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Thanks, I hope he doesn't mind if I interact with it. I agree with what he said about the first one (Pelagianism). I disagree slightly with the second. And it goes back to what I said previously.
Semi-PelagianismAll people are in the water drowning. They are born drowning. This is the natural habitation of all humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water. Their legs are cramping and they cannot swim to safety on their own. However, they may desire salvation on their own. Though they cannot attain it, they can call, with a wave of their arm, to God who is eagerly waiting on the edge of the boat. At the first sign of their initiative, God will then throw out the life preserver (grace). If they respond, they will be saved (synergism)."
What I underlined is where the common flaw is. If he said "However, some may desire salvation on their own. Though they cannot attain it, they can call, with a wave of their arm, to God who is eagerly waiting on the edge of the boat. At the first sign of their initiative."
If he said it like that then it would of been extremely accurate. If we paint the picture that everyone was able to take the first initiative. Then we distort their view. Saint John Cassian gave the example of the thief on the Cross that was able to take the first initiative, he also said some things about prayer in regards to King David and the first initiative. But he gave other examples of people in Scripture of where that wasn't the case. In his other examples he shows how God took the first initiative. And when we look at what he had to say elsewhere in the infamous 13th constitution/conference we see that he makes use of Augustine's idea of God taking the first initiative. As seen from the Conferences:
"From which we clearly infer that the initiative not only of our actions but also of good thoughts comes from God, who inspires us with a good will to begin with, and supplies us with the opportunity of carrying out what we rightly desire: for "every good gift and every perfect gift cometh down from above, from the Father of lights,"
But he didn't see that as being the case for all people. When we look at Canon 8 of the local western council of 2nd Orange we see this:
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)."
The Canons of 2nd Orange often attack Saint John Cassian and what he said in various places in the Constitutions/Conferences. But they also rejected double Predestination and they advocated a doctrine of Synergy after Regeneration. As seen from 2nd Orange:Quote:
"CANON 13. Concerning the restoration of free will. The freedom of will that was destroyed in the first man can be restored only by the grace of baptism, for what is lost can be returned only by the one who was able to give it. Hence the Truth itself declares: "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:36).
As well as in the conclusion:
"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."
And so they brought Free Will back (which is something the Reformed don't do). This is why 2nd Orange is called moderate Augustinianism. Or what I sometimes call Semi-Augustinian.
(going back to read what he said about Rome and EO)
Ok, I slightly disagree with what he said about us.
Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy
All people are in the water drowning. They are born drowning. This is the natural habitation of all humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water. Their legs are cramping and they cannot swim to safety on their own. God, standing on the edge of the boat, makes the first initiative by throwing a life preserver to them (prevenient grace). Upon seeing this act, they make a decision to grab a hold (faith) or to swim away. If they grab a hold, God will slowly pull the rope connected to the life preserver. But they must do their part by swimming along with God’s pull (grace plus works; synergism). If at any time they let go or quit swimming, they will not be saved.
1.) We don't see anything wrong with visible things or the physical world in general being used as a means of grace. And so what maybe seen as works to some Protestants is seen as Grace to us.
2.) Salvation in both Rome and Orthodoxy is dynamic(I was saved, am being saved, and will be saved). It is not a one time event and so when looking at how we see things one must not only look at what happens before Water Baptism(Regeneration), but also after as well, all the way to our very last breath. For that is when the race is over.
3.) From what I know about Rome, they not only believe in the Augustinian doctrine of Total inability, but they also believe Grace(I'm ignoring the issue of created grace vs uncreated grace) to precede every human animation, and so it would be inaccurate to say grace plus works. As seen from 2nd Orange, we know that the Christian West eventually advocated the view that free will was restored and Rome believes in grace infused works or works prompted by grace. It's a very Augustinian idea. Also, when looking at Rome, you have to be careful for She has multiple schools of thought when it comes to the issue of Grace and Free Will. And so you would have to look at the various schools of thought within Rome. That's if one wants to be as accurate as possible.
a.) Augustinian school of thought
b.) Thomistic school of thought
c.) Congruent school of thought
d.) Molinistic school of thought
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.
(Going back to read what he had to say about Arminianism)
All people are floating in the water dead in their natural condition (total depravity). They are born dead because that has been the condition of humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water and died (original sin). Death begets death. There must be intervention if they are to be saved. God uses his power to bring every one of them back to life (prevenient grace), but they are still in the water and in danger of drowning. With the regenerated ability to respond to God, now God throws the life preserver to them and calls on them all to grab hold of it. They then make the free-will decision on their own to grab a hold of the life preserver (faith) or to swim away. If they grab a hold, they must continue to hold as God pulls them in (synergism). They don’t need to do anything but hold on. Any effort to swim and aid God is superfluous (sola fide). They can let go of the preserver at any time and, as a consequence, lose their salvation.
Ok, I slightly disagree in some areas. There are different forms of Arminianism and so I would just say that for most Classical Arminians, especially the modern free will Baptists. One can loose their salvation if they loose faith. Other Classical Arminians believe in a form of Once Saved Always Saved. James Arminius himself was unsure about the issue.
For the Wesleyan and Charles G. Finny Holiness Arminians one can loose their salvation not only by a lose of faith, but also by bad fruit as well. There is a Justification through Sanctification within these schools of Arminian thought. Other than that I'm pretty much in agreement with what he said up above.
(Going back to read what he had to say about Calvinism)
All people are floating in the water dead in their natural condition (total depravity). They are born dead because that has been the condition of humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water and died (original sin). Death begets death. There must be radical intervention if they are to be saved. While God calls out to all of them (general call), due to his mysterious choice, he brings back to life (regeneration) only certain people (election) while passing by the rest (reprobation). He does not use a life preserver, but grabs a hold of the elect individually and immediately pulls them onto the boat (monergism). They naturally grab a hold of God as a consequence of their regeneration (irresistible grace; sola fide). They forever stay on the boat due to their perpetual ability to recognize God’s beauty (perseverance of the saints)."
One Question. I could be wrong, but I thought some Calvinists believe in an active reprobation? Especially the High Calvinists? Other than that I pretty much agree with what he said up above. Well wait, he should of added C.P.R. along with individually pulling a select number of individuals out. That way, after the C.P.R. they would be able to naturally respond back.
Dave Z said:CMP offers definitions and illustrations here.