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Thursday, March 13, 2008

What I'm reading

I got alot on my plate right now. I'm reading different works of Augustine, because I'm writing about how he changed his mind over the years in regards to the issue of grace and free will. I'm mostly comparing his later works with his early ones.

I'm showing how he went from

1.) Free will preceeds the grace of God (alot of his early works. He later changed his mind after receiving a revelation after reading Cyprian. Cyprian quoted Paul in Corinthians 4 verse 7 and Saint Augustine just ran with Corinth 4:7)

Augustine confesses this himself in one of his works:

""It was not thus that that pious and humble
teacher thought—I speak of the most blessed Cyprian—when he said "-->that we
must boast in nothing, since nothing is our own."-->15-3432--> And in
order to show this, he appealed to the apostle as a witness, where he said,
"-->For what have you that you have not received? And if you have received
it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"--> 1 Corinthians 4:7 And
it was chiefly by this testimony that I myself also was convinced when I was in
a similar error, thinking that faith whereby we believe in God is not God's
gift, but that it is in us from ourselves, and that by it we obtain the gifts of
God, whereby we may live temperately and righteously and piously in this world.
For I did not think that faith was preceded by God's grace, so that by its means
would be given to us what we might profitably ask, except that we could not
believe if the proclamation of the truth did not precede; but that we should
consent when the gospel was preached to us I thought was our own doing, and came
to us from ourselves. And this my error is sufficiently indicated in some small
works of mine written before my episcopate. Among these is that which you have
mentioned in your letters15-3434--> wherein is an exposition of certain
propositions from the Epistle to the Romans."

On the Predestination of the Saints (Book I) chapter 7 (around the year 428 A.D.)


2.) Grace preceeds free will, but we must still accept or reject the grace that God gives(found in one of his middle works called "in the Spirit and the Letter")

"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."


3.) The grace of God will unconditionaly cause some Baptized Christians(over other Baptized christians) to persevere to the end. Yet noone will be aware or conscience of this with full certianty. The only one who will know with all certianty is God. (This is found in alot of his later works)

I put this on hold because I'm working with a 5 man team on another project.

I'm reading a book by a reformed baptist in whom I will not name at this time. I am part of a 5 man team giving a rejoinder to his book. A book that grossly misrepresents Eastern Orthodoxy. It's nothing more than an oversized jack chip tract, but I don't want anyone to be I'm helping out in giving a rejoinder.

I'm reading the new and full "Orthodox Study Bible" that just came out. The Old Testament is a translation of the LXX.....well they used the Old Testament of the NKJV as a template......Whereever the MT and LXX agreed they stayed with the language of the NKJV.....whereever the LXX disagreed with the MT.......they did a direct translation from the LXX......then they used Brenton's LXX as a reference....they also used other Septugient translations as a reference. Not to mention the official Byzantine Old Testament Canon as the main reference.

Other than that I'm skimming "Arminian Theology" by Roger Olson

"Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A western perspective" by the evangelical Daniel B. Clendenin

"Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament" by H. Wayne House

"Zondervan Charts: Chronological and Background charts of Church History" revised and expanded edition by Robert C. Walton


"The Abolition of man" by C.S. Lewis

oh and I'm rereading the 13nth conference of Saint John Cassian



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