Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
#61
(07-20-2011, 05:21 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: This is helping.  Let me make my question a little more specific.

I understand that our salvation is allowed/willed by God.  We can't simply "be good" and have that be enough to get to Heaven.  Supposing two Catholics lived lives of equal temporal merit- they followed church teaching, discipline, evangelized, lived according to the precepts of the Church, Ten Commandments, etc.  They were, in every earthly respect, saints.  They were the kind of men who, if you bet on such things, would wager they would be in Heaven.  ETA They both die in in the state of grace.

But only one of them received efficacious grace while the other received only sufficient grace.  Will only the one who received efficacious grace reach Heaven? 

Christs sacrifice was enough to save all, but not all will be saved.  Is this because not all accept God's grace, or because not all receive God's efficacious grace?

For example, what are the points of the sacraments if we can only be saved by God's efficacious grace?  Or the point of anything, for that matter?

It is not that grace is something incidentally required for salvation, but rather that without grace no one is able to do what is required to be saved.  As the Canon quoted above says, no one can believe, hope, or love as he ought to without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

In other words, it is not as though I might love God with all my heart, but still be damned because I did not receive efficacious grace.  Without grace, I will never love God as I ought.  Period.
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#62
(07-20-2011, 12:17 AM)Melkite Wrote: Neither he nor St. Thomas Aquinas speak for the Catholic Church as a whole.

All the Doctors of the Church speak for the Catholic Church as a whole to some degree.
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#63
(07-20-2011, 05:06 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: Actually, I find it liberating. God is in control, not me. He is the sovereign king of the universe, the author and finisher of our faith.

Salvation comes from God, not me. I glory in the Lord, not in my merits. He is the source of all good and all justice. I abandon myself to His will.


If our salvation depended on God we would have nothing to fear. God is love and there is nothing to fear from love. Unfortunately for us it does not depend on God, it depends on our free choice to accept or reject God's love. God desires all men to be saved. The only variable is us.  :)
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#64
(07-20-2011, 05:13 PM)Christus Imperat Wrote: Again, I invite Melkite, Silouan and others to bring other patristic sources to the table.  It IS a tough question and a mystery that cannot be completely resolved.  Thus, whatever light other Fathers and Saints can shed upon it is welcome.  But it does not do us any good if you simply say that I think St. Thomas and St. Augustine are wrong and their teaching makes God unfair, or something to that effect. 

We could discuss the Homily of St. John Chrysostom, for example. 


It seems to me that this question is one that developed in a very specific theological and spiritual context that is peculiar to Latin Catholic and by extension Protestant Christianity. I've never seen this discussed at any length by the various Eastern traditions. It's a question that seems to just not be asked. Perhaps that is why St Thomas appears to be the primary authority?  :shrug:
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#65
(07-20-2011, 05:13 PM)Christus Imperat Wrote: Again, I invite Melkite, Silouan and others to bring other patristic sources to the table.  It IS a tough question and a mystery that cannot be completely resolved.  Thus, whatever light other Fathers and Saints can shed upon it is welcome.  But it does not do us any good if you simply say that I think St. Thomas and St. Augustine are wrong and their teaching makes God unfair, or something to that effect. 

We could discuss the Homily of St. John Chrysostom, for example. 


Did a little internet search and found this passage from St John of Damascus.



"We ought to understand that while God knows all things beforehand, yet He does not predetermine all things. For He knows beforehand those things that are in our power, but He does not predetermine them. For it is not His will that there should be wickedness nor does He choose to compel virtue. So that predetermination is the work of the divine command based on fore-knowledge. But on the other hand God predetermines those things which are not within our power in accordance with His prescience. For already God in His prescience has prejudged all things in accordance with His goodness and justice."



Seems to me to be in line with the quote from St John Chrysostom.
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#66
(07-20-2011, 09:06 PM)Silouan Wrote:
(07-20-2011, 05:13 PM)Christus Imperat Wrote: Again, I invite Melkite, Silouan and others to bring other patristic sources to the table.  It IS a tough question and a mystery that cannot be completely resolved.  Thus, whatever light other Fathers and Saints can shed upon it is welcome.  But it does not do us any good if you simply say that I think St. Thomas and St. Augustine are wrong and their teaching makes God unfair, or something to that effect. 

We could discuss the Homily of St. John Chrysostom, for example. 


It seems to me that this question is one that developed in a very specific theological and spiritual context that is peculiar to Latin Catholic and by extension Protestant Christianity. I've never seen this discussed at any length by the various Eastern traditions. It's a question that seems to just not be asked. Perhaps that is why St Thomas appears to be the primary authority?  :shrug:

I think there is a lot of truth to this.  It seems that this is a debate that never really came up in the East.  On the other hand, since the time of St. Augustine and Pelagius, no shortage of ink has been spilled in the West on such questions, perhaps partly because the Christological controversy wasn't as acute in the West.

I read somewhere once that you can learn something of the character of the East and West by examining which heresies disturbed each.
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#67
(07-20-2011, 05:42 PM)Christus Imperat Wrote:
(07-20-2011, 05:21 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: This is helping.  Let me make my question a little more specific.

I understand that our salvation is allowed/willed by God.  We can't simply "be good" and have that be enough to get to Heaven.  Supposing two Catholics lived lives of equal temporal merit- they followed church teaching, discipline, evangelized, lived according to the precepts of the Church, Ten Commandments, etc.  They were, in every earthly respect, saints.  They were the kind of men who, if you bet on such things, would wager they would be in Heaven.  ETA They both die in in the state of grace.

But only one of them received efficacious grace while the other received only sufficient grace.  Will only the one who received efficacious grace reach Heaven? 

Christs sacrifice was enough to save all, but not all will be saved.  Is this because not all accept God's grace, or because not all receive God's efficacious grace?

For example, what are the points of the sacraments if we can only be saved by God's efficacious grace?  Or the point of anything, for that matter?

It is not that grace is something incidentally required for salvation, but rather that without grace no one is able to do what is required to be saved.  As the Canon quoted above says, no one can believe, hope, or love as he ought to without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

In other words, it is not as though I might love God with all my heart, but still be damned because I did not receive efficacious grace.  Without grace, I will never love God as I ought.  Period.

So basically, Thomism is forensic soteriology.
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#68
(07-20-2011, 05:42 PM)Christus Imperat Wrote:
(07-20-2011, 05:21 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: This is helping.  Let me make my question a little more specific.

I understand that our salvation is allowed/willed by God.  We can't simply "be good" and have that be enough to get to Heaven.  Supposing two Catholics lived lives of equal temporal merit- they followed church teaching, discipline, evangelized, lived according to the precepts of the Church, Ten Commandments, etc.  They were, in every earthly respect, saints.  They were the kind of men who, if you bet on such things, would wager they would be in Heaven.  ETA They both die in in the state of grace.

But only one of them received efficacious grace while the other received only sufficient grace.  Will only the one who received efficacious grace reach Heaven? 

Christs sacrifice was enough to save all, but not all will be saved.  Is this because not all accept God's grace, or because not all receive God's efficacious grace?

For example, what are the points of the sacraments if we can only be saved by God's efficacious grace?  Or the point of anything, for that matter?

It is not that grace is something incidentally required for salvation, but rather that without grace no one is able to do what is required to be saved.  As the Canon quoted above says, no one can believe, hope, or love as he ought to without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

In other words, it is not as though I might love God with all my heart, but still be damned because I did not receive efficacious grace.  Without grace, I will never love God as I ought.  Period.

You say grace, but in this discussion there has been a concise mention of both sufficient and efficacious grace.  And efficacious grace has, as far as I can tell, been presented as something (at least in this thread) an absolute requirement for a soul to reach Heaven.  It has also said that this efficacious grace is not provided to all.  How then, can God desire all men to be saved if He does not give them what is necessary to be saved?  God cannot contradict Himself, yet if He is desiring all to be saved, and no one can be saved with His grace, (which, in the case of efficacious grace- which is presented as being the difference between Damnation and salvation- is not made available to all) then He is offering salvation only to some, where He is desiring that all would be saved.  His desire that all are to be saved would be vain if not all are able to be saved.  By able I mean that they are not given the adequate grace.  It has always been my understanding that we are saved by God's grace, which is offered to all, but not unless we accept it.  This argument seems to contend that we are saved by His grace, only if we accept it and only if He gives it to us.  Maybe I'm missing something.

  There is a difference between a person rejecting the necessary means of salvation and thus being damned, and a person who is never availed to these necessary means, and is subsequently damned.  God obviously lets us decide whether to accept or reject Him, but if the qualifying grace for salvation is not something everyone receives, then how can He desire for us to all be saved if our free will only amounts to a hill of beans?  It would seem to reason that since it is His will for us to have free will, that our free will plays some part in our salvation, if only as a tool to utilize gifts that only God can give, and this gift of grace is the qualifying agent by which we are saved.  But if only some recieve the grace needed, then free will amounts to a hill of beans because all the free will in the world isn't going to get you to Heaven, only God's grace will.  So people who would have used their free will to accept this efficacious grace are damned simply because they were never availed to it.

Again, maybe I misunderstand.  But so far this is what I'm getting from this thread.
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Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
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#69
Melkite, the contempt you show towards Thomism is not a very Catholic attitude.
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#70
(07-21-2011, 12:02 AM)Resurrexi Wrote: Melkite, the contempt you show towards Thomism is not a very Catholic attitude.

He may be overly critical (I'm really not sure) but we are allowed to be critical of theological opinions.  There isn't a part of dogma that says "you have to be a thomist." 
More Catholic Discussion: http://thetradforum.com/

Go thy ways, old Jack;
die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
shotten herring. There live not three good men
unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.
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