Why do so many Catholics drop the ball when it comes to EENS?
#62
Council of Orange Wrote:CANON 4. If anyone maintains that God awaits our will to be cleansed from sin, but does not confess that even our will to be cleansed comes to us through the infusion and working of the Holy Spirit, he resists the Holy Spirit himself who says through Solomon, "The will is prepared by the Lord" (Prov. 8:35, LXX), and the salutary word of the Apostle, "For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

CANON 5. 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). 

CANON 6. If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).

CANON 7. If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, as is expedient for us, or that we can be saved, that is, assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who makes all men gladly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray by a heretical spirit, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, "For apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, "Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5).

Catholics believe in predestination.  That is, we are saved by Grace.  To be precise, we receive our initial justification via Grace.  That is why we baptize infants.  Furthermore, we receive additional graces which sanctify us.  Calvinists and Catholics are in agreement up to this point.

  Now we have free will, so we cooperate with Grace, and we can reject it.  However we are sanctified by Grace.  By cooperating with Grace, we merit salvation, or a higher place in heaven.  Furthermore, if we reject Grace and sin, we freely choose to do it.  This is where Calvinists strongly disagree, and we differentiate this by calling it "double predestination".  A Catholic believes that when a person sins, he freely chooses to do it.  (Note that in some cases, God hardens the hearts of sinners, but this is after they sinned.  Pharoah is an example.)  A Calvinist believes a sinner has no choice, he is predestined to sin, and has no free will.

Now it is a mystery that we are predestined according to God's sovereign plan, yet we also have free will.  One system that solves this mystery is the Molinist system.  Wikipedia has a good write-up on it.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molinism  A Catholic is allowed to be a Molinist.  There are also Augustinians and Thomists with regard to predestination.  I am of the latter, though I like the Molinist argument since it shows that the Catholic understanding of predestination is entirely possible.  I disagree with it since it presupposes time, and God is outside of time, therefore it is not correct.  We can't understand "before Abraham, I AM", but the Molinist argument helps.

So denying EENS will lead to you having a problem with predestination, which leads to you judging it "unfair" that the pigmy in the jungle has Original Sin. 

We don't know the "why" behind God's sovereign plan.  We do know that the elect are predestined to salvation, and are justified through unearned grace.  We also know that a sinner freely chooses to sin.  But why did Dutch Shultz and Oscar Wilde, two horrible sinners, convert on their death bed, but that nice Jewish lady die a Jew?  We can't know.
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Re: Why do so many Catholics drop the ball when it comes to EENS? - by James02 - 08-05-2009, 05:13 PM



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