Author Topic: Are Jansenists Among Us?  (Read 3090 times)

Offline abc123

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 935
  • Thanked: 822 times
  • Religion: High church Reformed
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #165 on: May 21, 2020, 10:39:32 AM »

It was at about that time that I gave up on converting prots, concluding they have an emotional attachment.  I call it Prot Derangement Syndrome where you catch them twisting scripture due to "Sola Luther".  Basically, "If scripture actually means what is written in that verse, I'm wrong.  Therefore it can't mean that."  We see that on display in this thread.  Which is why I stick to evangelizing rational atheists.   

You don't suppose it could be your own approach to these Scriptures that is incorrect, right?

Having been on both sides of this debate and having known and used all the talking points that Catholics use to explain certain passages, often out of context, I know how difficult it can be to not see how someone else can see something that is so obvious to you. The second chapter of James is a prime example. A surface reading of the chapter and isolating verse 24 as a proof text against the entire Reformed argument is not just bad exegesis but intellectual laziness.

I do not believe I have displayed what you call "Prot Derangement Syndrome". What I see are men having a theological discussion and trying to bring Scripture to bear to show their respective points. If you think I'm deranged or arguing in bad faith I guess we cannot have fruitful discussion.
"I once laboured hard for the free will of man until the grace of God at length overcame me."- St. Augustine
 
The following users thanked this post: Pon de Replay

Offline Michael Wilson

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 7632
  • Thanked: 5721 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #166 on: May 21, 2020, 12:15:13 PM »
abc,
I was thinking about the "Final Judgement" scenes in S.S. Where men a "Blessed" or "Cursed" by the good or bad works that they perform. So if man has no free will in regards to either doing good or rejecting evil, why would God reward him (or punish); for that which he cannot either avoid doing through God's irresistible grace or sin through the lack of thereof? 
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 

Offline abc123

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 935
  • Thanked: 822 times
  • Religion: High church Reformed
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #167 on: May 21, 2020, 12:36:47 PM »
abc,
I was thinking about the "Final Judgement" scenes in S.S. Where men a "Blessed" or "Cursed" by the good or bad works that they perform. So if man has no free will in regards to either doing good or rejecting evil, why would God reward him (or punish); for that which he cannot either avoid doing through God's irresistible grace or sin through the lack of thereof?

When we speak of free will in Reformed theology we are speaking strictly in terms of having the ability to choose Christ in a saving way. What that means is to acknowledge your sinfulness and hopelessness in trying to save yourself. You recognize you are a law breaker and debter with no means to pay. By the Holy Ghost you are brought to a place where you place all of your hope of right standing before God in the righteousness of Christ alone.

Sorry for that preamble but I think it was James who earlier in the thread asked what that term "choosing Christ" meant. So I post it by way of clarification.

Man's will is not impaired to the degree that he cannot perform certain "good" acts. We all know unbelievers who may be naturally virtuous men. An atheist can lay down his life for his child and this is a good thing. But the one good thing which man is not free to do, the only truly good act which can commend him to God, is what I described above as "choosing Christ."

When a person is convicted of sin and brought to that place of brokeness he is not at that point like a puppet who has no will but at that point he freely comes to Christ since Christ has first come to him.

By the same token the sinner freely sins. He does what is according to his natural (fallen) nature. No saint will ever be pulled kicking and screaming to Heaven. Neither will anybody who cries out to the LORD in genuine repentance be turned away. The question is how we come to that point. Is Man merely sick with sin but still with some natural capacity of coming to Christ or is he dead and unable to come to Christ unless the Father draws him. (John 6:44)
"I once laboured hard for the free will of man until the grace of God at length overcame me."- St. Augustine
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8796
  • Thanked: 3221 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #168 on: May 21, 2020, 02:07:16 PM »
Quote
The second chapter of James is a prime example. A surface reading of the chapter and isolating verse 24 as a proof text against the entire Reformed argument is not just bad exegesis but intellectual laziness.
Straw man.

So let's not isolate the verse.  What is the purpose of St. James's Letter?

A.  Teach a modified Puritanist theology to the readers.

B.  Exhort the readers to live righteous lives by taking care of the poor, abstaining from respect for persons and a loose tongue?
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8796
  • Thanked: 3221 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #169 on: May 21, 2020, 02:14:52 PM »
Quote
I do not believe I have displayed what you call "Prot Derangement Syndrome".

Yeah you do:
Quote
Christ died for a specific number of elect. When Christ cried out tetelestai (It is finished) on the cross He was making a definitive statement that the sins of the Elect had been paid in full.
 

And you overlooked the word "also" in the 2 Cor. verse.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline abc123

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 935
  • Thanked: 822 times
  • Religion: High church Reformed
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #170 on: May 21, 2020, 02:29:28 PM »

Yeah you do:
 

If you say so.

And you overlooked the word "also" in the 2 Cor. verse.

I don't see the word "also" in 2 Cor 5:15. I addressed that in the second part of my post regarding the verse from 1 John. The word "world" is used several different ways in the NT. The context dictates the particular meaning.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 02:34:58 PM by abc123 »
"I once laboured hard for the free will of man until the grace of God at length overcame me."- St. Augustine
 

Offline Michael Wilson

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 7632
  • Thanked: 5721 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #171 on: May 21, 2020, 04:29:25 PM »
abc stated:
Quote
When a person is convicted of sin and brought to that place of brokeness he is not at that point like a puppet who has no will but at that point he freely comes to Christ since Christ has first come to him.
Man either comes to the place of brokeness through through his free will or through Christ's grace (in the Calvinist scheme); If through his free will, then he is able to do something towards obtaining salvation without Christ's grace; if through Christ's grace, then he cannot do so through his free will.
Quote

By the same token the sinner freely sins. He does what is according to his natural (fallen) nature. No saint will ever be pulled kicking and screaming to Heaven. Neither will anybody who cries out to the LORD in genuine repentance be turned away. The question is how we come to that point. Is Man merely sick with sin but still with some natural capacity of coming to Christ or is he dead and unable to come to Christ unless the Father draws him. (John 6:44)
Man sins freely, because of his fallen nature, he cannot avoid sin. No saint will miss going to Heaven, because they cannot refuse Christ's grace. Neither can anyone cry out to the Lord in genuine repentance without His grace. Those who do not come to Christ are simply not given the grace to do so, or else they would infallibly come; therefore as far as the Calvinist theory of grace and predestination is concerned, the scene painted by Our Lord of the Last Judgement is meaningless. The saved performed good works only through Christ's grace and the damned did not get saved because they were not given this grace. 
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
The following users thanked this post: Xavier

Offline Arvinger

  • Korporal
  • **
  • Posts: 330
  • Thanked: 378 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #172 on: May 21, 2020, 06:58:36 PM »
This is a diversion. I have depended on Scripture to show that Christ died for the Elect and that words such as “All” or “World” do not always mean the same thing but must be taken within the context wherein they are found. Plainly stated: If Christ died “for all” meaning every single human being on Earth who ever lived or will live than He failed since most people end up in perdition. You are the one bringing philosophy into the discussion to distract from what Scripture says.

Again, you refer to "failure", but according to your definition, which means your argument is ultimately derived from your philosophical presuppositions rather than Scripture. If Christ died for all and yet only few are saved, and according to God this is not a failure, so be it. We are in no position to judge it as failure.

There is no passage of Scripture that explicitly teaches the dogma of the Trinity or the dual nature of Christ. Yet we both believe these things since Scripture clearly bears witnesses to these truths even if there is no passage of Scripture which states clearly: “God is a single essence eternally existing in three co-eternal, co-equal Persons.”

There is no passage in Scripture using the word Trinity, but divinity of the Father, the Son and the Spirit are explicitly taught - this, together with monotheism taught by Scripture, leaves no other possibility than the Trinity. That is not the case with TULIP, which is contradicted by many passages. 

Quote
I would direct your attention to the Gospel of St. John:
John 10: 3,4 3 "To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

Note that there are sheep who belong to the shepherd and sheep who do not. The Good Shepherd also knows His sheep by name. The sheep also know the voice of their shepherd and follow him.

Verse 11: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

Who does the Good shepherd lay His life down for? The sheep who hear His voice which is obvious from verses 3,4 which is also confirmed by verses 14 and 15:

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. Just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Further down we are told why some of His hearers did not believe.

Verse 26: But you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.

If they are not His sheep they do not hear His voice or follow Him. From the preceding verses we know that Christ died for His sheep.

John 6:  36-40:
36 "But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Verse 37 states that the Father has given His Son an Elect people and that they will all come to Him. This is not an ambiguous or undetermined mass of people but those whom He knows by name, as we see in chapter 10. In verse 39 our Lord states that all who have been given to the Son will come to Him and that He will lose nothing. Again this speaks of a determined number, not a nameless group. Verse 40 states that all who look to the Son and believe in Him will be saved. It is clear from the preceding verses referenced that those who will look upon and believe in Him are those sheep He knows by name which have been given to Him by the Father.

Classic example of eisegesis. St. John says that some people are elect and they will infallibly be saved, and Our Lord will lose none of them. However, none of these passages speak about why certain people will come to the Father. Is it because of unconditional election? Or is it because of their cooperation with grace? St. John does not say that. We need to be careful to read only what the text actually says. The basis of their election are not discussed here - this is something Calvinists read into passages like John 6 and John 10.

Even John 10:26 does not establish the cause-effect relationship. I could say "you can't have a British passport because you are not British", or "you can't be British because you have passport other than British" - the text does not say which one (unbelief or not being among Our Lord's sheep) is a cause and which one is effect. Again, this is Calvinist eisegesis.   

"Nameless group" is a rhetorical figure which has little to do with the argument - all men are God's creation, they are not anonymous to God, and neither is their eternal destiny. God is outside of time, therefore he obviously does not sit waiting who will choose him. This argument would work against the doctrine of open theism, not Catholicism.

Quote
The question is whether the ones who fall away or return to a life a sin were ever truly of the sheep fold. In the parable of the sower and the seed we know that some hear and receive the word for a while but then fall away for various reasons. It is only those who persevere in Faith and bear fruit who can be truly called His sheep. Believers are to bear fruit since we have been foreordained to do so in Christ(Ephesians 2:10)

Peter tells us in 2 Peter 2:10: “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”

Your question is answered very clearly in Galatians 5:4 and Hebrews 10:29, among other passages.

In Galatians 5:4 St Paul says very clearly that Judaizers have fallen from grace. You can't fall from something you have never been in in first place. They were believers, they were in God's grace, yet they fell from it.

Hebrews 10:29 "How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?"

Here the author of Hebrews speaks about someone who was sanctified by the blood of the Covenant, yet he is now under wrath of God because he returned to sin. So, the answer to your question is clear - yes, he was a believer, he fell away and found himself under wrath of God. This passage alone refutes TULIP and OSAS.

So the explanation that the apostates never believed in first place (which is, by the way, an example of No True Scotsman Fallacy), is contradicted by Scripture. Calvin knew that the issue of fallen away Christians was a huge problem for his theological system, therefore he invented an unbiblical doctrine of "evanescent grace", according to which God gives some non-elect faith which is almost like faith of the elect, so the two are difficult to distinguish (which, by the way, destroys any assurance of salvation one could have in Calvinism - even if you believe right now, how can you know God did not give you evanescent grace and you will fall away in the future?). Here  is a good article on that: https://shamelesspopery.com/assurance-of-salvation-and-evanescent-grace/

Quote
Believers are not to rest in a mere intellectual ascent and think that they have a saving Faith. This is the warning in James 2. We have been created and Justified unto good works. Our works are our confirmation that we are of the sheep fold, however those works do not save us.

The problem with that interpretation of James 2 is that James never makes a distinction between "true faith" and "false faith". He distinguishes between faith which is "dead" (wihout works) or saving (with works) - yet, it is the same faith. He never implies that faith of those who did not have good works was not a true faith. Rather, he says it is insufficient for salvation, since works are necessary too - as in cases of Abraham and Rahab. Which is why we are "justified by works, and not by faith alone" (James 2:24).
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 07:04:32 PM by Arvinger »
 
The following users thanked this post: james03, Xavier

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8796
  • Thanked: 3221 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #173 on: May 21, 2020, 09:25:11 PM »
Quote
I don't see the word "also" in 2 Cor 5:15.

Quote
For the charity of Christ presseth us: judging this, that if one died for all, then all were dead. [15] And Christ died for all; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.


Since you are Prot, here's the KJV, which is equivalent:
Quote
14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Here is what you are reading:
Quote
For the charity of Christ presseth us: judging this, that if one died for all, then all were dead. [15] And Christ died for all; that they  may not now live to themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 09:49:07 PM by james03 »
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 
The following users thanked this post: Xavier

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8796
  • Thanked: 3221 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #174 on: May 21, 2020, 09:48:05 PM »
Quote
but according to your definition, which means your argument is ultimately derived from your philosophical presuppositions rather than Scripture.  ..... We need to be careful to read only what the text actually says. ....  (which is, by the way, an example of No True Scotsman Fallacy),

These are all part of the phenomenon I've called Prot Derangement Syndrome, or Sola Luther, or perhaps Luther's Curse.

If you want to see it on full display, just observe ABC123 explain Matt. 7. 21.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline james03

  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8796
  • Thanked: 3221 times
  • The Brutal Clarity of a Winter Morning
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #175 on: May 21, 2020, 10:00:15 PM »
Getting back to somewhat on topic, the followers of Banez have a problem in that their theories don't match the real world:

1.  They have a huge problem explaining the Stoics (as just one example), who dedicated themselves to living a life of virtue.

2.  According to them, a man can believe that the Earth is flat, or that all governments are actually run by an alien race of lizard people, but if you preach to them, they can not EVER believe that Jesus is God unless they get an extra Grace.

Note that St. Thomas would not have a problem with either:

1.  The Stoics would indeed merit something for their virtue.  We see this view in Dante where they are in a limbo like state in hell.

2.  The heathen preached to would be preached to because of Divine Providence, so it is because of God's Sovereign Will.  The act of preaching to the heathen is a Grace, so the First Cause of conversion is Grace, and ultimately God.
"But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God (Jn 3:18)."

"All sorrow leads to the foot of the Cross.  Weep for your sins."
 

Offline Arvinger

  • Korporal
  • **
  • Posts: 330
  • Thanked: 378 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #176 on: May 22, 2020, 04:46:17 PM »
It was at about that time that I gave up on converting prots, concluding they have an emotional attachment.  I call it Prot Derangement Syndrome where you catch them twisting scripture due to "Sola Luther".  Basically, "If scripture actually means what is written in that verse, I'm wrong.  Therefore it can't mean that."  We see that on display in this thread.  Which is why I stick to evangelizing rational atheists.

Yes, having talked to many commited Protestants in the UK I can see the same phenomenon. Basically, they come to Scripture with certain presuppositions they think are Biblical (but aren't) - Once Saved, Always Saved is a classic example. There are numerous warning passages in Scripture which, in their context, are directed to justified believers. I don't see how anyone studying Scripture with open mind and without agenda could come to conclusion it teaches OSAS. But since Protestants believe in OSAS due mixture of misinterpretation of John 6 and Ephesians 1 and philosophical presuppositions, they see warning passages and think "well, it can't possibly mean that justified believers can be lost, it has to mean something else" - and so they engage in tremendous mental gymnastics to explain away obvious and explicit warning passages. Similar thing happens with justification ("well, it can't possibly mean that good works play part in justification!"), Eucharist and other Biblical doctrines.

Catholic Answers' apologist Trent Horn did a very good job against James White in a debate "Can a Christian lose their salvation?"
 
 
The following users thanked this post: Michael Wilson

Offline Arvinger

  • Korporal
  • **
  • Posts: 330
  • Thanked: 378 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #177 on: May 22, 2020, 04:59:54 PM »
The second chapter of James is a prime example. A surface reading of the chapter and isolating verse 24 as a proof text against the entire Reformed argument is not just bad exegesis but intellectual laziness.

Evidently you had very little interaction with Catholic apologetics on James 2. To the contrary, the whole context of James 2 is an argument which reinforces Catholic interpretation of verse 2.

James 2:14 "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?"

Here we see that the context of James' argument is salvation itself rather than demonstration through good works that one is already saved, as Reformed theology claims. Also, James does ask whether faith on its own can save - he does not ask "is his faith really genuine?", but "can that faith save him?". Truthfulness of faith without works is never questioned by James is the passage. What James asks is whether faith itself is sufficient for salvation in absence of good works - the answer is no.

James 2:17 "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."

Again, faith without works is "dead", not "false" - James does not teach that those who believe but do not do good works have false faith. Rather, he teaches that whether one is saved depends on whether he as good works to go with the faith or not. Actually, if James meant what Reformed theology wants him to say, James 2:17 would be utterly nonsensical - it would teach that "[false] faith is, if not accompanied by action, dead" - as if false faith could be alive? Again, distinction between "true faith" and "false faith" is never made in James 2. Rather, the distinction is between "faith without works" (insufficient for salvation) and "faith with works" (saving, since both are necessary for salvation).

Now, since James established in verses 14-17 that faith is insufficient for salvation, he moves on to provide examples of people who were saved by good works, such as Abraham and Rahab. On that basis, he concludes that "we are saved by works, and not by faith alone" (James 2:24).

Here is a great article from Catholic Nick refuting Protestant interpretation of James 2.
http://catholicnick.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-to-use-james-224-most-effectively.html
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 05:02:16 PM by Arvinger »
 
The following users thanked this post: Michael Wilson

Offline Jayne

  • Mary Garden
  • Major
  • ****
  • Posts: 13162
  • Thanked: 5367 times
  • Comic Sans Frontières
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: Are Jansenists Among Us?
« Reply #178 on: May 23, 2020, 10:54:57 AM »
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
 
The following users thanked this post: Lynne, Michael Wilson