Sunday, March 11, 2012

Calvinistic St. Cyril

"Even Simon Magus once came to the Laver : he was baptized, but was not enlightened; and though he dipped his body in water, he enlightened not his heart with the Spirit: his body went down and came up, but his soul was not buried with Christ, nor raised with Him." - St. Cyril's Prologue to the Catechetical Lectures

It seems here that St. Cyril is teaching the same thing that John Calvin and St. Augustine taught, that baptized unelect are only baptized into God's wrath and not into salvation.

This is opposed to the Lutheran & Roman Catholic doctrine that the sacraments work objectively not subjectively.

The other day a worried Lutheran seminarian read aloud to me from St. Augustine's City of God, where the gracious doctor said that the prayers of the reprobate are not heard by God, which seems to contradict the scriptural promises of Jesus.

More and more I'm seeing the 'consensus' of the fathers to be a mix of great insights and average mistakes. Everything from pre-millenialism, to pelagianism (a lot of this), to Calvinism are common.

My new modus operandi for patristics is that of Pope St. Gregory the Great who told young St. Augustine of Canterbury: "For things are not to be loved for the sake of places, but places for the sake of good things" - or reworded in this case: 'doctrine is not to be accepted for the sake of the fathers, but the fathers for the sake of good doctrine'.

Thank God we have the divine Scriptures which St. Cyril calls, "the Constitution" of the Church (Prologue to The Catechetical Lectures, 4).

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