Aquinas and keeping safe from heresy.

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NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
Does any one see anything wrong here with Aquinas? I know Aquinas teaches error, but where does Aquinas stand shoulder to shoulder with Augustine & Calvin? I know RC Sproul is influenced by Aquinas, but in what way can one benefit from Aquinas without getting involved in heresy?


FIRST ARTICLE [II-II, Q. 6, Art. 1] Whether Faith Is Infused into Man by God?

Objection 1: It would seem that faith is not infused into man by God. For Augustine says (De Trin. xiv) that "science begets faith in us, and nourishes, defends and strengthens it." Now those things which science begets in us seem to be acquired rather than infused. Therefore faith does not seem to be in us by Divine infusion.

Obj. 2: Further, that to which man attains by hearing and seeing, seems to be acquired by him. Now man attains to belief, both by seeing miracles, and by hearing the teachings of faith: for it is written (John 4:53): "The father . . . knew that it was at the same hour, that Jesus said to him, Thy son liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house"; and (Rom. 10:17) it is said that "faith is through hearing." Therefore man attains to faith by acquiring it.

Obj. 3: Further, that which depends on a man's will can be acquired by him. But "faith depends on the believer's will," according to Augustine (De Praedest. Sanct. v). Therefore faith can be acquired by man.

On the contrary, It is written (Eph. 2:8, 9): "By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves . . . that no man may glory . . . for it is the gift of God."

I answer that, Two things are requisite for faith. First, that the things which are of faith should be proposed to man: this is necessary in order that man believe anything explicitly. The second thing requisite for faith is the assent of the believer to the things which are proposed to him. Accordingly, as regards the first of these, faith must needs be from God. Because those things which are of faith surpass human reason, hence they do not come to man's knowledge, unless God reveal them. To some, indeed, they are revealed by God immediately, as those things which were revealed to the apostles and prophets, while to some they are proposed by God in sending preachers of the faith, according to Rom. 10:15: "How shall they preach, unless they be sent?"

As regards the second, viz. man's assent to the things which are of faith, we may observe a twofold cause, one of external inducement, such as seeing a miracle, or being persuaded by someone to embrace the faith: neither of which is a sufficient cause, since of those who see the same miracle, or who hear the same sermon, some believe, and some do not. Hence we must assert another internal cause, which moves man inwardly to assent to matters of faith.

The Pelagians held that this cause was nothing else than man's free-will: and consequently they said that the beginning of faith is from ourselves, inasmuch as, to wit, it is in our power to be ready to assent to things which are of faith, but that the consummation of faith is from God, Who proposes to us the things we have to believe. But this is false, for, since man, by assenting to matters of faith, is raised above his nature, this must needs accrue to him from some supernatural principle moving him inwardly; and this is God. Therefore faith, as regards the assent which is the chief act of faith, is from God moving man inwardly by grace.

Reply Obj. 1: Science begets and nourishes faith, by way of external persuasion afforded by science; but the chief and proper cause of faith is that which moves man inwardly to assent.

Reply Obj. 2: This argument again refers to the cause that proposes outwardly the things that are of faith, or persuades man to believe by words or deeds.

Reply Obj. 3: To believe does indeed depend on the will of the believer: but man's will needs to be prepared by God with grace, in order that he may be raised to things which are above his nature, as stated above (Q. 2, A. 3).

Aquinas, Thomas (2010-06-19). Summa Theologica (Complete & Unabridged) (Kindle Locations 45045-45073). Coyote Canyon Press. Kindle Edition.
 

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
Aquinas' theology is a necessary point historically that lead to the Reformed traditions, but it does not stand in them. Without Aquinas, the reformed doctrines of grace could not have been developed, but his errors primary consist on the means of grace and the doctrine of the church it seems to me.
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
No I do not know of any. I was hoping there was someone who knew Aquinas's work. I am starting to look of Aquinas's articles dealing with Faith, Election, Grace and the sorts. I read somewhere that he is a monergist.
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Jason, there's no need for you to delve into Thomas right now. He was, indeed, one of the most profound and brilliant theologians of the Middle Ages, along with such men as Bonaventure, Scotus, Durandus, Ockam and Gregory of Rimini - these were are all top notch minds and helped shape the way the Reformed church answers many of its questions. At some point reading Thomas may be of great help to you. However, at this stage, while you're just starting out in learning how our Reformed tradition understands the Bible systematically, exegetically, biblically, historically and practically, it would be far more helpful to continue to learn from later Reformed men who spent their lifetimes internalizing the good and the bad from Aquinas and brought forth the fruits of his writings (along with the fruits of the Fathers, the other Medieval schoolmen and the Protestant theologians who came before them) in a manner which you can be confident will be agreeable to scripture. Continue reading Calvin; read Bullinger; Peter Martyr; Ursinus, Olevianus, Perkins, Owen, Goodwin, Bridge, Brooks, Boston; read Durham and Gillespie; Bavinck and Hodge; if you come to want more Scholastic writings, give Turretin or Ames a try; Mastricht (my favorite protestant work of systematic theology) will be in English soon, and that can keep you happy for a lifetime. After you've become more familiar with our own tradition, then turn to Thomas. He truly is worth it, but not as an early read. Not only for the reason above, but you will also understand him far better by waiting, for you will have come to understand better why many of the issues he deals with are, in fact, important to the system as a whole.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I read somewhere that he is a monergist.

I'd say he is. His major problem is an overly-optimistic view of post-fall humanity. He considers the fall to have consisted primarily in a disordering of human faculties, dethroning reason, and therefore Divine grace merely reorders and restores right reason. He doesn think that reason is fallen, though.

The passage you cite above, though, shows that he's definitely a monergist in his understanding of faith. The idea of faith as infused by God alone rather than as a co-operation of free will with grace is spot-on.

I would echo the admonition not to spend too much time on Thomas, but would say that you should spend more time in the early fathers and earlier medieval theologians (Anselm in particular) first in order to understand the traditions that he's drawing on.
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
No I do not know of any. I was hoping there was someone who knew Aquinas's work. I am starting to look of Aquinas's articles dealing with Faith, Election, Grace and the sorts. I read somewhere that he is a monergist.

So you called him a heretic without having any knowledge of him actually teaching anything heretical?
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
So you called him a heretic without having any knowledge of him actually teaching anything heretical?

I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death. On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Gal. 5:9, "A little leaven," says: "Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame."

Aquinas, Thomas (2010-06-19). Summa Theologica (Complete & Unabridged) (Kindle Locations 46019-46022). Coyote Canyon Press. Kindle Edition.

You don't think that teaching the "extermination" of heretics is heresy????
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
So you called him a heretic without having any knowledge of him actually teaching anything heretical?

I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death. On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Gal. 5:9, "A little leaven," says: "Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame."

Aquinas, Thomas (2010-06-19). Summa Theologica (Complete & Unabridged) (Kindle Locations 46019-46022). Coyote Canyon Press. Kindle Edition.

You don't think that teaching the "extermination" of heretics is heresy????

I know very very very little of Aquinas. I am not saying whether he is or not a heretic. You said that you wanted to avoid his heresies, I asked which ones, you said any, I asked if you knew of any, and you replied that you did not know of any.

So putting all of this together, you seem to have called Aquinas a heretic without the knowledge of any actual heretical views of his.

This is all I was pointing out.

---------- Post added at 03:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:24 PM ----------

You don't think that teaching the "extermination" of heretics is heresy?

By that standard, you're going to condemn most of the Reformers as heretics.

Including Calvin
 

JS116

Puritan Board Freshman
I know little to nothing about Aquinas,but I do know he is frowned upon in reformed circles.My friend who is studying to get his MDiv next spring,actually likes some of Aquinas works,my friend is a smart guy Calvinistic but not Reformed and seeing that he can see some good out of Aquinas's work there has to be something that worth at least looking into.
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am sorry.

I framed the question in a manner as to be led by someone that is further in their studies than I. That is why I asked the question in the manner that I did.
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
By that standard, you're going to condemn most of the Reformers as heretics.

No! I love Augustine, but look at what Augustine wrote

110. There is no denying that the souls of the dead are benefited by the piety of their living friends, when the sacrifice of the Mediator is offered for the dead, or alms are given in the church. But these means benefit only those who, when they were living, have merited that such services could be of help to them. For there is a mode of life that is neither so good as not to need such helps after death nor so bad as not to gain benefit from them after death.

St Augustine (2010-03-24). Enchiridion On Faith, Hope, and Love (Kindle Locations 1379-1383). Kindle Edition.

I know a lot of friends that in their minds have condemned Augustine for statements like the one posted. They totally are blinded to the fact that Augustine's teaching on Grace is Biblical. But they will not read him at all because they view him as a heretic. I on the other hand defend Augustine knowing that he has error too. But He teaches Sovereign Grace! Which I view to be considered the Gospel. My argument against my friends is this: If you take Augustines work and if you take Joel Osteen's work, one can walk away from Augustine knowing the Sovereign Grace of God, but they could never walk away knowing that from the works of Osteen or any other modernist.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
If in the case of Thomas civil punishment for unrepentant heretics equals heresy, then you would have to show why in the case of X (Calvin, Cranmer, Farel, Zwingli) civil punishment for unrepentant heretics does not.
I think it would be simpler to say that it doesn't equal heresy in the case of Thomas either.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Jason, I would caution you not to throw terms like "heresy" around lightly. Thomas is heterodox on many points and as a reformed believer I would have deep disagreements with him on anthropology, on method (to an extent), and on sacramentology, ecclesiology, and his doctrine of saints. However, none of that makes him a heretic, in my definition. Further, I find it useful to engage with him (and others who are more problematic on more issues) because he's a fellow believer, but also because he's a great mind and I learn the most from him in the places where I disagree with him because he causes me to re-examine and nuance my own understanding. Engaging with a great mind, like Thomas, is never a waste of time, even if I still think he's wrong.
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
Jason, I would caution you not to throw terms like "heresy" around lightly. Thomas is heterodox on many points and as a reformed believer I would have deep disagreements with him on anthropology, on method (to an extent), and on sacramentology, ecclesiology, and his doctrine of saints. However, none of that makes him a heretic, in my definition. Further, I find it useful to engage with him (and others who are more problematic on more issues) because he's a fellow believer, but also because he's a great mind and I learn the most from him in the places where I disagree with him because he causes me to re-examine and nuance my own understanding. Engaging with a great mind, like Thomas, is never a waste of time, even if I still think he's wrong.

Thank you for the admonition to refrain from throwing around the heresy word.

I thought Heresy meant "error I see".
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I thought Heresy meant "error I see".

Heresy is usually thought of as error that prevents one's theology from being meaningfully called Christian. Thus, denying the Trinity, the unique authority of Scripture, or the Divinity of Christ would be heresy. Synergism, on the other hand, while an error, is not, strictly speaking, heresy.

I'm not comfortable calling a teaching heresy unless it has been declared as such by a fairly sizeable portion of the Church in more than one tradition.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
Did Aquinas hold to Sola Scriptura or did he actually believe the Church was infallible also?

Dr. Norman Geisler has used the same citation from St. Thomas I believe first in his evangelical book on Aquinas (1991) then repeated in his Forward to Elliot Miller/Ken Samples book on Catholic Mariology The Cult of the Virgin (Baker, 1992). Here is an excerpt from Geisler's Forward to the latter book:
"First of all, the Roman Catholic doctrine on Mary has gone well beyond Holy Scripture. But even the great Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas affirmed that 'only the canonical Scriptures are normative for faith' (Commentary on John 21, lect. 6). In going beyond Scripture in their teachings about Mary, Roman Catholics have threatened Scripture as the sole authority of the faith. This is one reason why those dedicated to the principle of Sola Scriptura cannot avoid addressing this issue." (Norm Geisler, forward to The Cult of the Virgin)
A few years later Geisler/MacKenzie enlisted a few additional passages from Aquinas in their otherwise excellent Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences (Baker, 1995) to suggest Aquinas held to sola scriptura. These were all answered competently in Not By Scripture Alone: A Catholic Critique of the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Queenship, 1997) edited by Robert Sungenis:

"Aquinas also said: 'The formal object of faith is Primary Truth as manifested in Holy Scripture and in the teaching of the Church which proceeds from the Primary Truth. hence, he who does not embrace the teaching of the Church as a divine and infallible law does not possess the habit of faith' [from Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 5, a. 3]. Thus one can easily see that not only does Aquinas direct his reader to the Church, but he also emphasizes that the Church houses the truth of Scripture, and that the Church, not just the Scripture is a divine and infallible entity. This is quite different from the impression the present Protestant apologist [referring to Geisler/MacKenzie] conveys to an untrained reader." (Not By Scripture Alone, page 324, see also page 372ff).
St. Thomas Aquinas and Sola Scriptura -- Commentary on John
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Did Aquinas hold to Sola Scriptura or did he actually believe the Church was infallible also?

Dr. Norman Geisler has used the same citation from St. Thomas I believe first in his evangelical book on Aquinas (1991) then repeated in his Forward to Elliot Miller/Ken Samples book on Catholic Mariology The Cult of the Virgin (Baker, 1992). Here is an excerpt from Geisler's Forward to the latter book:
"First of all, the Roman Catholic doctrine on Mary has gone well beyond Holy Scripture. But even the great Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas affirmed that 'only the canonical Scriptures are normative for faith' (Commentary on John 21, lect. 6). In going beyond Scripture in their teachings about Mary, Roman Catholics have threatened Scripture as the sole authority of the faith. This is one reason why those dedicated to the principle of Sola Scriptura cannot avoid addressing this issue." (Norm Geisler, forward to The Cult of the Virgin)
A few years later Geisler/MacKenzie enlisted a few additional passages from Aquinas in their otherwise excellent Roman Catholics and Evangelicals: Agreements and Differences (Baker, 1995) to suggest Aquinas held to sola scriptura. These were all answered competently in Not By Scripture Alone: A Catholic Critique of the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Queenship, 1997) edited by Robert Sungenis:

"Aquinas also said: 'The formal object of faith is Primary Truth as manifested in Holy Scripture and in the teaching of the Church which proceeds from the Primary Truth. hence, he who does not embrace the teaching of the Church as a divine and infallible law does not possess the habit of faith' [from Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 5, a. 3]. Thus one can easily see that not only does Aquinas direct his reader to the Church, but he also emphasizes that the Church houses the truth of Scripture, and that the Church, not just the Scripture is a divine and infallible entity. This is quite different from the impression the present Protestant apologist [referring to Geisler/MacKenzie] conveys to an untrained reader." (Not By Scripture Alone, page 324, see also page 372ff).
St. Thomas Aquinas and Sola Scriptura -- Commentary on John

Summa Theologica P.1-Q.1-A.8-R.O.2
Nevertheless, sacred doctrine makes use of these authorities as extrinsic and probable arguments; but properly uses the authority of the canonical Scriptures as an incontrovertible proof, and the authority of the doctors of the Church as one that may properly be used, yet merely as probable. For our faith rests upon the revelation made to the apostles and prophets who wrote the canonical books, and not on the revelations (if any such there are) made to other doctors. Hence Augustine says (Epis. ad Hieron. xix, 1): “Only those books of Scripture which are called canonical have I learned to hold in such honor as to believe their authors have not erred in any way in writing them. But other authors I so read as not to deem everything in their works to be true, merely on account of their having so thought and written, whatever may have been their holiness and learning.”
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Synergism, on the other hand, while an error, is not, strictly speaking, heresy.

So those at the Synod of Dort judged the Remonstrants wrongly as heretics?
if Dort is correct than Orange was wrong this you do not have a universal view from the church.

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I thought Heresy meant "error I see".

Heresy is usually thought of as error that prevents one's theology from being meaningfully called Christian. Thus, denying the Trinity, the unique authority of Scripture, or the Divinity of Christ would be heresy. Synergism, on the other hand, while an error, is not, strictly speaking, heresy.

I'm not comfortable calling a teaching heresy unless it has been declared as such by a fairly sizeable portion of the Church in more than one tradition.
it is also common to believe that adhering to a heresy would bar one from Heaven.
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Council of Orange upheld prevenient grace and universal atonement (the same view that Arminians and Amyraldians adhere to).

Bavinck pointed me to the first half this morning and we studied the Council in class previously for the second half. I do not remember the exact section of the Council off the top of my head. Maybe in your reading you have already found what I am referring to.

---------- Post added at 01:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:49 PM ----------

For prevenient grace: "That grace is preceded by no merits. A reward is due to good works, if they are performed; but grace, which is not due, precedes, that they may be done [St. Prosper]." Can. 18. #191 Council of Orange II A.D. 529

---------- Post added at 02:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:53 PM ----------

Council of Orange upheld prevenient grace and universal atonement (the same view that Arminians and Amyraldians adhere to).

Bavinck pointed me to the first half this morning and we studied the Council in class previously for the second half. I do not remember the exact section of the Council off the top of my head. Maybe in your reading you have already found what I am referring to.

---------- Post added at 01:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:49 PM ----------

For prevenient grace: "That grace is preceded by no merits. A reward is due to good works, if they are performed; but grace, which is not due, precedes, that they may be done [St. Prosper]." Can. 18. #191 Council of Orange II A.D. 529

Canon 19: Human nature, even though it remained in that sound state in which it was created, could be no means save itself, without the assistance of the Creator;

That sound synergistic.

You and I are cursed according to the conclusion of Orange:
According to the catholic faith we also believe that after grace has been received through baptism, all baptized persons have the ability and responsibility, if they desire to labor faithfully, to perform with the aid and cooperation of Christ what is of essential importance in regard to the salvation of their soul. We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema.

Notice also that grace is received in baptism and after that one has the ability if they desire to labor faithfully what is of essential importance in regard to salvation. That is very synergistic.

---------- Post added at 02:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:06 PM ----------

Council of Orange upheld prevenient grace and universal atonement (the same view that Arminians and Amyraldians adhere to).

Bavinck pointed me to the first half this morning and we studied the Council in class previously for the second half. I do not remember the exact section of the Council off the top of my head. Maybe in your reading you have already found what I am referring to.

---------- Post added at 01:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:49 PM ----------

For prevenient grace: "That grace is preceded by no merits. A reward is due to good works, if they are performed; but grace, which is not due, precedes, that they may be done [St. Prosper]." Can. 18. #191 Council of Orange II A.D. 529

Canon 19: Human nature, even though it remained in that sound state in which it was created, could be no means save itself, without the assistance of the Creator;

That sound synergistic.

You and I are cursed according to the conclusion of Orange:
According to the catholic faith we also believe that after grace has been received through baptism, all baptized persons have the ability and responsibility, if they desire to labor faithfully, to perform with the aid and cooperation of Christ what is of essential importance in regard to the salvation of their soul. We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema.

Notice also that grace is received in baptism and after that one has the ability if they desire to labor faithfully what is of essential importance in regard to salvation. That is very synergistic.

---------- Post added at 02:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:08 PM ----------

Council of Orange upheld prevenient grace and universal atonement (the same view that Arminians and Amyraldians adhere to).

Bavinck pointed me to the first half this morning and we studied the Council in class previously for the second half. I do not remember the exact section of the Council off the top of my head. Maybe in your reading you have already found what I am referring to.

---------- Post added at 01:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:49 PM ----------

For prevenient grace: "That grace is preceded by no merits. A reward is due to good works, if they are performed; but grace, which is not due, precedes, that they may be done [St. Prosper]." Can. 18. #191 Council of Orange II A.D. 529

Canon 19: Human nature, even though it remained in that sound state in which it was created, could be no means save itself, without the assistance of the Creator;

That sound synergistic.

You and I are cursed according to the conclusion of Orange:
According to the catholic faith we also believe that after grace has been received through baptism, all baptized persons have the ability and responsibility, if they desire to labor faithfully, to perform with the aid and cooperation of Christ what is of essential importance in regard to the salvation of their soul. We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema.

Notice also that grace is received in baptism and after that one has the ability if they desire to labor faithfully what is of essential importance in regard to salvation. That is very synergistic.
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
This sounds pretty "monergistic"

CANON 24. Concerning the branches of the vine. The branches on the vine do not give life to the vine, but receive life from it; thus the vine is related to its branches in such a way that it supplies them with what they need to live, and does not take this from them. Thus it is to the advantage of the disciples, not Christ, both to have Christ abiding in them and to abide in Christ. For if the vine is cut down another can shoot up from the live root; but one who is cut off from the vine cannot live without the root (John 15:5ff).


The Cannons of Dort would be in line with Augustine's teaching.

98. Furthermore, who would be so impiously foolish as to say that God cannot turn the evil wills of men--as he willeth, when he willeth, and where he willeth--toward the good? But, when he acteth, he acteth through mercy; when he doth not act, it is through justice. For, "he hath mercy on whom he willeth; and whom he willeth, he hardeneth."205

St Augustine (2010-03-24). Enchiridion On Faith, Hope, and Love (Kindle Locations 1206-1208). Kindle Edition.
As the Supreme Good, he made good use of evil deeds, for the damnation of those whom he had justly predestined to punishment and for the salvation of those whom he had mercifully predestined to grace.

St Augustine (2010-03-24). Enchiridion On Faith, Hope, and Love (Kindle Locations 1264-1265). Kindle Edition.

And

Who can help trembling at those judgments of God by which He does in the hearts of even wicked men whatsoever Hewills, at the same time rendering to them according to their deeds?

St. Augustine (2010-05-11). On Grace and Free Will (Kindle Locations 672-673). Unknown. Kindle Edition.
 
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Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
Boliver, I think you should slow down in your discovery of bad things in Orange. First of all, the "anathema" from the Conclusion does not condemn a Reformed understanding of reprobation, but rather justly condemns the monstrous notion of anyone being compelled to evil by the power of God. So don't worry about that point - they're not condemning you.

Secondly, however, I am not sure to what end you cite Canon 19, which simply states that if unfallen man could not safeguard his salvation without the grace of God, how much less could fallen man produce his own salvation: what, precisely, is synergistic about this?

As for Canon 18, you cited that without comment or explanation as to your purpose, so I will pass it by with the simple comment that it is at least thoroughly Augustinian.

However, as this thread has strayed far from its original purpose, if you wish to respond I will move this discussion to a new thread so that it may continue (unless Jason does not mind this topic continuing in his thread)
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Boliver, I think you should slow down in your discovery of bad things in Orange. First of all, the "anathema" from the Conclusion does not condemn a Reformed understanding of reprobation, but rather justly condemns the monstrous notion of anyone being compelled to evil by the power of God. So don't worry about that point - they're not condemning you.

Secondly, however, I am not sure to what end you cite Canon 19, which simply states that if unfallen man could not safeguard his salvation without the grace of God, how much less could fallen man produce his own salvation: what, precisely, is synergistic about this?

As for Canon 18, you cited that without comment or explanation as to your purpose, so I will pass it by with the simple comment that it is at least thoroughly Augustinian.

However, as this thread has strayed far from its original purpose, if you wish to respond I will move this discussion to a new thread so that it may continue (unless Jason does not mind this topic continuing in his thread)

I read the anathema section as speaking against those who believe that some are foreordained to evil. This would seem to include those that hold to a determinist view. If I read into things, my mistake.

Canon 19 says that we are "assisted" by the Creator. That sounds synergistic and not monergistic.

Someone else mentioned that Canon 18 upheld prevenient grace. I simply copied and pasted. Nothing original in that section of my thread.


I do not think Orange was bad. It did very well to speak against Semi-Pelagianism. It just seems that they did not go as strong as they could have. They do not uphold outright Augustinianism, but they are not rejecting it either. They allow wiggle room. This is what I have been taught, this is what Bavinck states, and a simple online search shows that this is the general view of Orange.
 
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