Predestination vs. free will


#1

Hi all,

From Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott:

“God, by his eternal resolve of Will, has predetermined certain men to eternal blessedness.”

“The human will remains free under the influence of efficacious grace, which is not irresistible.”

How are we as Catholics to understand these truths? I know that Protestants are divided into two theological camps, Calvinist versus Arminian. And the Lutherans are actually in the middle, believing that it is a mystery how both are true.

Thanks,

Gene


#2

I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that Ludwig Ott is not reliable, and held many incorrect beliefs. If I am wrong it is only because he has a similar name to someone who is troublesome. I am certain of the man I am thinking of, I just may have his name wrong (but I don’t think I do).

Also remember that just because an early Christian writer said something, it doesn’t mean it is true. Plenty of the fathers held incorrect beliefs, including even people like Augustine (though his mistakes were less important). Only the Magesterium has infallability, not early Christian writers.

Of course, we can use a *consensus * of what early Christian writers said to see what early Christians believed.


#3

[quote=Gene C.]Hi all,

From Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott:

“God, by his eternal resolve of Will, has predetermined certain men to eternal blessedness.”
[/quote]

True - if anything, it understates what is asserted in Ephesians 1 and Romans 8; which is not predetermination, but predestination.

“The human will remains free under the influence of efficacious grace,

True in the sense in which it is asserted by Catholic theologians; false if intended as a rebuttal of Calvinist doctrine, since it seeks to rebut something not asserted by that. The reason being, that the the two Christianities use the term “free will” in different senses, so that what Calvinists reject is not what Catholics assert.

which is not irresistible.”

What Calvinists affirm by irresistible grace is not what most Catholics deny by denying that grace is irresistible.

How are we as Catholics to understand these truths? I know that Protestants are divided into two theological camps, Calvinist versus Arminian. And the Lutherans are actually in the middle, believing that it is a mystery how both are true.

[size=3]Thanks,

Gene[/size]


#4

catholicculture.org/docs/most/getchap.cfm?WorkNum=214&ChapNum=6
"The council of Quiersy (year 853) taught: “Almighty God wills all men without exception, to be saved, even though not all are saved. The fact that some are saved is the gift of Him who saves: the fact that some are lost, is the merit of those who are lost.” The council of Valence (year 855) taught: “…[the council] holds, in regard to divine predestination … that in election, the mercy of God precedes good merits [on the part of men]: but that in the damnation of those who are lost, evil merits precede the just judgment of God.” So these two councils at least seem to hold a difference between the manner of predestining and the manner of reprobating. For in predestining, the mercy of God comes before any good merits on the part of men, so that men are saved, fundamentally, by divine mercy. But in reprobating on the other hand, evil merits on the part of men come before the judgment, so that those who perish, perish through their own demerits."


#5

Predestination my foot!

1st Timothy 2:1 I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men: 2 For kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

John 12:32: and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

The New Testament speaks clearly for itself!
Pax vobiscum,


#6

Hi all,

And thanks to those who’ve posted so far.

Gottle, is Lazer right about Ludwig Ott? I’m under the assumption that the 252 (I counted them) statements are Catholic dogma and so must be believed.

Thanks,
Gene


#7

I do not know the answer to your original post, but can tell you most assuredly that Ludwig Ott is orthodox in every way. His book is still considered the most reliable compilation of Catholic dogma around and is frequently referred to by all respectable apologists including those at Catholic Answers. Have no fear, Ludwig Ott is solid.


#8

Knute,

Thanks! That’s what I thought. As soon as I’m finished with reading the Catechism, I’m going to tackle Ott. Probably take me a year or so to wade through it.

Grace and peace,
Gene


#9

[quote=Gene C.]Hi all,

From Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott:

“God, by his eternal resolve of Will, has predetermined certain men to eternal blessedness.”

“The human will remains free under the influence of efficacious grace, which is not irresistible.”

How are we as Catholics to understand these truths? I know that Protestants are divided into two theological camps, Calvinist versus Arminian. And the Lutherans are actually in the middle, believing that it is a mystery how both are true.

Thanks,

Gene
[/quote]

Try this, although you may have seen it before:
cin.org/users/james/files/tulip.htm


#10

[quote=Church Militant]Predestination my foot!
[/quote]

Acts 4:28; Rom 8:29-30; 1 Cor 2:7; Eph 1:5, 11.


#11

[quote=Church Militant]The New Testament speaks clearly for itself!
[/quote]

Mr. Militant

I read this same comment on one of those protestant forums, and it had me shaking my head then.

When I read it in your post, it made me cringe.

It sounds so…

so…

so…

protestant.

If the Bible spoke for itself, we wouldn’t be having debates on the meaning of scripture.

(my own pet peeve… take it for what it’s worth)

Peace


#12

While talking about “predestination” and “free will” people always do a chief mistake: misunderstanding words.

For instance, I would like to read the word “predestination” in the Scripture used IN THE WAY IT IS USED BY THEOLOGIANS.

As for free will, I would like to ask each one of us to ponder on the following words of our Blessed Lord:

“you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” ( John 8:32 )

“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” ( John 8:34)

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” ( John 8:36 )

Is a SLAVE OF SIN free not to sin? What can he do with his free will?

THEOPHILUS†


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.