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  #1  
Old Mar 27, '12, 4:04 pm
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Default Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

Hello all.

I've started reading a bit about Thomas Aquinas' predestination in the summa. I know there are big discussions about this, but I just need a bit of clarification. What is the difference between Aquinas' predestination and Calvin's double predestination?

Thanks

Derek
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  #2  
Old Mar 27, '12, 7:24 pm
Odell Odell is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

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Originally Posted by dje101 View Post
Hello all.

I've started reading a bit about Thomas Aquinas' predestination in the summa. I know there are big discussions about this, but I just need a bit of clarification. What is the difference between Aquinas' predestination and Calvin's double predestination?

Thanks

Derek
God wills all to be saved. By why do some go to hell? Calvinist try to resolve this dilemma by saying all means "all kinds of men" but not every single man. Calvinist believe Christ only died for the elect, but not ALL people.

Arminians conclude that God leaves the ultimate decision to man. This preserves their view that God rewards based on His knowledge of their forseen merits. Calvinist argue this makes God determined by man.

Catholicism and Aqunas is more balanced. We teach that Christ atoning death was sufficient for all but efficacious for some. In His antecedent will, God wills to save ALL men (consistent with scripture). In His consequent will, God wills to save only the elect and to permit the non elect to be damned (also consistent with scripture).

Antecedent will is what God wills before any other considerations.

Consequent will takes in other considerations as an example.
If a man lives its good; if he killed, bad. But if it's a murder on trial a just judge antecedently wills all men to live; but consequently wills the murder to die. Hece he willed a thing simply as we do when all particular circstances are considered. This is what is meant by willing consequently.

We can say God wills free will more than he will to save all. Two wills.

When we understand antecedent and consequent wills of God we don't get caught up in the Protestant errors such as Calvinism.

So Calvinist don't believe that Christ atonement provides sufficent grace to all. They believe God only dies for the elect.

Catholics believe that with sufficient grace, mans power to perform the salutary act remains in potency and is never actualized. With efficacious grace, mans power to resist the grace is in potency and is never actualized.

Now in Gods antecedent will, God wills all to be saved and thus gives all sufficent grace to that end. ( God considers each person absolutely). But in view of the greater good of the universe, He consequently wills to infallibly save His elect, and to permit the reprobate to be damned. (God considers each person as a whole)

The efficacious will does not compel mans will such as the Calvinist believe but neither does it's efficacy depend on mans will, as the Arminians believe.

Also Calvinist don't believe one who has received efficacious grace can fall. Catholics believe we can have efficacious grace but later fall. Calvinist also believe that God wills the destruction of the blind (double predestination). Rather he wills to permit them to resist His grace and to punish them by with holding His grace for this resistance. However God will this reprobation along with the will to permit sin. So that there is no change in God. 1 man sins, 2 God punishes because man sinned. No He will the reperbation while He willed to permit it. This is how you deal with a Calvinist whom is conserned with the fact that there is not change in God.

Ther is so much more I could say. Most this is from my notes. Most of all from "The Mystery of Predestination" According to Scripture, The Cstholic Church, and St Thomas Aquinas. By John Salza. I highly recommend it!

Last edited by Odell; Mar 27, '12 at 7:39 pm.
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  #3  
Old Mar 27, '12, 9:13 pm
AdesteFideles AdesteFideles is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

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Originally Posted by dje101 View Post
What is the difference between Aquinas' predestination and Calvin's double predestination?
There is, I think, a very excellent thread on Aquinas' predestination to be found here. Within this thread, you'll also find a uself link to PhilVaz's webpage dealing with the subject of what is acceptable to believe for the Catholic, versus what the Calvinist adheres to. Here is another CAF option.

Very basically, regarding Calvin..., -

Calvin's (double-) predestination includes God decreeing that (fallen) men be given a new nature in order to choose Him. This nature, once it is established by God, cannot help but to respond positively to God's offer of salvation. But if this nature is not establish by God, (fallen) men could no more choose Him than they could choose to breathe underwater. God does not give this nature to all, and He has willed from the foundation of the world who would be given this new nature, and who would not be. Because of this, men are predestined to either glory or damnation solely by God's sovereign will, and for His glory.

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  #4  
Old Mar 27, '12, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

Thanks Odell. This is a very heavy topic, so please bear with me.

From what I've read, Jesus died for our sins, giving everyone "sufficient grace" but only the elect "efficacious grace", which is the grace to persevere to the end.

I'm just a but confused as to where (or whether) free will comes into this. Is a person freely able to choose to follow God and this receive the efficacious grace?

I think another thing that might be tripping me up a bit is that the first time I'd ever heard of "predestination" was in regards to the Calvinistic approach, and therefore associate the word "predestination" with God choosing before hand who will got to Heaven and who will be damned. Could you provide me with the Catholic definition of predestination?
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  #5  
Old Mar 28, '12, 7:22 am
Odell Odell is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

Quote:
Originally Posted by dje101 View Post
Thanks Odell. This is a very heavy topic, so please bear with me.
I ask you to bear with me, for it's not a topic I totally understand. It's a mystery; but here are some things that Aqunas believedto be true.

Eternal Beatitude surpasses our nature.
Since we can not attain eternal life on our own, we must be predestined to that end as an arrow is directed b an archer.
God does not predestined based on future merritts.
Nothing is direct to an end unless the will for the end already exist.
God does not cause badness but Permits it for the greater good.
God is not determined by mans sin and God does not cause sin.
Gods eternal decree includes both the permission to sin and the punishment of sin without regard to future demerits; God remains unmoved.
God wills the best goodness as a whole, not in parts.
God who permits sin, and punishes sin by abandoning man and leaving him without grace is all within his internal decree.
God who hardens hearts by withholding grace does not change or determine God b/c He is willing punishment (withholding grace) while willin to permit sin. God is pure act.
Thus Gods will to give grace and punish those who reject grace imply no change in God.
Anyone who performs a single act does so by efficacious grace.
While avid requires faith and works He brings it forth by His efficacious grace.

This should be enough to meditate on for now.
Quote:
From what I've read, Jesus died for our sins, giving everyone "sufficient grace" but only the elect "efficacious grace", which is the grace to persevere to the end.
Almost, God may give efficacious grace to some that are not necessarily given the grace of final perseverance.

Quote:
I'm just a but confused as to where (or whether) free will comes into this. Is a person freely able to choose to follow God and this receive the efficacious grace?
God isn't determined by man to whom He gives this efficacious grace if that what you mean. He gives it to whom He wishes.

Sufficent grace gives man the power but is never actualized it remains in potency.

For example if I'm sitting on the couch, my power to stand is in potency. This means I have the ability to stand, not just the theoretical ability. If the phone rings, I have the power to answer. If I choose to remain sitting, my power to stand remains in potency. If I later discover it was my wife due to an emergency, I will not be able to blame m wife for not standing up and actualise my potency and answer he phone. If she had warned me earlier to answer the phone I will be guilty of not responding to her call. Similarly l, if God grants me sufficent trace to perform a salutary act, I can only blame myself for resisting the grace, especially when God has warned me.

Sufficient grace remains an interior impulse, but efficacious grace produces an exterior act. With efficacious grace, man is able to resist the grace but does not, because the grace causes him to freely choose the good.

Sufficent trace is Absoulutly sufficent to obey Gods laws if not Gos punishments would be in vain. We don't know how sufficent grace can be sufficent when an efficacious grace is required. But we do know that sin is our fault and not Gods doing. Thus we can have comfort in letting a mystery be a mystery.

Again the Calvinst claim God does not give man sufficent grace.

With efficacious grace God assist us by strengthing our will so we may choose the good.an is still freely choosing the good so in a sense it can be attributed to man. However, man is able to choose good only because God continues to operate in his will making him capable of performing the act.

If God as the prary cause does not apply the will to act secondary cause then ultimately some good would not come from the source of all good. The greater would come from the lesser.


Quote:
I think another thing that might be tripping me up a bit is that the first time I'd ever heard of "predestination" was in regards to the Calvinistic approach, and therefore associate the word "predestination" with God choosing before hand who will got to Heaven and who will be damned. Could you provide me with the Catholic definition of predestination?
I would say that those whom God predestines is given the efficacious grace of final perseverance. But all are given sufficent grace.

The council of Orange II cannon 18 tells us "That grace is preceded by no merits a reward is due to good works, if they are performed; but grace, which is not due precedes that they may be done."

Hope this helps! You should really get the book I recommended.
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Old Mar 28, '12, 8:25 am
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odell View Post
I ask you to bear with me, for it's not a topic I totally understand. It's a mystery; but here are some things that Aqunas believedto be true.

Eternal Beatitude surpasses our nature.
Since we can not attain eternal life on our own, we must be predestined to that end as an arrow is directed b an archer.
God does not predestined based on future merritts.
Nothing is direct to an end unless the will for the end already exist.
God does not cause badness but Permits it for the greater good.
God is not determined by mans sin and God does not cause sin.
Gods eternal decree includes both the permission to sin and the punishment of sin without regard to future demerits; God remains unmoved.
God wills the best goodness as a whole, not in parts.
God who permits sin, and punishes sin by abandoning man and leaving him without grace is all within his internal decree.
God who hardens hearts by withholding grace does not change or determine God b/c He is willing punishment (withholding grace) while willin to permit sin. God is pure act.
Thus Gods will to give grace and punish those who reject grace imply no change in God.
Anyone who performs a single act does so by efficacious grace.
While avid requires faith and works He brings it forth by His efficacious grace.

This should be enough to meditate on for now.


Almost, God may give efficacious grace to some that are not necessarily given the grace of final perseverance.



God isn't determined by man to whom He gives this efficacious grace if that what you mean. He gives it to whom He wishes.

Sufficent grace gives man the power but is never actualized it remains in potency.

For example if I'm sitting on the couch, my power to stand is in potency. This means I have the ability to stand, not just the theoretical ability. If the phone rings, I have the power to answer. If I choose to remain sitting, my power to stand remains in potency. If I later discover it was my wife due to an emergency, I will not be able to blame m wife for not standing up and actualise my potency and answer he phone. If she had warned me earlier to answer the phone I will be guilty of not responding to her call. Similarly l, if God grants me sufficent trace to perform a salutary act, I can only blame myself for resisting the grace, especially when God has warned me.

Sufficient grace remains an interior impulse, but efficacious grace produces an exterior act. With efficacious grace, man is able to resist the grace but does not, because the grace causes him to freely choose the good.

Sufficent trace is Absoulutly sufficent to obey Gods laws if not Gos punishments would be in vain. We don't know how sufficent grace can be sufficent when an efficacious grace is required. But we do know that sin is our fault and not Gods doing. Thus we can have comfort in letting a mystery be a mystery.

Again the Calvinst claim God does not give man sufficent grace.

With efficacious grace God assist us by strengthing our will so we may choose the good.an is still freely choosing the good so in a sense it can be attributed to man. However, man is able to choose good only because God continues to operate in his will making him capable of performing the act.

If God as the prary cause does not apply the will to act secondary cause then ultimately some good would not come from the source of all good. The greater would come from the lesser.




I would say that those whom God predestines is given the efficacious grace of final perseverance. But all are given sufficent grace.

The council of Orange II cannon 18 tells us "That grace is preceded by no merits a reward is due to good works, if they are performed; but grace, which is not due precedes that they may be done."

Hope this helps! You should really get the book I recommended.
I do plan on getting that book. I think it would definitely help. But until then, I'm gonna keep picking your brain.

Correct me if I'm wrong on this:

Jesus' sacrifice gave SUFFICIENT GRACE for all, but not EFFICACIOUS GRACE.
God will give EFFICACIOUS GRACE even to those who will not persevere to the end.
Man requires God's grace to repent and follow God. Is SUFFICIENT GRACE the initial grace that allows any man to turn to God and repent? Which is then followed by EFFICACIOUS GRACE to continue to "run the race"?
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"Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do." - St. Thomas Aquinas

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  #7  
Old Mar 28, '12, 10:16 am
Jerry-Jet Jerry-Jet is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

The good thing is that a Catholic doesn't have to believe everything about
predestination as taught by Aquinas.

It is acceptable to be Catholic and be a Molinist.

On the Molinist to Thomist continum I'm 75 percent towards St. Thomas Aquinas.

I think Father Most and St. Alphonso Liguori come closest to the truth when it comes to predestination but I bet that most seminary professors are in 100 percent agreement with St. Thomas Aquinas.

Other than the Immaculate Conception--St. Thomas Aquinas is right about nearly everything but just remember that the Catholic Church does not require a Catholic to be in 100 percent agreement with him when it comes to predestination.
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Old Mar 28, '12, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

This link was given, either in this thread or the other thread that was linked in this thread.

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a83.htm

This actually really cleared it up for me. I just want to make sure that it really IS the Thomist position.

The only question I have is, the website says that God gives sufficient graces to everyone but only efficacious graces to the elect. Are the sufficient graces enough for an individual to repent and come to God so that we can know that God gives the opportunity for all to be saved?
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Derek

"Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do." - St. Thomas Aquinas

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  #9  
Old Mar 28, '12, 1:55 pm
Odell Odell is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

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Originally Posted by dje101 View Post
I do plan on getting that book. I think it would definitely help. But until then, I'm gonna keep picking your brain.

Correct me if I'm wrong on this:

Jesus' sacrifice gave SUFFICIENT GRACE for all, but not EFFICACIOUS GRACE.
God will give EFFICACIOUS GRACE even to those who will not persevere to the end.
Right anyone predestined or reprobates who performs a single act does so by the power of efficacious grace. But the elect alone receive the efficious grace of final perseverence.


Quote:
Man requires God's grace to repent and follow God. Is SUFFICIENT GRACE the initial grace that allows any man to turn to God and repent?
Sufficent grace is sufficent enough to apply mans will to move however mans power to act remains in potency and is not actualized. It's efficacious grace that moves mans will from potency and actualizes man to repent.

Quote:
Which is then followed by EFFICACIOUS GRACE to continue to "run the race"?
If God wills to grant a man efficacious grace, He will grant it to him. God grants efficacious grace to even those who sin "reject His sufficent grace" You don't need to respond to sufficent grace in order to get efficacious grace. Rather Gods eternal decree determines the type of grace that He grants man.

Some teach that man can convert sufficent grace to efficacious grace by his own will; but Thomas teaches "all movement of will and choice must be traced to the divine will and not to any other cause, because avid alone is the cause of our willing and choosing."

Hence, efficacious grace does not depend upon man's power, but upon God's will. If man could make grace efficacious y his cooperation or non-resistance, than good would be attributed to man and not God. God, the author of all good, would no longer produce all good in man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dje101 View Post
This link was given, either in this thread or the other thread that was linked in this thread.

http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/a83.htm

This actually really cleared it up for me. I just want to make sure that it really IS the Thomist position.

The only question I have is, the website says that God gives sufficient graces to everyone but only efficacious graces to the elect. Are the sufficient graces enough for an individual to repent and come to God so that we can know that God gives the opportunity for all to be saved?
Yes and yes however sufficent grace is not actualized.
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  #10  
Old Mar 28, '12, 2:07 pm
Odell Odell is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

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Originally Posted by Jerry-Jet View Post
The good thing is that a Catholic doesn't have to believe everything about
predestination as taught by Aquinas.

It is acceptable to be Catholic and be a Molinist.

On the Molinist to Thomist continum I'm 75 percent towards St. Thomas Aquinas.

I think Father Most and St. Alphonso Liguori come closest to the truth when it comes to predestination but I bet that most seminary professors are in 100 percent agreement with St. Thomas Aquinas.

Other than the Immaculate Conception--St. Thomas Aquinas is right about nearly everything but just remember that the Catholic Church does not require a Catholic to be in 100 percent agreement with him when it comes to predestination.
Your right that the Church doesn't condemn either view and neither shall we. However Fr. Most misrepresents Thomas and Fr. Most teaches that man determines how God distributes His grace.

The book I recommend goes into what Fr. Most teaches. Far above my pay grade
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Old Mar 31, '12, 8:02 am
Jerry-Jet Jerry-Jet is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

Some people would say that Fr. Most does not misrepresent St. Thomas Aquinas but that he is at odds with later day followers of St. Thomas Aquinas such as Garigou Lagrange.

To be blunt--I just don't buy Thomism in regards to predestination. I can stomach 75% of the loaf-I think they are closer to the truth than the Molinists--I just can't stomach 100% of the loaf.

Sometimes I think in Catholic academic circles that a person will receive more grief from not 100% agreeing with St. Thomas than they would if on some other subject that St. Thomas Aquinas did not comment on--that if they disagreed with church doctrine itself!

In other words a theologian has to be mighty brave to disagree AT ALL with St. Thomas Aquinas.

The bottom line is you are not in conflict with church doctrine if you do not 100% agree with St. Thomas Aquinas when it comes to predestination--you'll just be in conflict with alot of its "smart people".

Could a person be a Dominican and not 100% agree with saint Thomas Aquinas?
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Old Mar 31, '12, 12:31 pm
Catholic Dude Catholic Dude is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

Here is the lynchpin for the Reformed (Calvinist) versus Catholic view on the subject of Predestination: Catholics teach Adam required grace even while in Eden if he was going to obey God for eternal life, and thus God (in giving that grace) had already Predestined Adam in some sense. Reformed Protestants utterly reject that, saying Adam didn't require grace.

The Reformed view of Predestination is that BEFORE Adam even sinned, God had already selected a number of souls to unconditionally send to heaven and a number to unconditionally send to hell. In other words, God wanted to damn without any actual grounds to do so. In order to get mankind on the road to hell, He caused Adam to sin, thus putting all those souls right where he wanted them, on the road to hell, and left them there. The ones he intended to save the entire time he provided an "escape route" via the Cross. This is the "true" Reformed view and the one that Calvin himself taught. But many Reformed folks are repulsed by this, and offer another option.

The "other" more common Reformed option is that God permitted Adam to Fall, and thus didn't cause the fall in order to put people on the road to hell, and THEN within the mass of fallen men graciously decided to rescue some of them but not others. This is closer to the Catholic view, but the problem here is that God's plan of Predestination does not include Adam, and only begins after Adam falls. And thus God's plan of Predestination is not eternal but only starts after creation is complete and only involves the rescue component.

The Catholic view of Predestination holds the grace to "obey" component is required at all times, where as the grace to "rescue" component is an added requirement in light of Original Sin. So now God not only has to rescue us out of original sin, He has to give us grace to live a Christian life and be found worthy at judgment time.

As you can see, the Catholic view throws a horrible wrench into the Reformed scheme. Since it is absurd to suggest God gives grace only to damn that individual, it can only mean, as Trent infallibly teaches, "God does not forsake those who have been once justified by His grace, unless He be first forsaken by them." So God's plan of Predestination not only takes into consideration Adam's free will, but ours as well.
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Old Mar 31, '12, 3:21 pm
Odell Odell is offline
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

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Originally Posted by Jerry-Jet View Post
Some people would say that Fr. Most does not misrepresent St. Thomas Aquinas but that he is at odds with later day followers of St. Thomas Aquinas such as Garigou Lagrange.

To be blunt--I just don't buy Thomism in regards to predestination. I can stomach 75% of the loaf-I think they are closer to the truth than the Molinists--I just can't stomach 100% of the loaf.

Sometimes I think in Catholic academic circles that a person will receive more grief from not 100% agreeing with St. Thomas than they would if on some other subject that St. Thomas Aquinas did not comment on--that if they disagreed with church doctrine itself!

In other words a theologian has to be mighty brave to disagree AT ALL with St. Thomas Aquinas.

The bottom line is you are not in conflict with church doctrine if you do not 100% agree with St. Thomas Aquinas when it comes to predestination--you'll just be in conflict with alot of its "smart people".

Could a person be a Dominican and not 100% agree with saint Thomas Aquinas?
The problem is not everyone agree with what Aquinas meant 100% of the time. For myself I happen to be in agreement with whomever I read. I don't understand all of Thomas; I think we both can agree he had a great mind!
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Old Mar 31, '12, 3:24 pm
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Default Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

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Originally Posted by Catholic Dude View Post
Here is the lynchpin for the Reformed (Calvinist) versus Catholic view on the subject of Predestination: Catholics teach Adam required grace even while in Eden if he was going to obey God for eternal life, and thus God (in giving that grace) had already Predestined Adam in some sense. Reformed Protestants utterly reject that, saying Adam didn't require grace.

The Reformed view of Predestination is that BEFORE Adam even sinned, God had already selected a number of souls to unconditionally send to heaven and a number to unconditionally send to hell. In other words, God wanted to damn without any actual grounds to do so. In order to get mankind on the road to hell, He caused Adam to sin, thus putting all those souls right where he wanted them, on the road to hell, and left them there. The ones he intended to save the entire time he provided an "escape route" via the Cross. This is the "true" Reformed view and the one that Calvin himself taught. But many Reformed folks are repulsed by this, and offer another option.

The "other" more common Reformed option is that God permitted Adam to Fall, and thus didn't cause the fall in order to put people on the road to hell, and THEN within the mass of fallen men graciously decided to rescue some of them but not others. This is closer to the Catholic view, but the problem here is that God's plan of Predestination does not include Adam, and only begins after Adam falls. And thus God's plan of Predestination is not eternal but only starts after creation is complete and only involves the rescue component.

The Catholic view of Predestination holds the grace to "obey" component is required at all times, where as the grace to "rescue" component is an added requirement in light of Original Sin. So now God not only has to rescue us out of original sin, He has to give us grace to live a Christian life and be found worthy at judgment time.

As you can see, the Catholic view throws a horrible wrench into the Reformed scheme. Since it is absurd to suggest God gives grace only to damn that individual, it can only mean, as Trent infallibly teaches, "God does not forsake those who have been once justified by His grace, unless He be first forsaken by them." So God's plan of Predestination not only takes into consideration Adam's free will, but ours as well.
That's right at least Thomas was able to understand all good comes from God and all who are damned, damned themselves.
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Old Apr 2, '12, 9:53 am
Good Fella Good Fella is offline
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Cool Re: Aquinas' predestination vs. Calvin's double predestination

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Originally Posted by dje101 View Post
Hello all.

I've started reading a bit about Thomas Aquinas' predestination in the summa. I know there are big discussions about this, but I just need a bit of clarification. What is the difference between Aquinas' predestination and Calvin's double predestination?

Thanks

Derek
John Calvin taught that Christ did not die for the reprobate, but only for the elect who alone receive irresistible (unco-operative) grace. The reprobate receives no grace at all, not even sufficient grace which Calvinists deny exists, for God has decreed that some people must perish. In raw Calvinism God does not desire that all people be saved, regardless of any demerits which can consequently be taken into account. On the contrary, God does not will any should perish (2 Pet 3:9) provided we keep his commandments (remain in God s grace) and repent of our sins, since Christ has formally atoned for the sins of everyone and made eternal satisfaction to the Father.

In his own body he brought our sins to the cross, so that all of us dead to sin could live in accord with God s will.
1 Pet 2, 24

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