Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
(08-06-2011, 09:12 PM)Doce Me Wrote: I'd like to explain my current rough view on what it is to be among the "reprobate".  I am trying to be consistent with St. Augustine and St. Thomas (what little I know), but you can judge as to that, and teach me where I am deviating from them but especially from the truth.  I am sure I will not have all the theological terminology right, but I'm hoping to get at some general truths.

To make things simpler for now, I will consider only the elect and the reprobate among baptized Catholics. Obviously St. Thomas and St. Augustine are including all others, but even considering only Catholics the problems of predestination, grace and free-will remain.

I believe that what I am saying best matches what is called "Conditionally Passive Reprobation" (from Gregory's recent post) - as held by St. Thomas Aquinas but compatible with St. Augustine's views: In conditionally passive reprobation, God foresees the sinfulness of some, and on this account does not give them grace.  He does not will their damnation, He simply chooses to pass them over because of their sinfullness.

Christ died for all men, the elect and the reprobate, as to the sufficiency of His grace.  The catechism says "God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven".  It is not God's purpose for any of us to be reprobates.  In a very real sense "God wills all to be saved" - each and every one of us.  I believe what St. Thomas teaches on this (a long quote I included in another thread), even if St. Augustine says "all" only applies to categories of men.  But "wills" does not rule out God's permission of the damnation of some.  God wills all men to do His will, but our doing evil does not take away anything from His power even though, in a certain sense, His will is not done.

I think God truly OFFERS sufficient grace for salvation to each man, even to the reprobate. But "God foresees the sinfulness of some, and on this account does not give [efficaciously communicate, as opposed to just offer]" the grace to them - the grace is rejected.  God foreknows the grace will be rejected, and permits this from all eternity, and works it into His Divine plan working good out of evil.  He could stop the willing of the evil  but He chooses to permit it it

It is true that "God's foreknowing and not selecting the reprobate (to be among the elect)" means they will be damned.  But isn't that just stating the obvious?  The real cause of damnation (of God's non-selection, of the elect being few) is our sin - just as we thought before we ever considered predestination.  (God does not send non-sinners to hell)

God works efficacious grace unto salvation in some men and not others, and more for some than for others.  But He doesn't utterly refuse to offer efficacious grace sufficient for salvation to anyone.  This is not because we deserve heaven but because He loves us and died for us. (Remember we are Catholics) But God permits us to refuse.

God may offer sufficient grace only once or a few times, and then, because He knows a man would reject it,  refuse to offer it again. But I don't think Christ would die on the cross for a man and then not offer him sufficient grace at all - grace truly sufficient for heaven if the man would accept it. I think Christ suffered on the Cross for each of us because of the grace we actually are offered and refuse, not just the grace He chose not to offer.

Considering how God works GOOD in our wills  (grace and predestination of the elect) I think is more interesting, because it deals with the GOOD God does, not just the EVIL  He abhors and only permits, for purposes we do not see.

Just pray and hope for the best regarding the fate of your soul.
Reply
(08-06-2011, 02:14 PM)Gregory I Wrote: GO ahead with your questions INPEFSS. The more, the merrier.

Thank you.

It seems that each non-Molinist here is presenting a different understanding of this Augustinian/Thomistic teaching. I have been trying to assimilate and reconcile these various different perspectives in my posts, but it seems that each non-Molinist disagrees on a particular aspect of prevenient grace.

So, in order to understand the way you understand the teaching, please state whether you agree or disagree with these statements (qualify them if necessary to appropriately answer them):


ON THE WILL OF GOD

1. "All of the elect are conditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

2. "All of the elect are unconditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

3. "Some of the elect are conditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

4. "Some of the elect are unconditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."


ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WILL OF GOD AND FREE WILL

5. "God's will is NOT the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's salvation; rather, God's will is the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's salvation."

6. "God's will is NOT the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's damnation; rather, God's will is the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's damnation."

7. "Free will is NOT the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's salvation; rather, free will is the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's salvation."

8. "Free will is NOT the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's damnation; rather, free will is the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's damnation." 


ON SUFFICIENT AND EFFICACIOUS GRACE

9. "All receive sufficient grace; only some receive efficacious grace."

10. "Only those who are to receive efficacious grace receive sufficient grace."

11. "All are offered sufficient grace; only some receive sufficient grace."

12. "Only some are offered sufficient grace; only some receive sufficient grace."


Thank you (in advance) for responding to these. I think it will help me understand your approach.
Reply
(08-08-2011, 05:09 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-06-2011, 02:14 PM)Gregory I Wrote: GO ahead with your questions INPEFSS. The more, the merrier.

Thank you.

It seems that each non-Molinist here is presenting a different understanding of this Augustinian/Thomistic teaching. I have been trying to assimilate and reconcile these various different perspectives in my posts, but it seems that each non-Molinist disagrees on a particular aspect of prevenient grace.

So, in order to understand the way you understand the teaching, please state whether you agree or disagree with these statements (qualify them if necessary to appropriately answer them):


ON THE WILL OF GOD

1. "All of the elect are conditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

2. "All of the elect are unconditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

3. "Some of the elect are conditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

4. "Some of the elect are unconditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."


ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WILL OF GOD AND FREE WILL

5. "God's will is NOT the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's salvation; rather, God's will is the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's salvation."

6. "God's will is NOT the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's damnation; rather, God's will is the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's damnation."

7. "Free will is NOT the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's salvation; rather, free will is the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's salvation."

8. "Free will is NOT the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's damnation; rather, free will is the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's damnation." 


ON SUFFICIENT AND EFFICACIOUS GRACE

9. "All receive sufficient grace; only some receive efficacious grace."

10. "Only those who are to receive efficacious grace receive sufficient grace."

11. "All are offered sufficient grace; only some receive sufficient grace."

12. "Only some are offered sufficient grace; only some receive sufficient grace."


Thank you (in advance) for responding to these. I think it will help me understand your approach.


Just pray and hope for the best regarding the fate of your soul.














Reply
(08-08-2011, 07:26 PM)wulfrano Wrote:
(08-08-2011, 05:09 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-06-2011, 02:14 PM)Gregory I Wrote: GO ahead with your questions INPEFSS. The more, the merrier.

Thank you.

It seems that each non-Molinist here is presenting a different understanding of this Augustinian/Thomistic teaching. I have been trying to assimilate and reconcile these various different perspectives in my posts, but it seems that each non-Molinist disagrees on a particular aspect of prevenient grace.

So, in order to understand the way you understand the teaching, please state whether you agree or disagree with these statements (qualify them if necessary to appropriately answer them):


ON THE WILL OF GOD

1. "All of the elect are conditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

2. "All of the elect are unconditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

3. "Some of the elect are conditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

4. "Some of the elect are unconditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."


ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WILL OF GOD AND FREE WILL

5. "God's will is NOT the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's salvation; rather, God's will is the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's salvation."

6. "God's will is NOT the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's damnation; rather, God's will is the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's damnation."

7. "Free will is NOT the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's salvation; rather, free will is the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's salvation."

8. "Free will is NOT the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's damnation; rather, free will is the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's damnation." 


ON SUFFICIENT AND EFFICACIOUS GRACE

9. "All receive sufficient grace; only some receive efficacious grace."

10. "Only those who are to receive efficacious grace receive sufficient grace."

11. "All are offered sufficient grace; only some receive sufficient grace."

12. "Only some are offered sufficient grace; only some receive sufficient grace."


Thank you (in advance) for responding to these. I think it will help me understand your approach.


Just pray and hope for the best regarding the fate of your soul.

I will and do, thank you.
Reply
(08-08-2011, 08:16 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-08-2011, 07:26 PM)wulfrano Wrote:
(08-08-2011, 05:09 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-06-2011, 02:14 PM)Gregory I Wrote: GO ahead with your questions INPEFSS. The more, the merrier.

Thank you.

It seems that each non-Molinist here is presenting a different understanding of this Augustinian/Thomistic teaching. I have been trying to assimilate and reconcile these various different perspectives in my posts, but it seems that each non-Molinist disagrees on a particular aspect of prevenient grace.

So, in order to understand the way you understand the teaching, please state whether you agree or disagree with these statements (qualify them if necessary to appropriately answer them):


ON THE WILL OF GOD

1. "All of the elect are conditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

2. "All of the elect are unconditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

3. "Some of the elect are conditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."

4. "Some of the elect are unconditionally elected to salvation (and all of the reprobate are conditionally selected for damnation)."


ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WILL OF GOD AND FREE WILL

5. "God's will is NOT the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's salvation; rather, God's will is the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's salvation."

6. "God's will is NOT the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's damnation; rather, God's will is the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's damnation."

7. "Free will is NOT the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's salvation; rather, free will is the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's salvation."

8. "Free will is NOT the primary (instrumental) cause of a soul's damnation; rather, free will is the secondary (co-operative) cause of a soul's damnation." 


ON SUFFICIENT AND EFFICACIOUS GRACE

9. "All receive sufficient grace; only some receive efficacious grace."

10. "Only those who are to receive efficacious grace receive sufficient grace."

11. "All are offered sufficient grace; only some receive sufficient grace."

12. "Only some are offered sufficient grace; only some receive sufficient grace."


Thank you (in advance) for responding to these. I think it will help me understand your approach.


Just pray and hope for the best regarding the fate of your soul.

I will and do, thank you.

Thank you, dear brother and friend in Christ.
Reply
(08-05-2011, 06:22 PM)Gregory I Wrote: These are 13 articles I was able to extricate from Augustine's writings. I could find more of course, but what about these as a starting point?

I believe that one of the many crises our Church is facing in addition to priestly abuse of both people and the mass, is the shoddy presentation of doctrine in all its sugar-coated fluff.

I would like to see the Augustinians arise again from the ashes of the fires lit by the Molinists.

The Church is predominantly Augustinian and Thomistic in its doctrines on grace, free will and predestination. INdeed, the Church has ruled more than once that its teachings on grace are those of St. Augustine.

For an eclectic and comprehensive Augustinianism, I have outlined the following points for discussion as a sort of manifesto, by no means complete. Feel free to add others.

On the Augustinian View of Original Sin, Grace, Freewill and Predestination: A call to recognize the sovereignty of our good God:

. . .

Comments?

Alright, I have given them some thought and I would like to add a few comments...

Quote:1. Man is born fallen, sinful and sorrowful; a slave to his sinful will, justly condemned and guilty of Adam’s sin, and the wrath of God abides upon him. His destiny is hell. All unregenerate men are a part of this mass of perdition, or “Massa Damnatio” in the words of St. Augustine. We have deserved hell, and God does not owe us heaven.

Agree.

Quote:2. Fallen man’s will, while free enough for justice, is not free from the compulsion to sin; indeed, he cannot stop sinning, and all who serve sin are slaves to sin. Now serving is an act of the will, therefore man’s will is enslaved to sin. For how can it be said that choosing sin, which enslaves a man, is a fully free act? But he is free enough in this sense; that there are none who force him to act. Therefore, freedom from external coercion suffices for justice; for all internal coercion results from fear of external coercion.

Well enough.

Quote:3. Fallen man is incapable of doing any work that is supernaturally pleasing to God. Because of Original Sin, fallen man cannot will to change apart from God’s grace; he cannot dispose himself to God’s justice apart from God’s grace; and he cannot freely choose God apart from God’s grace.

Agree.

Quote:4. The grace of God, which is a free and undeserved gift, alone, empowers the will of man, so that if a man wills to make a beginning, it is God’s grace enabling the freedom of his will. Therefore, man’s free response to God is attributed to the working of the grace of God, and is unmerited and undeserved.

By "to make a beginning," do you mean that he wills to conform himself to the almighty will of God? If so, then I understand you.

Quote:5. The regenerate man has, in baptism, been freed by the grace of God from the bondage of sin, the flesh and the devil. There is no more eternal or temporal penalty for Original Sin or those Actual Sins committed until the day of baptism. Yet the temporal natural consequences of sin remain, whether in the case of Original sin, which is concupiscence, or Cupidity, which is not reckoned as sin, but the apostle sometimes refers to it as sin, because it inclines to sin; or in the case of Actual sin, the natural consequences and effects of our sins.

O.K.

Quote:6. Christ’s atonement for men on the cross brought forth an abundance of grace, sufficient for the salvation of the entire world. This is called sufficient grace.

Agree.

Quote:7. Nevertheless, he does not actually communicate this grace to all, but only to those for whom he wills it to be efficacious. This is intrinsically efficacious grace, the effects of which are the conversion of the heart, and the turning of the mind toward God, and the desire to do penance.

I don't know that I agree with this. You seem to indicate, for example, that Christ's atonement brought forth an amount of grace sufficient for whole world (which implies that it is not a kind of grace; it is simply an amount), but then you say that sufficient grace itself is a specific kind of grace. What is the need to have two distinct types of grace--sufficient and efficacious--if they are one and the same thing, the former differing only in that it treats of an amount of grace "sufficient" for the salvation of all? Wouldn't it be more correct to say that sufficient grace is grace that is sufficient to yield efficacious grace when the potentiality of its sufficiency is actualized?

Quote:8. Not all who receive this intrinsically efficacious grace will persevere to the end, but only those whom God has chosen before the foundation of the world to give the gift of Final Perseverance to. These are the elect; those whom God has chosen, in his manifold mercy and goodness for grace and glory.

Agree.

Quote:9. God freely chooses the elect from all eternity by his sovereign and mighty will, which is all-good, all-merciful, all-loving, and ever-just. He chooses without consideration of the future merits of the elect; for that final perseverance which he would foresee in them, and which would form the basis of his election, could only be the action of his grace in the heart of man; and that he would choose the elect on the basis of whom he would choose at some future time to give the grace of perseverance is both redundant, and untenable. Therefore, God chooses in accordance with his good pleasure and his sovereign will, not taking the works of man into consideration.

Agree.

Quote:10. That grace which is intrinsically efficacious, that is, works in the heart of man, is not irresistible; for some indeed are called, but after a time fall away, for they are not chosen. Again, some are indeed called, yet put off the calling of God until their final moments. These are indeed chosen and elect souls, predestined by God to share in his grace and glory. Nevertheless, the elect infallibly come to Christ, who moves their will to be in conformity to his will. And his will for the elect is their conversion. Not by force, but by making delightful to the soul the Victorious delight of grace. Therefore, while the soul retains the capacity to resist, it dos not.

I agree.

Quote:11. Reprobation can be viewed as unconditionally or conditionally passive, or conditionally active by election. In unconditional passive reprobation,  The reprobate are those whom God has chosen, in his good pleasure, to abandon to the mass of perdition without any consideration of their future actions, and does not will to communicate his grace of final perseverance. He does not positively will their damnation, he simply does not will to give them the final grace they would need to be saved. In this, he is not unjust, for man has justly merited hell of his own accord and by his sinfulness. Those who are of the “Masses of Damnation” do not will God, nor do they seek after him, for God has not given them light to see. As such, they blindly follow their sins and become hardened in their sinfulness, so it is truly man’s sinfulness that alienates him from God. The reprobate do NOT want God.

But, because of the effects of original sin, isn't their sinfulness an effect of them not being given the desire to seek God?

True, all men are born with the stain of Original Sin, but, according to the teachings of the Fathers, though Original Sin is proper to each individual, there is no personal fault in Original Sin for each of Adam's descendents. Original Sin is, instead, "a deprivation of original holiness and justice" with "an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence." So we no longer have, by nature, this inclination to seek God as an effect of Original Sin, but not through any personal fault of our own. Though Original Sin produces an inclination to sin, it is not an actual sin of itself; and none are damned (to the "hell of the damned" where there is everlasting suffering) unless they have committed an actual sin. But you also seem to be saying that the only way one can be saved from this life-long propensity to sin (so as to avoid sin) is by receiving this grace of final perseverance. So what this seems to be implying is that damnation can be (or is) unconditionally active "by election". For, as I said above, the sin is a consequence of the inclination to sin produced by the effects of Original Sin. And this can only be avoided by God's movement of their will to "shun evil and do good". But if God doesn't move their will, then their personal sinfulness is not the cause of their damnation; instead, it is the lack of medicine to remedy the effects of the condition with which they are born which is the cause.

Quote:In Conditionally passive reprobation, God foresees the sinfulness of some, and on this account does not give them grace. He does not will their damnation, he simply chooses to pass them over because of their sinfulness. This results in the above.

Agree.

Quote:In conditionally active election to reprobation, God, forseeing the sinfulness of some, has chosen to elect those who he knows will refuse his grace to damnation. But, it is on account of the sinfulness of the individual that such a choice is made, so God does not appear to be unjust.

Agree.

Quote:These are all compatible with the view of Augustine. Aquinas favors Conditional Passive Reprobation.

12. The Reprobate who do initially receive this intrinsically efficacious grace from God, and are regenerate, and nevertheless are destined to abandon the faith, are, as long as they are faithful, truly justified, and full and real members of the church through their baptism. However, since they do not receive the grace of final perseverance, they do not belong to the elect. They will fall away.

But aren't there some who do not receive efficacious grace?

Is the reception of efficacious grace conditional? Is the reception of sufficient grace conditional? If the answer is "yes" to the two preceding questions, but none can be saved without the grace of final perseverance, then I think more of an explanation is in order?

Quote:13. The Church is not composed of the elect only, but all the faithful, even though some be reprobate. Thus the Church is truly composed of wheat and tares.

Agree.

In conclusion, I don't think I necessarily disagree with your overall point; I just need some clarification to make sure I understand you correctly.
Reply
(08-09-2011, 05:43 PM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(08-05-2011, 06:22 PM)Gregory I Wrote: These are 13 articles I was able to extricate from Augustine's writings. I could find more of course, but what about these as a starting point?

I believe that one of the many crises our Church is facing in addition to priestly abuse of both people and the mass, is the shoddy presentation of doctrine in all its sugar-coated fluff.

I would like to see the Augustinians arise again from the ashes of the fires lit by the Molinists.

The Church is predominantly Augustinian and Thomistic in its doctrines on grace, free will and predestination. INdeed, the Church has ruled more than once that its teachings on grace are those of St. Augustine.

For an eclectic and comprehensive Augustinianism, I have outlined the following points for discussion as a sort of manifesto, by no means complete. Feel free to add others.

On the Augustinian View of Original Sin, Grace, Freewill and Predestination: A call to recognize the sovereignty of our good God:

. . .

Comments?

Alright, I have given them some thought and I would like to add a few comments...

Quote:1. Man is born fallen, sinful and sorrowful; a slave to his sinful will, justly condemned and guilty of Adam’s sin, and the wrath of God abides upon him. His destiny is hell. All unregenerate men are a part of this mass of perdition, or “Massa Damnatio” in the words of St. Augustine. We have deserved hell, and God does not owe us heaven.

Agree.

Quote:2. Fallen man’s will, while free enough for justice, is not free from the compulsion to sin; indeed, he cannot stop sinning, and all who serve sin are slaves to sin. Now serving is an act of the will, therefore man’s will is enslaved to sin. For how can it be said that choosing sin, which enslaves a man, is a fully free act? But he is free enough in this sense; that there are none who force him to act. Therefore, freedom from external coercion suffices for justice; for all internal coercion results from fear of external coercion.

Well enough.

Quote:3. Fallen man is incapable of doing any work that is supernaturally pleasing to God. Because of Original Sin, fallen man cannot will to change apart from God’s grace; he cannot dispose himself to God’s justice apart from God’s grace; and he cannot freely choose God apart from God’s grace.

Agree.

Quote:4. The grace of God, which is a free and undeserved gift, alone, empowers the will of man, so that if a man wills to make a beginning, it is God’s grace enabling the freedom of his will. Therefore, man’s free response to God is attributed to the working of the grace of God, and is unmerited and undeserved.

By "to make a beginning," do you mean that he wills to conform himself to the almighty will of God? If so, then I understand you.

Quote:5. The regenerate man has, in baptism, been freed by the grace of God from the bondage of sin, the flesh and the devil. There is no more eternal or temporal penalty for Original Sin or those Actual Sins committed until the day of baptism. Yet the temporal natural consequences of sin remain, whether in the case of Original sin, which is concupiscence, or Cupidity, which is not reckoned as sin, but the apostle sometimes refers to it as sin, because it inclines to sin; or in the case of Actual sin, the natural consequences and effects of our sins.

O.K.

Quote:6. Christ’s atonement for men on the cross brought forth an abundance of grace, sufficient for the salvation of the entire world. This is called sufficient grace.

Agree.

Quote:7. Nevertheless, he does not actually communicate this grace to all, but only to those for whom he wills it to be efficacious. This is intrinsically efficacious grace, the effects of which are the conversion of the heart, and the turning of the mind toward God, and the desire to do penance.

I don't know that I agree with this. You seem to indicate, for example, that Christ's atonement brought forth an amount of grace sufficient for whole world (which implies that it is not a kind of grace; it is simply an amount), but then you say that sufficient grace itself is a specific kind of grace. What is the need to have two distinct types of grace--sufficient and efficacious--if they are one and the same thing, the former differing only in that it treats of an amount of grace "sufficient" for the salvation of all? Wouldn't it be more correct to say that sufficient grace is grace that is sufficient to yield efficacious grace when the potentiality of its sufficiency is actualized?

Quote:8. Not all who receive this intrinsically efficacious grace will persevere to the end, but only those whom God has chosen before the foundation of the world to give the gift of Final Perseverance to. These are the elect; those whom God has chosen, in his manifold mercy and goodness for grace and glory.

Agree.

Quote:9. God freely chooses the elect from all eternity by his sovereign and mighty will, which is all-good, all-merciful, all-loving, and ever-just. He chooses without consideration of the future merits of the elect; for that final perseverance which he would foresee in them, and which would form the basis of his election, could only be the action of his grace in the heart of man; and that he would choose the elect on the basis of whom he would choose at some future time to give the grace of perseverance is both redundant, and untenable. Therefore, God chooses in accordance with his good pleasure and his sovereign will, not taking the works of man into consideration.

Agree.

Quote:10. That grace which is intrinsically efficacious, that is, works in the heart of man, is not irresistible; for some indeed are called, but after a time fall away, for they are not chosen. Again, some are indeed called, yet put off the calling of God until their final moments. These are indeed chosen and elect souls, predestined by God to share in his grace and glory. Nevertheless, the elect infallibly come to Christ, who moves their will to be in conformity to his will. And his will for the elect is their conversion. Not by force, but by making delightful to the soul the Victorious delight of grace. Therefore, while the soul retains the capacity to resist, it dos not.

I agree.

Quote:11. Reprobation can be viewed as unconditionally or conditionally passive, or conditionally active by election. In unconditional passive reprobation,  The reprobate are those whom God has chosen, in his good pleasure, to abandon to the mass of perdition without any consideration of their future actions, and does not will to communicate his grace of final perseverance. He does not positively will their damnation, he simply does not will to give them the final grace they would need to be saved. In this, he is not unjust, for man has justly merited hell of his own accord and by his sinfulness. Those who are of the “Masses of Damnation” do not will God, nor do they seek after him, for God has not given them light to see. As such, they blindly follow their sins and become hardened in their sinfulness, so it is truly man’s sinfulness that alienates him from God. The reprobate do NOT want God.

But, because of the effects of original sin, isn't their sinfulness an effect of them not being given the desire to seek God?

True, all men are born with the stain of Original Sin, but, according to the teachings of the Fathers, though Original Sin is proper to each individual, there is no personal fault in Original Sin for each of Adam's descendents. Original Sin is, instead, "a deprivation of original holiness and justice" with "an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence." So we no longer have, by nature, this inclination to seek God as an effect of Original Sin, but not through any personal fault of our own. Though Original Sin produces an inclination to sin, it is not an actual sin of itself; and none are damned (to the "hell of the damned" where there is everlasting suffering) unless they have committed an actual sin. But you also seem to be saying that the only way one can be saved from this life-long propensity to sin (so as to avoid sin) is by receiving this grace of final perseverance. So what this seems to be implying is that damnation can be (or is) unconditionally active "by election". For, as I said above, the sin is a consequence of the inclination to sin produced by the effects of Original Sin. And this can only be avoided by God's movement of their will to "shun evil and do good". But if God doesn't move their will, then their personal sinfulness is not the cause of their damnation; instead, it is the lack of medicine to remedy the effects of the condition with which they are born which is the cause.

Quote:In Conditionally passive reprobation, God foresees the sinfulness of some, and on this account does not give them grace. He does not will their damnation, he simply chooses to pass them over because of their sinfulness. This results in the above.

Agree.

Quote:In conditionally active election to reprobation, God, forseeing the sinfulness of some, has chosen to elect those who he knows will refuse his grace to damnation. But, it is on account of the sinfulness of the individual that such a choice is made, so God does not appear to be unjust.

Agree.

Quote:These are all compatible with the view of Augustine. Aquinas favors Conditional Passive Reprobation.

12. The Reprobate who do initially receive this intrinsically efficacious grace from God, and are regenerate, and nevertheless are destined to abandon the faith, are, as long as they are faithful, truly justified, and full and real members of the church through their baptism. However, since they do not receive the grace of final perseverance, they do not belong to the elect. They will fall away.

But aren't there some who do not receive efficacious grace?

Is the reception of efficacious grace conditional? Is the reception of sufficient grace conditional? If the answer is "yes" to the two preceding questions, but none can be saved without the grace of final perseverance, then I think more of an explanation is in order?

Quote:13. The Church is not composed of the elect only, but all the faithful, even though some be reprobate. Thus the Church is truly composed of wheat and tares.

Agree.

In conclusion, I don't think I necessarily disagree with your overall point; I just need some clarification to make sure I understand you correctly.

@ Inpefess.

The question is: "Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?"  The answer is: "No!".
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(08-09-2011, 05:43 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: [quote='Gregory I' pid='843258' dateline='1312582974']
These are 13 articles I was able to extricate from Augustine's writings. I could find more of course, but what about these as a starting point?

I believe that one of the many crises our Church is facing in addition to priestly abuse of both people and the mass, is the shoddy presentation of doctrine in all its sugar-coated fluff.

I would like to see the Augustinians arise again from the ashes of the fires lit by the Molinists.

The Church is predominantly Augustinian and Thomistic in its doctrines on grace, free will and predestination. INdeed, the Church has ruled more than once that its teachings on grace are those of St. Augustine.

For an eclectic and comprehensive Augustinianism, I have outlined the following points for discussion as a sort of manifesto, by no means complete. Feel free to add others.

On the Augustinian View of Original Sin, Grace, Freewill and Predestination: A call to recognize the sovereignty of our good God:

. . .

Comments?

Alright, I have given them some thought and I would like to add a few comments...

Quote:1. Man is born fallen, sinful and sorrowful; a slave to his sinful will, justly condemned and guilty of Adam’s sin, and the wrath of God abides upon him. His destiny is hell. All unregenerate men are a part of this mass of perdition, or “Massa Damnatio” in the words of St. Augustine. We have deserved hell, and God does not owe us heaven.

Agree.

Quote:2. Fallen man’s will, while free enough for justice, is not free from the compulsion to sin; indeed, he cannot stop sinning, and all who serve sin are slaves to sin. Now serving is an act of the will, therefore man’s will is enslaved to sin. For how can it be said that choosing sin, which enslaves a man, is a fully free act? But he is free enough in this sense; that there are none who force him to act. Therefore, freedom from external coercion suffices for justice; for all internal coercion results from fear of external coercion.

Well enough.

Quote:3. Fallen man is incapable of doing any work that is supernaturally pleasing to God. Because of Original Sin, fallen man cannot will to change apart from God’s grace; he cannot dispose himself to God’s justice apart from God’s grace; and he cannot freely choose God apart from God’s grace.

Agree.

Quote:4. The grace of God, which is a free and undeserved gift, alone, empowers the will of man, so that if a man wills to make a beginning, it is God’s grace enabling the freedom of his will. Therefore, man’s free response to God is attributed to the working of the grace of God, and is unmerited and undeserved.

By "to make a beginning," do you mean that he wills to conform himself to the almighty will of God? If so, then I understand you.

Quote:5. The regenerate man has, in baptism, been freed by the grace of God from the bondage of sin, the flesh and the devil. There is no more eternal or temporal penalty for Original Sin or those Actual Sins committed until the day of baptism. Yet the temporal natural consequences of sin remain, whether in the case of Original sin, which is concupiscence, or Cupidity, which is not reckoned as sin, but the apostle sometimes refers to it as sin, because it inclines to sin; or in the case of Actual sin, the natural consequences and effects of our sins.

O.K.

Quote:6. Christ’s atonement for men on the cross brought forth an abundance of grace, sufficient for the salvation of the entire world. This is called sufficient grace.

Agree.

Quote:7. Nevertheless, he does not actually communicate this grace to all, but only to those for whom he wills it to be efficacious. This is intrinsically efficacious grace, the effects of which are the conversion of the heart, and the turning of the mind toward God, and the desire to do penance.

I don't know that I agree with this. You seem to indicate, for example, that Christ's atonement brought forth an amount of grace sufficient for whole world (which implies that it is not a kind of grace; it is simply an amount), but then you say that sufficient grace itself is a specific kind of grace. What is the need to have two distinct types of grace--sufficient and efficacious--if they are one and the same thing, the former differing only in that it treats of an amount of grace "sufficient" for the salvation of all? Wouldn't it be more correct to say that sufficient grace is grace that is sufficient to yield efficacious grace when the potentiality of its sufficiency is actualized?

What I mean here is what Trent said: "But, though He died for all, yet do not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only unto whom the merit of His passion is communicated." When God makes his grace delightful for the soul, that grace is a "victorious delight." It infallibly attains its end, without compromising the freedom of choice.

Quote:8. Not all who receive this intrinsically efficacious grace will persevere to the end, but only those whom God has chosen before the foundation of the world to give the gift of Final Perseverance to. These are the elect; those whom God has chosen, in his manifold mercy and goodness for grace and glory.

Agree.

Quote:9. God freely chooses the elect from all eternity by his sovereign and mighty will, which is all-good, all-merciful, all-loving, and ever-just. He chooses without consideration of the future merits of the elect; for that final perseverance which he would foresee in them, and which would form the basis of his election, could only be the action of his grace in the heart of man; and that he would choose the elect on the basis of whom he would choose at some future time to give the grace of perseverance is both redundant, and untenable. Therefore, God chooses in accordance with his good pleasure and his sovereign will, not taking the works of man into consideration.

Agree.

Quote:10. That grace which is intrinsically efficacious, that is, works in the heart of man, is not irresistible; for some indeed are called, but after a time fall away, for they are not chosen. Again, some are indeed called, yet put off the calling of God until their final moments. These are indeed chosen and elect souls, predestined by God to share in his grace and glory. Nevertheless, the elect infallibly come to Christ, who moves their will to be in conformity to his will. And his will for the elect is their conversion. Not by force, but by making delightful to the soul the Victorious delight of grace. Therefore, while the soul retains the capacity to resist, it dos not.

I agree.

Quote:11. Reprobation can be viewed as unconditionally or conditionally passive, or conditionally active by election. In unconditional passive reprobation,  The reprobate are those whom God has chosen, in his good pleasure, to abandon to the mass of perdition without any consideration of their future actions, and does not will to communicate his grace of final perseverance. He does not positively will their damnation, he simply does not will to give them the final grace they would need to be saved. In this, he is not unjust, for man has justly merited hell of his own accord and by his sinfulness. Those who are of the “Masses of Damnation” do not will God, nor do they seek after him, for God has not given them light to see. As such, they blindly follow their sins and become hardened in their sinfulness, so it is truly man’s sinfulness that alienates him from God. The reprobate do NOT want God.

But, because of the effects of original sin, isn't their sinfulness an effect of them not being given the desire to seek God?

True, all men are born with the stain of Original Sin, but, according to the teachings of the Fathers, though Original Sin is proper to each individual, there is no personal fault in Original Sin for each of Adam's descendents. Original Sin is, instead, "a deprivation of original holiness and justice" with "an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence." So we no longer have, by nature, this inclination to seek God as an effect of Original Sin, but not through any personal fault of our own. Though Original Sin produces an inclination to sin, it is not an actual sin of itself; and none are damned (to the "hell of the damned" where there is everlasting suffering) unless they have committed an actual sin. But you also seem to be saying that the only way one can be saved from this life-long propensity to sin (so as to avoid sin) is by receiving this grace of final perseverance. So what this seems to be implying is that damnation can be (or is) unconditionally active "by election". For, as I said above, the sin is a consequence of the inclination to sin produced by the effects of Original Sin. And this can only be avoided by God's movement of their will to "shun evil and do good". But if God doesn't move their will, then their personal sinfulness is not the cause of their damnation; instead, it is the lack of medicine to remedy the effects of the condition with which they are born which is the cause.

It is a Greek error to say that Original sin involves no personal guilt. Trent DIRECTLY demolishes that idea in two places.

Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter III: "For as in truth men, if they were not born propagated of the seed of Adam, would not be born unjust,-seeing that, by that propagation, they contract through him, when they are conceived, injustice as their own,-so, if they were not born again in Christ, they never would be justified"


Again: Council of Trent, Session 5, Paragraph 3:
"3. If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam,--which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propogation, not by imitation, is in each one as his own, --is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath reconciled us to God in his own blood, made unto us justice, santification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants, by the sacrament of baptism rightly administered in the form of the church; let him be anathema."


In addition, it is now common, thanks to Vatican II, to try and foist a Greek understanding on Latins of original sin. The greek notion of the consequences of original sin is mortality. Full stop. The Greek Orthodox don't like inherited guilt. But they are deceived. For the Church of Christ, not Photius, teaches:

"2. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema:--whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.


Quote:In Conditionally passive reprobation, God foresees the sinfulness of some, and on this account does not give them grace. He does not will their damnation, he simply chooses to pass them over because of their sinfulness. This results in the above.

Agree.

Quote:In conditionally active election to reprobation, God, forseeing the sinfulness of some, has chosen to elect those who he knows will refuse his grace to damnation. But, it is on account of the sinfulness of the individual that such a choice is made, so God does not appear to be unjust.

Agree.

[quote]
These are all compatible with the view of Augustine. Aquinas favors Conditional Passive Reprobation.

12. The Reprobate who do initially receive this intrinsically efficacious grace from God, and are regenerate, and nevertheless are destined to abandon the faith, are, as long as they are faithful, truly justified, and full and real members of
Reply
Once you bring predestination into the equation, presumption is pretty much unavoidable, despite what St. Paul wrote.  It's no wonder Calvinism developed out of Augustine's theology; presumption is intrinsic to it.  It would have made more sense to say our salvation depends entirely on our cooperation with God's grace if one wanted to cut out presumption.

Also, the quoted scripture on sin entering the world is not so explicit as trent saying we inherited guilt.  We did not exist as persons yet when Adam made a personal choice to sin.  We are the inheritors of the effects of his sin, and we have inherited a fallen nature which prevents us from being able to avoid sin on our own.  This is how Adam made sin enter the world.  But it is entirely illogical to suggest that we can be personally guilty for Adam's personal sin.  If such is the case because we were all 'in' Adam at the time, then you would not only be personally guilty for Adam's sin, your forefather, but also personally guilty for ALL your forefathers' personal sins because you were equally in them as you were in Adam.  And yet we know from Scripture that God does not hold the son gulity for the sins of his fathers.  Trent is either wrong on this point or there must be another way to interpret it.
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Gregory, thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply. I truly want to learn how you understand the teaching.

(08-10-2011, 12:45 AM)Gregory I Wrote:
(08-09-2011, 05:43 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: I don't know that I agree with this. You seem to indicate, for example, that Christ's atonement brought forth an amount of grace sufficient for whole world (which implies that it is not a kind of grace; it is simply an amount), but then you say that sufficient grace itself is a specific kind of grace. What is the need to have two distinct types of grace--sufficient and efficacious--if they are one and the same thing, the former differing only in that it treats of an amount of grace "sufficient" for the salvation of all? Wouldn't it be more correct to say that sufficient grace is grace that is sufficient to yield efficacious grace when the potentiality of its sufficiency is actualized?

What I mean here is what Trent said: "But, though He died for all, yet do not all receive the benefit of His death, but those only unto whom the merit of His passion is communicated." When God makes his grace delightful for the soul, that grace is a "victorious delight." It infallibly attains its end, without compromising the freedom of choice.

So then this "victorious delight" is the end that it infallibly attains? But of what type of grace do you speak? Sufficient or efficacious? Or is there no difference? Is it only that that the amount of efficacious grace is sufficient to save all men, though only few benefit from it?

And if there is a distinction in the actual type and function of grace, what is the distinction? What is the purpose of a type of grace called "sufficient" grace? What is it's function? What is the purpose of efficacious grace? What is its function? Why is the former necessary for the latter?

Gregory I Wrote:
INP Wrote:True, all men are born with the stain of Original Sin, but, according to the teachings of the Fathers, though Original Sin is proper to each individual, there is no personal fault in Original Sin for each of Adam's descendents. Original Sin is, instead, "a deprivation of original holiness and justice" with "an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence." So we no longer have, by nature, this inclination to seek God as an effect of Original Sin, but not through any personal fault of our own. Though Original Sin produces an inclination to sin, it is not an actual sin of itself; and none are damned (to the "hell of the damned" where there is everlasting suffering) unless they have committed an actual sin. But you also seem to be saying that the only way one can be saved from this life-long propensity to sin (so as to avoid sin) is by receiving this grace of final perseverance. So what this seems to be implying is that damnation can be (or is) unconditionally active "by election". For, as I said above, the sin is a consequence of the inclination to sin produced by the effects of Original Sin. And this can only be avoided by God's movement of their will to "shun evil and do good". But if God doesn't move their will, then their personal sinfulness is not the cause of their damnation; instead, it is the lack of medicine to remedy the effects of the condition with which they are born which is the cause.

It is a Greek error to say that Original sin involves no personal guilt. Trent DIRECTLY demolishes that idea in two places.

Council of Trent, Session 6, Chapter III: "For as in truth men, if they were not born propagated of the seed of Adam, would not be born unjust,-seeing that, by that propagation, they contract through him, when they are conceived, injustice as their own,-so, if they were not born again in Christ, they never would be justified"


Again: Council of Trent, Session 5, Paragraph 3:
"3. If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam,--which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propogation, not by imitation, is in each one as his own, --is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath reconciled us to God in his own blood, made unto us justice, santification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants, by the sacrament of baptism rightly administered in the form of the church; let him be anathema."


In addition, it is now common, thanks to Vatican II, to try and foist a Greek understanding on Latins of original sin. The greek notion of the consequences of original sin is mortality. Full stop. The Greek Orthodox don't like inherited guilt. But they are deceived. For the Church of Christ, not Photius, teaches:

"2. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema:--whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

Sir, I think you misunderstand me. Please read what I wrong very carefully because I did not state that the sin wasn't communicated to each person. In fact, I stated that it was. I disagreed only in our relationship with the sin. The effects of original sin are communicated to each person, as the Council of Trent declares. In this sense, it is personal. But we do not share in the personal fault communicated to the soul by the actual commission of the sin. We all share in their punishment, yes. We all share in the guilt of the sin, yes. But we do not share in the fault of the actual commission of the sin because we weren't even created yet. This is the distinction I tried to make.
Gregory I Wrote:
INP Wrote:But aren't there some who do not receive efficacious grace?

Is the reception of efficacious grace conditional? Is the reception of sufficient grace conditional? If the answer is "yes" to the two preceding questions, but none can be saved without the grace of final perseverance, then I think more of an explanation is in order?

What I mean to indicate here is that there are two classes of Justified People: Those who are predestined and elected to glory, having been given the gift of final perseverance, and those predestined to Justice "for a time," but who fall away. The falling away is not a failure of the intrinsically efficacious grace, rather it is on account of both the person's own sinfulness and the fact that this person is not among the elect, even though he be justified for a time.

O.K., so what you are saying here is that the loss of efficacious grace (those who fall away from justice after a time) is conditional.

But a contender would say, "But if they haven't received the grace of Final Perseverance, they will surely fall away anyway because none can be saved without this final gift to overcome the concupiscence of the flesh."

How would you respond? Would you respond: "Despite the fact that they couldn't be saved anyway without this gift, it's still on account of their sinfulness for which they are damned"; or would you respond: "Their reception of the gift of Final Perseverance is conditional upon their co-operation with efficacious grace"?

I think you would respond with something closer to the former, but I want to make sure this is what you're saying. 
Gregory I Wrote:You see, Calvin's principle error in terms of Perseverance was the belief that all who are justified are granted the gift of perseverance. He is the first to ever teach such a notion. Therefore, any who fall away, were never really saved in the first place.

Yes, I understand this much.

Gregory I Wrote:But, the Catholic church teaches that GOd has predestined some to come to him for awhile, and he has predestined some to come and persevere. What this does is it gives meaning to the word's of Paul to "make every attempt to make your calling and election SURE." It keeps us from presumption.

Well, I think the average Catholic has more of a problem with Calvin's idea that God predestines some to hell than they do with the effect of his teaching resulting in presumption.

So I think the bigger problem with Calvin's teaching is that God unconditionally selects some for damnation, whereas the Catholic Church teaches that He conditionally selects them for damnation. He simply chooses not to give many souls the gift of Final Perseverance on account of their own sinfulness.

In this way, then, souls are unconditionally elected but conditionally damned.

Is this how you understand the teaching?
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