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12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 0 replies · +1 points

I echo Jeff's comment.

non-exclusivist =/= universalist

even though

universalist = non-exclusivist

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 0 replies · +1 points

One of the major concerns for the Council of Carthage was infant baptism

Canon 2 “If any man says that new-born children need not be baptized, or that they should indeed be baptized for the remission of sins, but that they have in them no original sin inherited from Adam which must be washed away in the bath of regeneration, so that in their ease the formula of baptism ‘for the remission of sins’ must not be taken literally, but figuratively, let him be anathema; because, according to Romans 5:12, the sin of Adam has passed upon all.”

ugh... I think a lot of people would be considered anathema according to Carthage 418.

point - I don't think the results of the councils can be examined properly without also examining the pragmatic concerns/goals of the councils.

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 0 replies · +1 points

Style criticism:

This series has been becoming snarkier with every post. This, despite being presented as a serious academic/theological examination. It sort of sounds like a theological version of Scooby Doo when they are revealing the criminal. I mean every post pigeonholes a portion of Paggit's work into a nasty label ("Pelagian," "Universalist," "Liberal"), then there are a bunch of "gotcha" Bible verse at the end that show why all the labels are evil.

This doesn't seem like a helpful or serious dialogue.

For example, just because Paggit does not explicitly damn every non-Christian to Hell, does not make him a "Universalist." Using that rhetorical mode is excellent for castigation purposes, but not very informative for understanding the subject matter.

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 0 replies · +1 points

"Christ" is certainly no mere moniker. However, your attempt to link Doug's usage of that title to his overall theology is a severe stretch.

In the construction business there are all sorts of guys who say "Jesus Christ" or "for Christ's sake" and "Christ Almighty," but their theology is a bit skewed. (One coworker informed me he wouldn't mind going to Hell since there was probably more beer there).

Word policing is unproductive.

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 0 replies · +1 points

Once again, I think many of the references necessitate an Augustinian filter in order to prove Original Sin. If you pre-suppose Original Sin, then those are great proof texts. However, the only certain thing from those texts (I include Paul) is the universality of sin and of sin's consequences.

"You cannot deny original sin, however, and still be orthodox. That doesn’t make sense with Paul and that’s simply not Christian."

Wow. sounds like the books are cooked.

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm having trouble with the Romans passage, perhaps you could help me out here, Jeremy (I took Sys Theo 10 years ago!) . I grew up with the Augustine pre-supposition. So, I had to put that aside and read it from a more Pelagian perspective.

The passage may imply Original sin. However, it is not explicit. verse 18 states "Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men" (ESV). This is beautiful because Paul has connected the hopeless situation of Adam to the hope-filled redemption of Jesus.

Here's the problem. "all" are condemned by the act of one man. But "all" are justified and recieve life through the righteous act of one man. Orignial sin tells us that the first all (condemned) literally means all descendants of the sinner Adam. However, the second all refers only to the descendants of the righteous Jesus. How does one arrive in the righteous lineage of Jesus? Clearly, it is not a blanket righteousness covering literally all people. INstead, we join the lineage through becoming his follower (repentance, faith, etc) or as Paul says "those who recieve (v. 17). If Paul is making a 1 to 1 connection between Adam and Jesus, then isn't our Adamic lineage defined by choice also? In other words when we all sin (verse 12 tells us we all do), we join the lineage of our father, Adam. When we join the Way of Jesus, we join the lineage of Jesus.

So, we choose to join the righteousness of Jesus and thus his lineage. We also join the lineage of Adam, not via a genetic curse but by a choice that we all make. Why do we inevitably make this choice? two answers - we're not God, we're like Adam.

I guess what I am saying is that though I tend to agree with the Augustinian perspective, I cannot state that the alternative perspective is non-Biblical. I think the Romans 5 passage at least leaves room for the conversation. I don't think you can simply say, "read Romans 5 and then you'll have to agree to Augustine's perspective." It is not there. Being "in Adam" can be seen in the same light of being "in Christ."

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - To Come: Assessing the... · 1 reply · +1 points

Yikes. That bandwagon is getting full, isn't it? "I Hate God" was clearly what McLaren wanted to communicate. There is no overstatement at all.

It is incredible how shrill this blogosphere gets so suddenly. I remember hearing Rob Bell at a Zondervan conference once. During a Q&A time, someone asked him point blank his stance on inerrancy. He quoted, verbatim, II Timothy 3:16 as his answer. This was apparently the wrong answer since it produced a collective grown from the audience. Next day, the blogosphere confirmed that Rob Bell was a heretic and didn't believe in the Bible.

Honestly, I quit reading anything McLaren wrote after Generous Orthodoxy. I joined the crowd in calling for McLaren to actually take a stand on some issues.

[ smarmy sarcasm ]
Now that he has taken a stand , he apparently hates God. I won't read the book since I have such a succinct summary available to me.

[ /smarmy sarcasm ]

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 2 replies · +1 points

As you know, I have been removed from a church because I was not "biblical" in my beliefs. I tried to use the Bible to show them that I was, but apparently I was coming from a non-Biblical perspective when I used the Bible so my verses didn't count.

All I am saying is that "Scriptural" is usually a code word for "Orthodox"

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 2 replies · +1 points

I must admit, I have never bought into the notion that we are all good deep down. I have also never bought into the notion that we are all corrupt deep down. If we were all good, wouldn't there be at least some people that were so extremely good that they would seem super human? I've never heard of such a person. If we were all corrupt (to the extent of the Westminster Confession and the Council of Carthage), wouldn't there be more of a proliferation of depraved acts? Also, why does family of origin play such a huge determining factor in our behavior, if our evil(s) comes from within?

I guess what I am saying is that evil does not simply exist in a text book. It is real and it thrives in human beings. I am constantly horrified by what parents can do to their own children. I have seen hate passed down from one generation to the next. In the same way, I have seen a legacy of kindness embraced by new generations.

We have to preach this stuff and theology really matters. For years I have heard reformed preachers and theologians ramble on about depravity as if it was the Gospel itself. I can't tell you how many times people from this background have used such concepts as an excuse for their own sin.

"Well, Pastor, what can I say? I'm a sinner. You have your sins, and this happens to be mine" an adulterer told me once.

When our theology does not recognize people's goodness, then our preaching and discipleship will never try to appeal to such goodness.

I don't know if Doug is right or not. I spoke to a Rabbi once who insisted that Original Sin was a Christian concept and nowhere in the Torah. He said "people are good. They just forget their goodness and that is why we need the Torah."

I was raised with the perspective that Jeremy is arguing for (Reformed soteriology), so my brain tends to side with him. My eyes and ears tend to go with the Rabbi and with those who believe external factors are the root of sin.

12 years ago @ novus•lumen - Pagitt and Pelagius: A... · 2 replies · +1 points

Jeremy, I have been reading this conversation, and I was also under the impression that this was more about being Orthodox than being "scriptural." That is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just a bit confusing. It seems that much of your view, Jeremy, was shaped by traditional sources of orthodox theology (creeds, confessions, councils, etc).

Perhaps we can make this like a sword drill from Sunday School. Whoever can find the most scripture references to support their position in a set amount of time wins.

**Double points for references from minor prophets