I just read the Salvation Controversy published by Catholic Answers. Well…somehow I feel I have more questions than answers after that book, although as a whole I liked it.
The part that doesn’t give me peace is the part about predestination. I have thought that it is the Church’s teaching that God wants all to be saved and gives all the necessary and sufficient grace to be saved and the free will to accept or reject it. In his omniscience he knows who will accept that grace and the ones that he foresees to accept it, can be called the predestined ones, as St.Paul says (the ones he foresaw, those he also predestined or something like that). Now I thought we cannot believe that God predestines only some to heaven. However Mr.Akin’s book in the TULIP chapter explains that there are two schools of thought in the Church and the Thomist one is very close to Calvinism and basically allows the idea that God chooses some to salvation. The two schools of thought are forbidden to call each other heretics, both are ok Catholic thinking. I was surprised by this. I think the Thomist view presented in the book is in contradiction with the other view and also with the unconditional love and justice of God and free will. The arguments the book presents are the following: it doesn’t go against free will because the elect will freely want God&salvation and get it precisely because God chose them to do so. I don’t think this argument is valid…if God decided what you will “freely” decide, what freedom is that? Also the counter-argument to “God wants all men to be saved” sounds weak: a father can intend to punish his child without wanting to do so…thus God can want all men to be saved but not intend it. There is a good purpose in punishing, but how does leaving people outside salvation work for their good? This isn’t a loving God, our God…or is it? That’s what doesn’t give me peace. Doesn’t Paul’s comment about predestination (mentioned above) refute Thomism? He predestines the ones that freely choose him, not the other way around. If there are some Thomists out there among you, please clarify why one should believe as you believe. All comments are welcome from all, of course. I have never heard the Thomist view being taught by any faithful Catholics, is it really true that this view is acceptable, and is it really not in contradiction with the other view?
Gratefully yours and wishing you a holy yuletide