Author Topic: Council of Orange: Good or bad?  (Read 913 times)

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Offline Kaste

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Council of Orange: Good or bad?
« on: January 29, 2012, 11:06:18 PM »
hi folks,

Council of Orange: good or bad?

St. John Cassian: right or semi-wrong? 

Specifically does Orthodoxy disagree with the Council of Orange?  Does Catholicism embrace Orange wholly?  Papist, where you at? 

K

Offline J Michael

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Re: Council of Orange: Good or bad?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 04:32:44 PM »
hi folks,

Council of Orange: good or bad?
Which one?

St. John Cassian: right or semi-wrong?
About what? 

Specifically does Orthodoxy disagree with the Council of Orange?  Does Catholicism embrace Orange wholly?  Papist, where you at? 

Don't know; don't know; don't know.  ;)
"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)

Offline Kaste

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Re: Council of Orange: Good or bad?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 09:08:40 PM »
haha

ok

fine

have

it

your

way:

The Orange council that spoke against pelagianism, but seemed to go too far against free will.  Protestants make use of this to support Calvinism.  Orthodox point to John Cassian who gave a lesser extreme answer on free will and grace, but is sometimes accused to semi-pelagianism.  So do Catholics fully support this council entirely or take issue with some of its view of grace operating with free will? 

K
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 09:13:05 PM by Kaste »

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Re: Council of Orange: Good or bad?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 09:32:50 PM »
Read the canons from the first Council of Orange (529) tonight. Not as bad as I'd thought based on vague memories of past discussions. Though some canons go too far imo, and render meaningless verses which talk about us being "labourers together with God" (1 Cor. 3:7-15). For example:

Quote
...or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).

-- Canon 6

I guess this views grace as a sort of overwhelming force that is thrust upon humans, rather than being about a relationship in which grace is given, and then based on our reaction to that grace God decides how to proceed (and then this is repeated, moment to moment, our entire lives). To say that grace must be present first is perhaps a necessary thing to say, but it's so necessary and basic a point that there's little need in going on and on about it. According to Christian theology the universe itself would cease to exist were it not for grace. I guess in context, arguing against Pelagius, it was felt necessary to put an emphasis on certain ideas... but it's too one-sided and distorted to act as a general or basic theology.

St. Paul does indeed say things like: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure," yet in the previous verse he had said: "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."  (Phil. 2:12-13) A balancing of the two verses is certainly possible, as found for example in the writings of St. John Cassian:

Quote
For the will and course of no one, however eager and anxious, is sufficiently ready for him, while still enclosed in the flesh which wars against the spirit, to reach so great a prize of perfection, and the palm of uprightness and purity, unless he is protected by the divine compassion, so that he is privileged to attain to that which he greatly desires and to which he runs. "For every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights." (James 1:17) "For what do you have which you did not receive? But if you have received it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?" (1 Cor. 4:7)...

Nor do I say this to cast a slight on human efforts, or in the endeavour to discourage any one from his purpose of working and doing his best. But clearly and most earnestly do I lay down, not giving my own opinion, but that of the elders, that perfection cannot possibly be gained without these, but that by these only without the grace of God nobody can ever attain it. For when we say that human efforts cannot of themselves secure it without the aid of God, we thus insist that God's mercy and grace are bestowed only upon those who labour and exert themselves, and are granted (to use the Apostle's expression) to them that will and run, according to that which is sung in the person of God in the eighty-eighth Psalm: "I have laid help upon one that is mighty, and have exalted one chosen out of my people." (Ps. 89:19) For we say, in accordance with our Saviour's words, that it is given to them that ask, and opened to them that knock and found by them that seek; (Matt. 7:7) but that the asking, the seeking, and the knocking on our part are insufficient unless the mercy of God gives what we ask, and opens that at which we knock, and enables us to find that which we seek. For He is at hand to bestow all these things, if only the opportunity is given to Him by our good will. For He desires and looks for our perfection and salvation far more than we do ourselves.

-- Institutes, 12.10, 14


But as I said, most of the canons seemed to not go too far into the weeds, or at least not as much as I had for some reason thought they did. Also, the tendency to go away from the concept of synergy, though imbalanced, also helps to make clearer certain points that often get lost, like that mentioned here:

Quote
That a man can be saved only when God shows mercy. Human nature, even though it remained in that sound state in which it was created, could be no means save itself, without the assistance of the Creator; hence since man cannot safe-guard his salvation without the grace of God, which is a gift, how will he be able to restore what he has lost without the grace of God?

-- Canon 19
"Fear not to follow with pious feet the corpse of Hafiz, for though he was drowned in the ocean of sin, he may find a place in paradise." - Hafez