Why do some people receive the gift of faith and not others?
(12-12-2011, 09:19 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: If the Christian people only need to know "simple things" about election and predestination such as the ones you've enunciated (which are incomplete), then St. Paul wouldn't have expounded on this subject so deeply as he did.

The mysteries of faith shouldn't scare us or put us off but rather humble our pride and produce in us awe for God's majesty, mercy and justice.

Ah hah, Vetus you are back, in time to catch me!  (I hope you've read my earlier posts too... they are less "simple")

Simple Catholic people can get to heaven without knowing about the intricacies of predestination. Of course the mysteries of faith shouldn't scare us off,  and it is an awesome thing to meditate even on the harder ones. But our minds are limited by original sin, and our lives are full of daily duties. This CAN be a poor excuse for not meditating, but there are true limitations, that God knows.  Predestination is a mystery that is hard to understand (indeed only God does), and not all are meant to think on it endlessly. It can weary the mind and disturb the spirit (it shouldn't, but it does).

I can readily believe that my "list" of "simple things" is not complete.  I certainly didn't mean it as a definitive list of  "this is all anyone needs to know".    Do you have a relatively short summary of the (or some) key truths (on grace, freewill, salvation) that you understand from St. Paul and from long-time common Catholic teaching? What would you want an intelligent child to know?
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So Augustine believed in conditional hell, did he believe in conditional heaven too? I feel if he believed in unconditional election, then that implies unconditional deprivation anyway, the implied double predestination spoken about before.
I'm fine now with the question of salvation, I'm just wondering what he thought.
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(12-13-2011, 03:48 AM)randomtradguy Wrote: So Augustine believed in conditional hell, did he believe in conditional heaven too?

randomtradguy, are you being intentionally difficult? That is not at all what I said. There is a difference between reprobation and Hell.

Quote: I feel if he believed in unconditional election, then that implies unconditional deprivation anyway...

No, it does not. This is a serious oversimplification.
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(12-13-2011, 03:48 AM)randomtradguy Wrote: So Augustine believed in conditional hell, did he believe in conditional heaven too? I feel if he believed in unconditional election, then that implies unconditional deprivation anyway, the implied double predestination spoken about before.
I'm fine now with the question of salvation, I'm just wondering what he thought.

He didn't believe in unconditional election.  The condition of election is the exercise of the free will to accept God's grace.  This is open to all.  Stop trying to make the Doctor a heretic, it is unbecoming.
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(12-13-2011, 04:31 AM)Parmandur Wrote:
(12-13-2011, 03:48 AM)randomtradguy Wrote: So Augustine believed in conditional hell, did he believe in conditional heaven too? I feel if he believed in unconditional election, then that implies unconditional deprivation anyway, the implied double predestination spoken about before.
I'm fine now with the question of salvation, I'm just wondering what he thought.

He didn't believe in unconditional election.  The condition of election is the exercise of the free will to accept God's grace.  This is open to all. [...]

Yes, I agree, in a sense. However, though I think the conditional/unconditional dichotomy aptly applies to reprobation, I do not think it is as appropriately applied to election, at least not by itself. Perhaps a better dichotomy might be active/passive, which represents the phraseology employed by St. Thomas, if I remember correctly.
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I'm not trying to be an ass, this was serious question.
As far as activity/passivity, Trent canon 4 says the will is active as far as election is concerned.
So there's my answer; I just don't see why so many turned this into a game. My view was never heresy, but it was implied it was until two pages ago. Now everything's fine all of a sudden.
I guess that I feel whatever Thomas said about this, I disagreed with, since I felt it disagreed with Trent 4, though it might not in reality.
Carry on.
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(12-12-2011, 11:51 PM)Doce Me Wrote: Do you have a relatively short summary of the (or some) key truths (on grace, freewill, salvation) that you understand from St. Paul and from long-time common Catholic teaching? What would you want an intelligent child to know?

I would want any intelligent Christian to know that out of the whole mass of perdition which is fallen makind, the Lord our God elects without consideration of any foreseen merits and by His mercy alone some blessed souls unto everlasting glory and leaves the others to perish in their own sins. Election and salvation are sovereign acts of divine mercy, not of justice. God does not owe anyone salvation and grace. By justice, we should all be damned without exception. All men have free will - understood as freedom from external coercion - but no man can come to God and desire good unless the Lord moves him first to do so. That's why we say that God loved us first so we could love Him. If man is left to his own devices he can only sin and lose his soul, doing it freely and wilfully. There's no injustice in reprobation, only tragedy. The relationship between our free will and God's immutable decree of predestination is ultimately a mystery but, in the end, suffice it to say that all things in heaven and earth have been foreordained by God who prepared some vessels unto honour and others unto dishonour, as Scripture clearly teaches.

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(12-13-2011, 02:08 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: I'm not trying to be an ass, this was serious question.
As far as activity/passivity, Trent canon 4 says the will is active as far as election is concerned.
So there's my answer; I just don't see why so many turned this into a game. My view was never heresy, but it was implied it was until two pages ago. Now everything's fine all of a sudden.
I guess that I feel whatever Thomas said about this, I disagreed with, since I felt it disagreed with Trent 4, though it might not in reality.
Carry on.

What you "feel" St. Thomas said about this is irrelevant, considering that Trent's doctrine is his.
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(12-13-2011, 03:53 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(12-12-2011, 11:51 PM)Doce Me Wrote: Do you have a relatively short summary of the (or some) key truths (on grace, freewill, salvation) that you understand from St. Paul and from long-time common Catholic teaching? What would you want an intelligent child to know?

I would want any intelligent Christian to know that out of the whole mass of perdition which is fallen makind, the Lord our God elects without consideration of any foreseen merits and by His mercy alone some blessed souls unto everlasting glory and leaves the others to perish in their own sins. Election and salvation are sovereign acts of divine mercy, not of justice. God does not owe anyone salvation and grace. By justice, we should all be damned without exception. All men have free will - understood as freedom from external coercion - but no man can come to God and desire good unless the Lord moves him first to do so. That's why we say that God loved us first so we could love Him. If man is left to his own devices he can only sin and lose his soul, doing it freely and wilfully. There's no injustice in reprobation, only tragedy. The relationship between our free will and God's immutable decree of predestination is ultimately a mystery but, in the end, suffice it to say that all things in heaven and earth have been foreordained by God who prepared some vessels unto honour and others unto dishonour, as Scripture clearly teaches.

I think that is right, but also think this:  God's eternal plan was to send His only Son to die for the world, for the "mass of perdition" that He loved.  (The graces of Christ's death even applied to some extent before His death (some men died free from mortal sin)).  Christ made His grace available to all.  Sufficient grace was available for the salvation of each man, although not equal grace for all.  A man's acceptance of it was only possible with God's help, but God would help him (because Christ died for him) if he did not resist.  But if he resisted he justly deserved hell. (It is true that those who would accept God's grace and be saved were only those whom God elected.  It is also true that even not resisting requires God's help. But these truths do not contradict the others, they are a part of the mystery of predestination)

Here I speculate (along lines that make some even more uncomfortable).   I think that God's election of a man does not come "before" the man's free will but "with it", as primary cause with secondary cause. (The primary cause never ceases to be cause).   His "in our time" causality of all our good willing is in His "eternal now".  I think that we merit by our free willing because it is a truly free secondary cause being moved by God and HIs grace as the primary cause.  Christ merited enough for all of us to merit too (merit praise and reward), and allowed us to partake of His justice.  It is His awesome gift that we should be able to merit too, although not independently from Christ..  St. Paul and the Church as a whole (eg the Council of Orange) emphasize what should be emphasized - that all is from God, and without Him we deserve nothing but hell.  But God by grace allows us to "work out our salvation", although it is only from Him.

More importantly, I would like to see your comments on what St. Thomas says here:

(12-12-2011, 02:43 PM)Parmandur Wrote:
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book III, Chapter 159 Wrote:we ought to consider that, although one may neither merit in advance nor call forth divine grace by a movement of his free choice, he is able to prevent himself from receiving this grace: Indeed, it is said in Job(21:34): “Who have said to God: Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of Your ways”; and in Job (24:13): “They have been rebellious to the light.” And since this ability to impede or not to impede the reception of divine grace is within the scope of free choice, not undeservedly is responsibility for the fault imputed to him who offers an impediment to the reception of grace. In fact, as far as He is concerned, God is ready to give grace to all; “indeed He wills all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” as is said in 1 Timothy (2:4).But those alone are deprived of grace who offer an obstacle within themselves to grace; just as, while the sun is shining on the world, the man who keeps his eyes closed is held responsible for his fault, if as a result some evil follows, even though he could not see unless he were provided in advance with light from the sun.

http://dhspriory.org/thomas/ContraGentiles3b.htm#159
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Free will or free grace? Scripture says that men are born again, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13); that it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy (Rom 9;16); the work of faith is the operation of God according to the exceeding greatness of his power, who works in man both to will and to do of his own good pleasure. (Phil 2:13)
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