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Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Printable Version

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Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Aragon - 11-30-2011

Quote:Also, for an introductory commentary on Thomas' view on predestination, I highly recommend this short passage from Garrigou-Lagrange's book Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought:
http://www.thesumma.info/reality/reality12.php

Thanks, Walty. The link to Lagrange was really interesting.

(11-30-2011, 09:40 AM)su Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 07:31 AM)Raskolnikov Wrote: Seriously, what? That's basically saying, "God loves all men, but he doesn't want all of them to be saved, so he actually hates some men."


Considerations of reprobation are a theological question and not for everyone. Delving into theology without a purpose is curiosity.

Summa Theologica Wrote:Lust and gluttony are about pleasures arising from the use of objects of touch, whereas curiosity is about pleasures arising from the knowledge acquired through all the senses. According to Augustine (Confess. x, 35) "it is called concupiscence of the eyes" because "the sight is the sense chiefly used for obtaining knowledge, so that all sensible things are said to be seen," and as he says further on: "By this it may more evidently be discerned wherein pleasure and wherein curiosity is the object of the senses; for pleasure seeketh objects beautiful, melodious, fragrant, savory, soft; but curiosity, for trial's sake, seeketh even the contraries of these, not for the sake of suffering annoyance, but out of the lust of experiment and knowledge."

You have to stop telling people that they shouldn't consider these questions. This is the second time you've done this when I've created a thread with a theological question. You're a 23 year old layman so I doubt you have any more of a reason to study theology than most of the posters on this forum. If you have any thoughts on the original question I would be interested in hearing them, but otherwise I don't see what's gained by reprimanding people for engaging in the conversation


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Walty - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 07:31 AM)Raskolnikov Wrote: Seriously, what? That's basically saying, "God loves all men, but he doesn't want all of them to be saved, so he actually hates some men."

Yes, St. Thomas elucidates the principle of predilection.  Contrary to what we're taught as children, God does love some men more than others.  We know this because He chooses some to be given the gift of efficacious grace.  Others He decides not to choose.



Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Historian - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 10:04 AM)Aragon Wrote: You have to stop telling people that they shouldn't consider these questions. This is the second time you've done this when I've created a thread with a theological question. You're a 23 year old layman so I doubt you have any more of a reason to study theology than most of the posters on this forum. If you have any thoughts on the original question I would be interested in hearing them, but otherwise I don't see what's gained by reprimanding people for engaging in the conversation

My age has nothing to do with this.

It is not a blanket "do not study this" but a response to people introducing questions and doubts with any preparation.

A person reads a statement, then seeks to understand it immediately and begins refuting or questioning it. That is not how how one is supposed to study sacred doctrine. What I have written quotes the same work anyway, so I do not see your objection.

I was posting in response to a specific post as well. You are introducing entirely other threads and posts to this single response to a single post. And consider the time and posts in between these two instances which seem to be prominent in your memory. I do no remember posts like that, and I certainly do not remember who started threads on any given post I've made.

EDIT: And consider how saying "You have to stop..." to me or any other will be taken. Did you expect me to think "He is right, because I am younger than people who are older than me, I must therefore have been foolish to write what I did"?



Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Historian - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 12:48 AM)Aragon Wrote: Does God offer the gift of Faith to all people and some choose to reject it? Or does he only offer it to a few? If the latter then it seems God was being a lot more generous one hundred years ago.

I would be interested in hearing any thoughts you guys have on this question.

That is a difficult question to consider. We cannot know what is in the hearts of others.

But, I think the main problem we find intellectually is the idea that some do not seem to be called at all. We can discuss whether God knows what would have been had God done differently (or if that even makes sense to consider), but I think it is clear that whatever seems to be to us is not necessarily so, and we can be sure what however it is, it is perfectly just and from the same loving merciful God we serve.

Personally, I think any time we see a case where a person is seemingly left out, that individual would have been worse off in a "better" situation for whatever reason. God destroyed Sodom because it had become too evil, but it was not the ultimate evil:

I think these two statements of Jesus may reveal some sort of answer:
Matthew 11:23 Wrote:And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to heaven? thou shalt go down even unto hell. For if in Sodom had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained unto this day.

Matthew 11:24 Wrote:But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Sodom is famous for being a city totally destroyed and for being full of evil. However, it is clear that the physical destruction does not mean that there is not worse out there and it is left undestroyed. And Jesus said that Sodom may have survived had they experienced what others had.

So it would seem that God's judgement takes into account the fullness of which we lack knowledge. Individual judgement therefore must take into account the circumstances of that person's life and how they are to share in the Resurrection is based on that judgement.

The General Judgement will reveal all of this to our satisfaction.



Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Aragon - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 10:27 AM)su Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 10:04 AM)Aragon Wrote: You have to stop telling people that they shouldn't consider these questions. This is the second time you've done this when I've created a thread with a theological question. You're a 23 year old layman so I doubt you have any more of a reason to study theology than most of the posters on this forum. If you have any thoughts on the original question I would be interested in hearing them, but otherwise I don't see what's gained by reprimanding people for engaging in the conversation

My age has nothing to do with this.

The reason I mentioned your age is because you occasionally come off as talking down to other posters as if you have more experience when in reality you're in the same age bracket as Raskolnikov.


Quote:A person reads a statement, then seeks to understand it immediately and begins refuting or questioning it. That is not how how one is supposed to study sacred doctrine. What I have written quotes the same work anyway, so I do not see your objection.

I was posting in response to a specific post as well.

Alright. Thanks for explaining your reasoning, I understand where you're coming from even if I disagree.  I don't think every post has to be a theological exposition, sometimes people simply have questions and share them with the forum so they can learn from the responses. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Thanks for your contribution though, Su. God Bless.


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Aragon - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 10:36 AM)su Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 12:48 AM)Aragon Wrote: Does God offer the gift of Faith to all people and some choose to reject it? Or does he only offer it to a few? If the latter then it seems God was being a lot more generous one hundred years ago.

I would be interested in hearing any thoughts you guys have on this question.

That is a difficult question to consider. We cannot know what is in the hearts of others.

But, I think the main problem we find intellectually is the idea that some do not seem to be called at all. We can discuss whether God knows what would have been had God done differently (or if that even makes sense to consider), but I think it is clear that whatever seems to be to us is not necessarily so, and we can be sure what however it is, it is perfectly just and from the same loving merciful God we serve.

Personally, I think any time we see a case where a person is seemingly left out, that individual would have been worse off in a "better" situation for whatever reason. God destroyed Sodom because it had become too evil, but it was not the ultimate evil:

I think these two statements of Jesus may reveal some sort of answer:
Matthew 11:23 Wrote:And thou Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to heaven? thou shalt go down even unto hell. For if in Sodom had been wrought the miracles that have been wrought in thee, perhaps it had remained unto this day.

Matthew 11:24 Wrote:But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Sodom is famous for being a city totally destroyed and for being full of evil. However, it is clear that the physical destruction does not mean that there is not worse out there and it is left undestroyed. And Jesus said that Sodom may have survived had they experienced what others had.

So it would seem that God's judgement takes into account the fullness of which we lack knowledge. Individual judgement therefore must take into account the circumstances of that person's life and how they are to share in the Resurrection is based on that judgement.

The General Judgement will reveal all of this to our satisfaction.

Thanks :)


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Melkite - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 12:52 AM)Aragon Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 12:50 AM)Someone1776 Wrote: Everyone is offered the grace of God, but not everyone will accept it. 

We're not Calvinists and don't believe that God only offers his grace to a select few. 

But doesn't the act of the will that causes man to accept the gift of Faith itself require an actual grace from God? Why do so many people today choose to reject it compared to the past?

In order for it to be truly free will, at some point, God has to let go and let the choice be entirely ours.  That's not to say he can't or won't influence us in a certain direction along the way, but ultimately, there has to be that one point, if only for a moment, where God stops and it's just us making the decision.  That has to be there if it's free will.  If that moment never happens, we are nothing more than intelligent puppets.


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Melkite - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 09:40 AM)su Wrote:
Summa Theologica Wrote:Lust and gluttony are about pleasures arising from the use of objects of touch, whereas curiosity is about pleasures arising from the knowledge acquired through all the senses. According to Augustine (Confess. x, 35) "it is called concupiscence of the eyes" because "the sight is the sense chiefly used for obtaining knowledge, so that all sensible things are said to be seen," and as he says further on: "By this it may more evidently be discerned wherein pleasure and wherein curiosity is the object of the senses; for pleasure seeketh objects beautiful, melodious, fragrant, savory, soft; but curiosity, for trial's sake, seeketh even the contraries of these, not for the sake of suffering annoyance, but out of the lust of experiment and knowledge."

Interesting.  Augustine and Aquinas thought curiosity is inherently bad, huh?  And yet, they brought us Scholasticism, which is nothing more than a long, drawn-out exercise in curiosity.


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Melkite - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 10:10 AM)Walty Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 07:31 AM)Raskolnikov Wrote: Seriously, what? That's basically saying, "God loves all men, but he doesn't want all of them to be saved, so he actually hates some men."

Yes, St. Thomas elucidates the principle of predilection.  Contrary to what we're taught as children, God does love some men more than others.  We know this because He chooses some to be given the gift of efficacious grace.  Others He decides not to choose.

Just out of curiosity (:shame:), does anything other than Aquinas influence your theological understanding of things?  You present your views in a way that seems as if you immediately go to him on any question and once you find his answer, case closed!


Re: Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others? - Walty - 11-30-2011

(11-30-2011, 12:07 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 10:10 AM)Walty Wrote:
(11-30-2011, 07:31 AM)Raskolnikov Wrote: Seriously, what? That's basically saying, "God loves all men, but he doesn't want all of them to be saved, so he actually hates some men."

Yes, St. Thomas elucidates the principle of predilection.  Contrary to what we're taught as children, God does love some men more than others.  We know this because He chooses some to be given the gift of efficacious grace.  Others He decides not to choose.

Just out of curiosity (:shame:), does anything other than Aquinas influence your theological understanding of things?  You present your views in a way that seems as if you immediately go to him on any question and once you find his answer, case closed!

No, I study all sorts of theological theories, but you'll find that most theologians build off of Thomas.  There are few schools that offer a theological outlook that is set apart from St. Thomas', and when they do, it's usually only one particular school which disagrees with one particular part of Thomas' work.

For instance, the only alternative theory to Thomism on predestination, grace, and providence is Molinism.  And even Molinism is at least somewhat at odds, depending on how you understand it, with your last post.