Grace according to Trent

Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by Von, Nov 15, 2018.

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  1. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    Can anyone advise me on resources that deal with the Roman Catholic Church's view on grace. Something that is simple/introductory, like "Catholic Grace for Dummies".
     
  2. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    If you can find a used copy, get H. J. Schroeder, Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent: Original Text with English Translation (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1955).

    I think we do the Romanists an injustice to refer to them as "catholics." There is nothing "catholic" about the Roman communion. By insisting that they are the one true church, Rome is the most anti-catholic communion in the world. As John Owen once wrote, "If any church be the catholic, it cannot therefore be the Roman; and if it be the Roman properly, it cannot therefore be the catholic." The Works of John Owen, A Vindication of the Animadversions on Fiat Lux, ed. William H. Goold, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, Third printing, 1977), vol. XIV, p. 307.

    And in the same work, he wrote: “With the Roman Catholics unity ever dwelt.” Never! The very name of Roman Catholic, appropriating Catholicism to Romanism, is destructive of all gospel unity. The Works of John Owen, Animadversions on a Treatise Entitled Fiat Lux, ed. William H. Goold, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, Third printing, 1977), vol. XIV, p. 93.

    Schroeder's work demonstrates Rome's view and Trent's canons on grace.

    I recommend examining the Sixth Session of the Council of Trent, particularly the decree and chapters on justification where "grace" is handled by Trent extensively.
     
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  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    David, did Trent hold to Thomas's view of grace being a quasi-substance? Bruce McCormack writes,

    “In other words: there would be no need to locate the infusion of grace in the essence of the soul if it were not for the fact that the Church’s accepted practice was to baptize infants. And that also means that Thomas’s tendency to understand justification as rooted in an ‘ontological healing’ of the soul, rather than in a more personal understanding of the operations of grace, is a function of the fact that the regeneration of the infant is the truly paradigmatic case where that infusion of grace which initiates justification is concerned (89)

    "What's at Stake in the Current Debate?"
     
  4. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    This question is difficult for me due to the inward recoil in disgust at the question itself - I must, for the sake of honesty, admit that (perhaps weakness of mine) "up front."

    Now, then, the kindest thing I can say regarding my own view of Bruce McCormack on most anything he writes or asserts today is that he is, er, "creative." I shall, for the sake of kindness leave my comments there.

    Moreover, I am reluctant to attempt to expound either Aquinas' view of grace, Trent's view of grace, or how the two converge or overlap one another, if at all. The reason for my hesitancy here is that you can hardly find mutual agreement between the Romanists themselves on how to view the interaction between the two, let alone consulting Dr. McCormack's view in this regard, on the subject of grace.

    I will restrict my comments simply to say that we the Reformed deny gratia infusa as the basis for justification. Any gratia infusa, from which we benefit, flows from God's free act of regeneration. But the Reformed really seek to avoid such language as gratia infusa. We, the Reformed, often refer to the preaching of the word, prayer, and the sacraments as the ordinary means of grace. Such language is acceptable as long as we remember (as Ferguson reminds us) that there isn't some "thing, some substance" or some "quasi-substance" we call "grace." All there is - is the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who is presented to us, as Calvin loved to speak of him, "clothed in the gospel," and our Lord Jesus does not offer himself to us divided in this or that part of Himself, nor does He offer His gifts to us apart from His person, but He offers us His whole person full of grace and truth. There isn't something crucified called "grace" that is parceled out to us, as Rome fancies. Jesus Christ Himself, full of grace and truth, is offered to us in the gospel. Grace is God's divine favor in our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Now, again for the sake of honesty, I do readily confess my aversion to countenance the good, the bad, or the ugly of the pursuit of such an answer to your original question. But I do think that our pursuits in such directions, if we are not cautious, can often result in the study of more and more about less and less until we know absolutely everything about nothing.

    Perhaps, the lack of thirst for such understanding and/or knowledge, on my part, is to my own detriment. May God have mercy on me through our Lord Jesus Christ.
     
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  5. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    Is this in light of my OP? If that is the case, I do agree with you - and thank you for the gracious warning. I am studying 1 John 4 and the questions regarding John's test for spirits (v3-4) made me think of the rcc's view of Christ and (grace) so as to try and classify them according to John's test. I realised too late that my OP probably does not address the question adequately, but by then there were already a few posts. Thus, instead of derailing the thread, I started a new one.
     
  6. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    No sir, I was addressing me and my sentiments, as such, more than anyone else.
     
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Donald Fairbairn in one of his books about Cyril raised a similar point. I am not really sure where your answer was going.

    My question wasn't speculative--well, to the degree that Roman metaphysics is speculative, I suppose it had to be.
     
  8. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    A pdf version:
    https://ia800806.us.archive.org/33/items/CanonsAndDecreesOfTheCounSchroederH.J.O.P.5861/Canons and Decrees of the Coun - Schroeder, H. J., O.P._5861.PDF

    Note the book includes other artwork materials in the end parts having nothing to do with the text. These extras were added by the publisher and have second commandment violations. The attachment below has all these materials omitted.
     

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  9. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    I would agree. When one immerses oneself in the writings of Rome it eventually becomes quite enervating.

    To Jacob's (@BayouHuguenot) related question:

    Trent's decrees shed little direct light on the question of grace as a substance unless one is willing to read much into their terse pronouncements.

    The online Catholic Encyclopedia would be an alternative choice to research the matter further from a historical view, e.g., per Aquinas:
    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2110.htm#article2

    I would be interested in anyone's parsing of the word salad contained in Article 2. Whether grace is a quality of the soul? ;)

    See also the catechism produced by Trent:
    https://archive.org/details/thecatechismofth00donouoft
     
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  10. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    The more I think about it, I don't think Rome will say that grace is a substance, full-stop. The definition of a substance is that it is a property-bearer. I'm not sure what properties created grace would be bearing in this instance. Maybe it is, but I can't think of any. On the other hand, it somewhat acts like a substantial object.
     
  11. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    It made me think of the following verse:
    I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
    (Romans 16:17)
     
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