Willing to Believe: Semi-Pelagianism

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by skypair, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. skypair

    skypair
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    Continuing our review of Sproul's book...

    ...we come to semi-Pelagianism or "Cassianism."
    Cassian was not willing to question the inscrutable mystery of God's decrees and predestination but was concerned to save the universality of God's grace and of human responsiblity. Cassian had these concerns (quoting - " " - or paraphrasing mostly Sproul):

    1) Augustine's views were new and a depature from the ECF.

    2) Augustine's predestination "crippled the force of preaching, reproof and moral senergy... and plunges men into despair" and introduces "a certain fatal necessity."

    3) "Augustine's strong views are unnecesary to refute and escape the heresies of Pelagianism."

    4) "Though God's grace is necessary... it is man, not God, who must will that which is good." Grace is given ... to assist the man's will, not to overpower it.

    5) "God desires to save all people, and the propitiation of Christ's atonement is available to all."

    6) "Predestination is based on God's foreknowledge."

    7) "There is not a definite number of persons to be elected or rejected..."

    "In Cassian's view his key difference with Augustine was over irresistible grace." To Cassian, man was "sick," in need of a physician, and able to "desire the help of a physician and either accept or refuse it when offered."

    "For Cassian ... Conversion is effected in this way: '...when he [God] has observed in us a certain beginning of good will, [God] immediately illuminates this and comforts and incites it toward salvation...'" It's like the biblical assertion that "light received brings more light but light rejected brings darkness [hardness]." (John 1:9-12, 8:12, etal.)

    Now here comes the truly interesting part. At the Synod of Orange (529) "The Catholic Church..." established that "the abilty to do good proceeds from grace, the grace imparted by regeneration. It must be noted that here, as well as in Augustine, the grace of regeneration was effected by the sacrament of baptism. Baptismal regeneration was later rejected categorically by Calvinists as well as most other Protestants."

    Problematic, IMO, is that now we don't know where "regeneration" that precedes "faith" comes from. Calvinsim "untethered" regeneration from baptism but what event then effectuates regeneration now??

    Then comes the Council of Trent (16th century and all along Catholicism has been agreeing with Augustine): Catholicism rejects "passive" justification/regeneration of the unbeliever. And even Sproul has a problem with the term "justification."
    Sproul: "Such terminology leaves open the critical question vis-a-vis semi-Pelagianism: Does the will, prior to regeneration, ever dispose or prepare itself for grace?

    I mean, this equivocation by Sproul "busts Calvinism wide open!" Why? Because "justification" is the first event of salvation!! You first must be justified with God before you can be GIVEN, before you can COME, to the Son!!

    The "process" of salvation is JUSTIFICATION - SANCTIFICATION - GLORIFICATION, for heaven's sake!!

    skypair
     
    #1 skypair, Feb 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2008
  2. skypair

    skypair
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    Let's try that again...

    skypair
     
    #2 skypair, Feb 24, 2008
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