Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
(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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Would you be willing to answer a few closed-ended questions to help clarify this?

Messages In This Thread
Re: Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism? - by INPEFESS - 08-05-2011, 08:46 PM

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)