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Thursday, September 20, 2007

The differences between Arminianism and Semi-Pelagianism

I will first look at the Works of John Cassian and show what "real" semi-pelagianism was and wasn't. I will also compare his works to the canons of the council of Orange. Then I will look at some of the works of Augustine as well as one from Arminius to show the differences of the two systems. Alot of people in the west like to bash Semi-pelagianism, but what they don't know is Most of what John Cassian had to say about the issue of free will and grace was 100% sound christian teaching. The differences between the two systems isn't major, but their is a difference that does exist.



Taken from his constitutionshttp://www.osb.org/lectio/cassian/co...onf3.html#3.11



Quote:
CHAPTER XIV.That knowledge of the law is given by the guidance and
illumination of the Lord.THE knowledge also of the law itself they daily
endeavour to gain not by diligence in reading, but by the guidance and
illumination of God as they say to Him: "Show me Thy ways, O Lord, and teach me
Thy paths:" and "open Thou mine eyes: and I shall see the wondrous things of Thy
law:" and "teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God;" and again: "Who
teacheth man knowledge."


This quote by him is 100% orthodox






Quote:
CHAPTER XIII.That the ordering of our way comes from God.AND truly the
saints have never said that it was by their own efforts that they secured the
direction of the way in which they walked in their course towards advance and
perfection of virtue, but rather they prayed for it from the Lord, saying
"Direct me in Thy truth," and "direct my way in thy sight." But someone else
declares that he discovered this very fact not only by faith, but also by
experience, and as it were from the very nature of things: "I know, O Lord, that
the way of man is not his: neither is it in a man to walk and to direct his
steps." And the Lord Himself says to Israel: "I will direct him like a green
fir-tree: from Me is thy fruit found."



This is also 100%ly orthodox






Quote:
CHAPTER XI.A question on the free will of man and the grace of
God.GERMANUS: Where then is there room for free will, and how is it ascribed to
our efforts that we are worthy of praise, if God both begins and ends everything
in us which concerns our salvation?



This is also 100%ly something the western church embraces.






Quote:
CHAPTER XV.That the understanding, by means of which we can recognize
God's commands, and the performance of a good will are both gifts from the
Lord.FURTHER the blessed David asks of the Lord that he may gain that very
understanding, by which he can recognize God's commands which, he well knew,
were written in the book of the law, and he says "I am Thy servant: O give me
understanding that I may learn Thy commandments." Certainly he was in possession
of understanding, which had been granted to him by nature, and also had at his
fingers' ends a knowledge of God's commands which were preserved in writing in
the law: and still he prayed the Lord that he might learn this more thoroughly
as he knew that what came to him by nature would never be sufficient for him,
unless his understanding was enlightened by the Lord by a daily illumination
from Him, to understand the law spiritually and to recognize His commands more
clearly, as the "chosen vessel" also declares very plainly this which we are
insisting on. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do
according to good will." 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." 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. And David too, as he knows this, similarly prays that the same thing
may be granted to him by God's mercy. "Strengthen, O God, that which Thou hast
wrought in us:" showing that it is not enough for the beginning of our salvation
to be granted by the gift and grace of God, unless it has been continued and
ended by the same pity and continual help from Him. For not free will but the
Lord "looseth them that are bound." No strength of ours, but the Lord "raiseth
them that are fallen:" no diligence in reading, but "the Lord enlightens the
blind:" where the Greeks have kurioV sofoi tuflouV, i.e., "the Lord maketh wise
the blind:" no care on our part, but "the Lord careth for the stranger:" no
courage of ours, but "the Lord assists (or supports) all those who are down."
But this we say, not to slight our zeal and efforts and diligence, as if they
were applied unnecessarily and foolishly, but that we may know that we cannot
strive without the help of God, nor can our efforts be of any use in securing
the great reward of purity, unless it has been granted to us by the assistance
and mercy of the Lord: for "a horse is prepared for the day of battle: but help
cometh from the Lord," "for no man can prevail by strength." We ought then
always to sing with the blessed David: "My strength and my praise is" not my
free will, but "the Lord, and He is become my salvation." And the teacher of the
Gentiles was not ignorant of this when he declared that he was made capable of
the ministry of the New Testament not by his own merits or efforts but by the
mercy of God. "Not" says he, "that we are capable of thinking anything of
ourselves as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God," which can be put in
less good Latin but more forcibly, "our capability is of God," and then there
follows: "Who also made us capable ministers of the New Testament."



This is pretty sound.





Ok now we are going to look at what got my boy in trouble.

In the book John Cassian: conferences, translated by and prefaced by Colm Luibheid and introduction by Owen Chadwick page 27


Chadwick says




"But -to the soul totally helpless? The prodical son was sick of the husks the
swine ate, and turned homeward. And while he was still a great way off, his
father saw him and ran to meet him. Are there cases - perhaps rare cases- where
the first tiny initiative comes from the soul turning back because sick of
husks, and then God comes with his saving grace to help?To this question Cassian
answered yes, There are cases-they may be very rare cases-where the soul makes
the first little turn. Might the theif on the cross be one such? And because
Cassian answered yes to this question, he almost destroyed his reputation as a
theologian.For if Cassian is right, said the critics, we are not helpless
without God. Cassian may say we are helpless. He cannot mean it. We need not
enter this controversy of the centuries. It will be sufficient to say here: (1)
No one can doubt that Cassian disapproved of the doctrine of Saint Augustine. He
thought it rigid. He thought parts of it untrue. He wrote one conference, the
thirteenth, to confute Saint Augustine. (2) No one can doubt that Cassian was a
deeply Christian moralist and never for an instant supposed that a soul could
ascend any ladder, or fight any fight, without God pouring in His grace."



John Cassian speculated that some people were able to take the first steps to God.


Now lets go to where he said it.http://www.osb.org/lectio/cassian/conf/book2/conf13.html#13.12In conference 13 chapter 12 he says

Quote:
"For because the faith of the thief on the cross came as the first thing, no one would say that therefore the blessed abode of Paradise was not promised to him as a free gift, nor could we hold that it was the penitence of King David's single word which he uttered: "I have sinned against the Lord," and not rather the mercy of God which removed those two grievous sins of his, so that it was vouchsafed to him to hear from the prophet Nathan: "The Lord also hath put away thine iniquity: thou shalt not die."

The council of Orange was against the idea of the thief taking the first step to God. They also thought that the will of King David had to be prepared by God in order for him to pray to God.

and this quote from chapter 11


Quote:
CHAPTER XI.Whether the grace of God precedes or follows our good will.AND so these are somehow mixed up and indiscriminately confused, so that among many persons, which depends on the other is involved in great questionings, i.e., does God have compassion upon us because we have shown the beginning of a good will, or does the beginning of a good will follow because God has had compassion upon us? For many believing each of these and asserting them more widely than is right are entangled in all kinds of opposite errors. For if we say that the beginning of free will is in our own power, what about Paul the persecutor, what about Matthew the publican, of whom the one was drawn to salvation while eager for bloodshed and the punishment of the innocent, the other for violence and rapine? But if we say that the beginning of our free will is always due to the inspiration of the grace of God, what about the faith of Zaccheus, or what are we to say of the goodness of the thief on the cross, who by their own desires brought violence to bear on the kingdom of heaven and so prevented the special leadings of their vocation? But if we attribute the performance of virtuous acts, and the execution of God's commands to our own will, how do we pray: "Strengthen, O God, what Thou hast wrought in us;" and "The work of our hands stablish Thou upon us"? We know that Balaam was brought to curse Israel, but we see that when he wished to curse he was not permitted to. Abimelech is preserved from touching Rebecca and so sinning against God. Joseph is sold by the envy of his brethren, in order to bring about the descent of the children of Israel into Egypt, and that while they were contemplating the death of their brother provision might be made for them against the famine to come: as Joseph shows when he makes himself known to his brethren and says: "Fear not, neither let it be grievous unto you that ye sold me into these parts: for for your salvation God sent me before you;" and below: "For God sent me before that ye might be preserved upon the earth and might have food whereby to live. Not by your design was I sent but by the will of God, who has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house, and chief over all the land of Egypt." And when his brethren were alarmed after the death of his father, he removed their suspicions and terror by saying: "Fear not: Can ye resist the will of God? You imagined evil against me but God turned it into good, that He might exalt me, as ye see at the present time, that He might save much people." And that this was brought about providentially the blessed David likewise declare saying in the hundred and fourth Psalm: "And He called for a dearth upon the land: and brake all the staff of bread. He sent a man before them: Joseph was sold for a slave." These two then; viz., the grace of God and free will seem opposed to each other, but really are in harmony, and we gather from the system of goodness that we ought to have both alike, lest if we withdraw one of them from man, we may seem to have broken the rule of the Church's faith: for when God sees us inclined to will what is good, He meets, guides, and strengthens us: for "At the voice of thy cry, as soon as He shall hear, He will answer thee;" and: "Call upon Me," He says, "in the day of tribulation and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." And again, if He finds that we are unwilling or have grown cold, He stirs our hearts with salutary exhortations, by which a good will is either renewed or formed in us.



This is why Canon 8 of Orange said

http://the-highway.com/Orange.html


Quote:
"CANON 8. If anyone maintains that some are able to come to the grace of baptism by mercy but others through free will, which has manifestly been corrupted in all those who have been born after the transgression of the first man, it is proof that he has no place in the true faith. For he denies that the free will of all men has been weakened through the sin of the first man, or at least holds that it has been affected in such a way that they have still the ability to seek the mystery of eternal salvation by themselves without the revelation of God. The Lord himself shows how contradictory this is by declaring that no one is able to come to him "unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44), as he also says to Peter, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17), and as the Apostle says, "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3)."


Orange also said in regards to Cassian and his followers


Quote:
"We also believe and confess to our benefit that in every good work it is not we who take the initiative and are then assisted through the mercy of God, but God himself first inspires in us both faith in him and love for him without any previous good works of our own that deserve reward, so that we may both faithfully seek the sacrament of baptism, and after baptism be able by his help to do what is pleasing to him. We must therefore most evidently believe that the praiseworthy faith of the thief whom the Lord called to his home in paradise, and of Cornelius the centurion, to whom the angel of the Lord was sent, and of Zacchaeus, who was worthy to receive the Lord himself, was not a natural endowment but a gift of God's kindness."



As you can see Those over the council of Orange wanted grace to preceed every human action.Orange did not condemn our co-operation after initial grace and it doesn't condemn those portions of co-operation after initial grace found in the works of John Cassian either.Infact this statement from Orange shows that we do co-operate with God after initial grace


Quote:
"According to the catholic faith we also believe that after grace has been received through baptism, all baptized persons have the ability and responsibility, if they desire to labor faithfully, to perform with the aid and cooperation of Christ what is of essential importance in regard to the salvation of their soul. We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema."



Everything John Cassian said about synergy wasn't condemned in the canons of the council of Orange. The onlything the council wanted to show was that grace must preceed everything before any co-operation is done. So co-operation in and of itself is not "error"! So I think some people think that everything John Cassian said or that everything his followers said about free will and grace must of been wrong and that's not the case. The canons of the council of Orange didn't condemn everything he had to say about the topic.



Augustine once believed in something "similar" to the semi-pelagians.

http://www.catholicity.com/encyclope...lagianism.html


Quote:
"The aged Augustine gathered all his remaining strength to prevent the revival of Pelagianism which had then been hardly overcome. He addressed (428 or 429) to Prosper and Hilarius the two works "De prædestinatione sanctorum" (P. L., XLIV, 959 sqq.) and "De dono perseverantiæ" (P. L., XLIV, 993 sqq.). In refuting their errors, Augustine treats his opponents as erring friends, not as heretics, and humbly adds that, before his episcopal consecration (about 396), he himself had been caught in a "similar error", until a passage in the writings of St. Paul (I Cor., iv, 7) had opened his eyes, "thinking that the faith, by which we believe in God, is not the gift of God, but is in us of ourselves, and that through it we obtain the gifts whereby we may live temperately, justly, and piously in this world" (De prædest. sanct., iii, 7). The Massilians, however, remained unappeased, the last writings of Augustine making no impression upon them. Offended at this obstinacy, Prosper believed the time had arrived for public polemics. He first described the new state of the question in a letter to a certain Rufinus (Prosper Aquit., "Ep. ad Rufinum de gratia et libero arbitrio", in P. L., XLI 77 sqq.), lashed in a poem of some thousand hexameters (Peri achariston, "hoc est de ingratis", in P.L., LI, 91 sqq.) the ingratitude of the "enemies of grace", and directed against an unnamed assailant - perhaps Cassian himself - his "Epigrammata in obtrectatorem Augustini" (P. L., XLI, 149 sqq.), written in clegiacs. At the time of the composition of this poem (429-30), Augustine was still alive."


I don't have all of Augustines early works. I only have some of them so I wasn't able to trace the source of the quote.However, to one of the intro notes of the book I do have says this:

"“It is true, of course, that there was development in St. Augustine's thought, and that his ordination marks an important stage in it................... In the retractions St. Augustine himself marks the division between his early and later writings. That work is in two books, of which the former reviews his writings previous to his elevations to the episcopate in 395/6; and the second begins with a review of his answers to the questions of Simplicianus, written “at the beginning of my episcopate.” To this work he frequently refers later as setting forth his final understanding of the Pauline doctrine of grace. Here if anywhere we may choose to fix the point at which the “earlier” gives place to the “later” Augustine, remembering that any such choice is somewhat arbitrary.”

From the book “Augustine: Earlier Writings” edited by J.H.S. Burleigh page 13 & 14

Also we can see it in his commentary to the book of Romans

Quote:
"Having given his conclusion [in the last verse] Paul plays devil's advocate by asking arhetorical question........He responds to this question in a sensible way so that we might understand that the basic rewards of faith and of unbelief are made plain only to spiritual people and not to those who live according to the earthly man. Likewise with the way God in his foreknowledge elects those who will believe and condemns unbelievers. He neither elects the ones because of their works nor condemns the other because of theirs, but he grants to the faith of the ones the ability to do good works and hardens the unbelief of the others by deserting them, so that they do evil. This understanding, as I have said, is given only to spiritual people and is very different from the wisdom of the flesh. Thus Paul counters his inquirer so that he may understand that he first must put away the man of clay in order to be worthy to investigate these things by the Spirit."

Augustine on Romans from the book Ancient Christian commentary on scripture: New Testament VI Romans edited by Gerald Bray page 259and

Quote:
"We read in Exodus[10:1] that Pharaoh's heart was hardened, so that he was not moved even by clear signs. Therefore, because Pharaoh did not obey the commands of God he was punished. No one can say that this hardness of heart came upon Pharaoh undeservedly; it came by the judgment of God who was giving him just punishment for his unbelief. Nor should it be thought that Pharaoh did not obey because he could not, on the ground that his heart had already been hardened. On the contrary, Pharaoh had deserved his hardness of by his earlier unbelief. For in those whom God has chosen it is not works but faith which is the beginning of merit, so that they might do good works by the gift of God. And in those whom he condemns unbelief and unfaithfulness are the beginning of punishment, so that by that very punishment they are permitted to do what is evil."

Augustine on Romans from the book Ancient Christian commentary on scripture: New Testament VI Romans edited by Gerald Bray page 257 I don't see how Faith can be seen as a merit but Augustine and Ambrose thought it was. And

Quote:
"Paul does not take away the freedom of the will but says that our will is not sufficient unless God helps us, making us compassionate so that we might do good works by the gift of the Holy Spirit.....We cannot will unless we are called, and when we will after our calling neither our will nor our striving is enough unless God gives strength to our striving and leads us where he calls. It is therefore clear that it is not by willing nor by striving but by the mercy of God that we do good works, even though our will (which by itself can do nothing) is also present."

Augustine on Romans from the book Ancient Christian commentary on scripture: New Testament VI Romans edited by Gerald Bray page 256

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1502.htm

Quote:
"Chapter 57 [XXXIII.]—Whence Comes the Will to Believe?But it remains for us briefly to inquire, Whether the will by which we believe be itself the gift of God, or whether it arise from that free will which is naturally implanted in us? If we say that it is not the gift of God, we must then incur the fear of supposing that we have discovered some answer to the apostle's reproachful appeal: "What do you have that you did not receive? Now, if you received it, why do you glory, as if you had not received it?" 1 Corinthians 4:7 —even some such an answer as this: "See, we have the will to believe, which we did not receive. See in what we glory,—even in what we did not receive!" If, however, we were to say that this kind of will is nothing but the gift of God, we should then have to fear lest unbelieving and ungodly men might not unreasonably seem to have some fair excuse for their unbelief, in the fact that God has refused to give them this will. Now this that the apostle says, "It is God that works in you both to will and to do of His own good pleasure," Philippians 2:13 belongs already to that grace which faith secures, in order that good works may be within the reach of man,—even the good works which faith achieves through the love which is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost which is given to us. If we believe that we may attain this grace (and of course believe voluntarily), then the question arises whence we have this will?—if from nature, why it is not at everybody's command, since the same God made all men? if from God's gift, then again, why is not the gift open to all, since "He will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth?" 1 Timothy 2:4 Chapter 58.—The Free Will of Man is an Intermediate PowerLet us then, first of all, lay down this proposition, and see whether it satisfies the question before us: that free will, naturally assigned by the Creator to our rational soul, is such a neutral power, as can either incline towards faith, or turn towards unbelief. Consequently a man cannot be said to have even that will with which he believes in God, without having received it; since this rises at the call of God out of the free will which he received naturally when he was created. God no doubt wishes all men to be saved 1 Timothy 2:4 and to come into the knowledge of the truth; but yet not so as to take away from them free will, for the good or the evil use of which they may be most righteously judged. This being the case, unbelievers indeed do contrary to the will of God when they do not believe His gospel; nevertheless they do not therefore overcome His will, but rob their own selves of the great, nay, the very greatest, good, and implicate themselves in penalties of punishment, destined to experience the power of Him in punishments whose mercy in His gifts they despised. Thus God's will is for ever invincible; but it would be vanquished, unless it devised what to do with such as despised it, or if these despises could in any way escape from the retribution which He has appointed for such as they.………………….Chapter 60 [XXXIV.]—The Will to Believe is from God:Let this discussion suffice, if it satisfactorily meets the question we had to solve. It may be, however, objected in reply, that we must take heed lest some one should suppose that the sin would have to be imputed to God which is committed by free will, if in the passage where it is asked, "What do you have that you did not receive?" 1 Corinthians 4:7 the very will by which we believe is reckoned as a gift of God, because it arises out of the free will which we received at our creation. Let the objector, however, attentively observe that this will is to be ascribed to the divine gift, not merely because it arises from our free will, which was created naturally with us; but also because God acts upon us by the incentives of our perceptions, to will and to believe, either externally by evangelical exhortations, where even the commands of the law also do something, if they so far admonish a man of his infirmity that he betakes himself to the grace that justifies by believing; or internally, where no man has in his own control what shall enter into his thoughts, although it appertains to his own will to consent or to dissent. Since God, therefore, in such ways acts upon the reasonable soul in order that it may believe in Him (and certainly there is no ability whatever in free will to believe, unless there be persuasion or summons towards some one in whom to believe), it surely follows that it is God who both works in man the willing to believe, and in all things prevents us with His mercy. To yield our consent, indeed, to God's summons, or to withhold it, is (as I have said) the function of our own will. And this not only does not invalidate what is said, "For what do you have that you did not receive?" 1 Corinthians 4:7 but it really confirms it. For the soul cannot receive and possess these gifts, which are here referred to, except by yielding its consent. And thus whatever it possesses, and whatever it receives, is from God; and yet the act of receiving and having belongs, of course, to the receiver and possessor. Now, should any man be for constraining us to examine into this profound mystery, why this person is so persuaded as to yield, and that person is not, there are only two things occurring to me, which I should like to advance as my answer: "O the depth of the riches!" Romans 11:33 and "Is there unrighteousness with God?" Romans 9:14 If the man is displeased with such an answer, he must seek more learned disputants; but let him beware lest he find presumptuous ones"

It took Augustine a mighty long time to say this:


Quote:
"it surely follows that it is God who both works in man the willing to believe, and in all things prevents us with His mercy. To yield our consent, indeed, to God's summons, or to withhold it, is (as I have said) the function of our own will. And this not only does not invalidate what is said, "For what do you have that you did not receive?" 1 Corinthians 4:7 but it really confirms it. For the soul cannot receive and possess these gifts, which are here referred to, except by yielding its consent."

what he said in the work "On the Spirit and the letter" shows that we still have the power to accept or reject the gifts that God gives. So we know that at least in this stage of his life he didn't believe in "irresistible" grace.

However, in the work "grace and free will" He says:


Quote:
"Of the same Lord again it is said, "It is God who worketh in you, even to will! It is certain that it is we that act when we act; but it is He who makes us act, by applying efficacious powers to our will, who has said, "I will make you to walk in my statutes, and to observe my judgements, and to do them"

(On Grace and free Will) page 32 In quoting Norman Geisler in the book Chosen but free: second edition page 173

I'm tired right now so I'm gonna quote some of what Geisler quoted for now. I'll look at the primary sources later.

Quote:
"Our Lord says plainly, however, in the Gospel, when upbraiding the impious city: "How often would I have gathered thy children together; even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! as if the will of God had been overcome by the will of men.....but even though she was unwilling, He gathered together as many of her children as He wished: for He does not will some things and do them, and will others and do them not; but "He hath done all that He pleased in heaven and in earth"

(Enchiridion, 97) quoting Norman Geisler's quote of Augustine in the book Chosen but free: second edition page 177

Quote:
"Where is what the Donatists were wont to cry: Man is at liberty to believe or not believe? towards whom did Christ use violence? Whom did He compel? Here they have the Apostle Paul. Let them recognize in his case Christ first compelling and afterwards teaching; first striking, and afterwards consoling. For it is wonderful how he who entered the service of the gospel in the first instance under the compulsion of bodily punishment, afterwards labored more in the gospel than all they who were called by word only; and he who was compelled by the greater influence of fear to love, displayed that perfect love which casts out fear. Why, therefore, should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost sons compelled others to their destruction.

? (correction of Donatists, 6.22-23)quoting Norman Geisler's quote of Augustine in the book Chosen but free: second edition page 174 & 175

It seems in his later works he was working towards an "irresistible grace view"But His early works are not really that different from what John Cassian was saying about the Natural will and how God implants some goodness in it so that man can choose the good.

And how for some men that good was so weakened that God's grace had to preceed the will. Cassian also believed that the will of some men was able to preceed the grace of God. The only difference between the two on this point was that John Cassian stressed man's chooseing as being of the natural will whereas Augustine....at least in the work called "In the Spirit and the Letter" stressed that as being a gift of God. Augustine also believed that God's grace must always preceed the will of man. Augustine only seemed to stress what man could do when it came to the issue of accepting or rejecting the gifts of God. In Augustin's later years even that seemed to give way to some type of coercion of the will.

This is what Arminius had to say about free will.

http://www.godrules.net/library/arminius/arminius29.htm


Quote:
The will


VII. In this state, the free will of man towards the true good is not only wounded, maimed, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace. For Christ has said, "Without me ye can do nothing."

The mind

VIII. The mind of man, in this state, is dark, destitute of the saving knowledge of God, and, according to the Apostle, incapable of those things which belong to the Spirit of God. For "the animal man has no perception of the things of the Spirit of God;" (1 Cor. ii, 14 in which passage man is called "animal," not from the animal body, but from anima, the soul itself, which is the most noble part of man, but which is so encompassed about with the clouds of ignorance, as to be distinguished by the epithets of "vain" and "foolish;" and men themselves, thus darkened in their minds, are denominated "mad" or foolish, "fools," and even "darkness" itself.


The Heart

IX. To the darkness of the mind succeeds the perverseness of the affections and of the heart, according to which it hates and has an aversion to that which is truly good and pleasing to God; but it loves and pursues what is evil. The Apostle was unable to afford a more luminous description of this perverseness, than he has given in the following words: "The carnal mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom. viii, 7.) For this reason, the human heart itself is very often called deceitful and perverse, uncircumcised, hard and stony." (Jer. xiii, 10; xvii, 9; Ezek. xxxvi, 26.) Its imagination is said to be "only evil from his very youth;" (Gen. vi, 5; viii, 21 and "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries," &c. (Matt. xv, 19.)


X. Exactly correspondent to this darkness of the mind, and perverseness of the heart, is the utter weakness of all the powers to perform that which is truly good, and to omit the perpetration of that which is evil, in a due mode and from a due end and cause. The subjoined sayings of Christ serve to describe this impotence. "A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit." (Matt. vii, 18.) "How can ye, being evil, speak good things?" (xii, 34.) The following relates to the good which is properly prescribed in the gospel: "No man can come to me, except the Father draw him." (John vi, 44.) As do likewise the following words of the Apostle: "The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be;" (Rom. viii, 7



So if anything Arminianism should be called "Semi-Augustinianism" rather than "Semi-Pelagianism". True Arminianism embraces Augustine's Hard Deterministic views about the fall of man in his Older years. But they also embrace the free will views of Augustine's early years. So they properly should be called "Semi-Augustinian" or "Moderate Augustinians" The Calvinists seem to only want to embrace Augustines older teachings. His Deterministic views and nothing else.

The real difference between Arminianism and Semi-pelagianism is that Semi-Pelagianism tought that the grace of God must preceed the will of "some" people. Whereas Arminianism believes that the grace of God must preceed the will of "all men".

This is the fundemental difference. the difference that very few seem to notice. Also classical and weslyian Arminianism seems to teach that the will of man was destroyed and lost by the Fall of man. I don't think Semi-Pelagianism ever went that far. I know the greek Fathers never went that far. Nor did the Latin Fathers before Augustine. Nor did Augustine in his early Christian years.

My view is that the Grace of God must preceed the will of all men but the will of man was never destroyed or lost by the fall for that would mean that the Image of God would of been destroyed and lost.

The will of man is broken, bent, fallen, wounded, damaged, and weakened. But it was never destroyed.....nor was it ever lost.



INLOVE Jnorm



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