Schools of thought on Predestination

Jimmy Akin in his article on what he believes about predestination says “If you look in Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, you’ll find additional schools listed.” I no longer have that book. Can anyone list those schools for me, and we can then discuss what they say

I believe the schools of thought you seek are the Augustinian and Thomist. I am fascinated by predestination/election myself. An excellent resource is “Predestination-The Meaning of Predestination in Scripture and th Church” by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange.

Check Presbyterian-John Calvanist writings and Libraries.
My humble thoughts are: God is omniscient. So one should think He will know all who are going to come to heaven, hence, predestination. BUT, God gives us free will. And there is the gospel of the great dinner w the invited wealthy friends who do not attend. And the Host, sends His servants out to the streets to bring anyone in off the streets. The Host being God should have known the wealthy would not come. .
The lesson is that money raises one to snobbery to miss God’s invitation. We are getting priest from poor countries because in our wealthy countries, we can’t hear His call. Or free will has changed the direction of who is going where.
Then, there is the gospel of the man who owns the vineyards and has to gets the grapes picked this day. He hires men at day break, at noon and at the end of the day and he pays them the same salary. The poor guy at 0700hrs is cheated. But if you slide in at the end you are still saved. I think God gives us a little wiggle room to surprise Him. Otherwise we would be Chatty Kathy dolls w set programs.

Just a thought.

in Christs’ Love tweedlealice :shrug:

Augustine’s and Thomas’s views are identical. There is the Molinists. I was wondering other ones too. Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange is not a source consistent with the Magisterium because he tries (but fails) to argue that Trent condemned Molinism, even though Popes after Trent taught that Molinism is not against Church teachings.

Glad you find it fascinating. I’ve found it incredibly prickly and troublesome, to reconcile it with free will.

Tweedlelice’s summary, al beit an oversimplification (appropriate for a message board post), I think sums up my reconciliation of the topic fairly well–as essentially, a characterization of St. Augustine’s–as God is outside of time, and therefore knows how each individual faith journey plays out (and according to His omnipotence, designs it so).

…but, IMHO, it is an issue that causes more problems than not, as it entails knowledge that is quite simply, far beyond our comprehension (as time bound creatures), and has a tendency to yield a false sense of security–as everyone who seems to take comfort in the concept, does so on the basis that they number among the elect ("…the sheep hear/know the shepherd’s voice…").

I prefer to embrace our humble, time-bound existence as I am able to perceive it, and leave what is exclusively God’s (i.e.–who is among ‘the elect’, and who is not) to God.

But that’s just me.

As for the OP…my apologies…I don’t have any sources readily available to point to. Good luck.

We have had scholars and Saints ponder the Greatness of God. Yet, ALL the little children run to Him. Now, note the word children. The children had to grow up and get contaminated w the world. So, even though we come to Him as little children, our thoughts are cluttered w deep thoughts, though, hopefully, our spirits are like little children. It is a relationship that is hard to pull off, especially for men. Though there is basketball and softball. We must for many reasons keep part of the little child alive in all of us. There are scripture verses that can argue predestination. There are scripture verses that can argue once saved, always saved and I have a few for the opposite.But I see St. Theresa, the Little Flower listening to us and shaking her head and saying,“Are you forgetting His love, forgiveness and Mercy??” Someone not predestined may be showered with His love, forgiveness and mercy at His or Her last moment of breath.
God has judgement. St. Sr. Faustina has written in her diary that there are two roads that lead to heaven one is judgement and one is mercy. God is burning inside w His mercy to pour out amongst His chlidren. That evens the playing ground. THE CHAPLET OF MERCY The church has sanctioned it. The Bible is true and Holy Spirit inspired. There have been messages sent by His mother at different times sending us in worship back to her Son. Sometimes asking for the rosary said for the conversion of Russia, etc…St.Sr. Faustina’s diary has been studied and sanctioned by the church. Jesus would choose, one, such as she. So, in love w her Lord. Mercy trumps judgement. Hallelujah. There goes predestination, once saved, always saved,…Amen. Just many, humble thoughts for you great learned men. I thank God for you. God’s little brown wren,
In Christs’ love,
Everyone’s prayers worked. I survived my surgery. thanks to everyone.

Ludwig Ott mentions the Thomists, Augustinians, Scotists, and Molinists. There is another school of thought, if I’m not mistaken, on this topic called congruists. I think St Alphonsus Liguori was a proponent of this school, again, if I’m not mistaken.

An excellent resource on the subject of predestination is the book “Grace, Predestination, and the Salvific Will of God,” by Fr. William G. Most, 1997. Fr. Most investigates the theological thought pertaining to predestination and its relation to grace and free will throughout the history of the Church in the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, Holy Scripture, and official magisterium teachings.

Fr. Most’s investigation can be summed up, I think, in these words of the CCC #600:
“To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace.”

Well the Thomists and Augustinians do not differ in what they believe, although I am starting to think Aquinas was ambiguous enough on this not to be counted as among those groups. Aquinas specifically argues against Molinists’ theory of middle knowledge.

What distinguishes Scotists on this question?

If one delves into the Aquinas corpus of writings, he/she can probably find something that relates to the Molinist’s theory of middle knowledge concerning futuribles and other such concepts. Though the Aquinas writings may not have the same terms as the terms used in the theory of middle knowledge because Louis de Molina who I believe proposed the theory of middle knowledge lived about 300+ years after Aquinas. Thus, the theory of middle knowledge as propounded by Molina was unknown to Aquinas.

I do not know off hand what may distinguish the Scotists on this question. They would probably fall into the camp of the Augustinian school as the Franciscans in general are or were adherents to the teaching of Augustine.

I’ve just reread Aquinas treatise on Predestination, and what he says on knowledge. He specifically talks about God giving man grace that He knows will be used a certain way. He argues that God grace is prior to that person, so the middle way is mentioned and rejected. He does say that God sees the future as if with one glance, which people confuse with the middle way

And so others said that merits following the effect of predestination are the reason of predestination; giving us to understand that God gives grace to a person, and pre-ordains that He will give it, because He knows beforehand that He will make good use of that grace, as if a king were to give a horse to a soldier because he knows he will make good use of it. But these seem to have drawn a distinction between that which flows from grace, and that which flows from free will, as if the same thing cannot come from both. It is, however, manifest that what is of grace is the effect of predestination; and this cannot be considered as the reason of predestination, since it is contained in the notion of predestination. Therefore, if anything else in us be the reason of predestination, it will outside the effect of predestination. Now there is no distinction between what flows from free will, and what is of predestination; as there is not distinction between what flows from a secondary cause and from a first cause.

I guess you can say this is referring to prepatory grace, which I think Molinists would believe in

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the book by Fr. Most “Grace, Predestination, and the Salvific Will of God,” is, I believe, invaluable to gain an understanding of Aquinas’ position on the subjects in question. In examining the corpus of Aquinas’ writings, Fr. Most finds that Aquinas really had two opposing views on predestination, which he, Aquinas, did not know how to reconcile and being the great theologian he was, let them stand as is.

One view of Aquinas on predestination was influenced by the brilliant St Augustine and an interpretation of Romans 9-10 (I think I got the correct chapters here) that is peculiar to Augustine among the Fathers and which interpretation does not hold up to sound biblical exegesis of today. Here, if I’m not mistaken, Augustine applies the free choice of the Israelite people by God to be the chosen people to individual souls and their eternal destiny. Augustine had lots of prestige in the schools of Aquinas’ time and Aquinas was not prone to depart from Augustinian biblical exegesis unless for good reasons. This particular view of Aquinas I think can be found in his treatise on predestination in the ST, particularly the reply to obj. 3 in article 5.

The other view of Aquinas on the subject at hand is taken from 1 Timothy 2:4 where St Paul writes “God wills all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” In SCG, Book 3, part 2, chapter 159, Aquinas presents a question that if human beings cannot attain eternal salvation without God’s prevenient grace, are human beings responsible if they do not attain salvation? Here, Aquinas writes “since this ability to impede or not impede the reception of divine grace is within the scope of free choice, not undeservedly is responsibility for the fault imputed to him who offers an impediment to the reception of grace. In fact, as far as he is concerned, God is ready to give grace to all (here Aquinas quotes the passage from 1 Timothy). But those alone are deprived of grace who offer an obstacle within themselves to grace.”

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