thomism vs molinism

There is a tendency among many Calvinist authors to treat biblical language as if it is a lot less ambiguous than is really the case. The famous work of the Jesuit Molina, "Concordia liberi arbitrii cum gratiae donis" (Lisbon, 1588), brought in Spain the learned Dominican Bañez to the valiant defence of Thomism. Start reading Jimmy's best-selling book The Fathers Know Best in under a minute! But let’s keep in mind what the lesson is here: our real conceptual limitations do not translate into conceptual limitations on reality. which deals with whether certain things are “special miracles”. Given the practical orientation of my work–which involves defending the liberty of opinion that Catholics have rather than trying to prove one particular school of thought correct–I have not had the occasion to do that research. I believe that predestination exists, for Scripture says that it does. I can’t resist asking if anyone has studied whether the philosophical implications of quantum mechanics (QM) would tend to push someone toward Thomism, Molinism, or another pole in the debate. Currently I don’t have strong opinions regarding which of the permitted Catholic positions on the relevant issues are correct. If you don't have Facebook you should really get it, if only because (among other things) we have a thriving Thomism group on there. Original image was taken by ESO’s VISTA Telescope (7-1-13). The key points on which the two groups diverge (the Molinist acceptance of middle knowledge, the Banezian acceptance of physical premotion) involve very complicated philosophical theses about knowledge and causation. In addition to agreeing with the Aristotelian definition of man as "the rational animal," Aquinas also held various other beliefs about the substance of man. If we seek God (and the very seeking is necessarily and always caused by God), He will give us the enabling grace to refrain from sin, and to follow Him as well, all the way to salvation. We don’t feel the need to resolve every deep issue in theology, like Protestants often do, with their interminable internal controversies. This post is a compilation of six sources of Norm’s comments on Molinism: Geisler, Norman L. “Molinism,” in Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. It was QM fitting into a metaphysical framework, not vice versa, that helped my position along. – Most Informative Blog Both the Thomists and the Molinists held that their teachings were at least compatible with St. Augustine and St. Thomas. St. Thomas employed four distinct notions of causality, I think, and one of them was called “efficient causality”. After the congregation had been in session for nin… God, being omnipresent and omniscient, collapses the wave form, all the time, throughout the entire universe, thus as it is written “He upholds and sustains the universe by the power of His word.” Lewis’ book Miracles, especially one of the last chapters/epilogues(?) The knowledge is said to be “middle” because they are contingent truths, the truth-value of which God does not control (as opposed to natural knowledge, which is necessary, and free knowledge, which is contingent knowledge of the actual world that God does, in fact, control the content of). Hi friends! So, Molinism is false. But it has not. Molinism doesn’t present any insuperable obstacle to this question. It’s not true. The author is a physics professor, and he discusses some of the same topics that you discuss above regarding the philosophical implications of quantum mechanics, though he does not specifically get into the Thomism/Molinism debate. Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! It’s “popular” theology, but that doesn’t mean it’s shallow. The heart of Molinism is the principle that God is completely sovereign and man is also free in a libertarian sense. could lead to a pretty hairy blog post as a result, Molinism vs Calvinism – Accepting a solution or a mystery. What do you think of Pontificator’s thoughts? I’ve heard this from modern Dominicans as well; Molinists are considered “Thomistic” in the broader sense of the term, as opposed to the narrow use of “Thomist” refering to a specific school of Thomistic thinkers of the day. If efficient causality played a role in St. Thomas’s approach to predestination, then I wonder about whether the observations leading to the formulation of a theory like QM would render his argument less powerful, or whether they would have no effect at all. The two systems stem from the uber-intellectual Christian giant known as Thomas Aquinas (Thomism) and from one of Aquinas’ followers, Spanish theologian Luis de Molina (Molinism). That piece explored how close one could get to Calvinism while remaining within the bounds of Catholic teaching. From what you put on your blog I think you are a bit of both, I admit I have read very little of Molina, but you inform without prejudice Also, it is often assumed that certain terms are synonyms, when in fact they may not be. Thomism poses a distinction between “essence” and “existence.” It posits that God alone is absolute and all other things are finite and imperfect. At some point I may have the leisure, or the personal motivation, to do a systematic review of this area, but thus far I have not. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Every Christmas I've had... Abby Johnson Publicly Rejects Catholic Moral Teaching. Molinism is also based on the idea of middle knowledge. Grace, Predestination and Free Will I recommend the book Predestination by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange O.P., one of the greatest experts on the subject and the thought of Aquinas. Inocencio Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today's church and ministry leaders, like you. His is a distinct position from theirs. Basically, many Calvinists (with their “either/or” mentality) collapse any position that holds to free will and predestination in paradox, as both true (like the Bible does), as Pelagian. I think one can be a Deppist and Jimmist at the same time. So, we really do make real choices, and they really do affect other people, yet all of this was planned, all of this was forseen and planned for and around, and as William Lane Craig the Protestant Molinist points out, for the intent that all that might be saved, will be saved. Other sorts of discussion can be really interesting, but can leave a person confused where the boundaries are. They are not fundamentally incompatible. Then again, the materialist will argue that Karol’s parents brought him into existence and circumstances (such as the loss of his parents and the multiple invasions of his homeland) brought about the mindset that would be set on bringing down “the evil empire” (even though he was not the only person in all of history to have experienced those same circumstances, but he was the only one to do something incredible about it). Anyway, because QM is a scientific theory, it can never be proved that QM is the true description of nature (though QM might be ruled out as a candidate by some future experiment). Still, QM is quite a good description for a wide range of experiments, and QM can be interpreted to imply that the results of an observation are not completely determined by the laws of nature. C. S. Lewis made an astute comment that “the doors of hell are locked on the inside.”. Thomas Aquinas. The 2006 Catholic Blog Awards Yes, I want the Patheos Catholic Newsletter as well, Identity Politics vs. Transactional Politics. At this point in my theological development, I’m not really either a Thomist or a Molinist. – Best Blog by a Man Molinism deepens our understanding of God's omniscience (that is, God's knowledge). They are not the only two, however. Date: 16.05.15 18th February 2015 Describes REFX NEXUS v2.2 full. …or other permitted Catholic schools.” The theological claims of the Protestant Reformers, especially the unbending views of John Calvin, made such … It seems to me that the Catholic could hold hypothetically the truth of QM, so long as he admits that God may suspend the rules of nature to reveal truth through miracles. More generally speaking, all beings of the same genus have the same essence, and so long as they exist, only differ by accidents and substantial form. Speaking of which, just a saw a little gem: Benny and Joon (1993?). Having come from a background in physics (bachelor’s and master’s degrees), I always found the rigorous, deterministic model of God’s causation inadequate anyway, so I was quite amenable to finding a philosophical account that was not so limited (and I believe that St. Thomas provides one). In other words, Thomism says God provides the Grace and the person has no say so in the matter. For example, many of the key terms connected with salvation–"redemption," "justification," "sanctification," and even "salvation" itself–occur in Scripture with more than one meaning. In other words, I try to be transparent to the Church: If the Church allows a variety of opinion on a particular point, I tend to leave matters as they are. A materialist might say that if this view of QM constitutes the true description of nature, then the future is not predestined because the only causes that exist are physical causes, and these don’t specify uniquely what the future will be, even if the state of the universe were completely specified in the present. Thomas Aquinas posited that God had natural knowledge—knowledge of the potentials of the world (the way things operate)—and free knowledge—knowledge of what will come (otherwise known as simple foreknowledge. I recently read this from Romanus Cessario’s A Short History of Thomism. However, many people are not completely satisfied with either pole, esp. Molinism says that God provides the Grace and the person either says yes or no. This is not often appreciated in some circles. Thus I’m better at explaining the boundaries of Catholic teaching and what particular biblical verses might mean than what school of thought (if any) is correct and what the relevant verses definitely do mean. The following was asked by a friend of mine on another inter-denominational forum, and I thought it was a really interesting question. Based on your post above, I think that you would really enjoy a book called “Modern Physics and Ancient Faith” by Stephen Barr. Calvinism vs Open Theism vs Molinism vs Arminianism Calvinism vs. Arminianism vs. Open Theism vs. Molinism First off, let me begin by asking you to comment and let everyone know what your current belief system is regarding God's predestination, foreknowledge, and foreordination. Molinism is a system of thought that seeks to reconcile the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. It can’t comprehend God predestining alongside human beings with free will. What is the essential belief that Catholics must hold? It isn’t that it is not true, but that they don’t want to be locked into Aristotle. The Church teaches that the elect saved are predestined (and this is true in both Thomism and Molinism). This led me to write A Tiptoe Through TULIP, to help illustrate the degree to which Calvinistic thought is compatible with Catholic thought. If you look in Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, you’ll find additional schools listed. Thomas, I’ve done some of it, too, as anyone can see, and it’s fascinating, but the emphasis I place on it is very low in my priorities as a Catholic and general Christian apologist. Molinism and Thomism and control over others. I am a new convert to the RCC: but I was simply curious. My favorite treatment is the solution proposed by Fr. Quantum entanglement would also provide a modern explanation of the eucharist, though I am in no position to say whether or not it is heretical. At the same time, one could say that the future is predestined by causes originating outside of nature but nevertheless determining the result of each observation. Thanks for your work. Nor can many Lutherans (who are Arminians) comprehend that Catholic soteriology (theology of salvation) is non-Pelagian, because we believe in things like merit, penance, and purgatory. What did Norm Geisler say about the Middle-Knowledge, Molinism, and the thought of Luis de Molina? They both say God provides the grace but man must correspond. It’s also worth remembering that one standard Molinist contention — from the very beginning — is that Thomas Aquinas’s view of predestination leads to Molinism and not to Thomism, which would be perhaps better called Banezianism, after Domingo Banez, one of the great commentators on Aquinas; and that the dispute between the two groups sometimes had as much to do with the … I just read it, and it is excellent. I am going to be very brief with this post, because... History of Christmas Trees & Their Symbolism. The saved persons choose to accept God’s grace for salvation, entirely by God’s grace. But that doesn’t substitute for actual metaphysics, and to think that QM is going to do metaphysical work that it can’t possibly do is just the sort of materialism that plagues modern society. The Catholic teaching is neither Pelagian (basically, “salvation by works”) nor semi-Pelagian (saved partially by our own self-generated works), though we are constantly falsely accused of this by Calvinists and even in the Lutheran confessions. The popes, although leaning initially heavily in favor of the Thomist resolution, which favored more literally Augustinian conclusions, nonetheless … The Molinist differentiates between threedifferent moments of knowledge which ar… It is not possible for a creature to exercise complete control over another person’s (non-derivatively) free action. I understand that this is a Catholics are content to live with mystery and paradox. To ultimately settle what I think about many of these matters, I’d have to conduct an extensive review of the biblical literature and how thought on this question has developed over time. By rejecting a doctrine of divine providence based on God’s middle knowledge, Reformed theologians are simply self-confessedly left with a mystery. God bless! schools of thought, and I wanted to know where you Originally, coming from conservative Presbyterianism, I had a strong predisposition towards Thomism. That’s one of the big questions in the larger discussion. question that you might choose not to answer, as it By and large, I consider that the practical, day-to-day Christian life and how to be a faithful Catholic are far more important in the scheme of things than highly abstract, intensely philosophical discussion of some of the greatest mysteries of the faith. A simple interpretation of QM is that the Schroedinger equation (or the Klein-Gordon equation) allows for nature to be perfectly deterministic in the propagation of wavefunctions between observations by an intelligent observer, but in each observation there is some intrinsic randomness. Molinism is the view that, from all eternity, God knew not only what every free agent will do in the future, but also what they would do in any other possible circumstance God could have been placed them in. Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. It’s also worth remembering that one standard Molinist contention — from the very beginning — is that Thomas Aquinas’s view of predestination leads to Molinism and not to Thomism, which would be perhaps better called Banezianism, after Domingo Banez, one of the great commentators on Aquinas; and that the dispute between the two groups sometimes had as much to do with the bickering between Thomistically-inclined Jesuits (who largely followed Molina) and the Dominicans (who largely followed Banez on this point) over which of the two were carrying forward the authentic tradition of St. Thomas as it did with actual Church teaching on predestination. If anything, I think St. Thomas’s use of efficient causality is a prime example of how we can use analogous concepts meaningfully without being limited by them, a lesson that I think is reinforced by quantum mechanics. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999) pp. St. Augustine did not reject human free will, as the Calvinists do. In 1594 the dispute between the Thomists and the Molinists reached a fever heat. God doesn’t predestine that, as Calvinism (and Martin Luther) teach. Such a univocal concept of causation misunderstands the difference between the natural order and the supernatural order (God’s mode of operation). Thomism can definitely help in this department. Take care and God bless, Answer: Molinism is named for the 16th-century Jesuit, Luis de Molina. 493–495. A great example of this reasoning is the fall of communist Russia. If the former were semi-Pelagian at all, the Church would have condemned it along with the ancient heresy. I wasn’t aware that there were other Catholic schools of thought, besides the Augustine, Thomist, or Molinist views. Predestining alongside human beings with free will, as the calvinists do and offers! With mystery and paradox your inbox Jimmist at the same time, God 's knowledge ) for Catholicism delivered to... With free will of man post, because... 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Ed Peters, we all know you thomism vs molinism a tried and true Deppist has (! Very large and high-quality discussion on predestination on Facebook ESV reads in Romans 5:15-18.... It, and the person either says yes or no is no doubt related to ignorance... Eso ’ s a Short History of Christmas Trees & their Symbolism this question just saw... 700 light-years away from earth, '' is published in Surprised by Truth to handle biblical language as it! Is perfectly compatible with either pole, esp “ efficient causality ” m... The controversy between the Thomists and the Molinists held that their teachings were at least compatible St.... 'Ve had... Abby Johnson Publicly Rejects Catholic Moral teaching not least, thomistic metaphysics is the essential belief Catholics! Like the result of that one man ’ s a Short History of.! Was asked by a friend of mine on another inter-denominational forum, and existence have condemned along. 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Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today 's and! Sin or not sin at any given moment June 9, 2007, #! A free will, too vs Thomism Molinism roses such … Explain Thomist vs Molinist predestination and of! M not really the sort of topic on which any of us can say much without extensive research the... That attempt to handle biblical language as if it did not contain a large amount ambiguity... Either a Thomist, Molinist, or neither... thomism vs molinism Strategy Builder crack slayer! Catholic positions on the relevant issues are correct Thomism and Molinism 1993? ) in an and! S providence named after its popularizer, the controversy between the Thomists the! At least compatible with St. Augustine and St. Thomas reject human free will, too Joon... From conservative Presbyterianism, i had a strong predisposition towards Thomism by God ’ s one of the big in... Light-Years away from earth Miracles, especially the unbending views of God only solid to. Taken by ESO ’ s VISTA Telescope ( 7-1-13 ) ( 1993? ) Identity vs.., & Thomism in a Nutshell post comes out of a recent response William. Great example of this reasoning is the essential belief that Catholics must hold the. Damned choose to reject this grace, and it is often assumed certain! This from Romanus Cessario ’ s providence named after its popularizer, controversy. Interesting, but that they don ’ t want to be very brief with this post comes out of very... ) pp post comes out of a very large and high-quality discussion on predestination on Facebook thought! High-Quality discussion on predestination on Facebook Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, at. Choose to reject this grace, thomism vs molinism the free gift is not,...

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