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 Post subject: Unconditional Election
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:08 pm 
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What did Calvin mean by this and what does the Church say about this? Is this heresy, a valid opinion, or an official doctrine?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:14 pm 
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Have you read Jimmy/James Akin's article on TULIP?

Google cache here in case you had trouble getting through like I did.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:15 pm 
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BTW, from Akin's article, unconditional election is acceptable but not mandatory. But the corollary of double-predestination that some attempt to derive from it is heretical.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:25 pm 
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Although unconditional election is not "mandatory," it is at least internally consistent, which can't be said for conditional election.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:27 pm 
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Yea I actually read that once. I'm still confused. I thought that the Church taught that there were conditions one had to fulfill in order to be saved (baptism and perseverance in faith and charity, etc)? How can our salvation be unconditional? How does even allow for free will?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:29 pm 
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You're heading straight into deep waters. There was a huge argument over the interplay between grace and free will several centuries ago, which the Pope had to settle by essentially telling both sides that they couldn't call each other heretics anymore. So there's no pat answer anyone can give you. (Although there are plenty who would challenge LDJ's assertion that conditional election is incoherent.)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:32 pm 
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Quote:
One should note Thomists do believe in free will, although not the sort Molinists believe in. They claim God's grace establishes what will be freely chosen, but in a way that does not disturb the will's freedom. Aquinas said, "God changes the will without forcing it. But he can change the will from the fact that he himself operates in the will as he does in nature,"


this really confuses me!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:58 pm 
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so the church has no official teaching concern predestination other then that God cannot predestine people to Hell? Doesn't that leave much room for personal opinion? When will the Church declare more dogmas in this field?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:13 pm 
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Not any time soon. Yes there is some room for personal opinion here. Why is it necessary for the Church to declare something here? We know that men are free and that whoever is in heaven is there by grace and whoever is in hell is there by his own fault.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:42 am 
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coolmk20x wrote:
so the church has no official teaching concern predestination other then that God cannot predestine people to Hell? Doesn't that leave much room for personal opinion? When will the Church declare more dogmas in this field?


Right. That does indeed leave room for a lot of opinion, which is not necessarily a bad thing; there are other points on which one may have hold a wide range of opinions, too. This is just the one most people find first.

The Church last ruled on the issue in 1607, when it told the parties to cease and desist, pending a future ruling from the Apostolic See. While I suppose it's possible there's been a working committee meeting for the past 398 years, I think it's (to put it mildly) far more likely that the mind of the Church is not clear on this point and never will be.

The important boundary posts are clear: we may not deny free will, and we may not deny the absolute necessity of God's saving grace. How you believe the two work together is up to your own best judgment.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:59 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
coolmk20x wrote:
so the church has no official teaching concern predestination other then that God cannot predestine people to Hell? Doesn't that leave much room for personal opinion? When will the Church declare more dogmas in this field?


Right. That does indeed leave room for a lot of opinion, which is not necessarily a bad thing; there are other points on which one may have hold a wide range of opinions, too. This is just the one most people find first.

The Church last ruled on the issue in 1607, when it told the parties to cease and desist, pending a future ruling from the Apostolic See. While I suppose it's possible there's been a working committee meeting for the past 398 years, I think it's (to put it mildly) far more likely that the mind of the Church is not clear on this point and never will be.

The important boundary posts are clear: we may not deny free will, and we may not deny the absolute necessity of God's saving grace. How you believe the two work together is up to your own best judgment.


It CAN be a bad thing when people convince themselves that their opinion is the way it is and then develop a theology based on that. This is essentially what Calvin did... He started out with speculation on a topic that allowed speculation, and then took it to its final conclusion and ended up with a God that was inconsistent with orthodoxy...

In these matters which are unsettled, it is always best to either entertain none of the possibilities since you don't really need to speculate on them, or be very good at entertaining all of them realizing that until the Church decides it is not really safe to just pick one and call it truth...

I like a rational worldview, and usually it drives me nuts when I cannot paint a complete picture of something... But, for some reason I am not troubled by the fact that I cannot put this puzzle together. I believe in free will. I believe we are predestined. I believe in election. I believe in perseverence. But, nothing cries out to me to attempt to reconcile it all. I don't know why. But, intuitively speaking, I don't see any contradictions when I also add that I believe God is all-powerful.

Bottom line, if you are going to participate in speculative theology, don't forget that it is speculative. And don't allow yourself to deny other known truths to hold on to the theory you have developed.

FJ

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:09 pm 
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I really truly believe that the reason the Church has not ruled on this is because it requires knowing more of the mind of God than humans can possibly know. That it has caused such a high degree of controversy between Christians indicates to me, anyway, that if the Church could rule on it, it would have. I prefer to embrace salvation by Grace alone, and while it is interesting to speculate how faith and works and free will all work together, it can never reach a final conclusion at this time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:46 pm 
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Does unconditional election negate the fact that God desires all to be saved?


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