St. John Chrysostom, Third Baptismal Instruction, no. 6).

Why would we raise the question of personal sin guilt since neither the Catholic Church nor Orthodoxy teach or have ever taught that we carry the personal guilt of the Ancestor's sins...

It is one thing to indicate that the consequences of the fall pass on to each one of us personally, but that is NOT the same thing as speaking of personal guilt.

Sometimes that needs to be said in discussions such as these.

M.

It's because the question of whether we inherit sin from Adam, or what it means to say we inherit sin from Adam, is his theological hobby-horse.
Not at all.  I simply reject the notion that sin or guilt can be inherited because those things are personal and not natural.  That said, I have not accused you of having a theological "hobby-horse" and I would appreciate the same courtesy.

Do I believe that the Latin bishops at Trent were correct when they asserted that a man inherits guilt (either as reatum or culpa) or sin?  Nope.

It's especially irritating when a Catholic tries to show he's more Orthodox than the Orthodox. "Latin" bishops, indeed! Face it, they are YOUR bishops. If you think they're so heretical, just join us already! Wink

But actually I don't agree with you that we have to reject the idea of inheriting sin. There is just too much patristic support for it. What you could say is that the Church never taught that anyone is born with personal guilt or responsibility for original sin. Original sin is not an individual transgression that all newborns are held to be juridically guilty of, but it is a definitely sinful condition that requires cleansing in Baptism. I know elsewhere you have argued that Baptism does not cleanse sins in the case of newborns, but I don't think you produced any patristic evidence for this, and there is nothing in the Baptismal prayers that would lead anyone to conclude that newborns were not being cleansed of sin, and we have the decision of the Council of Carthage (which was accepted by the whole Church, lest you try to wriggle out of it by saying it was "Western" or "Augustinian") which says that anyone who denies babies are born in sin and require the cleansing of Baptism are under anathema.
My faith as a Melkite Catholic is Orthodox, so I am not "trying" to be more Orthodox than the Orthodox; instead, I simply am theologically Orthodox.  That said, I must admit that I find it sad when Latins try to make the theological speculations of their Church's tradition into something universally binding when it is clear that those theories have no support in the pre-Augustinian Eastern Fathers.

I do not believe that anyone inherits guilt or sin, and what the local Council of Carthage taught about baptism is its own concern.  I will stick with the teaching of St. John Chrysostom, and the Eastern Fathers in general, who taught that babies are not conceived or born sinful.  The sin of Adam made all men mortal, and because men are mortal they tend to fall into sins, but - as I said earlier - no one is born sinful or guilty, and I see no reason to accept that Manichaean notion.
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« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2011, 02:34:22 AM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.

I found this quote on the web: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm

Quote
It can be said that while we have not inherited the guilt of Adam's personal sin, because his sin is also of a generic nature, and because the entire human race is possessed of an essential, ontological unity,[12] we participate in it by virtue of our participation in the human race. "The imparting of Original Sin by means of natural heredity should be understood in terms of the unity of the entire human nature, and of the homoousiotitos [13] of all men, who, connected by nature, constitute one mystic whole. Inasmuch as human nature is indeed unique and unbreakable, the imparting of sin from the first-born to the entire human race descended from him is rendered explicable: 'Explicitly, as from the root, the sickness proceeded to the rest of the tree, Adam being the root who had suffered corruption'" [St. Cyril of Alexandria].[14]

I do not understand the distinction. I honestly feel like the Orthodox reaction against this is a well-meaning attack of the straw-man of total depravity, which John Calvin taught. This quote, from Archpriest Golubov, seems to agree that the entirety of humanity has been corrupted - which is what I understood Latins to mean when we say that human nature was corrupted. Not that the state of being human became an evil, but that all men, while men, of which being one is good, also were twisted to be inclined to sin and evil and were born lacking communion with the divine - a situation which needs rectification.

No Catholic teaches that the state of being human is evil - humans are not totally depraved and unable to please God (thanks for that one, Calvin).

Calvin, Luther, Jansen, John Wesley, James Arminius as well as alot of other people in the christian west got it from Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine went further than the other fathers before him in the area of what happened at the fall. He believed that free will was lost at the fall. the other church fathers didn't teach that.
St. Augustine's views on predestination are confused, but I would not say that he himself rejected free will. 

Clearly St. Maximos, at least as far as predestination and free will are concerned, had a better approach, and it is sad that the West has not tried to assimilate his views on those hot button topics.
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« Reply #60 on: November 23, 2011, 10:16:39 AM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.

I found this quote on the web: http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm

Quote
It can be said that while we have not inherited the guilt of Adam's personal sin, because his sin is also of a generic nature, and because the entire human race is possessed of an essential, ontological unity,[12] we participate in it by virtue of our participation in the human race. "The imparting of Original Sin by means of natural heredity should be understood in terms of the unity of the entire human nature, and of the homoousiotitos [13] of all men, who, connected by nature, constitute one mystic whole. Inasmuch as human nature is indeed unique and unbreakable, the imparting of sin from the first-born to the entire human race descended from him is rendered explicable: 'Explicitly, as from the root, the sickness proceeded to the rest of the tree, Adam being the root who had suffered corruption'" [St. Cyril of Alexandria].[14]

I do not understand the distinction. I honestly feel like the Orthodox reaction against this is a well-meaning attack of the straw-man of total depravity, which John Calvin taught. This quote, from Archpriest Golubov, seems to agree that the entirety of humanity has been corrupted - which is what I understood Latins to mean when we say that human nature was corrupted. Not that the state of being human became an evil, but that all men, while men, of which being one is good, also were twisted to be inclined to sin and evil and were born lacking communion with the divine - a situation which needs rectification.

No Catholic teaches that the state of being human is evil - humans are not totally depraved and unable to please God (thanks for that one, Calvin).

Calvin, Luther, Jansen, John Wesley, James Arminius as well as alot of other people in the christian west got it from Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine went further than the other fathers before him in the area of what happened at the fall. He believed that free will was lost at the fall. the other church fathers didn't teach that.
St. Augustine's views on predestination are confused, but I would not say that he himself rejected free will. 

Clearly St. Maximos, at least as far as predestination and free will are concerned, had a better approach, and it is sad that the West has not tried to assimilate his views on those hot button topics.

Saint Augustine understood free will in his later years in the same way Plotinus did.
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« Reply #61 on: November 23, 2011, 10:31:02 AM »

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2011/01/western-confusion-of-divine-energy-with.html (a quote about the issue from the Ancestral Sin book)


from pages 33 to 35 from the book The Ancestral Sin by Fr. John Romanides, translation by George S. Gabriel
 
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"In 431, the Holy Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Synod at Ephesus condemned Pelagianism and emphasized that death is unnatural and grace is of absolute necessity for salvation. The president of the Synod and chief polemicist against the heresies was St. Cyril of Alexandria, who wrote the following about the transmittal of the ancestral sin to the descendants of Adam: "But what can one say? Yes, Adam indeed fell and, having ignored the divine commandment, was condemned to corruptibility and death. But how did many become sinners because of him? What are his missteps to us? How could all of us who were not yet born be condemned together with him, even though God said, 'Neither the fathers shall be put to death because of their children nor the children because of their fathers, but the soul which sinneth shall be put to death? Surely, the soul that sins shall die. For we became sinners through Adam's disobedience in such a manner as this. He was created for incorruption and life, and the manner of existence he had in the garden of delight was proper to holiness. His whole mind was continuously seeing God while his body was tranquil and calm, and all base pleasures were still. For there was no tumult of alien disturbances in it. But since he fell under sin and slipped into corruptibility, pleasures and filthiness assaulted the nature of the flesh, and in our members was unveiled a savage law. Our nature thus became diseased by sin through the disobedience of one, that is, of Adam. Thus, all were made sinners, not as co-transgressors with Adam. which they never were, but being of his nature, they fell under the law of sin...In Adam, human nature fell ill and became subject to corruptibility through disobedience, and, therefore, the passions entered in."

The strong juridical character of Latin theology which led the West to the satisfaction theory of Anselm is absent from the Greek patristic tradition. In the East, the fall is understood to be a consequence of man's own withdrawal from divine life and the resulting weakness and disease of human nature. Thus, man himself is seen as the cause through his cooperation with the devil. In the West, all the evils in the world originate in the punitive divine will, and the devil himself is seen simply as God's instrument of punishment. The Greek Fathers look upon salvation from a biblical perspective and see it as redemption from death and corruptibility and as the healing of human nature which was assaulted by Satan. Therefore, they established the following principle as the touchstone of their christological teaching: "That which is not assumed is not healed, but that which is united to God is also saved." It is quite opposite in the West where salvation does not mean, first and foremost, salvation from death and corruptibility but from divine wrath. And the termination of the penalty of death and illnesses simply follows as a result of the satisfaction of divine justice. For the West, this is quite natural since, on the one hand, God is believed to punish all men with death while, on the other hand, it is man who provokes the punishment because he bears inherited guilt. Thus, according to the Western viewpoint, God did not become man in order "to abolish him who has the power of death," since it is God who is death's causative power, but to satisfy Himself to such a degree that He could look upon men with a somewhat more benevolent attitude and, at the Second Coming, lift the old death sentence from them."





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« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2011, 11:13:29 AM »

Thank you for this quote jnorm888.

I believe this answers the OP.
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« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2011, 11:50:26 AM »

Thank you for this quote jnorm888.

I believe this answers the OP.

Except for the fact that it absolutely distorts the teachings of the west in good Romanides Style.  It also not surprising to find Father G. translating.  He is also well known for his distortions.

However:  IF that kind of thing is useful to Orthodox converts in Orthodox America, far be it from me to say don't take that path.

Cheers!!   Cool
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« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2011, 12:28:26 PM »

Thank you for this quote jnorm888.

I believe this answers the OP.
Except for the fact that it absolutely distorts the teachings of the west in good Romanides Style.  It also not surprising to find Father G. translating.  He is also well known for his distortions.

However:  IF that kind of thing is useful to Orthodox converts in Orthodox America, far be it from me to say don't take that path.

Cheers!!   Cool

I was referring more to the quote that it contains from St Cyril specifically.
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« Reply #65 on: November 23, 2011, 12:49:36 PM »

Thank you for this quote jnorm888.

I believe this answers the OP.
Except for the fact that it absolutely distorts the teachings of the west in good Romanides Style.  It also not surprising to find Father G. translating.  He is also well known for his distortions.

However:  IF that kind of thing is useful to Orthodox converts in Orthodox America, far be it from me to say don't take that path.

Cheers!!   Cool

I was referring more to the quote that it contains from St Cyril specifically.

It is difficult to reconcile the quote from St. Cyril and the rest of the presentation in the final paragraph, without suggesting that distancing one's self from the west is far more important that seeking the truth.
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« Reply #66 on: November 23, 2011, 01:05:45 PM »

It is difficult to reconcile the quote from St. Cyril and the rest of the presentation in the final paragraph, without suggesting that distancing one's self from the west is far more important that seeking the truth.

That part by itself doesn't really give a clear answer to the OP. At least I don't see how it does.
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« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2011, 01:15:00 PM »

It is difficult to reconcile the quote from St. Cyril and the rest of the presentation in the final paragraph, without suggesting that distancing one's self from the west is far more important that seeking the truth.

That part by itself doesn't really give a clear answer to the OP. At least I don't see how it does.

No.  But the quote in itself, is more clear.
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« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2011, 11:48:43 PM »

Thank you for this quote jnorm888.

I believe this answers the OP.

Except for the fact that it absolutely distorts the teachings of the west in good Romanides Style.  It also not surprising to find Father G. translating.  He is also well known for his distortions.

However:  IF that kind of thing is useful to Orthodox converts in Orthodox America, far be it from me to say don't take that path.

Cheers!!   Cool

You are talking as if the west is a monolith. It isn't, and Fr. John Romanides is super cool! I personally don't see anything wrong with what he said. Now does this mean that the modern Roman Catholic church teach these things in her modern catechism? No!

But you guys never like it when we talk about Saint Augustine in general.
 
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« Reply #69 on: November 24, 2011, 02:44:22 AM »

Seems to me St Cyril, while quite explicitly denying that we are born co-transgressors with Adam, also quite explicitly maintains that we are born under the "law of sin". Now, if by "law of sin" St Cyril simply meant physical mortality, wouldn't he have said so? Seems rather that he actually meant "sin", i.e. we are born in sin. The only thing to understand is that by being born in sin we do not thereby say we are co-transgressors with Adam, if indeed this is what the Western tradition ended up teaching. In any case, Fr Romanides' theory that all sin arises out of the fear of physical death does not appear to be supported in that quotation.
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« Reply #70 on: November 24, 2011, 03:40:40 AM »

Seems to me St Cyril, while quite explicitly denying that we are born co-transgressors with Adam, also quite explicitly maintains that we are born under the "law of sin". Now, if by "law of sin" St Cyril simply meant physical mortality, wouldn't he have said so? Seems rather that he actually meant "sin", i.e. we are born in sin. The only thing to understand is that by being born in sin we do not thereby say we are co-transgressors with Adam, if indeed this is what the Western tradition ended up teaching. In any case, Fr Romanides' theory that all sin arises out of the fear of physical death does not appear to be supported in that quotation.

What about these quotes?
http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm (Rags of Mortality: Original Sin and Human Nature)
quote:
St. Cyril of Alexandria, for instance, observes: "Since [Adam] produced children after falling into this state, we, his descendants, are corruptible as the issue of a corruptible source. It is in this sense that we are heirs of Adam's curse. Not that we are punished for having disobeyed God's commandment along with him, but that he became mortal and the curse of mortality was transmitted to his seed after him, offspring born of a mortal source . . . So corruption and death are the universal inheritance of Adam's transgression" (Doctrinal questions and answers, 6). Elsewhere, commenting on St. Paul's teaching, he explains: "Human nature became sick with sin. Because of the disobedience of one (that is, of Adam), the many became sinners; not because they transgressed together with Adam (for they were not there) but because they are of his nature, which entered under the dominion of sin . . . Human nature became ill and subject to corruption through the transgression of Adam, thus penetrating man's very passions" (On Romans 5.18)."


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« Reply #71 on: November 24, 2011, 03:43:56 AM »

St Cyril seems to be saying the same thing again. In the second quotation, he again makes explicit that we are born under the dominion of sin. He does not say that we do not inherit sin in any way. And in the first quotation, he says that we inherit both corruption and death, i.e. not just death.
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« Reply #72 on: November 24, 2011, 04:09:13 AM »

elijahmaria,

Will you say that he is wrong too about the traditional view of the pre-Augustinian fathers? He is one of the leading academic authorities in the field.
page 274 from the book Gratia Et Certamen: The relationship between grace and free will in the discussion of Augustine with the so-called semi-pelagians by D. Ogliari
http://www.amazon.com/Gratia-Certamen-Relationship-Semipelagians-Theologicarum/dp/9042913517 (the link to the book on amazon)



Quote:
"Without indulging in theological speculations. and as a perfect disciple of the East, Cassian shared the optimistic outlook of the Greek theologians and (most probably under the influence of John Chrysostom) considered original sin as a simple "punishment" and not as a "sin", even less as an "inherited debt/guilt". The same expression peccatum originale, which appears only once in Cassian's work's, retains the traditional pre-Augustinian meaning, viz. that of the (original/first) sin of Adam (ursunde) which caused him and his stock the loss of incorruption and immortality as well as that of supernatural knowledge and eternal bliss, and the consequent enslavement to the devil."
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« Reply #73 on: November 24, 2011, 04:18:47 AM »

St Cyril seems to be saying the same thing again. In the second quotation, he again makes explicit that we are born under the dominion of sin. He does not say that we do not inherit sin in any way. And in the first quotation, he says that we inherit both corruption and death, i.e. not just death.

We believe we are born with a tendency to sin and so how is this different from Saint Cyril's use of the word "corruption"?

Don't we believe in both being born with a tendency towards sin(corruption) as well as being born mortal(death)?

Also, how is what Saint Cyril said any different from what Fr. John Romanides said after the quote?

Quote:
"In the East, the fall is understood to be a consequence of man's own withdrawal from divine life and the resulting weakness and disease of human nature. Thus, man himself is seen as the cause through his cooperation with the devil."


and

Quote:
"The Greek Fathers look upon salvation from a biblical perspective and see it as redemption from death and corruptibility and as the healing of human nature which was assaulted by Satan."


They are saying Saint Cyril isn't saying what Fr. John said after the quote, but how so?


Why is everyone hating on Fr. John Romanides?
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« Reply #74 on: November 24, 2011, 04:34:33 AM »

Just looking through my concordance, St Paul seems to make a strong tie between sin, death, and the Law. Anyway, sin reigns in death, and the wages of sin is death, so they seem complimentary to each other. St Paul makes a reference to his "body of death" in which sin dwells in Romans 7 that causes him to do that which he wills not to do. Once again, this along the now two quotes from St Cyril point to an answer of yes, Adam's fall corrupted his nature, out of which fallen nature we inherit our own nature.

Or as quoted

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm (Rags of Mortality: Original Sin and Human Nature)
quote:
St. Cyril of Alexandria, for instance, observes: "Since [Adam] produced children after falling into this state, we, his descendants, are corruptible as the issue of a corruptible source. It is in this sense that we are heirs of Adam's curse. Not that we are punished for having disobeyed God's commandment along with him, but that he became mortal and the curse of mortality was transmitted to his seed after him, offspring born of a mortal source . . . So corruption and death are the universal inheritance of Adam's transgression" (Doctrinal questions and answers, 6). Elsewhere, commenting on St. Paul's teaching, he explains: "Human nature became sick with sin. Because of the disobedience of one (that is, of Adam), the many became sinners; not because they transgressed together with Adam (for they were not there) but because they are of his nature, which entered under the dominion of sin . . . Human nature became ill and subject to corruption through the transgression of Adam, thus penetrating man's very passions" (On Romans 5.18)."
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« Reply #75 on: November 24, 2011, 04:42:42 AM »

Just looking through my concordance, St Paul seems to make a strong tie between sin, death, and the Law. Anyway, sin reigns in death, and the wages of sin is death, so they seem complimentary to each other. St Paul makes a reference to his "body of death" in which sin dwells in Romans 7 that causes him to do that which he wills not to do. Once again, this along the now two quotes from St Cyril point to an answer of yes, Adam's fall corrupted his nature, out of which fallen nature we inherit our own nature.

Or as quoted

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/golubov_rags_of_mortality.htm (Rags of Mortality: Original Sin and Human Nature)
quote:
St. Cyril of Alexandria, for instance, observes: "Since [Adam] produced children after falling into this state, we, his descendants, are corruptible as the issue of a corruptible source. It is in this sense that we are heirs of Adam's curse. Not that we are punished for having disobeyed God's commandment along with him, but that he became mortal and the curse of mortality was transmitted to his seed after him, offspring born of a mortal source . . . So corruption and death are the universal inheritance of Adam's transgression" (Doctrinal questions and answers, 6). Elsewhere, commenting on St. Paul's teaching, he explains: "Human nature became sick with sin. Because of the disobedience of one (that is, of Adam), the many became sinners; not because they transgressed together with Adam (for they were not there) but because they are of his nature, which entered under the dominion of sin . . . Human nature became ill and subject to corruption through the transgression of Adam, thus penetrating man's very passions" (On Romans 5.18)."


How do you feel about Fr. John Romanides's interpretation of Saint Cyril?
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« Reply #76 on: November 24, 2011, 05:04:19 AM »

Also, how is what Saint Cyril saying different from what Fr. John Romanides said?

I didn't say it was different, only that his explanation of the quote didn't answer the OP as clearly as his quote from St Cyril. St Cyril's quote is very straight to the point about how the fall affected our nature, where Fr John's is more about comparing differing viewpoints. It might have it's place in explaining to people that we are saved from sin and death and that Christ's crucifixion (and resurrection) was for the purpose of defeating death and not just giving God an outlet for His anger so He can feel better, but that's not the question at hand in this thread.
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« Reply #77 on: November 24, 2011, 09:53:20 PM »

Dear Jnorm,

I will be blunt.  If I were back in the academy working, and I read one of Father John's treatises on the west, I would call him, in any review that I might do, an intellectual fraud.  He pads his texts with half truths and whole lies.  It's a mess trying to read him and he is largely ignored outside of a few Orthodox who think he walks on water.

Forgive me that I cannot and will not ever share your enthusiasm.

M.

elijahmaria,

Will you say that he is wrong too about the traditional view of the pre-Augustinian fathers? He is one of the leading academic authorities in the field.
page 274 from the book Gratia Et Certamen: The relationship between grace and free will in the discussion of Augustine with the so-called semi-pelagians by D. Ogliari
http://www.amazon.com/Gratia-Certamen-Relationship-Semipelagians-Theologicarum/dp/9042913517 (the link to the book on amazon)



Quote:
"Without indulging in theological speculations. and as a perfect disciple of the East, Cassian shared the optimistic outlook of the Greek theologians and (most probably under the influence of John Chrysostom) considered original sin as a simple "punishment" and not as a "sin", even less as an "inherited debt/guilt". The same expression peccatum originale, which appears only once in Cassian's work's, retains the traditional pre-Augustinian meaning, viz. that of the (original/first) sin of Adam (ursunde) which caused him and his stock the loss of incorruption and immortality as well as that of supernatural knowledge and eternal bliss, and the consequent enslavement to the devil."
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« Reply #78 on: November 24, 2011, 10:29:56 PM »

Quote
Our nature thus became diseased by sin through the disobedience of one, that is, of Adam. Thus, all were made sinners, not as co-transgressors with Adam. which they never were, but being of his nature, they fell under the law of sin...In Adam, human nature fell ill and became subject to corruptibility through disobedience, and, therefore, the passions entered in.
So, basically . . . .

The Orthodox teaching is that human nature was changed from being wholly good to being partially bad?

Unless the word "corrupted" means "wholly bad", then it would appear that my friend, the would-be-schismatic, is in error concerning what the Eastern Orthodox churches teach.
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« Reply #79 on: November 24, 2011, 11:00:29 PM »

Unless the word "corrupted" means "wholly bad", then it would appear that my friend, the would-be-schismatic, is in error concerning what the Eastern Orthodox churches teach.

I got the impression from what you wrote that your friend was saying that human nature itself was unaffected by the fall but the rest of creation was, and that being exposed to a fallen world is what corrupts us.

If this is true, then your friend has it backwards. The fall corrupted our nature. We inherit the fallen nature of our parents. It was the corruption of our nature that corrupted the rest of creation. That is why (biblically speaking) Adam died as consequence of the fall, Seth was made in the image of Adam, it was the fall that caused the earth to bring forth thistles, and St Paul writes that all of creation awaits the redemption of our bodies at the resurrection.

As far as what "corruption" means, it just means we're in the process of decay or being destroyed. We're subject to death, and death works in us to produce sin, which leads to death, and so on. As far as that ties into the changes brought about in our nature because of the fall, St Cyril has been quoted here as writing that we're born subject to death, under the dominion of sin, and subject to the passions. I think this is a pretty accurate description of what I have been taught and read, and it is well articulated.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #80 on: November 24, 2011, 11:30:05 PM »

Unless the word "corrupted" means "wholly bad", then it would appear that my friend, the would-be-schismatic, is in error concerning what the Eastern Orthodox churches teach.

I got the impression from what you wrote that your friend was saying that human nature itself was unaffected by the fall but the rest of creation was, and that being exposed to a fallen world is what corrupts us.

If this is true, then your friend has it backwards. The fall corrupted our nature. We inherit the fallen nature of our parents. It was the corruption of our nature that corrupted the rest of creation. That is why (biblically speaking) Adam died as consequence of the fall, Seth was made in the image of Adam, it was the fall that caused the earth to bring forth thistles, and St Paul writes that all of creation awaits the redemption of our bodies at the resurrection.

As far as what "corruption" means, it just means we're in the process of decay or being destroyed. We're subject to death, and death works in us to produce sin, which leads to death, and so on. As far as that ties into the changes brought about in our nature because of the fall, St Cyril has been quoted here as writing that we're born subject to death, under the dominion of sin, and subject to the passions. I think this is a pretty accurate description of what I have been taught and read, and it is well articulated.
Thank you for your opinion. I don't think he truly understands what Orthodoxy teaches on the issue - Fr. Peter seems to have a different opinion, though - and I'd like to see how he interprets St. Cyril.
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« Reply #81 on: November 27, 2011, 09:16:18 PM »

I don't know if this will hurt or help but I'll wade in with this:

I learned this distinction thusly, and I welcome and ask for correction where I err.  Our nature is neither inherently "good" nor "evil," as "good" and "evil" are personal attributes, not natural ones.  Adam's nature was thus not ontologically different from ours, but it was illumined by the Divine Energies through communion with God.  This was lost in the fall -- the illumined nature, not the "good" or "incorrupt" nature.  This loss of the Divine Energies is what we would refer to as "corruption."

Christ restored the communion with God in His Person. In Him, the Divine Energies interpenetrated the human nature, and so in His Person, the nature was restored to a status of being illumined.  We commune with Christ's illumined nature and thereby through Him, the communion with God is restored, and so we also are illumined. 

As I understand it -- and again I welcome correction -- the nature is different in that it is illumined or not illumined depending on pre-fall, post-fall or post-incarnation.  But the ontological properties of the nature itself did not change.  That is how Christ could take on our human nature in all its "corruption" and yet not be considered sinful Himself.  It is not Pelagian, far from it.  Rather, it sets the ontology straight and avoids both the errors of Pelagius and Calvin.
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« Reply #82 on: November 28, 2011, 07:14:22 PM »

I think that the basic premise that human nature is neither good nor evil flies in the face of Scripture which says clearly that it is Good.

I don't know if this will hurt or help but I'll wade in with this:

I learned this distinction thusly, and I welcome and ask for correction where I err.  Our nature is neither inherently "good" nor "evil," as "good" and "evil" are personal attributes, not natural ones.  Adam's nature was thus not ontologically different from ours, but it was illumined by the Divine Energies through communion with God.  This was lost in the fall -- the illumined nature, not the "good" or "incorrupt" nature.  This loss of the Divine Energies is what we would refer to as "corruption."

Christ restored the communion with God in His Person. In Him, the Divine Energies interpenetrated the human nature, and so in His Person, the nature was restored to a status of being illumined.  We commune with Christ's illumined nature and thereby through Him, the communion with God is restored, and so we also are illumined. 

As I understand it -- and again I welcome correction -- the nature is different in that it is illumined or not illumined depending on pre-fall, post-fall or post-incarnation.  But the ontological properties of the nature itself did not change.  That is how Christ could take on our human nature in all its "corruption" and yet not be considered sinful Himself.  It is not Pelagian, far from it.  Rather, it sets the ontology straight and avoids both the errors of Pelagius and Calvin.
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« Reply #83 on: November 28, 2011, 07:51:25 PM »

I think that the basic premise that human nature is neither good nor evil flies in the face of Scripture which says clearly that it is Good.

Fair point.  What I'm trying to get across, I suppose, is that human nature is not equated to righteousness, nor to sinfulness.  Rather, righteousness and sinfulness are personal attributes.  I hope that clarifies rather than confuses the issue further.  Thank you for pointing out the error.
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« Reply #84 on: November 28, 2011, 08:17:56 PM »

I think that the basic premise that human nature is neither good nor evil flies in the face of Scripture which says clearly that it is Good.

Fair point.  What I'm trying to get across, I suppose, is that human nature is not equated to righteousness, nor to sinfulness.  Rather, righteousness and sinfulness are personal attributes.  I hope that clarifies rather than confuses the issue further.  Thank you for pointing out the error.

I think the distinction that you make here is a good one. 

I don't know that you made an error. 

Might be the difference between cross-eye dominance and left eye dominance.

If you know how you aim, you can generally aim at what you want to hit and hit what you are aiming at.

 Smiley

Just that not everyone is going to know how you got there... Cheesy
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« Reply #85 on: December 17, 2011, 12:58:11 PM »

I think that the basic premise that human nature is neither good nor evil flies in the face of Scripture which says clearly that it is Good.

I don't know if this will hurt or help but I'll wade in with this:

I learned this distinction thusly, and I welcome and ask for correction where I err.  Our nature is neither inherently "good" nor "evil," as "good" and "evil" are personal attributes, not natural ones.  Adam's nature was thus not ontologically different from ours, but it was illumined by the Divine Energies through communion with God.  This was lost in the fall -- the illumined nature, not the "good" or "incorrupt" nature.  This loss of the Divine Energies is what we would refer to as "corruption."

Christ restored the communion with God in His Person. In Him, the Divine Energies interpenetrated the human nature, and so in His Person, the nature was restored to a status of being illumined.  We commune with Christ's illumined nature and thereby through Him, the communion with God is restored, and so we also are illumined. 

As I understand it -- and again I welcome correction -- the nature is different in that it is illumined or not illumined depending on pre-fall, post-fall or post-incarnation.  But the ontological properties of the nature itself did not change.  That is how Christ could take on our human nature in all its "corruption" and yet not be considered sinful Himself.  It is not Pelagian, far from it.  Rather, it sets the ontology straight and avoids both the errors of Pelagius and Calvin.
That tremur you all just felt shaking the cosmos was me agreeing with EM.

Even the devil is ontologically good.  Evil has no ontological existence, just as darkness is the absence of light.  Evil is a parasite that has to live off of goodness as its host.
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« Reply #86 on: December 17, 2011, 01:03:14 PM »

First of all I can't read it in pretty lime green print but I know the passage and it is NOT what Father had said at all...I can only deal with what people say and not what they might mean.
Can I quote you on that?


We were created mortal. It is no sin to be mortal. It is no sin to be corruptible. This is how we were created. This is how Adam was created.


Here's the problem I think.  I don't know enough about Oriental Orthodox teachings to know if this is part of it but it certainly is not part of Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic teaching as I have learned them.

This is not a personal criticism of you Father.  I am sorry to be in a position to counter your assertion.

M.

Will this work?


Theophilus (2nd century bishop of Antioch)
Theophilus to Autolycus: Book II
Chapter XXVII.—The Nature of Man.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.iv.ii.ii.xxvii.html (the link)


"But some one will say to us, Was man made by nature mortal? Certainly not. Was he, then, immortal? Neither do we affirm this. But one will say, Was he, then, nothing? Not even this hits the mark. He was by nature neither mortal nor immortal. For if He had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have made him God. Again, if He had made him mortal, God would seem to be the cause of his death. Neither, then, immortal nor yet mortal did He make him, but, as we have said above, capable of both; so that if he should incline to the things of immortality, keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from Him immortality, and should become God; but if, on the other hand, he should turn to the things of death, disobeying God, he should himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, and with power over himself. That, then, which man brought upon himself through carelessness and disobedience, this God now vouchsafes to him as a gift through His own philanthropy and pity, when men obey Him. Apparently meaning, that God turns death, which man brought on himself by disobedience, into a blessing. For as man, disobeying, drew death upon himself; so, obeying the will of God, he who desires is able to procure for himself life everlasting. For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption."



You can go here to see if there is anything else that could be helpful in regards to this issue:
http://orthodox-apologetics.blogspot.com/2010/11/free-will.html (my link of quotes in the area of free will)
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« Reply #87 on: December 17, 2011, 01:11:32 PM »

That's how most of the anti-Latin Orthodox polemics are.

Actually no one but the OP has really phrased this is an 'anti-' or even 'compared to' Latin thing. Most of the responses have simply focused on discussing what the actual Orthodox/Patristic teaching is--and neither St. Cyril nor St. Athanasius were influenced by Anti-Latin or Anti-Calvin concerns.

As for what difference if Original Sin= 'corruptible' vs. 'corrupt' makes:
If the impact of the Fall is simply that human nature was divided from the Divine -- which seperation results in corruptibility (at both a physical and moral level), then that means Christ as perfect God and perfect man, in His single Person wipes out that divide. He's not subject to Original Sin by definition.

If Original Sin=human nature is inherently corrupt, then additional intellectual exercises are necessary to explain how Christ could assume *our* human nature but His human nature was not corrupt.
of course, that brings up another problem on the Latin side, the IC: if she was IC'd, then there is no reason why she should die.  Of course, the Latin Immortalists have no problem bringing that to its logical conclusion.
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« Reply #88 on: December 17, 2011, 01:13:56 PM »

St Cyril is very clear that we do not inherit a corrupted nature, but that it is mortal and corruptible.
Pelegianism?

The Catholic Church teaches that the stain of original sin is a darkened intellect [nous] and a weakened will [concupiscence].   

Other results of the fall are that we are susceptible to pain and suffering, drawn to the vices with dishonesty and lust being ones that are mentioned directly, open to death and corruptibility, and out of sorts with nature:  Lions lie down with us to have us for lunch, hurricanes take our houses and our lives, etc.

I am not sure what you are saying here.

M.
If St. Cyril is teaching that human's are merely corruptible, not corrupted, and merely susceptible to death, not sentenced to die, then it places us all on equal footing with Adam and Eve, who before the fall, were corruptible, and susceptible to death, as obviously the serpent (and thus the Enemy) tricked them, causing them to be corrupted.

If we are on an equal footing as them as far as our relation to God and sin when we are born, it means that Pelagius was right.
Are you saying that the IC is Pelagian?
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« Reply #89 on: December 17, 2011, 01:23:18 PM »

It all depends upon what is meant by the word "corruption"? 

As I see, the word "corruption" refers to human mortality after the fall, but of course being mortal does not mean that a human being has inherited Adam's guilt or personal sin (see St. John Chrysostom, Third Baptismal Instruction, no. 6).

Why would we raise the question of personal sin guilt since neither the Catholic Church nor Orthodoxy teach or have ever taught that we carry the personal guilt of the Ancestor's sins...

It is one thing to indicate that the consequences of the fall pass on to each one of us personally, but that is NOT the same thing as speaking of personal guilt.

Sometimes that needs to be said in discussions such as these.

M.

It's because the question of whether we inherit sin from Adam, or what it means to say we inherit sin from Adam, is his theological hobby-horse.
Not at all.  I simply reject the notion that sin or guilt can be inherited because those things are personal and not natural.  That said, I have not accused you of having a theological "hobby-horse" and I would appreciate the same courtesy.

Do I believe that the Latin bishops at Trent were correct when they asserted that a man inherits guilt (either as reatum or culpa) or sin?  Nope.

It's especially irritating when a Catholic tries to show he's more Orthodox than the Orthodox. "Latin" bishops, indeed! Face it, they are YOUR bishops. If you think they're so heretical, just join us already! Wink
LOL.  Given the current status of your jurisdiction, that's a bit rich.

IIRC, Apotheum has posted (here or CAF or Byzcath) why he doesn't join our bishops.  Not that I completely understand it, much less agree, but I can't dispute his sincerity.  Not to mention, his learning and erudition.

But actually I don't agree with you that we have to reject the idea of inheriting sin. There is just too much patristic support for it. What you could say is that the Church never taught that anyone is born with personal guilt or responsibility for original sin. Original sin is not an individual transgression that all newborns are held to be juridically guilty of, but it is a definitely sinful condition that requires cleansing in Baptism. I know elsewhere you have argued that Baptism does not cleanse sins in the case of newborns, but I don't think you produced any patristic evidence for this, and there is nothing in the Baptismal prayers that would lead anyone to conclude that newborns were not being cleansed of sin, and we have the decision of the Council of Carthage (which was accepted by the whole Church, lest you try to wriggle out of it by saying it was "Western" or "Augustinian") which says that anyone who denies babies are born in sin and require the cleansing of Baptism are under anathema.
Then there is the practical example that babies do die in the womb (besides being killed there  Cry Embarrassed Angry police), so they are under the reign of death.  The diffrence between children and adults comes out in the funeral service.
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A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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