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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:36 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I do not think that all Orthodox would agree that there is no such place as Hell, that it's just Heaven experienced differently.

I do think, as I've pointed out before, that you're thinking of God as essentially like us, only bigger and better; rather, He is completely Other, and at best we can only know him by analogy and by what He is not (apophatic theology, which is popular in Eastern thought).


Father, do you realize what you said in the first sentence? Yes, that is exactly what I have read from several Orthodox sources, that it is the presence of God (heaven, if you wish to call it that) just experienced as suffering because the soul wanted nothing to do with God in this life and loved sin.

I do find your second point most interesting to ponder because while God is completely Other (certainly the essence of apophatic theology) at the same time, He uses our language to describe Himself in terms which do give us a limited (very limited) understanding of His Being. For instance, He uses the metaphor of "father," and we are to understand from that we can apply our earthly knowledge of a loving, protective, and good father to Him to give us a very small insight into how He deals with mankind. We are told that God is love, then St. Paul gives us an expanded definition of what love is and does in 1 Corinthians 13.

We cannot nor ever will fully know the completeness of what God is, but by giving us certain metaphors and descriptions in the Sacred Scriptures, we can know something of what He is in His actions towards us and then expect that His actions will fall within the parameters of those actions. Thus, when God is described as love, and we have a description of love in 1 Corinthians, then I don't think I am out of line to expect that God who is love will act according to those parameters. In fact, He can do no other, and my personal sense is that descriptions of God's actions (such as the Calvinist idea of "election unto reprobation") which fall outside the description of love's actions are more inventions of our fallen and darkened human thinking than the reality of God's being.

This is why I continue to find Patristic Universalism (Apokatastasis) to be in line with a Being who can only act in love. The fact that in Apocatastasis there will be some people who experience the presence of God as torment does not mean that God is willingly tormenting them (as I have seen in those wretched Jack Chick comics and other publications). It means that our own choice has consequences. God cannot be anything but love, for that is His essence, and cannot be experienced as anything but love, but that experience brings torment to some and joy to others. That choice is strictly ours, which is why the Church must be about warning us that our actions will lead to either joy or sorrow in the next life. Aided by grace, we choose to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, or we turn from God through our own choice to reject Him.

To take this back to the Medieval Mind, which was the subject of the OP, it seems that at this time the Western Church in particular, a God who is distinctly filled with revenge, the need to "get even," if you will, and there was a certain delight about seeing sinners "get theirs," rather than sorrow over their loss. I say this knowing full well that there were many in the Church, such as the North American Martyrs, who were aflame with love for souls and gave their lives so that their Native American brothers and sisters might not perish. Nonetheless, and I could be wrong here, there appears to be that strain exemplified by St. Thomas Aquinas stating that the saints in heaven will watch the torment of sinners and rejoice that it brings glory to God.

My bottom line is this: I have struggled all my life with fearing such a God as described by this and other publications. I would much rather now learn to look at God through eyes of love, not fearing Him, but rather being afraid in a good sense of losing the good of His love. That is a great lack I see in my life and I am working on correcting it with a more loving view of God.


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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:40 pm 
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theJack wrote:
You're missing the point. This isn't about the proper theology of election. I'm sure people here would be more than willing to talk about that in some detail. The larger problem is that your position entails a basic denial of the essence of God. Your problem is philosophical, not merely theological. You are reducing God to a dependent, contingent being who has a will and attempts to establish it in a univocal (the same) way that created, finite beings do. You've failed to appreciate the idea that God is First Mover and absolutely sovereign. Unless and until you get those basic ideas right, you can't even start having a conversation of God's election, of the justice of Hell, of the role of the devil, of the role of evil more generally, and so on. A conversation with your spiritual director will be of highly limited value, because even if he encourages you to submit to orthodoxy--i.e., the doctrines you've been rejecting in this thread--you'll still have an exceptionally difficult time as you'll have no basis on which to do so other than shear will against your basic worldview. There is some value in that--faith seeking understanding. But you really need to walk before you run. Your problem is not that you don't like Augustine. At least, that's not your problem at this stage. Start with God's essence, with His aseity and simplicity. See what sovereignty means in that context. See what that says about His omniscience and omnipresence and omnipotence. Then you'll have a much clearer understanding about His omnibenevolence as you'll come to have a much clearer understanding of what a will is, and so what love is, in the first place. THEN, after that, if you want to have a proper conversation about where you think Augustine went wrong, you can do so. And if you still think he's wrong, then so be it. But at least you'll be able to understand where he is coming from and why you choose to reject basic, foundational orthodoxy. Start in the right place.

edit:

What Obi said. :)


I do appreciate what you have said. It is food for thought, and I do appreciate also the irenic tone in which you speak.

Question about God and dependency: I think I read a debate somewhere many years ago that feeds into what you said. The issue was whether or not God's will was subject by necessity to His being - i.e. that being love, He is in that sense limited to what He can and cannot do within the framework of the definition of love (Doing that always which is in the BEST interest of the beloved). In other words, His will cannot be sovereign over His being.

What would be your take on that?


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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:42 pm 
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I will answer for that: This is the philosophically untenable "best possible world" argument.

I didn't say that all Orthodox would reject your thesis on the nature of Hell; I said that you are wrong to present it as The Orthodox View.

Even when we speak of God by analogy, the dissimilitude is vastly greater than the likeness (a proposition most Western theologians will happily embrace, BTW). So it's dangerous, bordering on reckless, to state, "we can know something of what He is in His actions towards us and then expect that His actions will fall within the parameters of those actions." The problem with this is that our expectations will inevitably be skewed in some fashion, and what we get is, "If I were God, and if God is love the way I understand love, then I would...."

And that's the point of my second paragraph. You're taking your own understanding and elevating to the level of "this is how God must be." And it doesn't work that way.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:51 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I will answer for that: This is the philosophically untenable "best possible world" argument.

I didn't say that all Orthodox would reject your thesis on the nature of Hell; I said that you are wrong to present it as The Orthodox View.

Even when we speak of God by analogy, the dissimilitude is vastly greater than the likeness (a proposition most Western theologians will happily embrace, BTW). So it's dangerous, bordering on reckless, to state, "we can know something of what He is in His actions towards us and then expect that His actions will fall within the parameters of those actions." The problem with this is that our expectations will inevitably be skewed in some fashion, and what we get is, "If I were God, and if God is love the way I understand love, then I would...."

And that's the point of my second paragraph. You're taking your own understanding and elevating to the level of "this is how God must be." And it doesn't work that way.

It is interesting to note that, at least in Palamite theology which after the 14th century has had the same sway as Thomism in the West, there is a far greater emphasis apophatic theology. Heck the issue over Divine simplicity and the distinction between energies and essence is precisely due in part to the emphasis otherness of God (yes I am aware that there are disputes over the interpretation of Palamas even among the Orthodox)

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Maybe I can and should explain further.

We are justified in drawing inferences from the fact that God is love, but they remain inferences, subject to refutation if it can be shown that our understanding of what it means to say that "God is love" is inconsistent with things we already know to be true. So we need not conclude from the true statement the "God is love" that Hell doesn't exist because it would be unloving of God if it is; we can also conclude that our understanding of "God is love" is inadequate.

The same problem applies to the true statements that God is just, God is merciful, etc. They can give us valid insights into God, but those insights are always contingent on an adequate understanding of justice, mercy, etc. We must check those insights against things that have been revealed definitively, and when there is a conflict, we must conclude that it was our insight that was in error.

You might proceed to claim (and I think you do) that the eternity of Hell has not been definitively revealed. That is a topic for another post and another time. My only purpose here is to demonstrate that "God is love" is not sufficient to prove the point, even if it were open to debate.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:44 am 
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Light of the East wrote:
I do appreciate what you have said. It is food for thought, and I do appreciate also the irenic tone in which you speak.

Question about God and dependency: I think I read a debate somewhere many years ago that feeds into what you said. The issue was whether or not God's will was subject by necessity to His being - i.e. that being love, He is in that sense limited to what He can and cannot do within the framework of the definition of love (Doing that always which is in the BEST interest of the beloved). In other words, His will cannot be sovereign over His being.

What would be your take on that?

My take would be, again, to largely point to what Obi already said (undergirded and emphasized by PED's comment). Obi is getting at, I think, a problem with "what God would (not) do . . ." language. That's almost always problematic, because such language necessarily presumes a knowledge of God's essence, and that's a knowledge we just don't have--no matter how strongly we may feel we do. How many times in Scripture does God absolutely shock people by violating their expectations of Him? That's why I love the "fittingness" language of the traditional language so much. You don't (often) speak of God acting necessarily, but rather of God's acts being "fitting," and thus the acts themselves are revelatory. They give us some insight into His nature, insight that is true as far as it goes (i.e., that God is love), but can never be fully exhausting because of our own, usually imperceived, understanding of the predicate (i.e., "is love").

And why is that? Again, to take from Obi here, because of God's Otherness, which is something you, as an Eastern, should greatly appreciate. God is just not like us. However much we can and do say He is like us, He's infinitely more Other. As Etienne Gilson said, He may be light, but He is blinding light. And that goes back to my initial point about the aseity and simplicity of God. There is just nothing in our experience remotely like an a se and simple existence. And yet that is what God is. All such discussion about such Being must be, by necessity of the case, analogical and never univocal. And when you start talking about this part of God being subjected to that part of Him and He having to act this way and being limited by that, I just see too much univocal language, too much of a claim on the essence of God, and too much of the idea that God is a being like us. He just isn't like that.

Lastly, I'd encourage you think a little more on "God is love." In addition to reconsidering the philosophical problems of your claims--claims that are not Western, mind you, but deeply rooted in and highly promoted by Eastern fathers and later theologians--thinking about this wonderful revelation of the faith should actually help resolve some of your difficulties. Unless you buy into a dictation theory of inspiration, and I don't, what did it mean for John to write those words? Here's a man who just a few years earlier was asking to call fire down on a city in righteous indignation. It is the apostle of thunder who has become the apostle of love. What happened to so change him? Yes, he'd been with Jesus, but he had been with Jesus for some time when he made the request, too. What changed? The Holy Spirit being given? Sure, but all Christians have the Holy Spirit, and yet they haven't had that great conversion. And while the change what certainly Spirit wrought, what did the Spirit use? My belief, based on reading the rest of John's corpus, is that the death and resurrection of Christ, to which John was a close witness, absolutely shattered him (as it should have!). I think that he reflected on that and just became ever more dumbfounded and stupified. My own view here is that his great statement, "God became flesh and dwelt among us," is rooted in his theology of God as love, that he sees Christ as fully explaining the unexplainable nature of God not merely as a theological abstraction (i.e., the hypostatic union), but more concretely as the loftiest expression--and vindication--of divine love. That Christ would die for us, that Christ would die for him, for this angry, judgemental sinner, I just believe that broke him and made him into the gentle (and yet uncompromising as his shorter letters show!) spirit he had become. I think this is relevant to your question, because "God is love" is written out of a deep and personal reflection on the cross of Christ and what that (shockingly!) said about God's very essence.

You may use that reflection to harden your view against Hell, but I think it undermines such a claim entirely. For John is absolutely blown away and how much he had failed to understand God (even when walking physically with Christ!). "God is love" is not a metaphysical claim limiting what God can or cannot do by a human standard, by what we would do out of what we call love. It is, rather, a desperate attempt to capture in a few words the ineffable nature of God and that in the context of John's own shattered expectations. It's also a deeply human expression--for whatever binding effect you think might have on God, it really has a binding effect on us. We may now know what "God is love" means for Him (we only taste it when we see, for example, the Cross and even the Incarnation), but we have a much better idea of what that would mean for us, and we see very clearly where we are not love. We should see ourselves bound by it far more than God being bound by it! I'm afraid that in a strange irony, you're pious, for sure, attempt to exalt the love of God has actually reduced Him. You've bound Him. You've made Him something less than He is, like one who clips the wings of a beautiful bird so that it doesn't escape, but in doing so, yes you get to enjoy looking at the bird on its perch, but you lose the sight of its beauty in flight. In your attempt to exalt God's love, I'm afraid you've debased God Himself and made Him less than God.

This isn't about East vs West, Ed. This is about you letting God be God and letting Him shatter your expectations of Him. Let yourself be crushed and ruined by His simplicity, aseity, and just by His Otherness. I'm preaching through Ezekiel at my church right now, and those visions and Ezekiel's reactions are at hing to behold. God is just too much, too big, to great, and too infinite, to do justice to. Don't limit Him, not even by Him being your mere understanding of love. Maybe (and I say definitely) in some shocking way, God's condemnation of the guilty makes His love that much more amazing. Because the gentle soul that wrote those words still had no tolerance for dissent in the body (remember 2 and 3 John, too!). Maybe God's love is actually a very hard love deeply devoted to the good. Maybe His love is a terrifying love because it is so exacting. Maybe it's not God's love that should comfort us. Maybe it's that God, being loving, is also gracious and merciful. Maybe that's where we find our comfort. I think you'd have a much stronger case if John had written, "God is Mercy!" But He didn't. In God's infinite wisdom, He inspired John to write, "God is Love!"

Anyway, I'm preaching as I ramble. Please don't let my many words detract from Obi's and PED's words above. They really capture the essence of the argument clearly. I'm just hoping a little theological reflection might be at least as useful as the theological and philosophical facts we must keep in mind as we think about how we can even start to think about these things.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:25 am 
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Light of the East wrote:
We are told that God is love, then St. Paul gives us an expanded definition of what love is and does in 1 Corinthians 13.
Thus, when God is described as love, and we have a description of love in 1 Corinthians, then I don't think I am out of line to expect that God who is love will act according to those parameters.


1 Cor 13 speaks of love in the human sense:
a) "Charity envieth not", but God is a "jealous God"
b) it considers the possibility of "have not charity", but God is love; love isn't something he "has" or "does" like a human.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:30 am 
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I haven't really been able to post for the last few days; I just want to clarify my concerns are not Ed's concerns.

I want to ensure everyone that the I do hold the following propositions
(1) If not a single human soul was spared the fires of hell, God would still be good. God's goodness and mercy are completely compatible with his.
(2) Not one soul in hell has been done any injustice
(3) God who promised forgiveness to all who repent, promised repentance to no one. God gives sufficient grace to all, but only efficient grace to whom He pleases for His unknown purposes.
(4) Few relative to all humanity are saved, many relative to all humanity are damned eternally.

What concerns me is not that God will be at a loss in any sense, if God did not wish to save anyone, well than He would not have lost anything.

What concerns me is in what sense do we mean Christ have victory over the tyranny of sin and death? In what sense is the tragedy of Eden not still a tragedy if only the few are spared the fallout?

Victory means to overcome correct? Yet death and sin reign over the greater part of humanity. To say God need not overcome this to be God, is true, but not what I'm asking.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:31 am 
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It's a matter of conceptualization (I think) rather than doctrine.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:46 am 
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I think there's a more fundamental problem with Ed's approach here. The problem isn't so much that he hasn't grasped the nature of Divine Love properly. The problem is that he hasn't grasped the nature of love, full stop. That's not to say Ed doesn't love anyone--it's to say he has an inadequate conceptual grasp of what love is. And this is directly responsible for at least some of the trouble--such as Ed's hopelessly irresponsible attribution of what amounts to malice to the Common Doctor of the Catholic Church.

Here's the heart of it:

Quote:
God loves all existing things. For all existing things, in so far as they exist, are good, since the existence of a thing is itself a good; and likewise, whatever perfection it possesses. Now it has been shown above (I:19:4) that God's will is the cause of all things. It must needs be, therefore, that a thing has existence, or any kind of good, only inasmuch as it is willed by God. To every existing thing, then, God wills some good. Hence, since to love anything is nothing else than to will good to that thing, it is manifest that God loves everything that exists. Yet not as we love. Because since our will is not the cause of the goodness of things, but is moved by it as by its object, our love, whereby we will good to anything, is not the cause of its goodness; but conversely its goodness, whether real or imaginary, calls forth our love, by which we will that it should preserve the good it has, and receive besides the good it has not, and to this end we direct our actions: whereas the love of God infuses and creates goodness.


Being is always better than non-being. The damned have their being only through the will of God. But their being is good. And hence their being just as such, even in their state of eternal punishment, is itself an expression of Divine Love.

Ed is being led by his passions to have pity on the damned. This isn't necessarily bad. After all, we ought to have pity on the sinners who are still alive and thus still might be saved. But it's a mistake for multiple reasons to try to do theology based on that passion. Most importantly, perhaps, because of the evident danger of confusing the passion for compassion.

Quote:
Mercy or compassion may be in a person in two ways: first by way of passion, secondly by way of choice. In the blessed there will be no passion in the lower powers except as a result of the reason's choice. Hence compassion or mercy will not be in them, except by the choice of reason. Now mercy or compassion comes of the reason's choice when a person wishes another's evil to be dispelled: wherefore in those things which, in accordance with reason, we do not wish to be dispelled, we have no such compassion. But so long as sinners are in this world they are in such a state that without prejudice to the Divine justice they can be taken away from a state of unhappiness and sin to a state of happiness. Consequently it is possible to have compassion on them both by the choice of the will—in which sense God, the angels and the blessed are said to pity them by desiring their salvation—and by passion, in which way they are pitied by the good men who are in the state of wayfarers. But in the future state it will be impossible for them to be taken away from their unhappiness: and consequently it will not be possible to pity their sufferings according to right reason. Therefore the blessed in glory will have no pity on the damned.


In short, Ed's making an illegitimate move from rightly pitying living sinners to incorrectly pitying the damned. In this life, obviously, it's possible for us to pity the damned, but that's due to the fact that our passions are not always guided by reason. (In other words, it's a result of the Fall.) Not exactly the right ground for theology.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:56 am 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:
1. What did the medieval believe differently than moderns [viz. modern Catholics] that made them more at peace to the peopled hell of their art and literature?

2. Since the medievals believed that the greater part (the many) of humanity would be lost, in what sense did they understand the final conquest and victory of Christ over the world, Satan, sin, and death?

I don't have legitimate scholarly citations to give in answer to your first question, but I nevertheless think the answer is to be found in the notion of the perfection of the universe. Or, more concretely, it's to be found in the design of a gothic cathedral. The gargoyles (for example) have their role to play--their place in the structure. It contributes to the glory of the whole.

Moving back to the abstract: as St. Thomas says, "...the universe would not be perfect if only one grade of goodness were found in things." The universe is greater because there are things in it that have lesser degrees of goodness. Here's one sort of degree of goodness: the degree of goodness found in a rational animal that is eternally separated from God. The universe as a whole is greater because that degree of goodness is exemplified.

Relatedly, the medievals were an awful lot less self-centered than we are, and took the things of God seriously. Since we don't take God seriously, it's impossible for us to believe that we could offend him enough to merit eternal separation from him.

Regarding 2, I don't think there's any mystery. In the fall, we became separated from God. In the Incarnation we were brought once again into a relationship with God. That this victory isn't accepted by every free rational being doesn't undermine the fact that the victory is won.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:56 am 
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gherkin wrote:
ForeverFaithful wrote:
1. What did the medieval believe differently than moderns [viz. modern Catholics] that made them more at peace to the peopled hell of their art and literature?

2. Since the medievals believed that the greater part (the many) of humanity would be lost, in what sense did they understand the final conquest and victory of Christ over the world, Satan, sin, and death?

I don't have legitimate scholarly citations to give in answer to your first question, but I nevertheless think the answer is to be found in the notion of the perfection of the universe. Or, more concretely, it's to be found in the design of a gothic cathedral. The gargoyles (for example) have their role to play--their place in the structure. It contributes to the glory of the whole.

Moving back to the abstract: as St. Thomas says, "...the universe would not be perfect if only one grade of goodness were found in things." The universe is greater because there are things in it that have lesser degrees of goodness. Here's one sort of degree of goodness: the degree of goodness found in a rational animal that is eternally separated from God. The universe as a whole is greater because that degree of goodness is exemplified.

Relatedly, the medievals were an awful lot less self-centered than we are, and took the things of God seriously. Since we don't take God seriously, it's impossible for us to believe that we could offend him enough to merit eternal separation from him.

Regarding 2, I don't think there's any mystery. In the fall, we became separated from God. In the Incarnation we were brought once again into a relationship with God. That this victory isn't accepted by every free rational being doesn't undermine the fact that the victory is won.


I find myself in agreement with that answer and believe it also fits into the Eastern eschatological pheroma - that God has redeemed all to Himself, thus winning the victory over death, but not all will take advantage of this.

With this understanding, I would then have to say that if an individual refuses the grace of God, this is not defeat for God, since the Cross has been victorious over death. It is a failure of the individual.


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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:01 am 
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Light of the East wrote:
With this understanding, I would then have to say that if an individual refuses the grace of God, this is not defeat for God, since the Cross has been victorious over death. It is a failure of the individual.

Well stated, im(h)o, and there yet you've still got your first major break with Calvinism! :)

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:45 am 
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To Ed's credit, I've been going to a Byzantine Parish for Matins lately and there is such rich use of "Christus Victor" imagery that got me asking these questions.

Let's see if I can articulate it then:

(1) Man freely sells himself to slavery under sin, death, and the devil.
(2) Christ earns man's redemption during his life on earth, given to all the grace that destroys death, sin and liberates from the devil.
(3) A remnant, given the grace of final election, will make use of this gift, and the rest will resist the sufficient graces they have received unto their own damnation.
(4) The latter group have either chosen to re-enter (or perhaps) remain in the domain of sin and death, so "And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death." (Apoc. 20:14) means that those who choose death over Christ are like their master doomed to the lake of fire.
(5) Christ is still victor because He has submitted the domain of Satan, sin, death, hell under His foot. In this world today death has no power over us, because we can leave it's domain by willing (through the grace offered to us) and can only suffer it's fate by willfully re-entering it's domain (mortal sin)

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:46 am 
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All under the mystery of Predestination, of course.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:45 pm 
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General question for perspective--doesn't the fact that Christ is Victor mean He is victorious over someone? I mean, I know we personify things like death and evil more generally and speak of those things as enemies. But an enemy, it seems to me, is strictly speaking a person. Cancer isn't really my "enemy" except by analogy (even if a good one!). So either Christ as Victor is just analogy or we mean that He really conquered someone. And in this case, it seems that Christ really does conquer the Evil One, and indeed, not merely that one Evil One, but all evil ones. I wonder if, on some level, the problem isn't in some strange sense with the idea as Christ as Victor itself. Maybe we don't want a Victorious Christ these days so much as we want a Forgiving Christ or Merciful Christ. We don't want a Christ would defeats His enemies. We want a Christ who has no enemies, such that all His enemies today are "magically" persuaded to stop being His enemies. And while there would be nothing wrong with such a picture, there does seem to me a real sense in which if Christ does not truly conquer any enemies then a real sense of His glory and might and even holiness remain unrevealed. Or am I off in left field here?

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:41 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
All under the mystery of Predestination, of course.


Was it Luis de Molina who put forth the idea that predestination of God is dependent not on a random act of God without seeming reason, but rather that God, being omniscient and seeing those who would respond to His grace if offered (as well as those who would reject that offer) thus gives His grace only to those whom He foreknows will respond positively to that grace?


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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:00 pm 
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I don't think that's the case. As I understand it, Molina believed that God chose who would be among the Elect and then determined what actual graces would be needed to bring about the conversion of each of the Elect.

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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:25 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I don't think that's the case. As I understand it, Molina believed that God chose who would be among the Elect and then determined what actual graces would be needed to bring about the conversion of each of the Elect.


Hmmmmmmmmmmm....well, maybe it was the Thomist view I am thinking about. I remember reading that exact description of one of the Church theologians presenting it in that way, and if I remember correctly, it was on this particular board.


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 Post subject: Re: The Medieval Mind and Hell
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I don't think that's the case. As I understand it, Molina believed that God chose who would be among the Elect and then determined what actual graces would be needed to bring about the conversion of each of the Elect.


Hmmmmmmmmmmm....well, maybe it was the Thomist view I am thinking about. I remember reading that exact description of one of the Church theologians presenting it in that way, and if I remember correctly, it was on this particular board.

No, it's not the Thomist view either. The view you describes makes God dependent on humans and thus a contingent being again in violation of His sovereignty, aseity, simplicity, and basically of His divinity.

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