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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chrysostom’s Homily on Romans 9

The Link:
http://www.orthodox-christianity.com/?p=1017

15 comments:

Drake Shelton said...

Reading through Free Choice in Maximus the Confessor by farrell and I still have not run into a defintion of free will. He has cited the enneadfs, read that didn't make much sense. Anything official ever been defined here?

Jnorm said...

What page are you on?

I remember some years ago that you said we(EO) embraced Origenism or the errors of Origen.....or something like that.

The book "Free Choice in Maximus the Confessor" should prove that we reject Origenism and the determinism (in regards to the eschaton) that was found within in.

Towards the end of the book. I think the appendix, it talks about Saint Augustine and how we differ from him.

Jnorm said...

It uses Christology as a grid for free will and Predestination.

Drake Shelton said...

I am on page 124 today but then I cheated and read Chapter 9; Appendix 195-225. His arguments against limited atonement made no sense to me. I emailed him. We will see if he responds. This is what i wrote:

I am finishing your book Free Choice in Maximus the Confessor. On page 225 you have a number of arguments
against limited atonement that I do not understand.

You say,

1. "that Christ's humanity, insofar as it is efficacious for those
individuals, is united with them not naturally but only by the object
of their wills...This union...is Nestorianism."

I don't understand what you mean by "naturally", by "object of their
wills" or how it is Nestorian.

2. "It would also appear that, on this view, the human nature of the
elected individuals gives nothing to election, and Christ's human
nature certainly not...Human nature therefore either has no will..."

I don't understand what you mean by "gives" or by "election" or by the
phrase "gives nothing to election." I don't understand how limited
atonement implies that human nature has no will.

Jnorm, I don't recall my Origenist argument off hand but it probably has something to do with universalism. Farrell answers me on pg 217 on this. His explanation makes sense but I just don't see it in the scripture. That Christ died to restore immortality to man's damaged ontology seems incapable of being supported by scripture. Christ said that it would be better if wicked men had never been born Mat 26:24. It seems that here Christ is doing the reprobate a mis-service and quite frankly they would have been better off if he had let them fade away into nothingness. I would rather fade into nothingness than to have an infinite nature trapped in the flames of hell.

Drake Shelton said...

Perry said,

"Adam looses the divine power at his disposal by which he personally
operated in and with his natural powers. Hence it is impossible
for humans to fully actualize the potency of their image
without divine power. That potency is never lost or intrinsically
altered. Pelagius’ error was to take this potency for an actuality and so to conflate image and likeness"

So then are you guys admitting then that man requires God's grace to choose salvation in Christ and obey God's laws? [I am nticing that Perry's whole website is based off this book. Every page I turn I am reminded of some conversation I have had with Perry.] If so, then man is in bondage. When Perry says "Hence it is impossible
for humans to fully actualize the potency of their image
without divine power"

the impossibility is the bondage of the will. I see no difference in his view and the refuted view of Erasmus. Luther says to Erasmus,

"If anyone should tell you that a thing was free , which of its own power could go only one way, that is, the bad way, but not by its own power , only with the help of another-could you refrain from laughing, my friend? For on these grounds I shall easily establish that a stone or a log has 'free will', because it can go up and down; though by its own power it can only go down, and can go up only with the help of another! And, as I said above, we shall end by overturning all usage of words and language and sayiong: 'All men are no man, and all things are nothing!' - referring one term to the thing as it is in itself, and the other to something extraneous that might come upon it or hapopen to it!"

Bondage of the Will pg 142-143

Drake Shelton said...

Perry said,

"Adam looses the divine power at his disposal by which he personally
operated in and with his natural powers. Hence it is impossible
for humans to fully actualize the potency of their image
without divine power. That potency is never lost or intrinsically
altered. Pelagius’ error was to take this potency for an actuality and so to conflate image and likeness"

So then are you guys admitting then that man requires God's grace to choose salvation in Christ and obey God's laws? [I am nticing that Perry's whole website is based off this book. Every page I turn I am reminded of some conversation I have had with Perry.] If so, then man is in bondage. When Perry says "Hence it is impossible
for humans to fully actualize the potency of their image
without divine power"

the impossibility is the bondage of the will. I see no difference in his view and the refuted view of Erasmus. Luther says to Erasmus,

"If anyone should tell you that a thing was free , which of its own power could go only one way, that is, the bad way, but not by its own power , only with the help of another-could you refrain from laughing, my friend? For on these grounds I shall easily establish that a stone or a log has 'free will', because it can go up and down; though by its own power it can only go down, and can go up only with the help of another! And, as I said above, we shall end by overturning all usage of words and language and sayiong: 'All men are no man, and all things are nothing!' - referring one term to the thing as it is in itself, and the other to something extraneous that might come upon it or hapopen to it!"

Bondage of the Will pg 142-143

Drake Shelton said...

On page 135 farrell asserts that defining free choice by a moral dialectic of oppositions is origenist. Yet Luther denied any such thing as this it was Erasmus who said that free will was defined by the moral dialectic so it seems Farrell is vindicating Luther.

Jnorm said...

Drake,

The book you are reading "Free Choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor by Farrel is against Determinism and Monergy, and so how could it vindicate Luther? We are Synergistic. It's been a while since I read the book. I'm gonna re-read it, but I think it talks about the theology behind the 6th council. The theology is a free will theology.


Drake said:
"On page 135 farrell asserts that defining free choice by a moral dialectic of oppositions is origenist."

This point is very very important.


Drake said:
"Yet Luther denied any such thing as this"

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Luther a Determinist?


Drake said:
"it was Erasmus who said that free will was defined by the moral dialectic so it seems Farrell is vindicating Luther."

Erasmus was quoting Origen in that discussion with Luther. Origen believed in Free Will but his view became deterministic when it came to the eschaton(no free will in heaven). Saint Maximus was trying to show how free will can exist even in the Eschaton(heaven).

Drake Shelton said...

Jnorm,

I just said that it was Erasmus whose defintion was that free choice is the ability to choose between opposites, in this case good(and that which pertains to salvation) and evil. This is the exact position that Farrell is attacking in his book.

You seem to admit it. You quote me saying, "On page 135 farrell asserts that defining free choice by a moral dialectic of oppositions is origenist."

You say,
This point is very very important.

You say,

"Erasmus was quoting Origen in that discussion with Luther"

Are you by this statement acknowledging that Erasmus held to the Origenist position or are you saying that Erasmus is using Origen in some ad hominem fashion against Luther?

If the former, how is this not a vindication of Luther? If the latter where do you see this either in his Diatribe or in Luther's quotation from the Diatribe?

"Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Luther a Determinist?"

Absolutely but Farrell has yet to actually acknowledge Luther's position in this book. Is the fallen man post lapse able of himself to apply himself to good to the glory of God, i.e. spiritual good and salvation? The synergy thing is not an answer as I proved above. Farrell has not answered this as of yet and has yet to prove that actus purus divine simplicity and Luther's position on the bondage of the will are necessary bed buddies. I have yet to read one argument in Luther's bondage of the will where he uses simplicity as an argument for his position and I just posted an article where Arminius held to actus purus simplicity. Not seeing the necessary connection between actus purus simplicity and determinism.

"Origen believed in Free Will but his view became deterministic when it came to the eschaton(no free will in heaven). Saint Maximus was trying to show how free will can exist even in the Eschaton(heaven)."

I don't think he suceeded. Maximus changes the whole conversation from an internal ability/inability to an external plurality of objects. The free will view of the ability to choose between oppposites good and evil is refuted by the eschaton and it has been for centuries. Maximus' attempt is a laugher. All he can do to avoid the clear logical inference is to change the subject of conversation completely.

Drake Shelton said...

What happened to my other post? Anyway. I just finished the book. 1. Hodge in his Romans commentary showed that the Vulgate translation of predestination of the Son of God Rom 1:4 is a mistranslation and Auquinas was mistakemn to teach that the Son of God was predestined.

He never even spoke one word on the issue if man had ability of himself to apply himself to salvation and believe in Christ and perform good SPIRITUAL works. He never defined determinism, never defined synergism (and there are many defintions) he never defined monergism compared to synergism and never showed the necessity of simplicity to calvinism.

I am going to do a series of videos on this book. I learned a great deal and the issues spoken on are profound, but in the end I don't think he ever really dealt the Luther's conversation in Bondage of the Will and he never gave a coherent defintion of divine simplicity. The whole "around God" thing is one of the stupidest theologucal ideas I have ever heard. As if God is some 3 dimensional finitely located blob of essence that has oribiting around it little bulbs of energy. Completely wacky!

Jnorm said...

Drake,

If you read Origen's first principles then you will see what Erasmus quoted in his discussion with Luther. In doing so I am assuming he held to an Origenist position. Yes, Farrel is attacking that view, but he is also attacking determinism and monergy in the book as well.


Drake said:
"Absolutely but Farrell has yet to actually acknowledge Luther's position in this book."

What makes Luther's view different from Augustine's? Wasn't he following Saint Augustine's lead?


Drake said:
"Absolutely but Farrell has yet to actually acknowledge Luther's position in this book. Is the fallen man post lapse able of himself to apply himself to good to the glory of God, i.e. spiritual good and salvation?"


Why do you think this is unique to Luther and not Saint Augustine as well? Who was Luther following when he said this? Wasn't he following Saint Augustine's lead?


Drake said:
"The synergy thing is not an answer as I proved above. Farrell has not answered this as of yet and has yet to prove that actus purus divine simplicity and Luther's position on the bondage of the will are necessary bed buddies."

Farrell was talking about the western view in general. Luther didn't have to bring up the issue of Absolute Divine Simplicity in his argument with Erasmus in order to show that they are bed buddies. All one has to do is see if Luther believed in Augustine's interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity in general. This Calvinist arguing with one of my Arminian friends seems to understand the connection between the two views. You can see it here.


Drake said:
"I have yet to read one argument in Luther's bondage of the will where he uses simplicity as an argument for his position and I just posted an article where Arminius held to actus purus simplicity. Not seeing the necessary connection between actus purus simplicity and determinism."


I forgot where but Perry mentions somewhere on his blog that Arminians and Molinists don't really hold to free will. For like Origen they will have to believe in determinism in the eschaton.

If one holds to the Augustinian interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity then there can be no free will in Heaven. Free Choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor tackles the issue of how we still can have free will in heaven. And so it's not just about having free will before the fall and a disordered one after. The issue is also about Heaven as well.

Jnorm said...

Drake said:
"I don't think he suceeded."

Why not? You are confusing our idea of the fall with that of Saint Augustine and Luther. Our view is different.

Also earlier you said that there was no connection between Augustine's interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity with Luther's determinism. But now you are saying that Saint Maximus didn't succeed?

If we believe in the Essence vs Energies distinction, then our view/interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity is a complex unity.



Drake said:
"Maximus changes the whole conversation from an internal ability/inability to an external plurality of objects."


We don't believe in the bondage of the will. Remember, the whole

quote:
"Drake said:
"On page 135 farrell asserts that defining free choice by a moral dialectic of oppositions is origenist."



Why do you think both Augustine and Luther escape the moral dialectic of oppositions?

We believe the fallen will to be distorted and in disarray, but not destroyed. It is only through the grace of God that it becomes ordered.


Drake said:
"The free will view of the ability to choose between oppposites good and evil is refuted by the eschaton and it has been for centuries. Maximus' attempt is a laugher. All he can do to avoid the clear logical inference is to change the subject of conversation completely."

I disagree. He shows that we will have the opportunity to choose between a variety of good things in the Eschaton. And so free will is not limited to choosing between good and evil. It can also be a choosing between good and good.


Drake said:
"He never even spoke one word on the issue if man had ability of himself to apply himself to salvation and believe in Christ and perform good SPIRITUAL works. He never defined determinism, never defined synergism (and there are many defintions) he never defined monergism compared to synergism and never showed the necessity of simplicity to calvinism."


He used Christology as the template when looking at the issue. In the book he looks at Monothelitism and Monoenergism. He shows how the Monothelites and Monoenergists expressed a deterministic view in their Christology.

The way we look at Christology will be the way we will look at other things as well.......other issues.

Drake said:
"and never showed the necessity of simplicity to calvinism."

Do Calvinists believe in the Augustinian interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity? If so, then he already answered it.


Drake said:
"I am going to do a series of videos on this book. I learned a great deal and the issues spoken on are profound, but in the end I don't think he ever really dealt the Luther's conversation in Bondage of the Will and he never gave a coherent defintion of divine simplicity."

Let me know when you put the videos up.

Drake said:
The whole "around God" thing is one of the stupidest theologucal ideas I have ever heard. As if God is some 3 dimensional finitely located blob of essence that has oribiting around it little bulbs of energy. Completely wacky!


That's another way of saying Essence vs Energies. Our interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity is a complex unity, and this is why we will be able to have free will in heaven. We will choose alternative good things for eternity.

Drake Shelton said...

"Why not? You are confusing our idea of the fall with that of Saint Augustine and Luther. Our view is different."

I told you why not, because the subject of the conversation is chagned from an internal ability to an external plurality of objects.
Another question: Who before Maximus defines free will as an external plurality of objects?

"We don't believe in the bondage of the will. Remember, the whole

quote:
"Drake said:
"On page 135 farrell asserts that defining free choice by a moral dialectic of oppositions is origenist."

For the like 5th time now. That is Erasmus' view of free will not Luthers. For crying out loud man.
"Why do you think both Augustine and Luther escape the moral dialectic of oppositions?"

Because our view of free will involves spontaneity not ability to choose between opposites. John L Girardeau in Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism, pg 397-398,
"The very question is, whether or not the man is free in willing, or free to will. If he is not free in respect to his will, it is certain that he is not in respect to any other faculty...there are two distinct kinds of freedom which ought never to be confounded. THE ONE IS THE FREEDOM OF DELIBERTAE ELECTION BETWEEN OPPOSING ALTERNATIVES, OF GOING IN EITHER OF TWO DIRECTIONS, [DIALECTIC OF OPPOSITIONS] THE FREEDOM , AS IT IS SOMETIMES DENOMINATED, OF OTHERWISE DETERMINING. THE OTHER IS THE FREDOM OF A FIXED AND DETERMINED SPONTANEITY...Man in his fallen and unregenerate condition does not possess the freedom of deliberate election between the opposing alternatives of holiness and sin. By his first fatal act of transgression, he determined his spiritual condition as one OF FIXED SPONTANEITY IN THE SINGLE DIRECTION OF SIN. HE IS SPONTANEOUSLY FREE TO CHOOSE SIN, BUT HE IS NOT, WITHOUT GRACE, FREE DELIBERATELY TO ELECT HOLINESS."

Post lapse man can choose to express his sinfulness in homosexuality or fornication with women, or drunkeness or violence or whatever he wants, choose your poison but that's all you have to choose from is sin and poison. He has multiple objects to choose from in this life but they are all sinful. In glory the saint has multiple objects to choose from but they are all good. So determination and freedom can go together.

Drake Shelton said...

"If we believe in the Essence vs Energies distinction, then our view/interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity is a complex unity."

I reject it. How then can one speak of something being God and "around" God? In order for something to be around God you have to posit a spatial point of termination where God stops and something can go around him. This denies God's omnipresence. I prefer Clark's more Idealist/realist view of God rather than the Neoplatonist view of the Scholastics or the completely wack job view of Maximus. What then keeps the bulbs of energy around God from just floating away? Is there then some other third force that keeps everything together? So essence plus energy plus cosmis gravity?

Completely nuts.
"We believe the fallen will to be distorted and in disarray, but not destroyed."

Are you talking about the moral ability of the will or the spontaneity of the will?

"It is only through the grace of God that it becomes ordered."

So the grace comes first, or the man applies himself first and then God comes along to help him continue in it?

So then man has salvation from himself taken for himself and becomes self creating. What do have that you have not received? The east says salvation. Pelagianism.

"We believe the fallen will to be distorted and in disarray, but not destroyed. It is only through the grace of God that it becomes ordered."
You refuse to answer the question. Does post lapse man of himself have the ability to apply himself to salvation? Yes or no?
"I disagree. He shows that we will have the opportunity to choose between a variety of good things in the Eschaton."

All you did here is re-state what I just said.

"And so free will is not limited to choosing between good and evil"
So then are you saying that free will is defined one way in one time period and another way in another time period? Or are you just saying that the plurality of objects is the defintion of free will at all times? If the later don't you see your equivocation? You say,

"We believe the fallen WILL to be distorted and in disarray, but not destroyed. It is only through the grace of God that it becomes ordered."
So here by "will" you mean the internal ability to choose between good and evil but here,

"I disagree. He shows that we will have the opportunity to choose between a variety of good things in the Eschaton. And so free WILL is not limited to choosing between good and evil.IT [WILL] can also be a choosing between good and good."

By "will" you mean the external plurality of objects. You just can't get it straight Jnorm and any Reformed person with a head on their shoulders and a desire for truth is never going to come around to your position unless they are completely confused by your sly and sneaky rhetoric.

Drake Shelton said...

"He used Christology as the template when looking at the issue. In the book he looks at Monothelitism and Monoenergism. He shows how the Monothelites and Monoenergists expressed a deterministic view in their Christology."

He never proved a thing. He wants us to posit a compelling of the human will in effectual calling but never shows where we do this. WCF 10.1
"I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call,[1] by His Word and Spirit,[2] out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ;[3] enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God,[4] taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh;[5] renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good,[6] and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ:[7] yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.[8]"

Notice the last sentence. We do not say that man's will is forced. Robert Shaw whose commentary is the standard work in the Free Church of Scotland Churches in America says on this passage:

"4. That in this calling no violence is offered to the will. While the Spirit effectually draws sinners to Christ, he deals with them in a way agreeable to their rational nature, "so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace." The liberty of the will is not invaded, for that would destroy its very nature; but its obstinacy is overcome, its perverseness taken away, and the whole soul powerfully, yet sweetly, attracted to the Saviour. The compliance of the soul is voluntary, while the energy of the Spirit is efficient and almighty: "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power."—Ps. cx. 3."

The absolute propaganda I have read from Perry, Jay Dyer, yourself, David P and others has been half read bullshit and if you have an ounce of a conscience you will come out publicly and apologize for it.

"Do Calvinists believe in the Augustinian interpretation of Absolute Divine Simplicity? If so, then he already answered it."

All the Calvinist groups I know also teach an infallible assurance of salvation. I don't believe and William Cunningham admitted that an infallible assurance is not requisite for the Calvinist soteriological system. I wrote an article about it here under argument 6: http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/epistemology-and-metaphysics/top-ten-reasons-to-reject-the-van-tillian-package-by-drake

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