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Author Topic: Semi-Pelagianism R Us ? - Lutheran responce  (Read 990 times) Average Rating: 0
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Happy Lutheran
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« on: December 05, 2012, 08:43:39 PM »

This is really about the only thing that has been a stumbling block for me when looking into Orthodoxy. It seems to me, and please correct me where I'm wrong, that talking about "cooperation" and the like sounds like semi-pelagianism. If I could post a quote from Luther as he wrote to Erasmus in "Bondage of the Will" and have any Orthodox show me how this would not apply to Orthodoxy, Thanks.

"For devotedly striving to dissent from the Pelagians, they begin to deny the “merit of worthiness”, whereas by the very way in which they deny it, they establish it more firmly than ever. They deny it by their word and pen, but establish it in reality, and in heart-sentiment: and then, they are worse than the Pelagians themselves: and that, on two accounts. First, the Pelagians plainly, candidly, and ingeniously, assert the “merit of worthiness”, thus calling a boat a boat and a fig a fig; and teaching what they really think. Whereas, our “free will” friends, while they think and teach the same thing, yet mock us with lying words and false appearances, as though they dissented from the Pelagians; when in fact it is quite the contrary.  So that, with respect to their hypocrisy, they seem to be the Pelagians strongest opposers, but with respect to the reality of the matter, and their heart-tenant, they are twice dipped Pelagians. And next, under this hypocrisy, they estimate and purchase the grace of God at a much lower rate than the Pelagians themselves. For the Pelagians assert, that it is not a certain little something in us by which we deserve grace, but whole, perfect, great, and many, devoted efforts and works. Whereas, our friends declare, that it is certain little something, almost nothing, by which we deserve grace.  "
 You are being warned for sharing your Lutheran point of view on the Faith Issues board that was not rectifying something blatantly incorrect about your Lutheran church for 7 days.

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« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 09:12:09 PM by Happy Lutheran » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 09:13:40 PM »

I'm not sure who Luther is referring to.

St. James in his epistle writes:  "But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." (James 2:18-19)

When I think of grace and works, I think exactly of faith and deeds.  God will offer His infinite grace upon all openly, and it is through His grace that one believes, but also one has to make an effort.  God does not enforce one into belief, but He can nudge.

Think of the prodigal son, the Father never stopped looking from afar off when His son was sinning.  But as soon as His son began to repent and turn around, still from afar off, the Father runs to him, that the son may receive the grace of repentance.

So what does this have to do with faith and deeds?  It shows that demons have faith, which is usually an understanding initiated by grace, but by their freedom, took that faith and used it to do evil, and there is nothing worse than knowing the truth and continually leading yourself and others to evil, continually blaspheming the Spirit that tries to work in you to do good.  Thus, God's grace is always there, ready to be embraced, but we have to turn to it, with an open heart.  We constantly must by our own free will ask the grace of God to combat the demons, to continually have faith, and continually do good.

If we are to take a strict "grace alone" understanding, we would be nothing more than Calvinists.  For people were predetermined to be saved by grace, while others grace does not bother with them for their future condemnation.  Such is a grim falsity.  Truth dictates that grace was waiting to embrace both St. Peter and Judas, but the latter rejected Him, and the former accepted His embrace and was turned to repentance.
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 09:24:20 PM »

It seems that Luther is saying that Pelagians believe they become worthy of grace through perfection, whereas the semi-Pelagians become worthy of grace through imperfection. I would say neither are apt descriptions of Orthodoxy.

In our pre-Communion prayers we ask for God to make us worthy, although unworthy, to receive the grace-filled Gifts. If we cannot become even worthy of the Gifts without God, then it is all the less that we can become worthy of the rest of his grace without Him.
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 01:41:41 AM »

This is really about the only thing that has been a stumbling block for me when looking into Orthodoxy. It seems to me, and please correct me where I'm wrong, that talking about "cooperation" and the like sounds like semi-pelagianism. If I could post a quote from Luther as he wrote to Erasmus in "Bondage of the Will" and have any Orthodox show me how this would not apply to Orthodoxy, Thanks.

"For devotedly striving to dissent from the Pelagians, they begin to deny the “merit of worthiness”, whereas by the very way in which they deny it, they establish it more firmly than ever. They deny it by their word and pen, but establish it in reality, and in heart-sentiment: and then, they are worse than the Pelagians themselves: and that, on two accounts. First, the Pelagians plainly, candidly, and ingeniously, assert the “merit of worthiness”, thus calling a boat a boat and a fig a fig; and teaching what they really think. Whereas, our “free will” friends, while they think and teach the same thing, yet mock us with lying words and false appearances, as though they dissented from the Pelagians; when in fact it is quite the contrary.  So that, with respect to their hypocrisy, they seem to be the Pelagians strongest opposers, but with respect to the reality of the matter, and their heart-tenant, they are twice dipped Pelagians. And next, under this hypocrisy, they estimate and purchase the grace of God at a much lower rate than the Pelagians themselves. For the Pelagians assert, that it is not a certain little something in us by which we deserve grace, but whole, perfect, great, and many, devoted efforts and works. Whereas, our friends declare, that it is certain little something, almost nothing, by which we deserve grace.  "
Why is this on Faith Issues?
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 02:29:41 AM »

This is really about the only thing that has been a stumbling block for me when looking into Orthodoxy. It seems to me, and please correct me where I'm wrong, that talking about "cooperation" and the like sounds like semi-pelagianism. If I could post a quote from Luther as he wrote to Erasmus in "Bondage of the Will" and have any Orthodox show me how this would not apply to Orthodoxy, Thanks.

"For devotedly striving to dissent from the Pelagians, they begin to deny the “merit of worthiness”, whereas by the very way in which they deny it, they establish it more firmly than ever. They deny it by their word and pen, but establish it in reality, and in heart-sentiment: and then, they are worse than the Pelagians themselves: and that, on two accounts. First, the Pelagians plainly, candidly, and ingeniously, assert the “merit of worthiness”, thus calling a boat a boat and a fig a fig; and teaching what they really think. Whereas, our “free will” friends, while they think and teach the same thing, yet mock us with lying words and false appearances, as though they dissented from the Pelagians; when in fact it is quite the contrary.  So that, with respect to their hypocrisy, they seem to be the Pelagians strongest opposers, but with respect to the reality of the matter, and their heart-tenant, they are twice dipped Pelagians. And next, under this hypocrisy, they estimate and purchase the grace of God at a much lower rate than the Pelagians themselves. For the Pelagians assert, that it is not a certain little something in us by which we deserve grace, but whole, perfect, great, and many, devoted efforts and works. Whereas, our friends declare, that it is certain little something, almost nothing, by which we deserve grace.  "
Why is this on Faith Issues?
I don't know, but if perhaps somebody could help Happy Lutheran out here by answering his question, instead of pointing out the obvious (and how cleverly is the obvious here disguised as a question!), some good may come of it.
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 02:48:32 AM »

This is really about the only thing that has been a stumbling block for me when looking into Orthodoxy. It seems to me, and please correct me where I'm wrong, that talking about "cooperation" and the like sounds like semi-pelagianism. If I could post a quote from Luther as he wrote to Erasmus in "Bondage of the Will" and have any Orthodox show me how this would not apply to Orthodoxy, Thanks.

"For devotedly striving to dissent from the Pelagians, they begin to deny the “merit of worthiness”, whereas by the very way in which they deny it, they establish it more firmly than ever. They deny it by their word and pen, but establish it in reality, and in heart-sentiment: and then, they are worse than the Pelagians themselves: and that, on two accounts. First, the Pelagians plainly, candidly, and ingeniously, assert the “merit of worthiness”, thus calling a boat a boat and a fig a fig; and teaching what they really think. Whereas, our “free will” friends, while they think and teach the same thing, yet mock us with lying words and false appearances, as though they dissented from the Pelagians; when in fact it is quite the contrary.  So that, with respect to their hypocrisy, they seem to be the Pelagians strongest opposers, but with respect to the reality of the matter, and their heart-tenant, they are twice dipped Pelagians. And next, under this hypocrisy, they estimate and purchase the grace of God at a much lower rate than the Pelagians themselves. For the Pelagians assert, that it is not a certain little something in us by which we deserve grace, but whole, perfect, great, and many, devoted efforts and works. Whereas, our friends declare, that it is certain little something, almost nothing, by which we deserve grace.  "
Why is this on Faith Issues?
I don't know, but if perhaps somebody could help Happy Lutheran out here by answering his question, instead of pointing out the obvious (and how cleverly is the obvious here disguised as a question!), some good may come of it.
Giving him an answer on Faith Issues where he submitted his question would have rewarded conduct we officially want to discourage on that board, but now that his question is on the Ortho-Prot board... all I can say is: play nice.
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 03:02:27 AM »

On the other hands we have never had any need for expressing our view of salvation in a non-Pelagian way due to being an Eastern church and on the other hand Lutherans have hard time understanding our terminology.

Lutheranism can easily interpreted in a pretty Orthodox way. Confessional Lutherans believe in the Third Use of the Law and Meditationes Sacrae by Johann Gerhard which is AFAIK classic example of Orthodox Lutheran piety didn't seem all that different from our monastic Fathers.
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 08:31:09 AM »

(and how cleverly is the obvious here disguised as a question!)

You're giving me more credit than I deserve. I was simply looking for the Orthodox POV, not looking for a debate. That's why I thought it was OK to post the question in that thread.

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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 08:38:14 AM »

(and how cleverly is the obvious here disguised as a question!)

You're giving me more credit than I deserve. I was simply looking for the Orthodox POV, not looking for a debate. That's why I thought it was OK to post the question in that thread.


That remark wasn't directed at you. Wink

I personally think you have a good question.
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 09:01:28 PM »

Let me suggest, Happy Lutheran, that you look closely at Luther's quote ("Bondage of the Will," though I do not believe it to be correct, is a masterful work, by the way).  Look at the assumptions he makes.

Quote
For devotedly striving to dissent from the Pelagians, they begin to deny the “merit of worthiness”, whereas by the very way in which they deny it, they establish it more firmly than ever. They deny it by their word and pen, but establish it in reality, and in heart-sentiment: and then, they are worse than the Pelagians themselves: and that, on two accounts. First, the Pelagians plainly, candidly, and ingeniously, assert the “merit of worthiness”, thus calling a boat a boat and a fig a fig; and teaching what they really think. Whereas, our “free will” friends, while they think and teach the same thing, yet mock us with lying words and false appearances, as though they dissented from the Pelagians; when in fact it is quite the contrary.  So that, with respect to their hypocrisy, they seem to be the Pelagians strongest opposers, but with respect to the reality of the matter, and their heart-tenant, they are twice dipped Pelagians. And next, under this hypocrisy, they estimate and purchase the grace of God at a much lower rate than the Pelagians themselves. For the Pelagians assert, that it is not a certain little something in us by which we deserve grace, but whole, perfect, great, and many, devoted efforts and works. Whereas, our friends declare, that it is certain little something, almost nothing, by which we deserve grace.

Luther assumes through this whole quote that justification is something that can be "purchased," "merited," "estimated," "deserved," etc.  And yet what we teach is NOT that grace may be "purchased" or "merited" at all, nor that it is "deserved" by anyone.  At least not in the sense you are taking these things.  What we believe is that grace is ALL gift.  Over and against this accusation of Luther, which is aimed at Erasmus' weak-hearted tome, we believe that we are saved purely by the grace of God, and not by our meriting OR Christ's meriting our salvation.  

The entire tone assumes the juridical view of salvation.  It assumes that sin is a guilt we inherited, that damnation is a punishment for that sin, that God gives grace because someone paid the price for that sin in our place and satisfied His justice, etc.  If you are going to cram salvation into these categories, this is the dispute you will have.  But we do not.  For us, sin is a condition we inherited, damnation is the result of that condition, God gives grace because He loves us and wants us to be saved, etc.  For us, merits don't really enter the picture.  As has already been stated, there is a sense of that in Orthodox soteriology, such as "make us worthy to partake," etc., but even there, it isn't "declare us worthy and ignore the fact that we are unworthy," it is "MAKE us worthy, who are unworthy."  For us, soteriology occurs at the level of existence, not at the level of justice.  God saves us not because His Son "paid the price," but because He loves us and wants us to be healthy and whole.  

This oversimplifies the case on both sides, but I do so to hopefully help you see why, for us, Luther's remarks make little sense.  As applied to Erasmus, he makes a brilliant argument.  As against us, he is arguing against a strawman.  To be fair to him, he wasn't arguing against us.  My point is simply that when you use these words and apply them to us, they don't really fit.
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 03:23:30 AM »

What Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians have in common is that they both believe that there is something in a human being's life that does not require God's grace. Pelagians believe that man can do just about anything by his own power, while Semi-Pelagians believe that man can only do a few things by his own power. But the Orthodox church teaches that God's grace is necessary for all of creation at all times for every circumstance, our salvation being no exception. And the necessity for God's grace for all aspects of our lives (not just our salvation) is not because of our sinfulness (as Augustine would argue). It is not as though if we hadn't sinned we wouldn't need God's grace. Rather, even before our first parents sinned, it was only by and because of God's grace that they continued to exist and were able to commune with God.

Orthodoxy has nothing to do with Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism, like Pelagianism, is a heresy.
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2012, 03:59:47 AM »

What Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians have in common is that they both believe that there is something in a human being's life that does not require God's grace. Pelagians believe that man can do just about anything by his own power, while Semi-Pelagians believe that man can only do a few things by his own power. But the Orthodox church teaches that God's grace is necessary for all of creation at all times for every circumstance, our salvation being no exception. And the necessity for God's grace for all aspects of our lives (not just our salvation) is not because of our sinfulness (as Augustine would argue). It is not as though if we hadn't sinned we wouldn't need God's grace. Rather, even before our first parents sinned, it was only by and because of God's grace that they continued to exist and were able to commune with God.

Orthodoxy has nothing to do with Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism, like Pelagianism, is a heresy.
May I quote you on another forum?
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2012, 01:43:08 PM »

What Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians have in common is that they both believe that there is something in a human being's life that does not require God's grace. Pelagians believe that man can do just about anything by his own power, while Semi-Pelagians believe that man can only do a few things by his own power. But the Orthodox church teaches that God's grace is necessary for all of creation at all times for every circumstance, our salvation being no exception. And the necessity for God's grace for all aspects of our lives (not just our salvation) is not because of our sinfulness (as Augustine would argue). It is not as though if we hadn't sinned we wouldn't need God's grace. Rather, even before our first parents sinned, it was only by and because of God's grace that they continued to exist and were able to commune with God.

Orthodoxy has nothing to do with Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism, like Pelagianism, is a heresy.

What do you think of charges that St. John Cassian was a "semi-Pelagian"?  Do you think under your definition of semi-Pelagianism, it was true, or misunderstood?  Or do you think others perhaps have defined "semi-Pelagianism" differently from your definition?
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2012, 07:11:16 PM »

What Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians have in common is that they both believe that there is something in a human being's life that does not require God's grace. Pelagians believe that man can do just about anything by his own power, while Semi-Pelagians believe that man can only do a few things by his own power. But the Orthodox church teaches that God's grace is necessary for all of creation at all times for every circumstance, our salvation being no exception. And the necessity for God's grace for all aspects of our lives (not just our salvation) is not because of our sinfulness (as Augustine would argue). It is not as though if we hadn't sinned we wouldn't need God's grace. Rather, even before our first parents sinned, it was only by and because of God's grace that they continued to exist and were able to commune with God.

Orthodoxy has nothing to do with Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism, like Pelagianism, is a heresy.

What do you think of charges that St. John Cassian was a "semi-Pelagian"?  Do you think under your definition of semi-Pelagianism, it was true, or misunderstood?  Or do you think others perhaps have defined "semi-Pelagianism" differently from your definition?

Indeed. St. Vincent of Lerins was a disciple of St. John Cassian. So, if something or someone doesn't agree with St. John Cassian, does it not live up to the famous saying of St. Vincent? (Already, heads are spinning.)
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« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2012, 12:14:27 AM »

Semi-Pelagianism -an attempt to mediate between Augustine and Pelagianism- held that man must initiate to receive grace. The first step to God was conceived as an act of free will with grace entering into the picture later.

Sometimes St. John Cassian has been labled by Western scholars as Semi-Pelagian, however St. John actually taught the very opposite, for example:

"'For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do according to good will.' (Phil. 2:13) What could well be clearer than the assertion that both our good will and the completion of our work are fully wrought in us by the Lord? And again 'For it is granted to you for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him.' (Phil. 1:29) Here also he declares that the beginning of our conversion and faith, and the endurance of suffering is a gift to us from the Lord." - St. John Cassian, The Conferences, 3: The Conference of Paphnutius, 15 http://www.ccel.org/osis/xml/cassian-conferences.xml

and...

"The thief who received the kingdom of heaven, though not as the reward of virtue, is a true witness to the fact that salvation is ours through the grace and mercy of God. All of our holy fathers knew this and all with one accord teach that perfection in holiness can be achieved only through humility." -St. John Cassian, in Philokalia Volume 1, p. 83 On the Eight Vices/Pride

Orthodoxy is neither Pelagian nor semi-Pelagian.
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« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2012, 08:27:20 PM »

What Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians have in common is that they both believe that there is something in a human being's life that does not require God's grace. Pelagians believe that man can do just about anything by his own power, while Semi-Pelagians believe that man can only do a few things by his own power. But the Orthodox church teaches that God's grace is necessary for all of creation at all times for every circumstance, our salvation being no exception. And the necessity for God's grace for all aspects of our lives (not just our salvation) is not because of our sinfulness (as Augustine would argue). It is not as though if we hadn't sinned we wouldn't need God's grace. Rather, even before our first parents sinned, it was only by and because of God's grace that they continued to exist and were able to commune with God.

Orthodoxy has nothing to do with Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism, like Pelagianism, is a heresy.

What do you think of charges that St. John Cassian was a "semi-Pelagian"?  Do you think under your definition of semi-Pelagianism, it was true, or misunderstood?  Or do you think others perhaps have defined "semi-Pelagianism" differently from your definition?

It's not my definition of Semi-Pelagianism; that's just what Semi-Pelagianism is, and it's the only definition of Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism is what it is, whether others understand that or not.

St John Cassian was not a Semi-Pelagianism. If someone thinks that he was a Semi-Pelagian, then that person either doesn't understand St John, doesn't understand Semi-Pelagianism, or both.
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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2012, 08:28:25 PM »

What Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians have in common is that they both believe that there is something in a human being's life that does not require God's grace. Pelagians believe that man can do just about anything by his own power, while Semi-Pelagians believe that man can only do a few things by his own power. But the Orthodox church teaches that God's grace is necessary for all of creation at all times for every circumstance, our salvation being no exception. And the necessity for God's grace for all aspects of our lives (not just our salvation) is not because of our sinfulness (as Augustine would argue). It is not as though if we hadn't sinned we wouldn't need God's grace. Rather, even before our first parents sinned, it was only by and because of God's grace that they continued to exist and were able to commune with God.

Orthodoxy has nothing to do with Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism, like Pelagianism, is a heresy.
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2012, 01:11:32 PM »

Happy Lutheran,

I find the question of Semi-Pelagianism to be very frustrating.  It's just hard to know how to make sense of it and to see its practical importance in day to day Christian living.  What really is driving the question?  What aspect of the gospel is at stake?  Or is it simply a question of systematic consistency within an Augustinian predestinarian framework?  I really suspect the latter.

What makes is so difficult to analyze is that it is simply impossible for us to conceive of the interaction between the transcendent Creator and created beings.  We can analyze causal relations between different entities in the world, but how can we even begin to speak meaningfully about God's causal activity within the world?  God is not a being--hence the common Orthodox claim that God is beyond Being.  It seems to me that people whenever think they are talking intelligibly about Semi-Pelagianism (or synergism, for that matter) they have actually reduced God to a being within the world--hence the eternal theological battle between divine sovereignty and human freedom. 

My first suggestion to you is to put aside for the time being Luther's Bondage of the Will.   Even confessional Lutherans have had trouble with its strong predestinarianism.  It is not an authority within either Latin or Eastern theology.   

My second suggestion to you, as others have suggested, is to read the prayers of Orthodoxy.  Do these prayers suggest that Orthodoxy is promoting a form of salvation of Pelagian self-exertion, as if we save ourselves by our initial exercise of faith, as if we can make ourselves worthy of God's grace?  Take a look, for example, at the morning prayers in the Jordanville Prayer Book.  I bring your attention especially to this prayer:

Quote
O my plenteously merciful and all merciful God, Lord Jesus Christ, through Thy great love Thou didst come down and become incarnate so that Thou mightest save all. And again, O Saviour. save me by Thy grace, I pray Thee. For if Thou shouldst save me for my works, this would not be grace or a gift, but rather a duty; yea, Thou Who art great in compassion and ineffable in mercy. For he that believeth in Me, Thou hast said, O my Christ, shall live and never see death. If, then, faith in Thee saveth the desperate, behold, I believe, save me, for Thou art my God and Creator. Let faith instead of works be imputed to me, O my God, for Thou wilt find no works which could justify me. But may my faith suffice instead of all works, may it answer for, may it acquit me, may it make me a partaker of Thine eternal glory. And let Satan not seize me and boast, O Word, that he hath torn me from Thy hand and fold. But whether I desire it or not, save me, O Christ my Saviour,! forestall me quickly, quickly, for I perish. Thou art my God from my mother's womb. Vouchsafe me, O Lord, to love Thee now as fervently as I once loved sin itself, and also to work for Thee without idleness, diligently, as I worked before for deceptive Satan. But supremely shall I work for Thee, my Lord and God, Jesus Christ, all the days of my life, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Also see the citation from St Basil that I posted over at the Faith forum

The simple fact is, synergism, properly understood, is an unfathomable mystery.  I recommend to you Met Kallistos Ware's little book How Are We Saved? 


 
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2012, 07:49:42 PM »

What Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians have in common is that they both believe that there is something in a human being's life that does not require God's grace. Pelagians believe that man can do just about anything by his own power, while Semi-Pelagians believe that man can only do a few things by his own power. But the Orthodox church teaches that God's grace is necessary for all of creation at all times for every circumstance, our salvation being no exception. And the necessity for God's grace for all aspects of our lives (not just our salvation) is not because of our sinfulness (as Augustine would argue). It is not as though if we hadn't sinned we wouldn't need God's grace. Rather, even before our first parents sinned, it was only by and because of God's grace that they continued to exist and were able to commune with God.

Orthodoxy has nothing to do with Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism, like Pelagianism, is a heresy.

What do you think of charges that St. John Cassian was a "semi-Pelagian"?  Do you think under your definition of semi-Pelagianism, it was true, or misunderstood?  Or do you think others perhaps have defined "semi-Pelagianism" differently from your definition?

It's not my definition of Semi-Pelagianism; that's just what Semi-Pelagianism is, and it's the only definition of Semi-Pelagianism. Semi-Pelagianism is what it is, whether others understand that or not.

St John Cassian was not a Semi-Pelagianism. If someone thinks that he was a Semi-Pelagian, then that person either doesn't understand St John, doesn't understand Semi-Pelagianism, or both.

He was seen by the west as one (even-though the term itself didn't exist until the 17th century). In fact, we couldn't have a definition if we didn't have his Constitutions (in regards to what the actual classical teaching was).

Now if we go by the common view of what semi-pelagianism is often past for then no, he wasn't a semi-pelagian. At least not in the strict sense of the term. But if we are going to go by what 2nd Orange condemned, then yes, we would have to call him one. But then we would also have to see what he actually advocated. Then call that quote on quote classical semi-pelagianism.

But here is my definition of the terms.
http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2011/03/differences-semi-pelagianism-rome.html (The Differences: Semi-Pelagianism, Rome, Orthodoxy, Arminianism, and Calvinism)
quote
"4.) Orthodox Christianity doesn't like to use the term Prevenient grace, even though we made use of the Latin term in the 17th century. We don't believe in different species of Grace. And so the differences is in regards to each individuals depth in the Grace of God. We believe God's Grace to not only be everywhere, but we also believe it permeates all things. There is no place in where God's Grace is not. And so there is no place our wills can exist in where His Grace is not already present. And so when we make use of the latin term "Prevenient", it has to be looked at within this context. And so our understanding of Synergy is one of simultaneous co-operation.

Acts chapter 17:27-28 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring."

However, in every day speech it is difficult to communicate in a way that would express simultaneity.""


To read the rest follow the link
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 08:07:55 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.

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