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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:26 pm 
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Sabbath wrote:
Doom wrote:
Sabbath wrote:
It does seem that the West seeks to answer and define difficult matters whereas the East leaves them as a mystery...


Nope


Really, how about the Eucharist? While the West uses Greek philosophy to go into great detail to define the dogma of "Transubstantiation", the East, while not denying a real and substantial change takes place, makes no such effort to define how that takes place, but is a divine mystery.


Obviously, 1) The faith in the Eucharist was universal in the Church from Apostolic times, and 2) The word Transubstantiation, true as it may be, was probably not used in the Apostolic times.

Later on, in the Western Church, doctrinal controversies arose about the Eucharist. In this situation, the Western Church was compelled to explain what exactly she believed (ie, the Apostolic faith) in a very accurate and precise way. Hence Transubstantiation.

Homoousion is a similar story.

As PED has already mentioned, the various Christological and Trinitarian heresies, and the response to them, arose in the East - which means the East did not leave the Trinity and Incarnation as mysteries.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:38 pm 
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Sabbath wrote:
I'm not flying off the handle, but it is utterly impossible to reconcile double predestination w/any semblance of free will or choice, it make it all an illusion.


https://fatherhorton.wordpress.com/2014 ... der-grace/
https://fatherhorton.wordpress.com/2014 ... lagianism/
https://fatherhorton.wordpress.com/2014 ... explained/

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:52 pm 
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Sabbath wrote:
While the West uses Greek philosophy to go into great detail to define the dogma of "Transubstantiation", the East, while not denying a real and substantial change takes place, makes no such effort to define how that takes place, but is a divine mystery.
That isn't actually the case, as Wikipedia tells us.

In the 1629, Cyril Lucaris, the then Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria (and later of Constantinople), published The Eastern Confession of the Orthodox Faith in Latin, employing the term transsubstantiatio. Later, in a Greek translation, in 1633, he used the equivalent Greek term μετουσίωσις (metousíōsis), in both cases he denied them. But in response to this, Metropolitan Petro Mohyla of Kiev defended transsubstantiation, and his confession was was approved by all the Greek-speaking Patriarchs in 1643 and later by the Synod of Jerusalem, in 1672: "When we use the word metousiosis, we by no means think it explains the mode by which the bread and wine are converted into the Body and Blood of Christ, for this is altogether incomprehensible ... but we mean that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of the Lord, not figuratively or symbolically, nor by any extraordinary grace attached to them ... but ... the bread becomes verily and indeed and essentially the very true Body of the Lord, and the wine the very Blood of the Lord."

And this is the Roman Catholic doctrine exactly. No Roman Catholic theologian, Aquinas included, believed that they were 'explaining' the reality in any modern sense of the term (as in grasping it completely). It just tells us that the substance is changed, not how it changes.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:58 pm 
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Sabbath wrote:
I'm not flying off the handle, but it is utterly impossible to reconcile double predestination w/any semblance of free will or choice, it make it all an illusion.
No, what we see here is that you fail to grasp a doctrine and use that failure to deny it.

I fail to grasp modern physics. But I still believe in physics, and I believe that there are experts in the field that know much more than I do, and who wouldn't be able to teach me if I consistently demanded that answers should be easily understandable. Learning isn't easy. Learning takes hard work.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:03 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Sabbath wrote:
Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
iN which case, we believe in double predestination!


We?

http://www.ewtn.com/library/Councils/Orange.htm

Nota bene, the "in which case" implies a context! Namely I pointed out different ways the phrase might be taken. In ONE of those ways, we could be said to believe it.

The term predestination has been used in different ways. We have tended since the middle ages to restrict it to God's providence over the elect, precisely to highlight the difference. As said above, God predestines both the end (heaven) and means (grace/merit). But with God's will with respect to those going to hell He wills only the end (that those that die in their sins go to hell) and not the means (sin). This too has, especially before the scholastics, been called predestination (and it is what Augustine means here, as he explicitly explains) We tend to call it positive reprobation now.

Really, I know I can be overly acerbic, but truth does require some modicum of trying to understand another and not misrepresent them

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:43 am 
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Then what's a poor boy to do, how can one even know if God really loves them? Is salvation little more than a crap shoot, from our perspective?

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:03 am 
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Let me say it again: God gives everyone (including you) sufficient grace to be saved, and if you are not saved, it will be your own free choices that condemn you. No crapshoot involved, from our perspective or any other. You will choose.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:27 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Let me say it again: God gives everyone (including you) sufficient grace to be saved, and if you are not saved, it will be your own free choices that condemn you. No crapshoot involved, from our perspective or any other. You will choose.



That's not semi-Pelagian?

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:31 am 
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No. That's Catholic doctrine. The error is when we think that God's grace is somehow opposed to human freedom.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:35 am 
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Sabbath wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Let me say it again: God gives everyone (including you) sufficient grace to be saved, and if you are not saved, it will be your own free choices that condemn you. No crapshoot involved, from our perspective or any other. You will choose.



That's not semi-Pelagian?

May I invite you to think about this from a slightly different, though still very theological, perspective? What would the alternative say about God's essence? Here's what I mean. Suppose that God does not predestine us in the sense that Obi and PED have been saying (please ignore the Calvinistic misrepresentations of the doctrine, which as an aside, I do worry might be what is really behind your objection). In other words, suppose that we are not really predestined to heaven or in any sense whatsoever predestined to hell (i.e., positive reprobation). Again, what would that say about God? There are a few possibilities. One is that God Himself doesn't know where any individual ends up, heaven or hell. But then you end up denying God's omniscience. Worse, you end up having a God who learns where people will end up as they go there. But a God who learns is a God who lacks perfection in knowledge and thus perfection in Being; this is a God who is caused to be the way He is. This God is neither the First Cause nor is He absolutely sovereign nor does He exist in and of Himself in the perfection of His Being. In fact, this God is little different from superman, just a bit more abstract. There are lots of other questions that would raise about Him, too, but that's a start.

Okay, so you insist that God does, in fact, know what we will choose. After all, God is omniscient and you don't want to deny that. But God still doesn't predestine us to either heaven or hell you say. Simple solution, right? I still don't think so. You still have a God who "learns," just in a different way. Rather than learning as we go through time, so to speak, He "learns" by looking down through the vast corridors of time and seeing what we will do and then knows it. What this means it that God is, in some real and important sense, dependent on us for the way He exists. The fact that He exists this particular way (i.e., knowing you are predestined to heaven) rather than that way (i.e., knowing that you are predestined to hell) in this context is due to the fact that YOU decided to choose heaven and YOU decided to choose hell; had you decided the other way, God would have known that instead and thus would have existed that way instead. You really are making God what He is. Still more, this would mean that God is reacting to you, that God's "predestination" is only in response to what He knows you will do. Now I know that God reacting to us seems perfectly normal, but that's because we have a habit of thinking of God in human-like terms (or better, in creature like terms). Every real relationship we have requires that we react to the other, and we just extend that to God. But just really think about it. If God really does react to us, then He changes in light of either what we are really doing or in light of what He knows we will be doing. That makes Him dependent on us and therefore a caused, contingent being, NOT the I AM of Scripture and even of reason.

So what is left? How do we account for human freedom while not making God dependent on us. As you've been told, ultimately, that's a mystery, but saying as much doesn't mean that we can't penetrate at least a little into it and get an idea of things. One clue is in the last part of what I said just above. We have to stop thinking about God as if He were a creature. One of the profound insights of the Church's philosophy of God is that God doesn't stand in a real relation with us even though do stand in a real relation with Him. He is absolutely not a creature. The very movement of our wills is absolutely and totally contingent on the reality of God and how He chooses to be. If, then, God is not a creature who is not bound to us in what is called a real relation, then He doesn't stand "beside" us in the way the rest of creation does. God moving our will is absolutely not like saying, example, a hypnotist moves our will (by powers of persuasion, assuming such even exists). It is in this context that Thomists at least hold that the key to the free will/sovereignty/grace issue lies in the fact of God's nature that He really is the First Cause: part of causing things to be is not merely causing them to be at all, but also causing them to be what they are. So if God causes, if He brings about, my free choice (if my will moves me to do this or that, and this is ultimately rooted in God's causal nature as the First Cause), then what He brings about is my free choice. It does us no good to imagine that God manipulates us into "choosing" this or that as if we were just complicated robots. We really do freely choose, and like EVERYTHING in nature, that choice is brought about by God's own will. So then we say that God gives sufficient grace to all, because He really does. We also know from reality that some people don't cooperate with that grace and that others do. Yay free will, right? On the divine level, that means that some of that sufficient grace has been efficacious. It isn't as if God overrides the free will of one to force him to choose to be saved and deny the other so that he won't choose salvation. It's just that choices are an effect that require a cause, a First Cause. We then say that God predestines the elect to glory (and do note the difference in predestination and election--again, a sloppy comingling of terms by our Calvinist friends) even as He positively wills the reprobation of the non-elect; thus they are the damned.

And what does this mean for you? That you respond to God's grace, grace that He really has given you. You recognize that your nature includes a free will, that you really can choose (yes, by God's grace, always and only by God's grace!) to respond to Him. You don't ask Him to respond to you. You follow. You pray. You seek. You find. And part of what you find is that this incomprehensible God, this Divine Essence that is bringing your very choices into existence as the choices they are (i.e., as choices), was there giving you the grace to choose all along.

Lots more that could be said. Lots more distinctions that could be made. And I encourage you to check my words (as always) against the understanding of better educated Catholics. But I hope you hear in this that the Church is not trying to explain the mystery but rather trying to clarify the nature of the mystery. There is a lot of truth that can be known, and we don't need to just throw up our hands and walk away because the distinctions are too subtle. As CC said, learning is hard. But I do promise you, it is worth it.

Merry Christmas! I hope you go out tonight and celebrate the eve before the birth of our Savior with your own son.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:48 am 
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This God is neither the First Cause nor is He absolutely sovereign nor does He exist in and of Himself in the perfection of His Being.
I will point out just one ramification of this: A God like this can't be trusted to keep its promises because it might not be able to. It might not even be able to save you if it wanted to.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:33 pm 
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Sabbath wrote:
It seems the more you learn of the Catholic faith the more you are led to the very place the Church condemns you for, namely despair!


Let the theologians and the scientists grapple with intellectual stuff.

We gain so much more by talking to the Lord, meditating on His Passion, praying and meditating on the mysteries of the rosary, etc. etc.

We need to become like little children in the good sense of the word!

REJOICE! God's love is real!


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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:46 pm 
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Dorothy B. wrote:
Sabbath wrote:
It seems the more you learn of the Catholic faith the more you are led to the very place the Church condemns you for, namely despair!


Let the theologians and the scientists grapple with intellectual stuff.

We gain so much more by talking to the Lord, meditating on His Passion, praying and meditating on the mysteries of the rosary, etc. etc.

We need to become like little children in the good sense of the word!

REJOICE! God's love is real!



a big AMEN to that. I have run across people who just seem to want sit and discuss t his or that theological theory and I mean.. after awhile, it's like.. Hey.. while you are doing that (which often is a waste of time IMO) you could actually be... I dont know... helping the helpless or something


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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:56 pm 
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Why is it a waste of time to want to know more about the person (well, three Persons) you love best?

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:15 pm 
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"O God, I want to go to Heaven someday and be with You forever, but you're just a waste of time down here. I'd rather spend my time devouring the detraction that passes for news."

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
"O God, I want to go to Heaven someday and be with You forever, but you're just a waste of time down here. I'd rather spend my time devouring the detraction that passes for news."


Hold on a minute there, you are equating knowing and loving God w/a comprehensive understanding of difficult doctrines/propositions?

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:57 pm 
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No. I'm saying that dismissing theological talk as an unimportant waste of time is wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
Sabbath wrote:
I'm not flying off the handle, but it is utterly impossible to reconcile double predestination w/any semblance of free will or choice, it makes it all an illusion.
No, what we see here is that you fail to grasp a doctrine and use that failure to deny it.

I fail to grasp modern physics. But I still believe in physics, and I believe that there are experts in the field that know much more than I do, and who wouldn't be able to teach me if I consistently demanded that answers should be easily understandable. Learning isn't easy. Learning takes hard work.


And I wish to add that no one is saying that one has to completely understand everything or have an obligation to be a theology expert, what we are saying is that you should try to understand it as best you are able, and it is wrong to just wave your hand and say 'it's a mystery' as if that is somehow a valid excuse for failing to make an effort to understand, or as if to imply that theology is just a pointless waste of time.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:34 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Closet Catholic wrote:
Sabbath wrote:
I'm not flying off the handle, but it is utterly impossible to reconcile double predestination w/any semblance of free will or choice, it makes it all an illusion.
No, what we see here is that you fail to grasp a doctrine and use that failure to deny it.

I fail to grasp modern physics. But I still believe in physics, and I believe that there are experts in the field that know much more than I do, and who wouldn't be able to teach me if I consistently demanded that answers should be easily understandable. Learning isn't easy. Learning takes hard work.


And I wish to add that no one is saying that one has to completely understand everything or have an obligation to be a theology expert, what we are saying is that you should try to understand it as best you are able, and it is wrong to just wave your hand and say 'it's a mystery' as if that is somehow a valid excuse for failing to make an effort to understand, or as if to imply that theology is just a pointless waste of time.


I'm glad some of you here have God all figured out.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone here know/understand Augustine: "predestination"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:34 pm 
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I'm neither lazy concerning this, nor denying Catholic doctrine. To the contrary, I've spent many years on both sides of the Tiber wrestling w/this, many of nights in tears and sweat soaked pillows. The end result has been an endless loop, no peace, no more ability to grasp this than the idea that God has no beginning. So to say that I just "fluff it off as a mystery" is very small of some of you. I believe this, and see no further need of going any deeper...

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print ... or-freedom

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