Documenting my Defense Against the Monothelitism Charge Monday, Sep 30 2013 

I did not include this conversation I had with Jnorm in my Systematic Theology and I wanted to get this on my public record and file it for posterity. The original dialogue can be found here:

I was speed typing so I’ll edit it a bit better here. The quoted material is from Jnorm. The material beginning with >>> is my reply.

“I never mentioned Sergius I, …(why should I?).

>>>Because he was THE monothelite! This is like asking an anti-calvinist why he would bring up the words of John Calvin in a debate with a Calvinist.

“They could of believed in LFW personally, but their Monothelite Christology was deterministic.”

>>>You have got to be kidding me! That is exactly the Point Jnorm! You want to take everything back to one’s regular soteriology when you said, “And so, if you are a determinist, then you can’t really use the word “force” against another determinist.” But when I do that with the monothelites themselves, you arbitrarily over-rule it.

“Just like Origen believed in LFW personally but his view in regards to the eschaton was deterministic……and thus ultimately rejected. But we are getting off track here.”

>>>But hold on! You want to govern someone’s Christology by their regular soteriology, but when I do that with the monoothelites you back off and say we are getting off track. I am sticking your nose in your illogical hypocrisy and I’m not letting up.

“I only mentioned those behind the 6th council as believing in LFW, as well as saint Augustine in his early years as well as the church fathers and witnesses in general of the first 4 centuries. I did that for a reason.”

>>>As I did with Sergius.

“LFW is the original view of what “”free will” means. And it shows that the 6th Ecumenical council was built to support LFW! LFW does not equal Determinism and Determinism does not equal LFW.”

>>>No, it is the Anchoretic view of what free will means. And since the monothelite Sergius believed in LFW, on your logic, all LFWs are monothelites.

“This was the point I was trying to get across. For some reason you think that some form of determinism can free Calvinism from the Monothelite charge.”

>>>And for some reason you think that your agreement with Sergius’ LFW frees you from the same method you use to accuse others of Monothelitism.

“Why? If you want to authentically hold to the 6th Ecumenical council then you gotta believe in LFW, or else, you don’t really believe in it.”

>>>I do not authentically hold to the 6th Ecumenical Council! Notice my recent Systematic Theology that I made public:

My preface section mentions nothing of the 6th council.

“Now do you understand why I keep saying your answer was not sufficient? The 6th council doesn’t fit well within a deterministic system. It just doesn’t. You got a little upset with me for not reading all the various puritan guys (I do read Calvinist material, just not all the ones you do) that you are into, but if they don’t believe in LFW then why should I read them in regards to this issue?”

>>>The guys that I am into are the original guys. You want to make much of the jesuitized illuminized circus we have today, and that is not fair. I don’t do that to you. Maybe you should return the favor. I could make a fuss about how Father Thomas Hopko is not a Neoplantionist in his Theology Proper and how different his school is to Perry’s but I don’t.

“Like I said, you are making it seem as if there is a form of determinism out there that is compatible with LFW.”

>>>No. I am saying that there is a form of determinism that escapes the monothelite accusation.

“You are making it seem as if a certain form of determinism is sufficient enough to free Calvinism from the charge. How so when the council was built for LFW?”

>>>How so when Sergius’ monothelitism was built for LFW?

Jnorm and to all,

I want to fully explain why Sergius’ LFW Monothelitism could never be used against a Calvinist. I have read Jnorm and others stating that Calvinism and Monothelitism begin the same with the passive humanity ontologically opposite the divine nature. This assumed beginning is so fundamentally ignorant of Reformed Theology it baffles the mind.

The beginning place is the garden of eden, with original righteousness and then the lapse of man. On the Reformed view we believe in original sin and the covenant of works. LFW does not believe that. That is the key to refuting the EO conception that Calvinistic passivity equals monothelitism: Christ is not under original sin and the covenant of works, therefore there is no reason to think his humanity is passive in the economia. Monothelitism is an in house dispute between LFWers.

The following comes from Chapter 6 of my Systematic Theology:


1. If souls come from the parents then Messiah had a sinful soul since it came from Mary, though highly blessed, a sinner; Therefore, from nothing.

Ans. Messiah did have a fallen human nature [At least not absolutely]. If he was perfect in every way why did he need cleansing? John Owen says (Holy Spirit 2.4) “The human nature of Christ, being thus formed in the womb by a creating act of the Holy Spirit, was in the instant of its conception sanctified and filled with grace according to the measure of its receptivity.” (Dogmatic Theology, by W.G.T. Shedd, Third Edition, ed. Alan W. Gomes,[Phillipsburg, NJ, P&R Publishing, 2003], pg 635)

Augustine Letter 164 chap 7

“or if the soul of Christ be derived from Adam’s soul He in assuming it to Himself, CLEANSED IT so that when He came into this world He was born of the Virgin perfectly free from sin either actual or transmitted. If, however, the souls of men are not derived from that one soul, and it is only by the flesh that original sin is transmitted from Adam, the Son of God created a soul for Himself, as He creates souls for all other men, but He united it not to sinful flesh, but to the likeness of sinful flesh. Romans 8:3 For He took, indeed, from the Virgin the true substance of flesh; not, however, sinful flesh, for it was neither begotten nor conceived through carnal concupiscence, but mortal, and capable of change in the successive stages of life, as being like sinful flesh in all points, sin excepted.”

Epitome of the Formula of Concord, I Original Sin, 5-6

“5] Moreover, the Son of God has assumed this human nature, however, without sin, and therefore not a foreign, but our own flesh, into the unity of His person, and according to it is become our true Brother. Heb. 2:14: Forasmuch, then, as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same. Again, 16; 4:15: He took not on Him the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, yet without sin. 6] In like manner Christ has also redeemed it as His work, sanctifies it as His work, raises it from the dead, and gloriously adorns it as His work. But original sin He has not created, assumed, redeemed, sanctified; nor will He raise it, will neither adorn nor save it in the elect, but in the [blessed] resurrection it will be entirely destroyed.”

The passages in the scripture which mention the fall of mankind and the imputation of Adam’s sin never mention Eve as playing any kind of federal role, they always mention Adam. If Adam had obeyed God and not given into temptation he would have received security in justifying life in the covenant of works and given access to the tree of life (The Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 20 speaks of the tree of life as a pledge).

Therefore, we can infer from this that the curse of the covenant of works/original sin is through the male line, not the female. *******Therefore, Mary could not have passed a sinful soul under the curse of the covenant of works to Messiah.***********”

Now Jnorm is going to cry “that denies consubstantiality! Consubstantiality!” But wait, I have already proven above from the Hodge quote that Moral inclination is not something essential to humanity. It is something accidental and therefore has no bearing on consubstantiality. Secondly, his theology has much bigger problems for consubstantiality than mine ever could. 1. His view of humanity is a universal platonic idea that he raises in the atonement and moreover, Jnorm will admit that the humanity of Messiah is omnipresent due to the hypostatic union which is nothing more than Eutychus’ heresy. We admit that Messiah had a fallen humanity, but it was not absolute with our fallen-ness.

Turretin Review, vol. 1, part 2 Sunday, Sep 22 2013 

Turretin on Middle Knowledge Via Bayou Hugeonot Part 2

The Lecture Hall of Tyrannus

Decrees of God

God’s Foreknowledge of Future Contingencies:

Middle Knowledge: God’s foreknowledge about future contingent events whose truth depend not on God’s free decree (being anterior to this), but upon the liberty of the creature (which God certainly foresees). As Turretin clarifies, Whether besides the natural knowledge of God (which is only of things possible) there is in God a middle knowledge of men and angels where he knows what they may without a special decree preceding (I: 214).

Turretin responds: things not true cannot be foreknown as true. Now, conditional future things are not true apart from the determination of the divine will; for example, the Sidonians would have repented if the powers had been supplied to them, for they would have been indifferently disposed in their nature to repend or not repent, those powers being given. ..No effect can be understood as future without the divine decree, so…

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Review of Turretin, volume 1, part 1 Sunday, Sep 22 2013 

Turretin on Middle Knowledge Via Bayou Hugeonot

The Lecture Hall of Tyrannus

Recent (that is, pre-1992 A.D.) Reformed theology can be sadly described as a generation arising “which knew not Turretin.” To paraphrase Galadriel in The Fellowship of the Ring: Some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. Turretin’s categorical form of argumentation was one of those “things.” Turretin’s strength is in identifying precisely the issue in question. This allows him to accept and acknowledge points of agreement with his opponents,rather than simply seeing everything as “Arminian.” Recent Reformed (and Arminian-Papist) polemics have all focused on a few issues: predestination, free will, assurance, the Canon, etc.

Turretin understood that there were other issues, too: anthropology, middle knowledge, etc. which also need to be addressed. The English translation of Turretin fills a woeful lacuna.


While it might be anachronistic to label Turretin’s epistemology as “Common Sense Realism,” one can see similarities. Reason is not ultimate, but it is a reliable…

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