Reading the Church Fathers discussion

Irenaeus of Lyons
This topic is about Irenaeus of Lyons
21 views
Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 > Irenaeus: Against Heresies, Bks. I-II

Comments Showing 1-50 of 163 (163 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Nemo (last edited Jan 21, 2017 03:26PM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments In Bk. 1 Ch. 8, Irenaeus uses a beautiful and poignant metaphor to demonstrate the nature of heresy.

They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures; and, to use a common proverb, they strive to weave ropes of sand, while they endeavour to adapt with an air of probability to their own peculiar assertions the parables of the Lord, the sayings of the prophets, and the words of the apostles, in order that their scheme may not seem altogether without support. In doing so, however, they disregard the order and the connection of the Scriptures, and so far as in them lies, dismember and destroy the truth. By transferring passages, and dressing them up anew, and making one thing out of another, they succeed in deluding many through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions.

Their manner of acting is just as if one, when a beautiful image of a king has been constructed by some skilful artist out of precious jewels, should then take this likeness of the man all to pieces, should rearrange the gems, and so fit them together as to make them into the form of a dog or of a fox, and even that but poorly executed; and should then maintain and declare that this was the beautiful image of the king which the skilful artist constructed, pointing to the jewels which had been admirably fitted together by the first artist to form the image of the king, but have been with bad effect transferred by the latter one to the shape of a dog, and by thus exhibiting the jewels, should deceive the ignorant who had no conception what a king’s form was like, and persuade them that that miserable likeness of the fox was, in fact, the beautiful image of the king.



message 2: by Nemo (last edited Jan 21, 2017 04:02PM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments This is my first exposure to Gnosticism, and judging by Irenaeus' description of their doctrines, it seems to resemble Roman religious practices, where abstract concepts, such as grace, truth, and victory, are anthropomorphized and worshiped as deities.

The idea that it was the Demiurge, not God the Father, who created the world, is perhaps the most popularly known of the Gnostic doctrines. The other popular Gnostic doctrine is the idea that corporeal matter is evil and not redeemable. Both of these have their origin in (Neo)Platonism.


message 3: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 317 comments This is what the early Church had to put up with! Convoluted stuff like this and the need for a Bible quite apparent.

Gnosticism is really a paganizing of Christianity. It is dualistic as it separates matter and spirit, the former is evil and the latter good. In addition, there is always some kind of "secret" knowledge that only the initiated or privileged understand and get to know.

http://www.pfrs.org/gnosticism/Gnosti...
At the end of the document is a chart of the 30 gnostic gods. Unfortunately it doesn't show the Christ-like figures Irenaeus is also mentioning.


message 4: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Nemo wrote: "This is my first exposure to Gnosticism, and judging by Irenaeus' description of their doctrines, it seems to resemble Roman religious practices, where abstract concepts, such as grace, truth, and victory, are anthropomorphized and worshiped as deities.
"


The gnostic Pleroma also seemed to inherit some of the relationships and drama of the Roman Pantheon...


message 5: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments He says in chapter one and some other places that the gnostics viewed the Aeon (or Pleroma?) as incomprehensible. Do they just mean until they receive gnosis?


message 6: by A (new)

A | 225 comments Isn't the word "gnosticism" just used as catch for all for any heretical sect that makes use of a Christ figure? I've never heard of a Gnostic pantheon, but I have heard of God and Sophia (the wisdom of God).


message 7: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Aaron wrote: "Isn't the word "gnosticism" just used as catch for all for any heretical sect that makes use of a Christ figure? I've never heard of a Gnostic pantheon, but I have heard of God and Sophia (the wisd..."

I haven't read a ton about gnosticism, but I don't think it's a catch all phrase. From what I understand, it is a pretty specific strain of heretical mysticism that believes you must receive "special" knowledge from God. But I think there were several different "denominations" of gnosticism and Iraneaus appears to be addressing the one from Ptolemaeus.


message 8: by A (new)

A | 225 comments Yes Christian mysticism, I grabbed this from wiki although I believe some people have taken it and ran with it, recalling people discuss Gnostic Christianity and a Gnostic Chruch (although I couldn't tell you what their tennants are without looking)

Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός gnostikos, "having knowledge", from γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is a modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the material world – which they viewed as created by the demiurge – and embraced the spiritual world

The above is cited to this:

On the complexity of gnosticism, see Larry W. Hurtado (2005). Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 519–561.

I'll be interested to catch up to this eventually. Don't mind me keep discussing :)


message 9: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments My. Word. Most of my reading about gnosticism has been incidental. I had no idea it was so complicated!!

It is manifest also, that he himself is the one who has had sufficient audacity to coin these names; so that, unless he had appeared in the world, the truth would still have been destitute of a name. But, in that case, nothing hinders any other, in dealing with the same subject, to affix names after such a fashion as the following: There2803 is a certain Proarche, royal, surpassing all thought, a power existing before every other substance, and extended into space in every direction. But along with it there exists a power which I term a Gourd; and along with this Gourd there exists a power which again I term Utter-Emptiness. This Gourd and Emptiness, since they are one, produced (and yet did not simply produce, so as to be apart from themselves) a fruit, everywhere visible, eatable, and delicious, which fruit-language calls a Cucumber. Along with this Cucumber exists a power of the same essence, which again I call a Melon. These powers, the Gourd, Utter-Emptiness, the Cucumber, and the Melon, brought forth the remaining multitude of the delirious melons of Valentinus.

*dies laughing* I also wasn't expecting humor. :-) But Iraneus is compassionate, not making fun of them for the sake of humor, but simply to expose the lie.

Ch. 10- He says that God showed long-suffering in regard to the apostasy of the angels who transgressed. I thought that was interesting. I wonder what he bases this on??

Ch. 13-"this they have done, as being well aware that the gift of prophecy is not conferred on men by Marcus, the magician, but that only those to whom God sends His grace from above possess the divinely-bestowed power of prophesying; and then they speak where and when God pleases'

My grandfather was a Missionary Baptist preacher so I grew up being taught that the "miraculous" gifts had been "done away" with. But it seems that Iraneus views them as a live and well in the church, though only given to certain persons at certain times.

I also think Iraneus is insightful. " Some of them, indeed, make a public confession of their sins; but others of them are ashamed to do this, and in a tacit kind of way, despairing of [attaining to] the life of God, have, some of them, apostatized altogether; while others hesitate between the two courses, and incur that which is implied in the proverb, “neither without nor within;” possessing this as the fruit from the seed of the children of knowledge."

Ch. 16-He views gnostic views as old wives tales. Gnosticism was nothing new. Just in a different dress.


message 10: by David (new)

David I read this in seminary and once since...I can't stomach the boredom of reading the gnostic details again! I'll be looking forward to book three because irenaeus' work on recapitulation is amazing.


message 11: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments That's encouraging the hear, I think. I was wondering if he was going to spend all five books on this mess.

In what sense are you using "recapitulation"? I'm only familiar with it as the third part of sonata form. Lol


message 12: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Genni wrote: "*dies laughing* I also wasn't expecting humor. :-) But Iraneus is compassionate, not making fun of them for the sake of humor, but simply to expose the lie...."

I wasn't expecting it either, but Irenaeus is the only author in vol.1 that made me laugh out loud.

He says that God showed long-suffering in regard to the apostasy of the angels who transgressed. I thought that was interesting. I wonder what he bases this on??

The angels who transgressed will be punished together with wicked men, and if God showed long-suffering towards the latter, He was more so towards the former, who transgressed at an earlier time.


message 13: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Nemo wrote: "The angels who transgressed will be punished together with wicked men, and if God showed long-suffering towards the latter, He was more so towards the former, who transgressed at an earlier time. "

So you think he just meant that since the angels will be punished with wicked men, and since they transgressed before man, God's long-suffering is more so towards angels simply because it has been longer?? But to me, this implies that angels have the choice to repent. ??? I mean, if his long-suffering is continuing still and will continue until some future judgement then what does that mean for angels??


message 14: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Genni wrote: " But to me, this implies that angels have the choice to repent. ???..."

To my mind, long-suffering, in and of itself, doesn't imply repentance on the part of the transgressor. It simply means that the transgressors are suffered to continue unpunished and unrestrained.

However, Justin writes that angels have fee will, just like men. So repentance is a possibility for them, but I can't speculate further than the materials allow.


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: " But to me, this implies that angels have the choice to repent. ???..."

To my mind, long-suffering, in and of itself, doesn't imply repentance on the part of the transgressor. It sim..."


To Genni and Nemo, I was taught that the angels are not able to repent. They are beyond time. We are within time. The angels are intellect and will. They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. We, being in time, learn more over time and have an opportunity to repent, although that time may be up at any given moment....


message 16: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their decision based on the same knowledge?


message 17: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: " But to me, this implies that angels have the choice to repent. ???..."

To my mind, long-suffering, in and of itself, doesn't imply repentance on the part of the transgr..."



Susan, this is also what I was taught. That is why his comment struck me particularly.


message 18: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: " But to me, this implies that angels have the choice to repent. ???..."

To my mind, long-suffering, in and of itself, doesn't imply repentance on the part of the transgressor. It sim..."


To me, long-suffering is a kindness, somewhat similar to grace. To postpone a punishment that you know is coming sounds more like torture than a kindness.

Do you mind referencing Justin's comment? I don't remember. Or was it in the dialogue??


message 19: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Nemo wrote: "Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their decision based on the same knowledge?"


I was always taught that they could not reverse their decision. That the decision they made was permanent. Which is interesting because it seems to me that this would imply that there are different types of free will.


message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan Nemo wrote: "Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their decision based on the same knowledge?"


No. Again, they don't "change" their mind because their knowledge is complete and there is no "time" again in order to "change" their mind.


message 21: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their decision based on the same knowledge?"

I was always taught..."


Why would there be different types of free will? The difference again is, that they know everything they will ever know at that point of making their decision, unlike us. They are outside of time, unlike us. But the freedom to make the decision would be the same, no?


message 22: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their decision based on the same knowledge?"

I was..."


Actually, I guess we should clear up something first. Why do you say they are outside of time? I was not taught that. I was taught that they were created. If they are created beings then they have a beginning, they are in time.


message 23: by Nemo (last edited Jan 22, 2017 05:00PM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Genni wrote: "Do you mind referencing Justin's comment? I don't remember. Or was it in the dialogue?? ."

Justin writes about free-will of angels and men in the Second Apology (ch. 7),
The Stoics, not observing this, maintained that all things take place according to the necessity of fate. But since God in the beginning made the race of angels and men with free-will, they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed. And this is the nature of all that is made, to be capable of vice and virtue.

and Dialogue with Trypho (ch. 141).

God, wishing men and angels to follow His will, resolved to create them free to do righteousness; possessing reason, that they may know by whom they are created, and through whom they, not existing formerly, do now exist; and with a law that they should be judged by Him, if they do anything contrary to right reason: and of ourselves we, men and angels, shall be convicted of having acted sinfully, unless we repent beforehand. But if the word of God foretells that some angels and men shall be certainly punished, it did so because it foreknew that they would be unchangeably [wicked], but not because God had created them so.



message 24: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Genni wrote: "...To postpone a punishment that you know is coming sounds more like torture than a kindness..."

I wouldn't say the punishment is postponed, as if there were a change of plan. But, if it is postponed, why is it more like torture?


message 25: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their decision based on the same know..."


Good point Genni. Thanks. I have to find my notes regarding that....I know I was taught they can't change their mind, but possibly just because they were created with their full intellect and therefore there would not be anything "added" in order to have them think to even change their mind?...but have to think again about the time concept... thanks again....if only my memory was better.....


message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their decision based on the same know..."


When I reviewed, it said, the spiritual realm has no matter. Angels have no bodies; they are a pure spirit created by God possessing intellect and free will. They are somewhat similar to man, but in an immaterial realm. A completely different existence. He (at Church Militant) says, since there is not matter, there is not 'time' as we understand it. Time is a measurement of change and change only happens to objects or beings that have matter. We grow up and we grow old, angels never grow up and they never grow old. Without matter there is no need for time. Change happens over time to matter. No matter, no change, no time. So angels, like God, exist outside of time. This is why an angel can never 'change' it's mind. It cannot repent once it has sinned. But he also mentions that it can never sin once it has committed to God. Whatever free will decision an angel makes, it makes it forever. There is no turning back, because there is never the 'next moment'. Nor the previous moment...there are no 'moments' at all. There is one continuing ever present. "The eternal now". if you think about it, with moments, at one moment one would be incomplete, or imperfect until the next moment...and that would be inconsistent with the realm of God. Angels live in the eternal now with God.


message 27: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their decision based on..."


Thanks for looking that up, Susan, because I was curious about it. It seems to me that saying that an angel cannot change it's mind, when it has by rebelling, well, it doesn't make sense to me. Sorry if I am being dense!

I understand that they live in a different realm, but it is a realm we know almost nothing about. It seems that he is making assertions when they could maybe only be suggestions? For example, at some point in time, redemption will be complete. We will be given new bodies and there will be a new heaven and a new earth, right? So it seems that at the point, the spiritual realm and the material realm will be melded, or rather that there will be material things in the spiritual realm. Is there anything that says the spiritual realm now does not have anything material about it or in it?


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Susan wrote: "They know all they need or will ever know at the point of making the decision. .."

Can they not reverse their dec..."


I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind. But once they make a choice it is for eternity or the eternal now. There is a subtle difference there, if I expressed it well enough...and I think that is the difference with the resurrected and glorified body. It is not the same. (That gets us back to the Eucharist again). We may eat, but we will not need to, there will be no disease etc.,


message 29: by Genni (last edited Jan 22, 2017 06:37PM) (new)

Genni | 124 comments Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: "...To postpone a punishment that you know is coming sounds more like torture than a kindness..."

I wouldn't say the punishment is postponed, as if there were a change of plan. But, i..."


When I used it, I wasn't thinking about it with the implication that there was a change of plan. I was thinking of it more in this sense:

We, both fallen angels and fallen humans alike, in front of the holiness of God, deserve punishment. We deserve immediate and full punishment. But God "postpones" this in His grace until the fullness of time has come. I hope that makes more sense.

As for torture, I was thinking of Rev. 12:12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” It doesn't sound to me like he is enjoying the "postponement" of his judgement since he is rushing around filled with fury?


message 30: by Genni (last edited Jan 22, 2017 06:30PM) (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind."

This is the way I think of it:

Before the whole shebang, angels, in their minds, were submissive to God. Then they were faced with a choice. If they chose to rebel against God, then their minds changed from submission to rebellion. So for me, it seems they changed their mind.

As for the glorified body, I agree that it will not be the same, but I don't think there is anything that says it will not be material?


message 31: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: "Do you mind referencing Justin's comment? I don't remember. Or was it in the dialogue?? ."

Justin writes about free-will of angels and men in the Second Apology (ch. 7),
The Stoics,..."


Thanks for looking that up, Nemo. For me, there doesn't seem to be anything unusual here.


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: "...To postpone a punishment that you know is coming sounds more like torture than a kindness..."

I wouldn't say the punishment is postponed, as if there were a change of..."

Why do you think all angels need punishment?


message 33: by Genni (last edited Jan 22, 2017 06:37PM) (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: "...To postpone a punishment that you know is coming sounds more like torture than a kindness..."

I wouldn't say the punishment is postponed, as if there we..."


Sorry! I meant fallen angels. :-) I've adjusted the comment accordingly.


message 34: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind."

This is the way I think of it:

Before the whole shebang, angels, in their minds, were submissive to God. Then they were fac..."

His explanation stated that God gave them the choice to direct their will to Him. Again, they have their full knowledge presently, so don'( 'think' about it or mull over it. At the point of directing their will, it is sealed. Some chose Him, some rebelled. Hmmm, your other comment makes me scratch my head a little. I suppose it is material however different, of an incorruptible nature......interesting...have to think about that a bit....


message 35: by Nemo (last edited Jan 22, 2017 06:44PM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: "...To postpone a punishment that you know is coming sounds more like torture than a kindness..."

I wouldn't say the punishment is postponed, as if there were a change of..."


I was thinking about it in the context of 2 Peter 3:9 and Romans 2:4, where the long-suffering of God, repentance and judgment are taught to those who deny the reality of God's judgment.

Needless to say, if anyone doesn't believe divine judgment, to him there is no mental torture, either. But if he does believe, either he repents and thereby receives the grace of God, or he persists in his ways and fear the coming judgment, like the devil, in whose case, the punishment has already arrived in the form of mental torture.


message 36: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind."

This is the way I think of it:

Before the whole shebang, angels, in their minds, were submissive to God. Then..."



I guess I am not getting the point of how having their "full knowledge presently" affects this. What exactly does he mean by their "full knowledge" and what does it meant o have it "presently"? And how does this make it so that when they rebel, they are not changing their mind?

I hope you don't mind me pressing in on this. This whole discussion has always fascinated me and I have not heard this particular view before.


message 37: by Genni (last edited Jan 22, 2017 06:53PM) (new)

Genni | 124 comments Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: "...To postpone a punishment that you know is coming sounds more like torture than a kindness..."

I wouldn't say the punishment is postponed, as if there we..."


So, do you not think the fallen angels would fall under the same category as Satan in experiencing the mental torture since they believe and also, since their choice is permanent, do persist in their ways?


message 38: by Nemo (last edited Jan 22, 2017 07:09PM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Genni wrote: "do you not think the fallen angels would fall under the same category as Satan in experiencing the mental torture since they believe and also, since their choice is permanent, do persist in their ways? .."

I'm working with the assumption that angels have free will and can repent, remember? :)

If, however, they cannot repent, because their choice is permanent, and everything about them is permanent, then it doesn't make sense to speak of future punishment for them, for that would imply change in their state.


message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind."

This is the way I think of it:

Before the whole shebang, angels, in their minds, were submissiv..."

Not at all! Helps me think it out also. God illumined them with their knowledge all at once, because remember there are no moments in that realm. So it did not occur in stages so to speak. And since it is the 'eternal now', it is all present presently forever. Hahaha. Did that help?


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind."

This is the way I think of it:

Before the whole shebang, angels, in their minds, ..."

Sorry, I didn't fully answer your question. So, like us, they have free will, so when God asked if they will direct their will to Him, some did, some didn't. Just like us, do you love me, he asks us. Some of us say yes, and some say no...but we can change our mind...


message 41: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Nemo wrote: "I'm working with the assumption that angels have free will and can repent, remember? :)

If, however, they cannot repent, because their choice is permanent, and everything about them is permanent, then it doesn't make sense to speak of future judgment for them, for that would imply change in their state. "


Ah, yes. :-) And I don't think I asked you, why do you believe they can repent? Is it because Justin says they were endowed with free will? What if there are different types of free will?

I don't know that everything about them is permanent? I mean, their choice seems to have been permanent (unless you convince me otherwise lol), but the fact that at some point they made a choice, and before this choice, things were in a different state, this seems to imply that not everything is permanent??


message 42: by Susan (new)

Susan Nemo wrote: "Genni wrote: "do you not think the fallen angels would fall under the same category as Satan in experiencing the mental torture since they believe and also, since their choice is permanent, do pers..."

I think from what I learned, the angels that rebelled against God were driven out directly. And that makes sense,as there doesn't seem like there could be division in that realm with God.


message 43: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind."

This is the way I think of it:

Before the whole shebang, angels, in their minds, ..."


Lol! Somewhat. I mean, this is sort of how I think about God being outside of time. But for me, although angels exist in the spiritual realm, they are not necessarily "outside of time" like God is. I guess that is one of my hangups with this view you are quoting (BTW, do you mind sharing who you were quoting?). I also don't quite see how having knowledge all at once makes it so that being in one state of submission and changing to a state of rebellion isn't a change of mind (or a change of state, for that matter)...


message 44: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "I'm working with the assumption that angels have free will and can repent, remember? :)

If, however, they cannot repent, because their choice is permanent, and everything about them i..."


Their free will choice cannot be changed, and it is the eternal now, however I don't know if 'permanent' is the best term. Maybe that is getting us confused. That sounds like everything is just frozen in time and that seems to be a subtle difference...There is life there so to speak, it is just that all things are present. For example, I went through the Holy Door and offered it for my mother in law. Even though she died when my husband and I were young, I think that is present to God all at once, even though to us, it was 30 years apart...I don't know if that helped or hurt.... :)


message 45: by Susan (new)

Susan Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind."

This is the way I think of it:

Before the whole shebang, angels, in..."

That angel info was specifically from Churchmilitant.com. There are hours of info. That came from a series called Armor of God. It was maybe like the 4th episode about the angels and the immaterial world.


message 46: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Susan wrote: "I would say making a choice, is not changing their mind."

This is the way I think of it:

Before the whole sheba..."


Thanks, Susan.


message 47: by Genni (new)

Genni | 124 comments Susan wrote: "Genni wrote: "Nemo wrote: "I'm working with the assumption that angels have free will and can repent, remember? :)

If, however, they cannot repent, because their choice is permanent, and everythin..."


Well, I agree with you that their free will choice cannot be changed, now, but I still think that at one point, they were in one state and changed into another state by a choice of their own. And this is why I have wondered if there are different types of free will.


message 48: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments St. Augustine writes of the "eternal now", but he ascribes it to God alone, not the angels, if I remember correctly. It is true that angels are not material, but perhaps matter is not the only thing subject to change. For otherwise, how can the fall of angels be explained?


message 49: by Susan (new)

Susan Nemo wrote: "St. Augustine writes of the "eternal now", but he ascribes it to God alone, not the angels, if I remember correctly. It is true that angels are not material, but perhaps matter is not the only thin..."

Another site online (from a diocese) actually had quite a bit about angels, which was consistent with what we were saying. It mentions even the fallen angels were created good (everything was good), but of their own free will they did not choose God, in an act of radical disobedience prompted by pride and envy. Their intellects understand reality in one act of apprehension and their wills choose permanently in one act of volition. If that helps. They also clarified again, that angels and human souls are immortal, not eternal, as they had an origin. I think I say eternal often when it should be immortal sorry.


message 50: by David (new)

David Okay, I've been skimming through it and do have a few comments :)

Book 1, ch. 10 he speaks of what the church has received from the apostles. Clearly he is distinguishing the common teaching of the universal church with the errors of the gnostics. When I read his summary of truth there, I could easily unite under this. In other words, most (all?) of what divides Christians comes later. There is nothing here, for example, on the Pope, transubstantiation, male priests only, etc. Much of that was not systematized till later, centuries later. Please don't read that as a knock on Roman Catholicism either; I doubt if RC's shifted to a more open position that non-RCs would all of a sudden join up and hold hands. It just makes me think that there is a core that we could be unified on, if we wanted to be.

The gnostics believed salvation comes by perfect knowledge (for example, ch. 21.2). It is always worth pondering in a group of people who read this sort of stuff...how gnostic are we? How much do we emphasize belief in correct theology as a point of salvation? How do we balance right knowledge with a realization that knowledge does not save.


« previous 1 3 4
back to top