Donations for the month of August


We have received a total of "$0" in donations towards our goal of $175.


Don't want to use PayPal? Go HERE


Forum Search
Member Spotlight
Meta4
Meta4
Canada
Posts: 98
Joined: May 2016
Forum Statistics
Forums30
Topics7,558
Posts54,075
Members972
Most Online523
Jan 14th, 2020
Top Posters
Pilgrim 14,245
Tom 4,250
chestnutmare 3,223
J_Edwards 2,615
Wes 1,856
John_C 1,841
RJ_ 1,583
MarieP 1,579
gotribe 1,060
Top Posters(30 Days)
Tom 21
Pilgrim 18
jta 8
Meta4 2
John_C 1
Recent Posts
Armstrong First to step on the Moon
by Tom - Sun Aug 07, 2022 7:48 PM
Christian Nationalism
by Anthony C. - Sun Aug 07, 2022 1:59 PM
Musings
by Anthony C. - Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:06 PM
Thoughts on Backsliding ~ J.C. Ryle
by Rick Bates - Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:23 PM
Assurance of Justification
by NetChaplain - Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:59 AM
Suffering’s Solace
by NetChaplain - Wed Aug 03, 2022 9:52 AM
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
Hop To
#43541 Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
Newman Offline OP
Newbie
OP Offline
Newbie
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
I had asked AC a question on the free will thread, and I wanted to pursue it a little without derailing that thread. Here is a portion of what AC posted in response to my question:

Originally Posted by AC.
Hi Newman,

I hope these quotes explain where I'm coming from....

The modern Roman Catholic church clearly embraces a heretical form of Semi-Pelagianism which affirms that man has a need for God's grace (for man is too weak to help himself), but man by his own free will is able to decide whether he wants God's grace. Whereas Pelagius taught that salvation is totally man's own doing, and Augustine taught that salvation is totally from God, Semi-Pelagianism teaches that salvation is a combination of the efforts of both man and God. According to RCC Semi-Pelagianism, salvation is accomplished when man decides to co-operate with God and accepts the grace God offers him. and also must maintain his own just standing before God by merit and good works. This is often viewed as a synergistic concept of salvation. Whereas Reformed Protestants also affirm the necessity of good works, yet they are the inevitable result of salvation, not the cause of it.

What I wanted to pursue further was whether or not the above definitions of Semi-Pelagianism are accurate. It was my understanding that the label "semi-pelagian" was used to describe the idea that while the grace of God is necessary to turn man toward God (a rejection of Pelagius) it was no longer necessary after that (a rejection of Augustine) and hence the term "semi." The Lutheran Formula of Concord (1580) says this:

Quote
We reject also the error of the Semi-Pelagians, who teach that man by his own powers can make a beginning of his conversion, but without the grace of the Holy Ghost cannot complete it. Epitome of the Formula of Concord: Free Will: 10 http://www.bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php
Now, to me, the Concord definition seems to be a bit different from the definitions that AC posted, and it also seems to line up with the definition that I was familiar with and espoused. So, which one is correct? I was under the impression that the belief that man cooperates with the grace of God is not necessarily a heresy. Paul even uses the greek word "synergeo" in 2 Corinthians 6:1. I certainly agree that if one believes that grace is not necessary to persevere, that would be heretical. But I previously had not thought that cooperating with the grace of God so that the reception of His grace would not be in vain was heretical. Do you guys think I was wrong?


Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 379
AC. Offline
Enthusiast
Offline
Enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 379
Hi Newman,

My quotes are from the Monergism web-site. It actually states that the RCC practices a type of semi-pelagianism...

Quote
According to RCC Semi-Pelagianism, salvation is accomplished when man decides to co-operate with God and accepts the grace God offers him. and also must maintain his own just standing before God by merit and good works. This is often viewed as a synergistic concept of salvation. Whereas Reformed Protestants also affirm the necessity of good works, yet they are the inevitable result of salvation, not the cause of it.

Last edited by AC.; Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:14 PM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

AC. #43545 Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:32 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 379
AC. Offline
Enthusiast
Offline
Enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 379
Hi Newman

when you say...

Quote
But I previously had not thought that cooperating with the grace of God so that the reception of His grace would not be in vain was heretical. Do you guys think I was wrong?

Could you be more specific? What is it to cooperate with God's grace? so that this reception would not be in vain?

I think the RCC-concept of grace is very vague...

Last edited by AC.; Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:38 PM.

The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,246
Likes: 45
Head Honcho
Offline
Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,246
Likes: 45
Originally Posted by Newman
I was under the impression that the belief that man cooperates with the grace of God is not necessarily a heresy. Paul even uses the greek word "synergeo" in 2 Corinthians 6:1. I certainly agree that if one believes that grace is not necessary to persevere, that would be heretical. But I previously had not thought that cooperating with the grace of God so that the reception of His grace would not be in vain was heretical. Do you guys think I was wrong?
1. The view that believes that man "cooperates with God" in anything prior to justification is heresy. In justification the sinner is once for all declared righteous on the basis of the merits of Christ's substitutionary atonement. Even the faith exercised is of God; the result of regeneration. (Eph 2:8,9; Acts 13:48; Titus 1:5)

2. Re: 2Cor 6:1... "synergeo" refers back to 5:20:

2 Corinthians 5:20 (KJV) "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

Thus it was the missionary endeavors of the apostles/disciples in the preaching of the Gospel that was "synergistic"; they working with and by the Spirit of Christ in Christ's behalf.

3. Salvation is ALL of grace, "Sola Gratia" (Jonah 2:9; Matt 16:17; Jh 1:12,13; 6:37,44,65; Acts 16:14; Rom 3:22-26; 1Cor 4:7; Phil 1:29; Col 2:12; Jam 1:16-18)

4. Sanctification is "synergistic" in that there is a real effort on the part of the believer to persevere in the faith unto holiness. Yet, the furtherance and guarantee of their sanctification is also due to the inner working of the Holy Spirit and the promise of God. (cf. Isa 43:1-3; Jer 32:40; Matt 18:12-14; Jh 5:24; 10:27-30; Eph 1:4; 2:10; Phil 2:11,12; 1Thess 5:23,24; 2Tim 4:18; Heb 9:12,15; 1Pet 1:3-5; Jude 1,24,25)


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
AC. #43564 Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
Newman Offline OP
Newbie
OP Offline
Newbie
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
Originally Posted by AC.
Hi Newman

when you say...

Quote
But I previously had not thought that cooperating with the grace of God so that the reception of His grace would not be in vain was heretical. Do you guys think I was wrong?

Could you be more specific? What is it to cooperate with God's grace? so that this reception would not be in vain?
Well, I think Pilgrim stated it pretty well. I agree with what he said about cooperation.

Originally Posted by AC
I think the RCC-concept of grace is very vague...
But what you cut and pasted seemed to imply otherwise so I'm a bit confused by that as well, I guess. The monergism website said "The modern Roman Catholic church clearly embraces a form of Semi-Pelagianism." Now I understand those aren't your words, but you offered them up as an explanation for your beliefs (I'm assuming.) So is there a difference between their vague concept of grace (as you interpret it) and their clear teaching of Semi-Pelagianism (as you put forth by way of the website?)

Last edited by Newman; Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:52 PM.
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 379
AC. Offline
Enthusiast
Offline
Enthusiast
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 379
Newman,

Now you have me confused confused



Regarding grace unto salvation and man's role in the process the Arminians, Roman Catholics, Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians all got it wrong no matter how you want to label them. The Reformed Church got it right (we are passive recipients of grace and made new creatures alive in Christ)

Just stick to what Pilgrim said!

Peace!

AC


The mercy of God is necessary not only when a person repents, but even to lead him to repent, Augustine

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Plebeian
Offline
Plebeian
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Cassian (360-435 A.D.) was abbot of the monastery of Massilia. He opposed both Pelagius's and Augustine's doctrines and proposed a middle way. Semi-Pelagianism is often named Cassianism because its distinctive approach to grace originated with the abbot. Cassian sought to preserve the universality of grace and the real moral accountability of fallen man. It was the issue of Augustine's irresistible grace to which he vigorously reacted. For Cassian, man's free will was impaired by the Fall of Adam. It became infirm or sick. But it was not dead or inoperative. It could respond on its own to the Gospel. When God sees a sinner using his will to the good, He immediately moves to assist that will by way of illumination, comfort and incitement toward salvation. The key point is the initial striving of good will in the sinner. In Augustine's scheme, the will is disabled and incapable of making any initial striving toward God. It requires initial grace. Cassian affirms that the will, though impaired, is still able to initiate. Possessing an ability in his will to cooperate with divine grace, man is capable of moral renovation assisted by grace. In later Medieval theology the term "facere quod in se est" = "Do whatever is in you" The implication of this is that if that sinner does what is in him, then God will do the rest and bring him to salvation.

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
Newman Offline OP
Newbie
OP Offline
Newbie
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
Thank you Nick. I think Cassian also talked about grace not being necessary to persevere which the Lutheran Concord talks about, but I'll have to do some more reading on him. As I understand it though, Cassian's idea that the will was able to initiate justification (the middle way between Pelagius and Augustine) was renounced at the Council of Orange and the renunciation was reaffirmed at the Council of Trent, so, I'm kind of stuck in the same place I guess. But yeah, that makes sense. Here are the Trent texts:


Quote
CHAPTER V.
On the necessity, in adults, of preparation for Justification, and whence it proceeds.

The Synod furthermore declares, that in adults, the beginning of the said Justification is to be derived from the prevenient [Page 33] grace of God, through Jesus Christ, that is to say, from His vocation, whereby, without any merits existing on their parts, they are called; that so they, who by sins were alienated from God, may be disposed through His quickening and assisting grace, to convert themselves to their own justification, by freely assenting to and co-operating with that said grace: in such sort that, while God touches the heart of man by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, neither is man himself utterly without doing anything while he receives that inspiration, forasmuch as he is also able to reject it; yet is he not able, by his own free will, without the grace of God, to move himself unto justice in His sight.

and

Quote
CANON III.-If any one saith, that without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and without his help, man can believe, hope, love, or be penitent as he ought, so as that the grace of Justification may be bestowed upon him; let him be anathema.


Last edited by Newman; Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:23 PM.
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Plebeian
Offline
Plebeian
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
My past as a semi-Pelagian: I was converted by the preaching and the witnessing of some very, earnest, young believers who urged me to “receive Christ as your Savior” by placing my faith and transferring my trust to Him alone for salvation. They explained the substitutionary work of Christ to me and my need to repent of my sins. They did an excellent job of showing me the Scriptures relating to the Law of God and to my need for forgiveness, and to Christ and His work on the cross. God used their faithful and Scriptural witness to faith. There was however a decisional emphasis in their approach. They emphasized my decision. And so I began my Christian life with the definite impression that I had exercised my will and free choice. I even boasted once in a testimony,” I’m so glad I chose Christ to be my Savior.” I had little sense of the amazing nature of God’s free grace. Salvation seemed to me more of a transaction. My previous lostness appeared in my mind to have to do with the just penalty of my sins. I didn’t understand my previous blindness and hardness of heart and the power of my flesh. I didn’t know about Satan’s activity holding me captive. Ephesians 1 and Romans 9 were passages that I longed to understand. My stubborn assumptions about free choice interfered with my ability to understand those Scriptures. Could it be that God took the initiative and that I had been more lost than I had ever assumed? No. It couldn’t be. Romans 9 bothered me because I didn’t have a good explanation for its language. "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. . . . Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.” Then one day the thought crossed my mind, “Why not accept the full force of this language? Why is it necessary to hem and haw and explain it away?” Ephesians 1:4-6 then came to mind and suddenly clarity, joy and admiration for the immense grace of God in redemption began to fill my mind. God had had mercy on me and it was His free choice, not mine. My years as a semi-Pelagian came to an abrupt end. Grace became most wonderful and truly amazing.

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
Newman Offline OP
Newbie
OP Offline
Newbie
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 40
Cool testimony! Thanks for sharing.

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 67
Journeyman
Offline
Journeyman
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 67
Nick, your post is a very personal one, and I hope you don't mind discussing your past and present views on salvation. I am curious about whether your initial experience of deciding to receive Christ actually counts in your mind as the moment you were saved. If not, is there another moment, and does the moment you described very much like an epiphany concerning Romans 9 and Ephesians 1 relate in some way to the moment you were saved? I seem to think from your testimony that you were saved earlier, but gained some additional wisdom later on that answered questions to some difficult scriptures?

Thanks,
Mike


Link Copied to Clipboard
Who's Online Now
1 members (Tom), 59 guests, and 13 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
TheSojourner, Larry, Nana Dadzie Jr., Cliniql, John E
972 Registered Users
ShoutChat
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
August
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
Today's Birthdays
There are no members with birthdays on this day.
Popular Topics(Views)
1,359,163 Gospel truth