Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
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.
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Re: Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism? - by Doce Me - 08-06-2011, 09:12 PM



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