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Featured Semi-pelagian

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by AustinC, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    The details are very important, as is the context (we agree on that). And we agree we disagree on interpretation.

    I suspect other theological differences is the root of our disagreement, which is fine.

    If we agreed it'd be boring....and you'd have to admit my view is right :Biggrin .
     
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  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Do you suppose a Presbyterian cannot be a Pelagian?
     
  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    ???

    I'm saying most churches are not Presbyterian.

    A better comparison would be DL Moody.
     
  4. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    They are still born with sin natures
     
  5. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    sinners by birth and by choice
     
  6. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    Finny was the american father of Pel theology, as his take on evangelism shifted from views of a like Whitefield placing it on the Lord, and now back in some fashion upon us!
     
  7. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Do to the inherited sinful nature beginning at conception.
     
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  8. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    As noted in published articles, Falselogy proponents label those who proclaim truth as heretics of
    Semi-pelagianism!

    However since no one initiates movement toward God without God first initiating revelation toward the individual, the labeling is basically false. It is used to change the subject from the false doctrines of Falselogy.
     
  9. atpollard

    atpollard Well-Known Member

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    I think most churches are more Wesleyan than any form of Pelagian.
     
  10. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    I would consider all Wesleyans and Nazarenes to be semi-pelagian in their soteriology.
     
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  11. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    No, it's not. It's you chopping up the scripture in bits and pieces instead of dealing with the whole passage which is all about unconditional election:

    11 for the children being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, Ro 9
     
  12. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Modern Evangelicalism almost uniformly and universally teaches that in order for a person to be born again, he must first exercise faith. You have to choose to be born again. Isn’t that what you hear? In a George Barna poll, more than seventy percent of “professing evangelical Christians” in America expressed the belief that man is basically good. And more than eighty percent articulated the view that God helps those who help themselves. These positions — or let me say it negatively — neither of these positions is semi-Pelagian. They’re both Pelagian. To say that we’re basically good is the Pelagian view. I would be willing to assume that in at least thirty percent of the people who are reading this issue, and probably more, if we really examine their thinking in depth, we would find hearts that are beating Pelagianism. We’re overwhelmed with it. We’re surrounded by it. We’re immersed in it. We hear it every day. We hear it every day in the secular culture. And not only do we hear it every day in the secular culture, we hear it every day on Christian television and on Christian radio.

    In the nineteenth century, there was a preacher who became very popular in America, who wrote a book on theology, coming out of his own training in law, in which he made no bones about his Pelagianism. He rejected not only Augustinianism, but he also rejected semi-Pelagianism and stood clearly on the subject of unvarnished Pelagianism, saying in no uncertain terms, without any ambiguity, that there was no Fall and that there is no such thing as original sin. This man went on to attack viciously the doctrine of the substitutionary atonement of Christ, and in addition to that, to repudiate as clearly and as loudly as he could the doctrine of justification by faith alone by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. This man’s basic thesis was, we don’t need the imputation of the righteousness of Christ because we have the capacity in and of ourselves to become righteous. His name: Charles Finney, one of America’s most revered evangelists. Now, if Luther was correct in saying that sola fide is the article upon which the Church stands or falls, if what the reformers were saying is that justification by faith alone is an essential truth of Christianity, who also argued that the substitutionary atonement is an essential truth of Christianity; if they’re correct in their assessment that those doctrines are essential truths of Christianity, the only conclusion we can come to is that Charles Finney was not a Christian. I read his writings and I say, “I don’t see how any Christian person could write this.” And yet, he is in the Hall of Fame of Evangelical Christianity in America. He is the patron saint of twentieth-century Evangelicalism. And he is not semi-Pelagian; he is unvarnished in his Pelagianism.
     
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  13. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    One thing is clear: that you can be purely Pelagian and be completely welcome in the evangelical movement today. It’s not simply that the camel sticks his nose into the tent; he doesn’t just come in the tent — he kicks the owner of the tent out. Modern Evangelicalism today looks with suspicion at Reformed theology, which has become sort of the third-class citizen of Evangelicalism. Now you say, “Wait a minute, R. C. Let’s not tar everybody with the extreme brush of Pelagianism, because, after all, Billy Graham and the rest of these people are saying there was a Fall; you’ve got to have grace; there is such a thing as original sin; and semi-Pelagians do not agree with Pelagius’ facile and sanguine view of unfallen human nature.” And that’s true. No question about it. But it’s that little island of righteousness where man still has the ability, in and of himself, to turn, to change, to incline, to dispose, to embrace the offer of grace that reveals why historically semi-Pelagianism is not called semi-Augustinianism, but semi-Pelagianism.
    I heard an evangelist use two analogies to describe what happens in our redemption. He said sin has such a strong hold on us, a stranglehold, that it’s like a person who can’t swim, who falls overboard in a raging sea, and he’s going under for the third time and only the tops of his fingers are still above the water; and unless someone intervenes to rescue him, he has no hope of survival, his death is certain. And unless God throws him a life preserver, he can’t possibly be rescued. And not only must God throw him a life preserver in the general vicinity of where he is, but that life preserver has to hit him right where his fingers are still extended out of the water, and hit him so that he can grasp hold of it. It has to be perfectly pitched. But still that man will drown unless he takes his fingers and curls them around the life preserver and God will rescue him. But unless that tiny little human action is done, he will surely perish.

    The other analogy is this: A man is desperately ill, sick unto death, lying in his hospital bed with a disease that is fatal. There is no way he can be cured unless somebody from outside comes up with a cure, a medicine that will take care of this fatal disease. And God has the cure and walks into the room with the medicine. But the man is so weak he can’t even help himself to the medicine; God has to pour it on the spoon. The man is so sick he’s almost comatose. He can’t even open his mouth, and God has to lean over and open up his mouth for him. God has to bring the spoon to the man’s lips, but the man still has to swallow it.

    Now, if we’re going to use analogies, let’s be accurate. The man isn’t going under for the third time; he is stone cold dead at the bottom of the ocean. That’s where you once were when you were dead in sin and trespasses and walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. And while you were dead hath God quickened you together with Christ. God dove to the bottom of the sea and took that drowned corpse and breathed into it the breath of his life and raised you from the dead. And it’s not that you were dying in a hospital bed of a certain illness, but rather, when you were born you were born D.O.A. That’s what the Bible says: that we are morally stillborn.

    Do we have a will? Yes, of course we have a will. Calvin said, if you mean by a free will a faculty of choosing by which you have the power within yourself to choose what you desire, then we all have free will. If you mean by free will the ability for fallen human beings to incline themselves and exercise that will to choose the things of God without the prior monergistic work of regeneration then, said Calvin, free will is far too grandiose a term to apply to a human being.

    The semi-Pelagian doctrine of free will prevalent in the evangelical world today is a pagan view that denies the captivity of the human heart to sin. It underestimates the stranglehold that sin has upon us.
     
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  14. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    None of us wants to see things as bad as they really are. The biblical doctrine of human corruption is grim. We don’t hear the Apostle Paul say, “You know, it’s sad that we have such a thing as sin in the world; nobody’s perfect. But be of good cheer. We’re basically good.” Do you see that even a cursory reading of Scripture denies this?

    Now back to Luther. What is the source and status of faith? Is it the God-given means whereby the God-given justification is received? Or is it a condition of justification which is left to us to fulfill? Is your faith a work? Is it the one work that God leaves for you to do? I had a discussion with some folks in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently. I was speaking on sola gratia, and one fellow was upset.

    He said, “Are you trying to tell me that in the final analysis it’s God who either does or doesn’t sovereignly regenerate a heart?”

    And I said, “Yes;” and he was very upset about that. I said, “Let me ask you this: are you a Christian?”

    He said, “Yes.”

    I said, “Do you have friends who aren’t Christians?”

    He said, “Well, of course.”

    I said, “Why are you a Christian and your friends aren’t? Is it because you’re more righteous than they are?” He wasn’t stupid. He wasn’t going to say, “Of course it’s because I’m more righteous. I did the right thing and my friend didn’t.” He knew where I was going with that question.

    And he said, “Oh, no, no, no.”

    I said, “Tell me why. Is it because you are smarter than your friend?”

    And he said, “No.”

    But he would not agree that the final, decisive issue was the grace of God. He wouldn’t come to that. And after we discussed this for fifteen minutes, he said, “OK! I’ll say it. I’m a Christian because I did the right thing, I made the right response, and my friend didn’t.”

    What was this person trusting in for his salvation? Not in his works in general, but in the one work that he performed. And he was a Protestant, an evangelical. But his view of salvation was no different from the Roman view.

    This is the issue: Is it a part of God’s gift of salvation, or is it in our own contribution to salvation? Is our salvation wholly of God or does it ultimately depend on something that we do for ourselves? Those who say the latter, that it ultimately depends on something we do for ourselves, thereby deny humanity’s utter helplessness in sin and affirm that a form of semi-Pelagianism is true after all. It is no wonder then that later Reformed theology condemned Arminianism as being, in principle, both a return to Rome because, in effect, it turned faith into a meritorious work, and a betrayal of the Reformation because it denied the sovereignty of God in saving sinners, which was the deepest religious and theological principle of the reformers’ thought. Arminianism was indeed, in Reformed eyes, a renunciation of New Testament Christianity in favor of New Testament Judaism. For to rely on oneself for faith is no different in principle than to rely on oneself for works, and the one is as un-Christian and anti-Christian as the other. In the light of what Luther says to Erasmus there is no doubt that he would have endorsed this judgment.

    And yet this view is the overwhelming majority report today in professing evangelical circles. And as long as semi-Pelagianism, which is simply a thinly veiled version of real Pelagianism at its core — as long as it prevails in the Church, I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I know, however, what will not happen: there will not be a new Reformation. Until we humble ourselves and understand that no man is an island and that no man has an island of righteousness, that we are utterly dependent upon the unmixed grace of God for our salvation, we will not begin to rest upon grace and rejoice in the greatness of God’s sovereignty, and we will not be rid of the pagan influence of humanism that exalts and puts man at the center of religion. Until that happens there will not be a new Reformation, because at the heart of Reformation teaching is the central place of the worship and gratitude given to God and God alone. Soli Deo gloria, to God alone be the glory.

    The Pelagian Captivity of the Church, by R.C. Sproul
     
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  15. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The purpose of God according to election is not unconditional. The "neither practiced anything good or bad, . . ." the practice of anything good or bad were not the conditions. The condition was not to be of works.
     
  16. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    There’s something very wrong with your reading comprehension. God chose one and rejected the other before they were born, before doing anything good or evil. That’s unconditional election, period.
     
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  17. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Enough to put them in Hell, Forever.

    The ONLY thing they can do is sin.

    The flesh profits nothing.

    No good thing can come from evil?

    "Sinlessness" and "Righteous Perfection" coming from that which is, BY NATURE, sinful?
     
  18. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    No. There is fundamental difference in understanding what a condition can be. Universalism, to actually be universalism, it is unconditional.
     
  19. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    So, now Billy Graham is a heretic? Or at least a semi-heretic? The crap on here is getting deep!
     
  20. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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