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Re: Three takes on Freedom of the Will

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  • Oruaseht
    I agree with you all that Bell s position is at best a warped caricature of Orthodoxy. I do enjoy his take on church history, written in his
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 14, 2010
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      I agree with you all that Bell's position is at best a warped caricature of Orthodoxy. I do enjoy his take on church history, written in his conversational/none-too-deep way. This book was the first place that I ever encountered the Orthodox Church, so it will always have a special place on my shelf and in my heart. (awwww! I mean, nous). ;)

      Thanks to Benjamin & Christopher for fleshing out a much better position than Bell gives.



      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, matt reader <mattyreader@...> wrote:
      >
      > It's curious, because I read that in Bell just two days ago. While I really enjoy his books, this is an oversimplification of the Eastern position regarding the 'merit' of God's grace or favor pertaining to salvation in the strict sense. Still a great read.
      >
      > --- On Wed, 7/14/10, Oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: Oruaseht <oruaseht@...>
      > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Three takes on Freedom of the Will
      > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 9:01 AM
      >
      >
      >  
      >
      >
      >
      > As I was re-reading one of my favorite books from Seminary, I stumbled across this quotation on the Freedom of the Will:
      >
      > "The views of Pelagius, of the eastern church in general, and of the redoubtable Augustine therefore represent the three possible ways in which human initiativeâ€"may or may notâ€"operate. Pelagius held that we are born with a will absolutely free and totally untainted by Adam's sin; we therefore retain the possibility of saving ourselves. The easterners held that we are born with a will corrupted by Adam's sin, but not so corrupted that we cannot do at least a few good actions; in response to these actions God makes his grace available, and in cooperation with this grace, and only in cooperation with this grace, we can achieve salvation. Augustine held that we are born with a soul completely corrupted by Adam's sin and cannot do any good action at all; our salvation is therefore entirely in the hands of God, and if he does not make his grace available to us, there is absolutely nothing that we can do about it. Pelagian infants are born with 20-20
      > vision; Greek infants are born in need of spectacles; Augustinian infants are born blind." David N. Bell. A Cloud of Witnesses: An Introductory History of the Development of Christian Doctrine. Kalamazoo: Cisterian Publications, 1989. Page 149.
      >
      > Is this author's view of Orthodoxy correct? He seems to imply that "the few good actions" we can do "merits" God giving us His grace. Is that a correct statement of Orthodoxy on the Freedom of the Will? I have a different impression that it is God who is inviting all people into Salvation with Him in Synergy/Cooperation - God is the source vs. me as the source.
      >
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      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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    • Christopher Orr
      Nous is not usually translated as heart, though Abbot Meletios in CA does in his book. It is sometimes referred to as the top of the heart, but it more of a
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 14, 2010
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        Nous is not usually translated as heart, though Abbot Meletios in CA does in
        his book. It is sometimes referred to as the 'top' of the heart, but it
        more of a mental, though not in a purely intellectual or rational sense. It
        is the sense organ, so to speak, that can perceive the spiritual directly.

        Heart is karthia, thus the idea that we must descend with the nous into the
        karthia and keep watch (nepsis).

        Christopher


        On Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 6:48 PM, Oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > I agree with you all that Bell's position is at best a warped caricature of
        > Orthodoxy. I do enjoy his take on church history, written in his
        > conversational/none-too-deep way. This book was the first place that I ever
        > encountered the Orthodox Church, so it will always have a special place on
        > my shelf and in my heart. (awwww! I mean, nous). ;)
        >
        > Thanks to Benjamin & Christopher for fleshing out a much better position
        > than Bell gives.
        >
        >
        > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > matt reader <mattyreader@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > It's curious, because I read that in Bell just two days ago. While I
        > really enjoy his books, this is an oversimplification of the Eastern
        > position regarding the 'merit' of God's grace or favor pertaining to
        > salvation in the strict sense. Still a great read.
        > >
        > > --- On Wed, 7/14/10, Oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > > From: Oruaseht <oruaseht@...>
        >
        > > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Three takes on Freedom of the Will
        > > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
        > > Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 9:01 AM
        > >
        > >
        > > �
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > As I was re-reading one of my favorite books from Seminary, I stumbled
        > across this quotation on the Freedom of the Will:
        > >
        > > "The views of Pelagius, of the eastern church in general, and of the
        > redoubtable Augustine therefore represent the three possible ways in which
        > human initiative��"may or may not��"operate. Pelagius held that we are born
        > with a will absolutely free and totally untainted by Adam's sin; we
        > therefore retain the possibility of saving ourselves. The easterners held
        > that we are born with a will corrupted by Adam's sin, but not so corrupted
        > that we cannot do at least a few good actions; in response to these actions
        > God makes his grace available, and in cooperation with this grace, and only
        > in cooperation with this grace, we can achieve salvation. Augustine held
        > that we are born with a soul completely corrupted by Adam's sin and cannot
        > do any good action at all; our salvation is therefore entirely in the hands
        > of God, and if he does not make his grace available to us, there is
        > absolutely nothing that we can do about it. Pelagian infants are born with
        > 20-20
        >
        > > vision; Greek infants are born in need of spectacles; Augustinian infants
        > are born blind." David N. Bell. A Cloud of Witnesses: An Introductory
        > History of the Development of Christian Doctrine. Kalamazoo: Cisterian
        > Publications, 1989. Page 149.
        > >
        > > Is this author's view of Orthodoxy correct? He seems to imply that "the
        > few good actions" we can do "merits" God giving us His grace. Is that a
        > correct statement of Orthodoxy on the Freedom of the Will? I have a
        > different impression that it is God who is inviting all people into
        > Salvation with Him in Synergy/Cooperation - God is the source vs. me as the
        > source.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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