is this the same as what the oridginal post sugests agustine taught wikkiAugustine of Hippo (354-430) taught that Adam's sin is transmitted by concupiscence, resulting in mankind becoming a massa damnata (mass of perdition, condemned crowd), with much enfeebled, though not destroyed, freedom of will. When Adam sinned, human nature was thenceforth transformed. Adam and Eve, via sexual reproduction, recreated human nature. Their descendants now live in sin, in the form of concupiscence, a term Augustine used in a metaphysical, not a psychological sense. Augustine insisted that concupiscence was not a being but a bad quality, the privation of good or a wound. He admitted that sexual concupiscence (libido) might have been present in the perfect human nature in paradise, and that only later it became disobedient to human will as a result of the first couple's disobedience to God's will in the original sin. In Augustine's view (termed "Realism"), all of humanity was really present in Adam when he sinned, and therefore all have sinned. Original sin, according to Augustine, consists of the guilt of Adam which all humans inherit. As sinners, humans are utterly depraved in nature, lack the freedom to do good, and cannot respond to the will of God without divine grace. Grace is irresistible, results in conversion, and leads to perseverance. Augustine articulated his explanation in reaction to Pelagianism, which insisted that humans have of themselves, without the necessary help of God's grace, the ability to lead a morally good life, and thus denied both the importance of baptism and the teaching that God is the giver of all that is good. Pelagius claimed that the influence of Adam on other humans was merely that of bad example. Augustine held that the effects of Adam's sin are transmitted to his descendants not by example but by the very fact of generation from that ancestor. A wounded nature comes to the soul and body of the new person from his/her parents, who experience libido (or concupiscence). Augustine's view was that human procreation was the way the transmission was being effected.
Thank you to everyone who has posted, there is so much for me to process. I will post the intire chapter 12 from which I took this excerpt from, What I am trying to figure out is did Augustines view of Human nature or nature of sin change from his early years of debating the Manichæans to his later years of debating the pelagians as what many claim, I am finding his writings written in a way that is very difficult for me to comprehend,Chapter 12.From the Definitions Given of Sin and Will, He Overthrows the Entire Heresy of the Manichæans. Likewise from the Just Condemnation of Evil Souls It Follows that They are Evil Not by Nature But by Will. That Souls are Good By Nature, to Which the Pardon of Sins is Granted.16. Come now, let us see in what respect these things would have aided us. Much every way, so that I should have desired nothing more; for they end the whole cause; for whoever consulting in the inner mind, where they are more pronounced and assured, the secrets of his own conscience, and the divine laws absolutely imposed upon nature, grants that these two definitions of will and sin are true, condemns without any hesitation by the fewest and the briefest, but plainly the most invincible reasons, the whole heresy of the Manichæans. Which can be thus considered. They say that there are two kinds of souls, the one good, which is in such a way from God, that it is said not to have been made by Him out of any material or out of nothing, but to have proceeded as a certain part from the very substance itself of God; the other evil, which they believe and strive to get others to believe pertains to God in no way whatever; and so they maintain that the one is the perfection of good, but the other the perfection of evil, and that these two classes were at one time distinct but are now commingled. The character and the cause of this commingling I had not yet heard; but nevertheless I could have inquired whether that evil kind of souls, before it was mingled with the good, had any will. For if not, it was without sin and innocent, and so by no means evil.213 But if evil in such a way, that though without will, as fire, yet if it should touch the good it would violate and corrupt it; how impious it is to believe that the nature of evil is powerful enough to change any part of God, and that the Highest Good is corruptible and violable! But if the will was present, assuredly there was present, no one compelling, a movement of the mind either towards not losing something or obtaining something. But this something was either good, or was thought to be good, for not otherwise could it be earnestly desired. But in supreme evil, before the commingling which they maintain, there never was any good. Whence then could there be in it either the knowledge or the thought of good? Did they wish for nothing that was in themselves, and earnestly desire that true good which was without? That will must truly be declared worthy of distinguished and great praise by which is earnestly desired the supreme and true good. Whence then in supreme evil was this movement of mind most worthy of so great praise? Did they seek it for the sake of injuring it? In the first place, the argument comes to the same thing. For he who wishes to injure, wishes to deprive another of some good for the sake of some good of his own. There was therefore in them either a knowledge of good or an opinion of good, which ought by no means to belong to supreme evil. In the second place, whence had they known, that good placed outside of themselves, which they designed to injure, existed at all. If they had intellectually perceived it, what is more excellent than such a mind? Is there anything else for which the whole energy of good men is put forth except the knowledge of that supreme and sincere good? What therefore is now scarcely conceded to a few good and just men, was mere evil, no good assisting, then able to accomplish? But if those souls bore bodies and saw the supreme good with their eyes, what tongues, what hearts, what intellects suffice for lauding and proclaiming those eyes, with which the minds of just men can scarcely be compared? How great good things we find in supreme evil! For if to see God is evil, God is not a good; but God is a good; therefore to see God is good; and I know not what can be compared to this good. Since to see anything is good, whence can it be made out that to be able to see is evil? Therefore whatever in those eyes or in those minds brought it about, that the divine essence could be seen by them, brought about a great thing and a good thing most worthy of ineffable praise. But if it was not brought about, but it was such in itself and eternal, it is difficult to find anything better than this evil. 17. Lastly, that these souls may have nothing of these praiseworthy things which by the reasonings of the Manichæans they are compelled to have, I should have asked, whether God condemns any or no souls. If none, there is no judgment of rewards and punishments, no providence, and the world is administered by chance rather than by reason, or rather is not administered at all. For the name administration must not be given to chances. But if it is impious for all those that are bound by any religion to believe 105this, it remains either that there is condemnation of some souls, or that there are no sins. But if there are no sins, neither is there any evil. Which if the Manichæans should say, they would slay their heresy with a single blow. Therefore they and I agree that some souls are condemned by divine law and judgment. But if these souls are good, what is that justice? If evil, are they so by nature, or by will? But by nature souls can in no way be evil. Whence do we teach this. From the above definitions of will and sin. For to speak of souls, and that they are evil, and that they do not sin, is full of madness; but to say that they sin without will, is great craziness, and to hold any one guilty of sin for not doing what he could not do, belongs to the height of iniquity and insanity. Wherefore whatever these souls do, if they do it by nature not by will, that is, if they are wanting in a movement of mind free both for doing and not doing, if finally no power of abstaining from their work is conceded to them; we cannot hold that the sin is theirs.214 But all confess both that evil souls are justly, and souls that have not sinned are unjustly condemned; therefore they confess that those souls are evil that sin. But these, as reason teaches, do not sin. Therefore the extraneous class of evil souls of the Manichæans, whatever it may be, is a non-entity. 18. Let us now look at that good class of souls, which again they exalt to such a degree as to say that it is the very substance of God. But how much better it is that each one should recognize his own rank and merit, nor be so puffed up with sacrilegious pride as to believe that as often as he experiences a change in himself it is the substance of that supreme good, which devout reason holds and teaches to be unchangeable! For behold! since it is manifest that souls do not sin in not being such as they cannot be; it follows that these supposititious souls, whatever they may be, do not sin at all, and moreover that they are absolutely non-existent; it remains that since there are sins, they find none to whom to attribute them except the good class of souls and the substance of God. But especially are they pressed by Christian authority; for never have they denied that forgiveness of sins is granted when any one has been converted to God; never have they said (as they have said of many other passages) that some corrupter has interpolated this into the divine Scriptures. To whom then are sins attributed? If to those evil souls of the alien class, these also can become good, can possess the kingdom of God with Christ. Which denying, they [the Manichæans] have no other class except those souls which they maintain are of the substance of God. It remains that they acknowledge that not only these latter also, but these alone sin. But I make no contention about their being alone in sinning; yet they sin. But are they compelled to sin by being commingled with evil? If so compelled that there was no power of resisting, they do not sin. If it is in their power to resist, and they voluntarily consent, we are compelled to find out through their [the Manichæan] teaching, why so great good things in supreme evil, why this evil in supreme good, unless it be that neither is that which they bring into suspicion evil, nor is that which they pervert by superstition supreme good? http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf104.iv.vi.xiii.html
Adam and Eve, via sexual reproduction, recreated human nature. Their descendants now live in sin, in the form of concupiscence, a term Augustine used in a metaphysical, not a psychological sense. Augustine insisted that concupiscence was not a being but a bad quality, the privation of good or a wound. He admitted that sexual concupiscence (libido) might have been present in the perfect human nature in paradise, and that only later it became disobedient to human will as a result of the first couple's disobedience to God's will in the original sin. Quoted by Brother Gary.
Hi amrkellyRE: amrkelly wrote ///I hope that proudpapa is not offended by my posting directly into his post with my own answers./// No, I am not at all offended by posting directly into my post, nor have I felt offended at anything that I have read of yours in this thread or any other thread, even though I do not always agree with everything you or anyone else at times post, I have a high amount of respect for how Graceful and well thought out most of your post are. Even on things that I do not agree with you on, I find that I am humbled by your knowledge and learn much and it helps me relize that I do not have all the answers and still have much to learn. thankyou for your insightful post amrkelly.RE amrkelly wrote ///Proudpapa I will try to answer your question regarding Augustines contending with the Manichaean heresy as well as the Pelagius heresy when I have gone through chapter 12 as posted. I need breakfast first its been a long night.///Whenever you get a chance I would love to read your thoughts on it. Thankyou!
Come now, let us see in what respect these things would have aided us. Much every way, so that I should have desired nothing more; for they end the whole cause; for whoever consulting in the inner mind, where they are more pronounced and assured, the secrets of his own conscience, and the divine laws absolutely imposed upon nature, grants that these two definitions of will and sin are true, condemns without any hesitation by the fewest and the briefest, but plainly the most invincible reasons, the whole heresy of the Manicheans. Augustine.
Dear Proudpapa, thank you for directing me to this forum! Very interesting indeed. I have to admit I've been divorced from these kinds of in-depth discussions for a long time so it'll take a while for the gears to get cranking! But I'm glad to see a discussion about the distinction between sin which exists as part of our natural condition and sin which exists as a deliberate act of will. I love David's prayer, where he asks to be kept by the Lord from deliberate sins so they may not rule over him and make him guilty of great transgression, yet also asks the Lord to forgive him of his hidden faults (Psalm 19 vs 13/14). This implies to me that there is something wrong with our basic condition - whether you want to go on to discuss whether we are intrinsically good or bad is a massive step beyond the basics (and quite confusing to me!). The difference between intentional and non-intentional sins is clear in scripture but, as we see in Leviticus, punishment and judgement is given over sins which are non-deliberate also. If I do not deliberately forget that it was my sisters birthday and do not get her a gift, I did nothing wrong by deliberation, but my forgetfulness could be the symptom of a deeper inner condition which results in my sister feeling the sting of neglect (albeit mild). Sinister as it may sound, I know there is a sin which sits inside me which causes fruitlessness in my life which I may not deliberately intend. A lack of love, or an apathy, or a drivenness of soul... all these can produce quite bad fruit.To aim only to be free of deliberate sins can easily end quite legalistically. Paul manages to attain a perfect legalistic righteousness in his zeal for God (Philippians 3.6) yet was an enemy to the Gospel at the time. On paper, I can force myself into all sorts of righteous habits and keep a blameless record - I can, thus, deceive myself into thinking I am spiritual. Blamelessness, righteousness, and upholding the law are a) possible (Proverbs 2.21, 1 Thessalonians 5.23) and b) required (Romans 3.30-31), but if we satisfy ourselves only to accomplish these goals only, we neglect to realise that love goes far beyond the basic requirements of the Law. Many Pharisees may have been like Saul, having a legalistic righteousness and being righteous on the outside, not deliberately acting sinfully. But true purity is not found on your outer record, but it is found in your inner condition from which the outer record results. A good tree produces good fruit...It is not enough for me to claim innocence because my sins were not deliberate - though the devil might tempt me. I need to actively pursue cleansing my heart before God because if I don't, bad fruit will result from a bad inner condition. It just will, regardless of whether I intend it or not, regardless of whether I can help it or not (the Romans 7 dilemma)! If you think you're okay just because you manage, normally, not to deliberately sin, your house is on the sand and will not stand when the storm comes your way. True spirituality goes much deeper than the written code.So I pursue a purity of heart so that I can trust that when the moment comes and I don't have time to think or deliberate, when temptation hits me like a hammer in the dark, good fruit will result automatically, without me needing to think or try so hard it just... will... happen! Sin sits there, waiting for an opportunity to catch you unaware. So best not tolerate it by excusing yourself in saying it was not deliberate and you can't help it... best catch it before it catches you! Judge yourself so that judgement doesn't come upon you (1 Corinthians 11:32). Actually, people who truly seek God cannot stand the thought that sin lurks in waiting for them to catch them. Rather, those who truly seek God hold every thought captive and purify their hearts - that way they see God better! Dig the weeds up from the root, don't be happy just to cut off that which is obvious and above the surface! Summarised to a point of simplicity; we're talking about the war between two natures; the sinful and the spiritual. Quite naturally, children sin without being taught (quite non-deliberately too). Quite naturally, a parent punishes the child so that they may learn. Quite naturally, a man whose mind is controlled by the Spirit (Romans 8:6) produces good fruit without too much need for manufactured deliberation.You can manufacture goodness in your life by forcing your outer actions to take on the appearance of goodness; but then it is no longer natural nor spiritual and most probably disgusts God with its lukewarm half-good-but-not-natural odour. Better to actually *be* good, from your very gut, with the goodness of God won for you by Christ and manifested in you by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then watch and wait, and the good that you accomplish will have a taste and nature that is so appealing that the counterfeit will be distinguished from the true, just like when the people saw that Jesus' authority was real, as opposed to the Pharisees, whose authority was only a manufactured outer facade.That's how I see it anyway. Did I understand the subject?Many thanks.
Real strong post, Stevey_P., with lots of meat. I don't have time to comment on the particulars that stand out to me, but it is all very good with sound exegesis and I am agreement with you. Welcome to the forum, by the way! It is a pleasure to have you here brother. Paul
_________________Paul Frederick West
Stevey_P: Welcome to SI. Great post. You are absolutely right. To try to manufacture holiness as a carnal act of the human will is to enter into a legalism akin that of the Pharisees. I think it was C.S. Lewis, I could be mistaken, who said that no act of good, no matter how good it may appear in the flesh, is really good if the heart from which it came is evil. Another way to put it would be, who wants to be the best sinner who ever went to hell? But when we learn to live out that which is true of us in the spirit when we are born again, when we allow God to live through us being dead to self and alive unto Him, then our actions are a natural outflow of the Spirit of God within us. I am not sure I have come to a conclusion about how I see man's nature. I am not sure that man is born with a sin nature, although I am sure that man is born in sin and bound for hell barring the rebirth. Perhaps I will never be totally settled on this issue, perhaps I will. I am convinced that there is no duality of natures in a born again man. But then I guess I am speaking entirely of the spirit of man and not the physical body, because I am also convinced that the soul and flesh of man (body, mind, will, emotions) are not born again, and will not be until that time when in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye... So, even a born again man will battle the unregenerate flesh and must learn to walk in the Spirit rather than to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. ArmKelly: Really appreciated your posts. I am going to have to go back and reread them as I get a chance. I honestly have never studied the writings of Augustine and have only a cursory knowledge of some of the teachings and writings of the early church fathers. One only has so many hours in a day and a lot of commitments. So, I spend most of my time purely in the Word. I am not one that is much for studying various theological perspectives. But I found what you wrote about Augustine interesting and hope to chew on what you said.Blessings Brothers in Christ.
a phenominal amount of knowlage in your answer to proudpappa ,andrew ,,,iv never read anything like that last post a question ,,do you think that agustine was ever bornagain and im not sure if you answerd this question ,,,,do you think he changed his mind about his early teachings