Video Responses to an Anti-Catholic

by Steve Ray on April 22, 2008

Ben Douglas has uploaded a few video critiques of an anti-Catholic which many of you may find interesting. Ben has promised future editions on Charity with Opponents and St. Ignatius of Antioch. Stay tuned!

Predestination Part 1 and Part II.  Ben posted the text of the his comments here. Check out his excellent website Pugio Fidei here.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben Douglass April 22, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Dear Steve,

Thanks a lot for the recommendation. He-who-shall-remain-nameless said on his podcast-which-shall-remain-nameless that most Catholics will wonder what planet I’m from after hearing what I say about predestination. I guess this comment box is an opportunity to find out whether he’s right! I simply ask anyone who comments to respect the magisterium’s resolution to the Thomist-Molinist debates: Thomists are not allowed to call Molinists Pelagians and Molinists are not allowed to call Thomists Calvinists. :)

Best wishes with your Abraham DVD. I will pray for your safety in Iraq and the success of the project.

Brent April 23, 2008 at 11:55 AM

I don’t really fall into either camp (Thomist or Molinist), but if the Church says you’re within the limits of Catholic doctrine, then it’s good enough for me.

I’d also like to point people to Jimmy Akin’ article, “A Tiptoe Through TULIP”

http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/tulip.htm

Shane April 24, 2008 at 2:03 AM

I also do not fall into either position. I have the most reservations about the Thomist system, however, because I simply can’t see how it fails to utterly eliminate the possibility of love. The Thomist system, so far as I can tell, at the very least boarders on forcing people to serve God rather than people being able to choose to do so with the movement and inspiration of Grace. I just don’t see how it leaves free-will as a real, and certainly as a meaningful, concept.

In fact, one of the key tennents of it seems to me to be contrary to the Council of Trent’s teaching that efficacious Grace can be resisted. The Thomistic sense of efficacious Grace is that it is different in sufficient Grace in that sufficient Grace is sufficient to bring about it’s intended effect, but efficacious Grace will by its very nature not fail to achieve it’s intended effect. Thus, if God gives me efficacious Grace, I cannot fail to respond to it. This would seem to be irresistable…. I have never heard any explanation of how it is not logically identical to irresistable Grace.

I think that perhaps the key may lie somewhere in this problem. Perhaps efficacious Grace does indeed operate infallibly, but it is bestowed upon those who respond to a sufficient Grace of accepting the efficacious Grace, or some such thing. Perhaps it is as simple as that efficacious Grace is merely a Grace to which one responds, as opposed to one to which one does not respond. There are other possibilities.

The Molonist position has its own problems.

Personally, I don’t think that either position is correct, and in fact I don’t think that the correct position is necessarily possible to express. God told us an awful lot of things about Himself and how the world He has created works. He didn’t tell us everything about everything, but He did teach us something about everything. Yet when it comes to predestination, He’s given us virtually nothing other than the fact that something called predestination exists. I think that this points to the fact that whatever predestination is, it is beyond the human capacity to understand. Were it not, surely God would have given us more insight into it, as He has not begrudged us this in any other area of revelation.

Ben Douglass April 24, 2008 at 9:46 PM

Dear Shane,

Too briefly, the will retains a potentiality to resist efficacious grace which is never actualized.

Efficacious grace does not destroy free will because the proper object of the will is good, so grace, in causing the will to choose good, is simply freeing the will to act in accord with its own nature.

Pope Paul V declared at Trent, “The opinion of the Friars Preachers differs very much from that of Calvin. For the Dominicans say that grace does not destroy but perfects free will, and such is its power that it leaves man to act as befits his nature, which is freely.”

Ben Douglass April 24, 2008 at 9:55 PM

“Yet when it comes to predestination, He’s given us virtually nothing other than the fact that something called predestination exists.”

I disagree. A great deal about predestination can be derived from exegesis of Scripture. Cf. Prov 16:4; 21:1; Luke 12:32; John 10:27-30; 15:6; 17:2; Acts 13:48; Rom 8:28-30; 9:18; 11:5; 1 Cor 4:7; Eph 1:3-7; Phil 2:13.

Brent April 25, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Ben,

Does it say anywhere in Scripture that the proper object of the will is good? And how do you define “will?”

Dave April 29, 2008 at 11:02 PM

Ben,

Why does James White keep on ignoring you? He normally takes to to task any Catholic that disagrees with him. When you were with CAI he made up excuses not to allow you speak with him on his radio show and didn’t respond to your excellent article on eternal security. Now that you are no longer with that apostolate I was wondering whether he would now give you the time of day, as his excuse then was that he would no longer engage with CAI.

Ben Douglass consider ringing his radio show again. By the way would you formally debate James White, on eternal security?

God bless and keep up the good work.

Dave

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