Nor do I approve of the ingenuity of Augustine... [in his interpretation of this verse]
Calvin contradicting Augustine. Way to go, John!
And Calvin generally liked Augustine, as did Luther.
Further, even though the Greeks above the rest—and Chrysostom especially among them—extol the ability of the human will, yet all the ancients, save Augustine, so differ, waver, or speak confusedly on this subject, that almost nothing certain can be derived from their writings.
-Excerpt, Calvin’s Institutes, “The church fathers generally show less clarity but a tendency to accept freedom of the will. What is free will?” (2.2.4, pp. 258-261)
Calvin states that the "church fathers" speak "confusedly" on the matter of free will. This excerpt was quoted negatively in a series at the "ORTHODOX-REFORMED BRIDGE" website. Their argument is that Calvin did not submit to the ECFs as they believe he should have. I'm no Calvinist, but Calvin was right to not hold them as "authorities" (even if I disagree with Calvin's view of the will here).
I disagree with Calvin and probably hold views in regard to the will closer to some (or many) of the so-called "Church Fathers," but that does not matter. Neither Calvin nor the CFs are "authoritative" on this or on any matter.Look at this excerpt from The Calvinist International in regard to the authority of scripture:
In today’s post, Melanchthon begins to marshal patristic support for his understanding of the relative weight of various authorities in theology. Melanchthon’s high view of both Scripture and patristic antiquity are clear in what follows from his use of Tertullian, Irenaeus, and Basil...
This is "confused."
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
-2 Timothy 2:15
Many Orthodox sources claim that the "fathers" did not, nor could they, teach heresy. Now, if you believe as they believed, I could understand the "did not" position, but how could anyone hold to "could not" unless he held them as inspired?
The "fathers" taught heresy. They had to because they contradicted each on other occasions just as the Roman popes have. Somebody has to be doctrinally wrong.
The irony here is that I agree with the "fathers" (generally) on the role of the will, I also agree with some of them (to some degree) on the fate of the lost.
The mass of men (Christians) say there is to be an end to punishment and to those who are punished.—St. Basil the Great
There are very many in our day, who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments. -- Augustine (354-430 A.D.)
I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its king, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures. --St. Jerome
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
-2 Cor 5:18-19
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
-1 Cor 15:21-22
While the devil imagined that he got a hold of Christ, he really lost all of those he was keeping.
--Chrysostom, 398 AD
Mankind, being reclaimed from their sins, are to be subjected to Christ in he fullness of the dispensation instituted for the salvation of all.
--Didymus the Blind
The Son "breaking in pieces" His enemies is for the sake of remolding them, as a potter his own work; as Jeremiah 18;6 says: i.e., to restore them once again to their former state.
--Eusebius of Caesarea
When death shall no longer exist, or the sting of death, nor any evil at all, then truly God will be all in all.
All men are Christ's, some by knowing Him, the rest not yet. He is the Savior, not of some and the rest not. For how is He Savior and Lord, if not the Savior and Lord of all?
--Clement of Alexandria