Saturday, March 9, 2024

Catholicism vs Calvinism

Calvinism and Catholicism (w/ Redeemed Zoomer)
The Counsel of Trent | 4 March 2024

on the whole
It was a surprise to me, and a welcome one, that Calvinism after the Council of Trent did not dig into all positions the council fathers had found rejectable in Institutio Christianae Religionis. I noted at 55:12 that Heidelberg and Westminister catechisms actually were written after Trent Session VI, it is also possible that the council fathers condemned not just positions actually promoted by some reformer, but also adjacent ones.

Perhaps "Jesus did not die for all in His prevenient intention" was not a thing found even in Institutio Christianae Religionis. And Trent VI canon XXVII might also be a "strategic adjacent position" as well, or at least the part of "predestined to evil" is not shared by Calvinists using the two most popular catechisms.

That said, I feel no urge at all to become Calvinist ...

First forty minutes without me stopping the video to comment = a fairly high stamp of quality on my part.

41:45 My mother, in Austria, had the option of sending me to Catholic or Calvinist catechesis. Note, in Austria, like in Germany, like formerly in Sweden, prior to Olof Palme, catechesis is a subject that you can't sidestep.

She chose Catholic over Calvinist, perhaps less for Real Presence, than for her abhorrence for Double Predestination.

Council of Frankfurt : Deus neminem predestinat ad malum. (Carolingian times).

44:31 It can be mentioned, the collectivist views of "figure of speech" semi-historicity of Genesis 3 would be a kind of Supralapsarian heresy.

A "Catholic" priest in Paris holds to it.


Because a collective does not have free will. Therefore the fall would have been imposed either by God's active choice, full Supralapsarian heresy, or by God's neglect, Supralapsarianism with a twist.

46:12 "Christ sustained in body and soul, the whole of God's wrath against the human race" ...

This is one heresy more that distances me from Calvinism.

There are Trinitarian Crucifixion paintings in Austria, obviously in Catholic Churches, and they closely mirror the Trinitarian Iconography for Christ's Baptism.

On Calvary, God was not otherwise disposed to the humanity of Christ than at Jordan. God the Father was still saying "this is my only Son, in Whom I am well pleased" ...

The more I think of Vicarious Atonement, the more I lean to it being the case of mortality, not damnation.

By dying, sinless, Christ earned the right to rise, and to raise everyone else.

For cure against sin and damnation, we are on the level of sacrifice.

51:45 Redeems all galaxies ... apart from the view of astronomy the term implies, is this perhaps an indictment against the hypothesis of Aslan redeeming Narnia on the Stone Table?

And obviously the supposition equally that the lion body is not just an appearance of Christ's human body, but the "incarnation the Son had in that world" ...

I have tried to write a fan fic on the Narniad (and on a few other literary things involving England), and this is where it suddenly gets stuck for me.

I have tried the idea that Susan realises Christ is present under the accidents of a lion body (and a talking one) in Narnia, but that doesn't quite fit with what CSL wrote himself. Notably, the dialogue between Bree and Aslan in HHB. Or that the sacrifice of Calvary is in Narnia present as the death and resurrection of Aslan at the stone table, again, not what CSL wrote.

53:06 I think the T in TULIP is also a very big difference.

Adam's fall didn't make Adam's nature or ours an evil one. It's still a good nature, but a marred one. A beautiful skin — infested with lice.

It's the lice that need to be removed, not the skin that needs to change.

This has ramifications on the nature of justification. Since the Calvinist can claim "oh, the skin wasn't changed" (even if all the lice dropped dead), the Calvinist believing in TULIP T concludes that the justification is a kind of account transfer. Since the Catholic can claim "the lice dropped dead" (even if the skin still had sores, in which new lice might eventually fester), he / we / I can claim that justification was a real miracle, like the healing of a leper.

53:37 The Catholic would say the Fomes Peccati is not a sin proper.

The original sin as such, the one's that remitted in baptism, is a sin.

55:12 I am looking at the years of the confessions.

Heidelberg, 1563, the same year Trent closed.
Westminster, 1646, 101 years after Trent convened.

Trent had as little direct hand in Catholic reactions to these two, as Jesus had in Christian reactions to the moral precepts of the Talmud.

I have not yet checked, but as I hold that the Pharisees were (along with the High Priests) infallible when exercising their infallibility, prior to Calvary, I'd wager that every single thing Jesus was criticising in their legal opinions (korban, washing of hands), is either totally lacking or very much more nuanced in the Talmud. Or attributed to a rabbi after Calvary.

Obviously not saying that Calvinist confessions or the Talmud, both made by sects separated from the Church of Christ, are faultless. I am just suggesting that they may both have learned some things.

55:57 Confer the Catholic view.

Deus nemini facienti quod in se est denegat gratiam.

The view mainly is about actual graces, i e, the things that lead up to justification, or help to preserve it.

56:54 This view has come to influence a view of nature.

A lightning goes off because exactly at that moment, the insufficient tension between cloud and earth becomes a sufficient and necessarily active tension.

Similarily to the Calvinist (before Benjamin Franklin) the grace is either insufficient or guaranteed efficacy.

St. Robert held, grace could be sufficient and yet be rejected.

That sounds like a less mechanistic view of nature too.

57:42 I would say, we become justified by Faith, not by previous works.
We stay justified by Faith, Hope, Charity, Works.

If you take a famous go to in Ephesians 2, this is basically what St Paul says in verses 8, 9 and finally, about staying saved, 10.

I could also go to James Latomus' third refutation of Tyndale.

Latomus was a Belgian Inquisitor who didn't really care about the English Bible Tyndale had made years earlier, he cared about how Tyndale took Romans 3.

Note, unlike later the council of Trent, Latomus agreed with Tyndale it was works of the moral law, not of the ceremonial one, and while this is wrong exegesis for Romans 3, it has its parallel in Ephesians 2. Tyndale held, justification is independent both on previous works and on subsequent ones (signing up for them when getting justified, performing them to stay justified are both irrelevant to justification). Latomus held, no, justification is not preceded by one's works, but it depends for efficacy on one's intention to perform them (or in the case of small children, lack of contrary intention) and for retaining it on one actually performing them. Or at least some of them, in small things we all fail.

57:54 Canons from Trentine decree on justification, in Session VI (which also had a separate issue), these two would imply the necessity of works implied when you sign up for the Christian life or required when you have already made a beginning:

CANON XIX.-If any one saith, that nothing besides faith is commanded in the Gospel; that other things are indifferent, neither commanded nor prohibited, but free; or, that the ten commandments nowise appertain to Christians; let him be anathema.

CANON XX.-If any one saith, that the man who is justified and how perfect soever, is not bound to observe the commandments of God and of the Church, but only to believe; as if indeed the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life, without the condition of observing the commandments ; let him be anathema.

59:32 While neither faith nor works can merit the initial gift of salvation, faith is the one thing which is immediately required.

A baptised man will do no penance for sins committed before his baptism.

Also, faith in itself is an unmerited gift.

1:00:37 However, being permanently unable to pray the Rosary, with few exceptions, because one feels bad about "sicut et nos dimittimus" and feeling "do I really have to forgive that?" is perhaps an indication one is risking one's eternity.

Meanwhile, for someone habitually saying the Rosary, it is indeed very useful.

One must do sth of one's moment to moment existence. Solving sudokus is not sinful, but in avoiding sins, solving sudokus are less efficient than doing actual good works, so, at least from time to time one obviously should.

1:02:12 some more from Session VI:

CANON XV.-If any one saith, that a man, who is born again and justified, is bound of faith to believe that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; let him be anathema.

CANON XVI.-If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end,-unless he have learned this by special revelation; let him be anathema.

CANON XVII.-If any one saith, that the grace of Justification is only attained to by those who are predestined unto life; but that all others who are called, are called indeed, but receive not grace, as being, by the divine power, predestined unto evil; let him be anathema.

Note that the Calvinist views here condemned are not necessarily those of later Calvinism, as to the "being, by the divine power, predestined unto evil" ... but the rest of these three canons actually is about Calvinism as it is unto this day.

1:08:50 Lutherans have historically, including Luther himself, held different views on the Eucharist.

  • Impanation
  • Consubstantiation
  • Ubiquity.

They have a certain reluctance to admit Transsubstantiation.

1:10:59 CSL, whom I once upon a time was very much into, once said "faith and works was just a red herring, the real issue was Mass" ... is it or isn't it a sacrifice?

1:20:53 Two items with clearly different outcomes.

  • Alcohol. Is it OK to be under influence, but not really drunk? Some would hold, "if it's drunk driving, it's drunk" ... or some would argue that the inchoative used by St. Paul doesn't mean "get drink" as in "begin to be drunk", but it actually means "begin to get drunk" and the first bases for that is the first drop. Psalms 103:15; Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 40:20 argue the opposite.
  • alpha state in prayer, through repetitive prayer? Some use a mistranslated version of Matthew 6:7, which in KJV speaks of "vain repetitions" ... a translation tactically chosen because Calvin had a horror of the Rosary and of Gregorian psalmody. Battologein means "speak as someone stuttering" which is a very different thing. If you feel you have to be really careful to express exactly what you are asking for and doublecheck the adresses to the divine, so as not to miss the right one, that's what Jesus is talking about. For repetitive prayers like rosaries or Jesus prayers, the expected verb would be thrallein.
  • alpha state outside prayer. Hypnosis. Here even Catholics have been divided, but the Holy Office seems to have made a decision in 1843 or sth, if you use it for purely natural (and innocent) effects, it's not sinful.

OK, with Hypnosis, it was 3.

1:21:48 "There were true Christians who owned slaves."

If they were not reduced to slavery by your doing, or by a wrongful doing you are asked to fix, for instance if they were born into slavery in your household, this is not wrong.

It is preferrable to abolish slavery, since it affords occasion for slave hunters, which have always been wrong, Exodus 21:16. Pope Gregory XVI specifically mentioned this motive of greed in motivating the hunting down of certain people as slaves to be sold. Hence he banned slave trade.

"or who were pro-choice, before the science of conception* was understood"

Well, no. There were people who considered the abortion during the first 40 days as less sinful, but they still considered it as mortally sinful, if not as sinful as murder, at least the most sinful version of contraception.

There were no true Christians who considered abortion should be licit. And Protestants who were OK with abortions of handicapped babies, well, they were ipso facto not true Christians.

* He said "science of abortion" ... I recalled it as I thought he meant it.

1:30:39 I wonder what the case was with St. Clothilde?

She married Clovis prior to his baptism.

1:33:36 I have no qualms about St. Lewis Maria Grignon de Montfort.

Perhaps about the total devotion, but that's a weakness I equally have when submitting to Jesus.

1:38:21 I have tended to take "6th or 7th C." as a Protestant copout.

The Coptic and Greek versions are a good affirmation of the complete sinlessness of Mary, like in Greek "su mone hagne, su mone eulogemene" ...

Where Catholicism differs from Calvinism, at least as perceived, on the matter of predestination, minimally (he's not a Molinist) at least:

Do Catholics Believe in Predestination? w/ Fr. Gregory Pine
Pints With Aquinas | 6 May 2023

Longer discussion of Thomist vs Molinist Predestination views:

Thomist vs Molinist Predestination w/ Fr. Dominic Legge
Pints With Aquinas | 23 March 2021

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