Monday, May 10, 2010

Reformed Protestant Double Standard


Philip Schaff

History of the Christian Church, Third Volume


Chapter IX. Theological Controversies,
And Development Of The Ecumenical Orthodoxy
.


§ 142. The Orthodox Christology: Analysis and Criticism.

Such considerations suggest the true position and the just value of the Creed of Chalcedon, against both exaggeration and disparagement. That symbol does not aspire to comprehend the Christological mystery, but contents itself with setting forth the facts and establishing the boundaries of orthodox doctrine. It does not mean to preclude further theological discussion, but to guard against such erroneous conceptions as would mutilate either the divine or the human in Christ, or would place the two in a false relation. It is a light-house, to point out to the ship of Christological speculation the channel between Scylla and Charybdis, and to save it from stranding upon the reefs of Nestorian dyophysitism or of Eutychian monophysitism. It contents itself with settling, in clear outlines, the eternal result of the theanthropic process of incarnation, leaving the study of the process itself to scientific theology. The dogmatic letter of Leo, it is true, takes a step beyond this, towards a theological interpretation of the doctrine; but for this very reason it cannot have the same binding and normative force as the symbol itself. As the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity stands midway between tritheism and Sabellianism, so the Chalcedonian formula strikes the true mean between Nestorianism and Eutychianism. It accepts dyophysitism; and so far it unquestionably favored and satisfied the moderate Antiochian party rather than the Egyptian. But at the same time it teaches with equal distinctness, in opposition to consistent Nestorianism, the inseparable unity of the person of Christ.



Semi-Pelagianism is a somewhat vague and indefinite attempt at reconciliation, hovering midway between the sharply marked systems of Pelagius and Augustine, taking off the edge of each, and inclining now to the one, now to the other. The name was introduced during the scholastic age, but the system of doctrine, in all essential points, was formed in Southern France in the fifth century, during the latter years of Augustine’s life and soon after his death. It proceeded from the combined influence of the pre-Augustinian synergism and monastic legalism. Its leading idea is, that divine grace and the human will jointly accomplish the work of conversion and sanctification, and that ordinarily man must take the first step. It rejects the Pelagian doctrine of the moral roundness of man, but rejects also the Augustinian doctrine of the entire corruption and bondage of the natural man, and substitutes the idea of a diseased or crippled state of the voluntary power. It disowns the Pelagian conception of grace as a mere external auxiliary; but also, quite as decidedly, the Augustinian doctrines of the sovereignty, irresistibleness, and limitation of grace; and affirms the necessity and the internal operation of grace with and through human agency, a general atonement through Christ, and a predestination to salvation conditioned by the foreknowledge of faith. The union of the Pelagian and Augustinian elements thus attempted is not, however, an inward organic coalescence, but rather a mechanical and arbitrary combination, which really satisfies neither the one interest nor the other, but commonly leans to the Pelagian side.

1 comments:

あじ said...

Stark. No mention of the fact that same guys who nail Christology in §142 fail Grace and Soteriology in §159. Wait, why does it sound like crickets chirping in here?

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