Friday, January 22, 2010

AUGUSTINE. An article by William Birch

By William Birch (excerpt below).

When one considers the amount of false, and at times heretical, views to which he held, it is truly a wonder how he became such an authority or cherished figure in the Protestant Church. In some circles, to quote Augustine is tantamount to quoting Scripture.

But for the purpose of this post, one thing stands out above his other errors. It is more than merely interesting that Augustine was the first one to introduce the idea that God had unconditionally elected some unto faith and salvation by decree and not others. And this he did not attribute to God's foreknowledge of forseen faith or rejection of Christ, as did his predecessors, but to God's sole prior decision and delight.

Even more shocking, however, in light of his novelty of unconditional election, was his statement, that, "It is, indeed, to be wondered at, and greatly to be wondered at, that to some of His own children ~ whom He has regenerated in Christ ~ to whom He has given faith, hope, and love, God does not give perseverance also." One seldom hears the Calvinist quoting this statement from Augustine.



WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

I'm confused on the whole election thing. I never heard of the doctrine until I was in the Primitive Baptist church for a few years. It's the fundamental core of their beliefs. All I know is I don't know. Mankind argues and picks sides but only God really knows. Am I wrong? The Lord's patience with all of us just amazes me.

Onesimus said...

I think a big clue here is found in your statement "I never heard of the doctrine until..."

Like many false doctrines it is one learned from the teaching of others.

Election is CERTAINLY a fact - but some theologies make it a much more exclusive matter than scripture makes it.

I have absolutely no problem with the idea of election - but I totally disagree with UNCONDITIONAL election. Such a view is NOT supported by the revelation God has given through scripture.
It is a doctrine that is supported by the selective use of small parts of scripture and by ignoring the rest of scripture.

WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

I hadn't heard much of anything before the PB's because I was raised a Christian Scientist THERE is a false doctrine for you age even when it was founded back in the 1800's.

I don't know about the unconditional part of election. But I don't think you can buy God's favor with good deeds. The more I try to figure it out, the more I understand that I just don't KNOW. Maybe that's part of faith, accepting that we, as humans, don't KNOW and we just have to trust Him to know.

Onesimus said...

Very true, we definitely can NOT buy God's favour with good deeds.

I just thank God that He has provided us with His word and His Spirit so that He can teach us those things he wants us to know.