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  1. #51
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    Richard,

    Do you agree with semi-pelagianism as stated below:

    "Semi-Pelagianism represented human nature as itself unimpaired by the fall, though not free from creaturely weakness and in need of divine assistance. The original sin was held to have brought about the loss of original righteousness, which was regarded as a supernatural gift added to man's nature, with the result that the loss left man in a purely natural state - that is to say in a state in which his nature was invitiated, a state of neutrality as it were, poised between good and evil, and not therefore a state of incapacitation."
    - Philip Edgecumbe Hughes, The True Image (a great out-of-print book btw)

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Bob View Post
    Richard,

    Do you agree with semi-pelagianism as stated below:

    "Semi-Pelagianism represented human nature as itself unimpaired by the fall, though not free from creaturely weakness and in need of divine assistance. The original sin was held to have brought about the loss of original righteousness, which was regarded as a supernatural gift added to man's nature, with the result that the loss left man in a purely natural state - that is to say in a state in which his nature was invitiated, a state of neutrality as it were, poised between good and evil, and not therefore a state of incapacitation."
    - Philip Edgecumbe Hughes, The True Image (a great out-of-print book btw)
    Glad you asked that! I actually had begun discussing that quote in my previous post, but decided the post was just to big and so I deleted it. I am finding it rather difficult to answer long posts with lots of points. I'm glad to break them up into more bite-sized pieces.

    So in answer to your question: As far as I know, it is a correct definition of "semi-pelagiansim," but I am not satisfied with that as a "category" in this discussion.

    The whole problem is that the tradition-bound theologians have made a category error. They write as if "human nature" changed with the fall. This is an error common to both sides of the debate; Semi-Pelagianism and Augustinianism (aka Calvinism) alike.

    They are both wrong, because they are not using the biblical categories of Flesh vs. Spirit. They invent a "substance" called "human nature" and then proceed to apply this idea in the complex algebra of their philosophic theology.

    They got it wrong from the get go. Beware of the phlogiston of the philosophical theologians.

    RAM

  3. #53
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    Richard,
    I am neither semi-pelagian or Augustinian, but you will have to convince me that human nature did not change at the fall. Is that your opinion or can you point me/us to others that believe as you do.

    Since you prefer to use flesh vs. spirit categories that is fine with me, since they are biblical categories. I guess that leads us to define how Paul understood the term he used to describe human nature ...."flesh".

  4. #54
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    And I'm not sure why you posted that blog entry. Do you agree with it or just posting it for discusssion's sake?

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    I agree with Mr. Pearl's observation that the "sin nature" concept is not appropriate. The suggestion that we look more closely at Romans 5 is apppropriate.
    Agree on both counts. I particularly dislike his use of the term "legal" in his explanation of our estrangement from God:

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Pearl
    "In the eating of the tree, the willful and direct disobedience to God resulted in legal estrangement from God and precipitated the curse of death on Adam and all his descendants. All men are born under the curse and totally estranged from God."
    Legal? YUCK! There is nothing in me that responds to that kind of language. It feels entirely made up ... and worst, it makes me feel like God is a lawyer! Which is about the worst idea I could imagine.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    However, I do not agree with his view that our problem is associated with not having access to the "tree of life". I suggest that our problem is more fundamental, and that we were cut off from the tree of life so that we would not remain in that condition indefinitely.
    Amen! I agree completely.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    The act of the disobedience resulted in an immediate change when Adam ate of the fruit of tree of Knowledge of good and evil.
    Yes, there was a change, but the change was not "in his nature." If you shoot a man, and mortally wound him, have you "changed his nature"? The thing that changed was the RELATIONSHIP between God and Man.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    I find it extraordinarily interesting that their eyes were opened. This is a similar thing to what happened to Jonathan when he ate of the honey in oppossition to the command of Saul, even though Johathan did not directly hear the order. In both cases, the perception of the eyes changed. Also, other changes occured in the way they (Adam and Eve) acted, and reacted.
    Yes, I think there is a LOT to find by comparing Gen 2-3 with 1 Sam 14. Note that both the phrases "freely eat" and "mot tamut" occur in both passages. And eyes opened. Very deep stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    I submit that the basis of the change that occured was that they became mortal, and corruptible. They began to die. Mortality is the process of dying. As that occurs, corruption results. This is what we inherit from Adam. We are dying.
    Yes, because the relationship with God - the source of Life - was changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Our mortal condition would be prolonged indefinitely if we were allowed access to the "tree of life". What we needed was that the reign of sin and death be ended.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    Christ, when He came, clothed in the likeness of sinful flesh, was made to be sin on the cross, and in so doing, consented to be consigned to death. But, death could not hold Him.

    Paul's teachings in the chapters that follow Romans 5 focus on Christ's victory over both sin and death, and our inclusion in His victory.

    Joel
    Amen!

    Thanks Joel!

    Richard

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Bob View Post
    And I'm not sure why you posted that blog entry. Do you agree with it or just posting it for discusssion's sake?
    It introduced certain definitions and historical data that show how our discussion goes back to the early church. I thought it would help us understand the depth of the questions we are tackling.

    I also wanted a chance to show that the usually categories generated by Pegias vs. Augustine are inadequate, since they both use the term "human nature" uncritically.

    Richard

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Bob View Post
    Richard,
    I am neither semi-pelagian or Augustinian, but you will have to convince me that human nature did not change at the fall. Is that your opinion or can you point me/us to others that believe as you do.

    Since you prefer to use flesh vs. spirit categories that is fine with me, since they are biblical categories. I guess that leads us to define how Paul understood the term he used to describe human nature ...."flesh".
    When you say that I need to convince you "that human nature did not change at the fall" you are assuming that the category "human nature" is meaningful in this discussion. We have not established that (to my satisfaction, anyway).

    Your second statement helps. You believe that Paul's use of the term "flesh" is identical to the meaning of "human nature."

    OK.

    So does that mean that you believe the "nature" of the "flesh" changed when Adam sinned?

  8. #58
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    So does that mean that you believe the "nature" of the "flesh" changed when Adam sinned?
    Yes, I do...since "flesh", for me, means more than body (soma). It denotes how the body, soul and spirit work together. Before the fall, the spirit dominated the soul (self) and body. This was because God's Spirit filled Adam's spirit and empowered him to be a 'spiritual' being.

    When Adam sinned we see a drastic change in their thinking and their behavior. Their soul and body dominated their spirit. The way God created them to 'work' (nature) changed.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Bob View Post
    Yes, I do...since "flesh", for me, means more than body (soma). It denotes how the body, soul and spirit work together. Before the fall, the spirit dominated the soul (self) and body. This was because God's Spirit filled Adam's spirit and empowered him to be a 'spiritual' being.

    When Adam sinned we see a drastic change in their thinking and their behavior. Their soul and body dominated their spirit. The way God created them to 'work' (nature) changed.
    Very good! This is exactly what I have been hoping for. A clarification of definitions so we know what we are talking about.

    Now you said that "God's Spirit filled Adam's spirit and empowered him to be a 'spiritual being'". Can you support that with Scripture? It sounds suspicious to me for two reasons. First because the Bible says "The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." (1 Cor 15:45). So Scripture speaks of Adam as "natural" (psuchikos) vs. Christ as spiritual. Second, it seems obvious that God's Spirit did not "fill" Adams' spirit, since otherwise Adam could not have committed the first sin.

    You also said "Their soul and body dominated their spirit. The way God created them to 'work' (nature) changed." I don't see that as a change in "nature." Its a change in functional relationships. If that's all people meant when they said that we "inherited Adam's sin nature" they never would have invented ideas about transmission through the paternal line, a change in cell structure, etc.

    I still don't see any place for the idea that Adam acquired a "sin nature" when he first sinned. Have you noticed that he sinned before he ate the fruit? We know that because he had to intend to eat it before he actually did eat it, and the intention to sin is itself a sin. So how did Adam sin without a "sin nature"? The answer is simple, he was NOT in communion with God at the time, and the nature of the flesh not subject to a spirit in communion with God is to satisfy its own desires, hence sin.

    That's the whole explanation of the whole existentiallada (to borrow a neologism from the One Cosmos guy) with not a single reference to, or even hint or suggestion of, a "changed nature."

    Richard

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Bob View Post
    Yes, I do...since "flesh", for me, means more than body (soma). It denotes how the body, soul and spirit work together. Before the fall, the spirit dominated the soul (self) and body. This was because God's Spirit filled Adam's spirit and empowered him to be a 'spiritual' being.

    When Adam sinned we see a drastic change in their thinking and their behavior. Their soul and body dominated their spirit. The way God created them to 'work' (nature) changed.
    That was "very good", Brother Bob. I am in unity with Richard when he said that what you offered was "Very good!".

    Adam was spiritually empowered when he named all the animals. I have often been in wonder of that fact......his mind, dominated by the spirit, naming the animals.....and he didn't learn a language....he "knew" a language!

    So, in the absence of any scriptural references of proof, can we say together that the naming of the animals was truly evidence that Adam was dominated by the spririt?..........spirit, and language, and the mind, working together without the interference of the flesh? I think so.

    Richard observes that Adam was not "full of spirit", with which we can also agree. It is a matter of degrees. He was not "full", and that is part of the reason that he needed a "complement, pleroma, that which fills). That is why we need each other. I'm not "full", you're not "full", but we are to be "being filled with the spirit".

    Joel
    Last edited by joel; 06-25-2007 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Added answer to my own question.

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