Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism?
(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:

. . .


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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Re: Can we extricate ourselves from Molinism? - by Gregory I - 08-10-2011, 12:45 AM

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