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

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« Reply #90 on: November 03, 2011, 09:41:22 AM »

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

God bless.

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

You'll find the pertinent writings.

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

So what was heretical about Pelagius?

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Beginnings of a Western and Eastern Reassessment of Pelagius

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

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

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

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See this EWTN article
by Fr William Most.

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

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

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

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

Irish Hermit

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

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

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

Achronos


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Update: Pelagius resolution defeated


R11-7

Contributions of Pelagius

Amended as follows (otherwise unchanged):


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


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


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


and reclaim his voice in to our tradition.



DEFEATED






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

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

So what was heretical about Pelagius?

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Update: Pelagius resolution defeated


R11-7

Contributions of Pelagius

Amended as follows (otherwise unchanged):


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


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


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


and reclaim his voice in to our tradition.



DEFEATED

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

The fusian of Arles of 473 A.D. and 2nd Orange of 529 A.D. will get you a resistible grace sorta view.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 05:34:51 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

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« Reply #108 on: November 11, 2011, 05:18:15 AM »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The word "apokatastasis" is also in the scriptures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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




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

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


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

He would for they often quoted him.

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

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


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

He would for they often quoted him.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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


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

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


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

The word "apokatastasis" is also in the scriptures.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



hmm, I need to read Josephus again just to make sure. I might come back to this when I refresh my memory.
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« Reply #114 on: November 15, 2011, 07:36:19 PM »

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

As for what Pelagius believed:

1) Pelagius never denied grace of God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for what Pelagius believed:

1) Pelagius never denied grace of God.

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

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

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

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

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


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

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
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