October 17th, 2015

an uncreated energy of God penetrates the mind as a light

It is in the Flow 8:56 AM Saturday morning Eastern Standard Time. Outside this morning it is 49 degrees and gray. It is an ugly Autumn morning. We are suppose to get rain showers this morning. Maybe we will see snow flakes today. Here in West Michigan we can experience snow showers around Thanksgiving.

I am falling asleep so I should get this over before I pass out from exhaustion. This morning I once again volunteer at our local library used books store from 10 AM till 1 PM. When I get home from the book nook this afternoon I will watch college football.

This morning I have been doing the usual things and reading from a book titled, "Orthodox Spirituality: A Practical Guide For The Faithful And A Definitive Manual For The Scholars" by Damtru Staniloae.

Well there is not much else to report. Carol is not home from work right now because she told me last night after work she was going to a local Craft Fair.

I will close to drift. I will leave the house for the library at 9:45 AM. I am slowly feeling better. Existence keeps rotting.

from my Glorycloud diary 10/17/2002
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative

faith becomes vision

"Certainly, by accentuating the will in the act of faith, we don't want to say that faith doesn't contain some evidence. It isn't an intellectual attitude which functions apart from the will. A Roman Catholic theologian says: "In the light of faith the same divine names which the philosophers pronounce receive an unquestionable dimension; they are deepened in content. Their meaning become analogous to new powers." Concepts referring to God, which natural reason has, gain by faith a new brilliance, unknown to metaphysics and the natural man. Thus faith sheds new evidence on certain rational truths, referring to God. It is an evidence which grows gradually, so that with time, faith becomes vision. But even from the beginning it brings a plus of evidence to certain truths which reason also has, and this means at the same time the stabilization of reason on various certainties. Catholicism considers that faith has the certitude of various divine truths even before faith. Orthodoxy is less optimistic in this regard; she recognizes that natural reason can decipher various truths about God from the contemplation of the world; but she considers that an absolute assurance in them is lacking. In Catholics a plus of certitude, a plus of strength in the decision of standing beside these truths.

Where does this plus come from? Even if it means an increase of rational evidence, it doesn't come from it, but from above. Orthodoxy applies here her doctrine of the uncreated energies of God. An uncreated energy of God penetrates the mind as a light. This is why we said that faith doesn't depend only on the will, but it is also facilitated by the internal evidence and by the powers of our spirit so that it can grasp the reality of God. But if it must be grasped by our powers they must also make an effort even if it helped by divine influence. Therefore will is necessary too-not to create this evidence, but to bring it out into the open. By the voluntary laziness of reason, it was darkened; by voluntary efforts of reason, helped by divine grace to overcome laziness, it is illuminated again. On the one hand in faith there is an element of the strengthening of will and reason, of their stimulation; on the other hand, the will contributes to the emphasi on the evidence from faith produced by grace. . ." pg.126,127 Orthodox Spirituality by Dumitru Staniloae
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative


I took this photo of me while volunteering at the Herrick District Public Library Used Books Store today. I had a normal time at the library book nook today. My friend Brother Tim stopped by and we caught up on what had happened in our lives since we last saw each other. We have both been sick with bad colds. And we are still feeling sick.

While at the book nook I read some more of the book, "Orthodox Spirituality: A Practical Guide For The Faithful And A Definitive Manual For The Scholar" by Dumitru Staniloae. I brought home these two used books from the book nook-

"Wonderland" a novel by Joyce Carol Oates

"Head And Heart: American Christianities" by Garry Wills

I got home from the library book nook around 1:20 PM. I ate lunch and have been watching college football and reading from a book titled, "Union With Christ In Scripture, History, And Theology" by Robert Letham.

I will close to watch college football and wait for tomorrow to come. Outside today it has been cold and cloudy.

  • Current Music
    Deerhunter 'Fading Frontier'

Regeneration is the sovereign work of God

"Semi-Pelagians and Arminians admit that man has been impaired by sin. Man needs grace to excite the will and yet, the final hinge on which regeneration swings is man's will. Man can resist and stifle grace; God's purpose can be thwarted. Regeneration is therefore an act of the human will, in a cooperative effort between man and God. There were even some "synergists" among the Lutheran divines who believed that the "power which man naturally has may contribute something towards their regeneration." The natural man can, as an act of the will, allow the Spirit of God to work in him. This means that regeneration is in part the cooperative act of man. The Puritans vigorously denounced cooperation or synergism in regeneration. Charnock emphatically states that the "will cannot concur in the actual infusion of a gracious principle, because it hath no spark in itself by nature, suitable to that principle which is bringing it into the soul itself."

The Bible makes it clear that man is not merely impaired, but dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-3). Regeneration involves a new heart and a new spirit-the natural man, being spiritually dead, cannot produce this new birth in himself. Van Mastricht says, "If man were, either in whole or in part, the author of his own regeneration, he would enable himself to differ, contrary to the apostle's assertion (1 Cor. 4:7)."

Man is passive in regeneration; he is born of the Spirit (John 3:5-6), born of God, and not born of anything in, not his blood, his flesh, or his will (John 1:13). Regeneration must be the sovereign work of God the Holy Spirit. There is no cooperation or synergism when it comes to regeneration. Man is not born of the Spirit and of his own will. The new birth is monergistic, not synergistic. New birth is an "effect or work of the Spirit in us" and not a "begetting of a nature or being, the same that the Spirit himself is of." The Spirit of God is the "efficient" cause or the "principal, the sole author" of regeneration. In this work we have no part. The believer can concur with the Spirit in his sanctification, says John Flavel (1628-1691), "but in the first production of this spiritual principle he can do nothing." Furthermore, if human nature could concur in regeneration, then "the best natures would be soonest quickened," but we more often see the worst of men regenerated. In regeneration, man does not "contribute toward this work" because it is the sovereign and supernatural work of God. The Spirit is the "efficient principal of it." In saying this, they were saying that in regeneration, divine grace reigns and human nature is passive. Grace works on nature to give it life; nature cannot and does not cooperate with grace. . ." pg. 469,470 A PURITAN THEOLOGY by Joel R. Beeke & Mark Jones

"[1] Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
[2] But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
[3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
[4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
[5] For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
[6] For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
[7] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." 2 Corinth. 4:1-7
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative