Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
(07-20-2011, 11:27 AM)Christus Imperat Wrote:
(07-20-2011, 10:51 AM)Melkite Wrote: What if God determines by not determining?  Could Almighty God possibly be secure enough in himself that he doesn't need to elect us to either damnation or salvation to prevent offending his sovereignty?  Could he not have decided, "hey, I'm going to create these people, and I want them to freely choose me, so I'm going to let them choose, even if ultimately I know they won't choose me"?  I don't see how that confounds God's will, if it is his will for us to choose him freely.  After all, we can't really confound God's will by rejecting him.  Did we have any power to raise ourselves from the dust?  St. Augustine took it in the wrong direction, seeing God's will can't be confounded therefore he must predestine to heaven and hell.  He should have gone in the other direction, saying God's will can't be confounded, yet people choose to reject him, therefore his passive will must be that all mankind would be saved, but his active will is to let it be each person's choice so that the love is true.  That's Molinism, from what I understand of it.  That's orthodox Christianity.  The end :)

1. God isn't the God of the deists, in the sense that He doesn't just sit back and do nothing and let us figure it out.  That isn't theism.

2. The efficient cause of salvation is God's grace.  The will of God is involved in giving anyone grace, which raises the obvious question as to how He chooses to give grace, e.g. why some receive more than others.

3.  The position you are taking seems to make grace a reward for a good will.  In other words, we have a good will and good intentions, thus we earn grace.  But then grace is no more grace.  What happens to St. Paul's teachings in this scheme? 

It also seems to me that such doctrines are problematic in the spiritual life.  Instead of standing in awe before God's free choice, humbly receiving the free gift of God, one would think that the logical conclusion of the doctrine that you are espousing is to think, "I have received grace and the gift of faith because I am better than my unbelieving neighbor."  In other words, one merits salvation by having a better will than your neighbor who doesn't merit salvation.

I only mean it in a sense where God is not just sitting back and watching.  I think God does just sit back and watch to some extent; he would have to.  The logical conclusion of him not sitting back and watching is that we are marionettes and he is the puppeteer, and when he gets bored with some of us he casts us into the fire.  I don't think grace would merely be a reward for good will.  Rather, God gives everyone sufficient grace to make a free choice for him or against him.  It would be unjust for us to be condemned to hell for eternity if we were not completely free to reject him.

Also, I think it would be the opposite of your speculation.  If God elects some to infallible salvation because God wanted to, then it would be those people compelled to think they are better than their unelect neighbors, since God wanted to choose them and didn't want the others.  If everyone has a completely compulsion free ability to choose, then the one who chooses God can not boast over the one who has rejected him, because they both equally and freely used their own will to make their decision.

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Re: Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism? - by Melkite - 07-20-2011, 12:15 PM

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