01 November, 2010

The Council of Orange on How God Justifies the Ungodly Through Faith

If anyone says that not only the increase of faith but also its beginning and the very desire for faith, by which we believe in Him who justifies the ungodly and comes to the regeneration of holy baptism -- if anyone says that this belongs to us by nature and not by a gift of grace, that is, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit amending our will and turning it from unbelief to faith and from godlessness to godliness, it is proof that he is opposed to the teaching of the Apostles, for blessed Paul says, "And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). And again, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). For those who state that the faith by which we believe in God is natural make all who are separated from the Church of Christ by definition in some measure believers.

Canon V, The Council of Orange, 529AD

The Council of Orange (actually the second synod to be held there) resolved the controversy between Augustinianism and ascetic semi-Pelagianism by asserting a modified Augustinianism over against the teaching of Pelagius and semi-Pelagians such as the monk John Cassian. The Council's Canons were approved by Pope Boniface II a year later. The continuing rise of monasticism in the Western church, however, seemed to render the decisions of Orange moot, at least on the practical level of monastic piety, which increasingly shaped the ethos of Western Christianity as a whole.
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