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roaringlamb
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re:

Quote:
Sorry for hijacking this thred, let's get back on subject.



Ok, since Jesse has brought up the Church Fathers, I think it would be good to see that they also taught much of what he argues against.

Here is a link to a wondrous work by John Gill entitled "The Cause of God and Truth"

[url=http://www.pbministries.org/books/gill/gills_archive.htm#5]The Cause of God and Truth[/url]

Scroll down to section four, and you will see various headings on Calvinistic themes long before Calvin or anyone else wrote about them written by none other than the Church Fathers.


_________________
patrick heaviside

 2007/7/12 23:57Profile









 Re:

Augustine, in the Fifth Century, was the first Church Father to teach:

- Total Inability

- Unconditional Election

- Limited Atonement

- Irresistable Grace

- Perseverence of the Saints

Every one of these doctrines is specificly taught in his writings.

It was however, the Early GREEK Fathers, the Ante-Nicean Fathers, who were before the Latin Fathers like Augustine, who taught:

- Free-will

- Conditional election

- Resistable grace

- Universal atonement

I agree with the Early Greek Fathers, and completely disagree with the Latin Fathers and their "African Orthodoxy". Augustine brought in pagan and heathen doctrines of necessity - determination - fate - and the evil of the physical.

 2007/7/13 0:05
roaringlamb
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re:

I suggest you read some of these quotes before you say too much. Some of these are from before 70 AD, and are contrary to what you are saying, and are more in line with the Augustinian view.


_________________
patrick heaviside

 2007/7/13 0:12Profile









 Re:

[b]The EARLY CHURCH ON FREEWILL & VOLUNTARY SALVATION[/b]

• Justin Martyr of the Early Church said, “Every created being is so constituted as to be capable of vice and virtue. For he can do nothing praiseworthy, if he had not the power of turning either way.” And “unless we suppose man has the power to choose the good and refuse the evil, no one can be accountable for any action whatever.” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 61, published by Truth in Heart)

• Tertullian of the same century said, “No reward can be justly bestowed, no punishment can be justly inflicted, upon him who is good or bad by necessity, and not by his own choice.” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 61, published by Truth in Heart)

• Origen said, “The soul does not incline to either part out of necessity, for then neither vice nor virtue could be ascribed to it; nor would its choice of virtue deserve reward; nor its declination to vice punishment.” Again, “How could God require that of man which he [man] had not power to offer Him?” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 62, published by Truth in Heart)

• Augustine said, “They that would not come [to Christ], ought not to impute it to another, but only to themselves, because, when they are called, it was in the power of their free will to come.” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 63, published by Truth in Heart)

• Clement of Alexandria said, “Neither promises nor apprehensions, rewards, no punishments are just if the soul has not the power of choosing and abstaining; if evil is involuntary.” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 63, published by Truth in Heart)

• Jerome said, “God has bestowed us with free will. We are not necessarily drawn either to virtue or vice. For when necessity rules, there is no room left either for d**nation or the crown.” (Doctrine of the Will by Asa Mahan, p. 62, published by Truth in Heart)

• Tertullian said, “In pursuance of that aspect of the association of body and soul that we now have to consider, we maintain that the puberty of the soul coincides with that of the body. Generally speaking, they both attain together this full growth at about the fourteenth year of life. The soul attains it by the suggestion of the senses, and the body attains it by the growth of the bodily members. I do not mention [the age of fourteen] because reflection begins at that age (as Asclepiades supposes). Nor do I choose it because the civil laws date the commencement of the real business of life from this age. Rather, I choose it because this was the appointed order from the very first. For after their obtaining knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve felt that they must cover their nakedness. Likewise, we profess to have the same discernment of good and evil from the time that we experience the same sensation of shame. Now, beginning with the aforementioned age, sex is suffused and clothed with a special sensibility. This eye gives way to lust and communicates its pleasure to another. It understands the natural relations between male and female, and it wears the fig-leaf apron to cover the shame that it still excites.” (c.160, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 7, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Justin Martyr said, “In the beginning, He made the human race with the power of thought and of choosing truth and doing right, so that all men are without excuse before God.” (c.160, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 271, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Justin Martyr said, “Let some suppose, from what has been said by us, that we say that whatever occurs happens by a fatal necessity, because it is foretold as known beforehand, this too we explain. We have learned from the prophets, and we hold it to be true, that punishments, chastisements, and good rewards, are rendered according to the merit of each man’s actions. Now, if this is not so, but all things happen by fate, then neither is anything at all in our own power. For if it is predetermined that this man will be good, and this other man will be evil, neither is the first one meritorious nor the latter man to be blamed. And again, unless the human race has the power of avoiding evil and choosing good by free choice, they are not accountable for their actions.” (c.160, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 271, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Justin Martyr said, “I have proved in what has been said that those who were foreknown to be unrighteous, whether men or angels, are not made wicked by God’s fault. Rather, each man is what he will appear to be through his own fault.” (c.160, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Tatian said, “We were not created to die. Rather, we die by our own fault. Our free will has destroyed us. We who were free have become slaves. We have been sold through sin. Nothing evil has been created by God. We ourselves have manifested wickedness. But we, who have manifested it, are able again to reject it.” (c.160, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Melito said, “There is, therefore, nothing to hinder you from changing your evil manner to life, because you are a free man.” (c.170, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Theophilus said, “If, on the other hand, he would turn to the things of death, disobeying God, he would himself be the cause of death to himself. For God made man free, and with power of himself.” (c.180, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Irenaeus said, “But man, being endowed with reason, and in this respect similar to God, having been made free in his will, and with power over himself, is himself his own cause that sometimes he becomes wheat, and sometimes chaff.” (c.180, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 286, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Irenaeus said, “’Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds’…And ‘Why call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do the things that I say?’…All such passages demonstrate the independent will of man…For it is in man’s power to disobey God and to forfeit what is good.” (c.180, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 287, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Clement of Alexandria said, “We…have believed and are saved by voluntary choice.” (c.195, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 287, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Clement of Alexandria said, “Each one of us who sins with his own free will, chooses punishment. So the blame lies with him who chooses. God is without blame.” (c.195, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 287, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Clement of Alexandria said, “To obey or not is in our own power, provided we do not have the excuse of ignorance.” (c.195, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 287, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

• Tertullian said, “I find, then, that man was constituted free by God. He was master of his own will and power…For a law would not be imposed upon one who did not have it in his power to render that obedience which is due to law. Nor again, would the penalty of death be threatened against sin, if a contempt of the law were impossible to man in the liberty of his will…Man is free, with a will either for obedience or resistance. (c.207, A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs by David Bercot, p. 288, published by Hendrickson Publishers)

 2007/7/13 0:20
roaringlamb
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re:

[b]Section 1—Clemens Romanus. A.D. 69[/b]
Clemens was so far from ascribing vocation, conversion, or sanctification, to the will of man, that he always considers it as the effect and produce of the will of God. His epistle to the Corinthians begins thus,[1] “The church of God which dwells at Rome, to the church of God which dwells at Corinth, kletois egiasmenois en thelemati Theou, ‘to the called and sanctified by the will of God,’ through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He denies that men are called and justified, and come to honor, glory, and greatness, by themselves, or by their own works, but by the will and grace of God; for thus he expresses himself,[2] “All therefore are glorified and magnified, ou di eauton, e ton ergon auton, e tes dikaiopragias, es katargeisantoi, alla dia ton thelematos auton, not by themselves or their own works of righteous actions, which they have wrought out, but by his will;” and we also being called by his will in Christ Jesus are justified, ou di eauton, ou de dia tes emeteras sophias, e suneseos, e eusebeias, e ergon, on kateirgasametha, en osioteti kardias, “‘not by ourselves, nor by our wisdom, or understanding, or piety, or the works which we have done in holiness of heart,’ but by faith by which God Almighty hath justified all from the beginning, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

[b]Section 3—Ignatius. A.D. 110[/b]
Ignatius was no favorer of the doctrine of free will; he ascribes sanctification and illumination to the will of God. His epistle to the Romans[1] is inscribed, “To the church sanctified and enlightened, en qelhmasi Qeou to>u poihsantov ‘by the will of God who does,’” or according to another, tou qelhsantov, “who wills all things which are according to the faith and love of Jesus Christ our God and Savior.” He represents repentance as very hard to be obtained, when he warns[2] the members of the church at Smyrna against beasts in the forms of men, and advises them “not to receive them, and if possible, not meet them, only,” says he, “pray for them, if so be they may repent, oper duskolon, ‘which is very difficult; but Jesus Christ, our true life, has the power of this,” that is, of giving repentance. He roundly asserts,[3] that men in a carnal state, have not a power to anything that is spiritual, oi sarkikoi to pneumatika prawein ou dunantai, “They that are carnal,” says he, “cannot do the things that are spiritual, nor they that are spiritual do the things that are carnal, as neither faith the things of unbelief, nor unbelief the things of faith.” He denies Christianity to be the produce of moral suasion, but the effect of divine power; his words are these,[4] Ou peismonhv to ergonallamegeqouv estin o Cristianov, “The Christian is not the work of persuasion but of greatness;” that is, of the exceeding greatness of God’s power, which is wonderfully displayed in making the Christian, in continuing, preserving, and supporting him as such, especially, as he observes, when he is hated by the world.

[b]Section 4—Justin. A.D. 150[/b]
Justin Martyr held the doctrine of original sin; he says[1] that “mankind by Adam fell under death, and the deception of the serpent; that[2] amartwloi egegoneimen, ‘we are born sinners;’ and that[3] we are entirely flesh, and no good thing dwells in us; he asserts the weakness and disability of men either to understand or perform spiritual things, and denies that man, by the natural sharpness of his wit, can attain to the knowledge of divine things, or by any innate power in him save himself, and procure eternal life.” In one of his treatises, speaking of the doctrines of the Scriptures, he has these words;[4] “Ou de tar phusei onte anthropine ennoia, onto megala kai theia ginoskein anthropois dunaton, ‘for neither by nature, nor by human understanding, is it possible for men to acquire the knowledge of things so great and so divine;’ but by a free gift descending from heaven upon holy men, who had no need of the art of words, nor of the contentious and vain-glorious way of speaking, but to exhibit themselves pure to the energy of the divine Spirit.” And as for himself, he could say,[5] “I do not study to show an apparatus of words by mere art alone, for I have no such power, alla charis para Theou mone eis to sunienai tas graphas auton edothe moi, but grace alone is given to me by God to understand his Scriptures.” He bids Trypho pray[6] that “above all things the gates of light might be opened to him.” for neither are they seen nor known by all, ei me to Theos do sunienai kai o Christos auton, unless God and his Christ give them to understand, them.’” And in another place he says[7] “At that time being convicted by our own works that we were unworthy of life, and manifested that of ourselves, adunaton eiselthein eis ten basileian ton Theou, to duuamei ton Theou dunatoi genethomen, it was impossible to enter into the kingdom of God, by the power of God we might be made able.” And a little after he says, “Having sometime before convinced us to adunaton tea emeteras phuseos ds to tuchein zoes, of the impossibility of our nature to obtain life, hath now shown us the Savior, who is able to save that which otherwise were impossible to be saved.” It must be owned, that Justin in many places[8] asserts the free will of man; but then it is to be observed, that in all those places, even in’ those which Dr. Whitby refers to,[9] in proof of his being an advocate for free will, he speaks of it as men and angels were possessed of it, thn archn “at the beginning of their creation,” when they had full power to do that which is good, and avoid that which is evil; though their natures being mutable were capable both of vice and virtue, and of being turned either way, as the event showed, and which is not denied by us. In like manner are we to understand some passages in Athenagoras[10] and Tatian[11] which the Doctor also refers to,[12] where they ascribe free will to men and angels, when created by God, who has a power of doing good and avoiding evil, which clears God from being the author of sin, or being guilty of injustice in punishing of them; for as for Tatian, he clearly asserts the corruption and weakness of human nature; he says, that at the beginning there was a spirit which lived familiar with the soul, but when it would not follow it, the spirit left it, but retaining some spark of its power, though because of the separation, that is, from the spirit, ta teleia kathoran me dunamene, ‘ it is not able to behold things that are perfect,’ and seeking, after God, through error feigns many gods; he adds, that the Spirit of God is not with all men, only with such as live uprightly; yea, he plainly intimates, that man through his free will is now become a slave; which is stating in a few words the doctrine of free will, as held by us; for he expressly says,[13] apolesen emas to autezousion, douloi gegonamen oi eleutheroi dia ten amartian emprathemen, “free will has destroyed us; we who were free are become servants, and for our sin are sold.” Theophilus of Antioch also says,[14] that God made man possessed of free will, but then he represents him now as impotent and standing in need of the grace of God: “They that know not God, and do wickedly,” he says,[15] “are like to birds who have wings, but are not able to fly; no such men creep upon the ground, and mind earthly things, katabaroumenoi upo ton amartion, ‘and being pressed down by their sins,’ cannot move upward unto God.” He expresses his sense which he himself had of the need of divine grace, as well as how necessary it was to others to know the truth, and understand the mind and will of God, when he says,[16] ego di aitoumai charin para ton monou Theou, “‘I desire grace from God alone,’ that I may exactly explain the whole truth according to his will; as also that thou, and every one that reads these things, odegetai upo tes aletheias kai tharitos autou, might be guided by his truth and grace.”



_________________
patrick heaviside

 2007/7/13 0:54Profile









 Re:








Quote:

PreachParsly wrote:
Quote:
Regeneration is described as a "washing": Tit 3:5

Nowhere in scripture is it described as the reception of a new faculty (freewill) or the repairing of a broken faculty (freewill). Regeneration is not when the incapable become capable, at least I cannot draw that from any scripture.

But regeneration is a washing from sin, it is a new birth. And that is precisely what conversion is, a turning from sin, being born again.

If regeneration preceeding conversion, then there is a time period when there is a man who is regenerated but is not yet converted. But does the bible ever describe an regenerate man was unconverted? No. A man who is regenerated is a man who is converted, because regeneration and conversion are identical.



How does what you said justify [i]scripturally[/i] they are identical? We know you believe they are the same...

I can very well say that no where in scripture does it say conversion and regeneration are identical.


For the most part and my reason most simply stated, I am with you but am having a hard time reconciling the below passage with my thinking that conversion is strictly of the mind unto God while regeneration is His gift in response:


"For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should [b]understand with their heart, and should be converted[/b], and I should heal them.{/quote]
Matthew 13:15 (KJV)

 2007/7/13 8:46
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
But regeneration is a washing from sin, it is a new birth. And that is precisely what conversion is, a turning from sin, being born again.

If regeneration preceeding conversion, then there is a time period when there is a man who is regenerated but is not yet converted. But does the bible ever describe an regenerate man was unconverted? No. A man who is regenerated is a man who is converted, because regeneration and conversion are identical.



I am not of the Calvinist persuasion that sees regeneration as the beginning of it all, so I will not get into that aspect of this. I believe conversion precedes regeneration and I am not alone in this; Campbell Morgan, Drysdale and Oswald Chambers believed the same. It is the failure to distinguish between conversion and regeneration that is at the root of so much superficial evangelism.

The verb 'convert' never as God as its subject, as far as I can see, in the scriptures. Man is always the agent of conversion, either of his own or that of another. Regeneration, on the other hand, must always have God as its subject; it is the unique work of the Spirit and in this sense 'monergistic'. I do not see salvation as monergerstic because I see man's response in conversion as being a necessary criterion for God's work of regeneration.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2007/7/13 11:36Profile
HopePurifies
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA

 Re:

I'm going to pretend for a moment that I'm not a theologian.
I know that one can't go on experiences. Experiences can be very misleading. But those who are posting in defense of voluntary regeneration have mentioned several scriptures that align with my experience.
I formerly believed that I could do nothing to regenerate or cooperate with my salvation. I floated on the water belly up, a cold dead fish. But then I heard that I had freewill from Thomas of Cusa. I heard God say "Swim" and I did. There was life in this.
Those of you who say you can't do anything- is this your practice? I figure that you behave as though you have the ability to help yourself.
It certainly is not the case that we can do things without God. We must abide in Him. But we are active, we cooperate with Him.
I'm responding and bumping this thread because I honestly think more people may be blessed by knowing that they can do what God commands them, God will always help them because He always loves them.


_________________
Melanie

 2007/7/16 22:58Profile









 Re:

Many deny man's ability to repent "theologically" but yet assume it and expect it "practically".

Every cry to repentance, every evangelism effort, presupposes man's ability to repent.

Without man having the ability to repent, God would not call all men to repent, Jesus would not have rebuked the cities that did not repent, and Jesus would not have "marvelled" at their unbelief.

Without man's ability to repent, God would have nothing to call men to do, Jesus would have given no rebuke, and Jesus would not have "marvelled".

Besides, voluntary regeneration/conversion is the only way to account for the fact that God loves everyone and wants everyone to be saved, and yet not all men are saved. Their impenitence can only be properly accredited to their freewill, nobody can blame "the Sovereignty of God" for man's own voluntary impenitence.

 2007/7/19 2:47









 Re: Bing!

Referee call:


Jesse's ECF's beat Roaringlamb's ECF's post.

Reason for decision.

1-Out-numbered.

2-References & pg. #'s.


Bing ~ proceed.

:-D



Edit:decision recalled~corrected!

 2007/7/19 3:03





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