SAMT

Summary Against Modern Thought: How Faith Arises

Previous post.

The knowledge that is faith and its objects must come from above. This isn’t just faith in God, but in all unprovable matters in which there is absolute assurance.

THAT DIVINE GRACE CAUSES FAITH IN US

1 Now, as a result of divine grace causing charity in us, it is also necessary for faith to be caused in us by grace.

2 Indeed, the movement whereby we are directed by grace to our ultimate end is voluntary, not violent, as we showed above. Now, there cannot be a voluntary movement toward something unless it is known. So, the knowledge of the ultimate end must be accorded us by grace, so that we may be voluntarily directed to it. But this knowledge cannot be by means of open vision in this life, as we showed above. Therefore, this knowledge must be through faith.

3 Again, in every knowing being the mode of knowledge depends on the mode of its proper nature; hence, the mode of knowing is different for an angel, a man, and a brute animal, inasmuch as their natures are different, as is clear from things said earlier.

But to man, in order that he may attain his ultimate end, there is added a perfection higher than his own nature, namely, grace, as we have shown. Therefore, it is necessary that, above man’s natural knowledge, there also be added to him a knowledge which surpasses natural reason. And this is the knowledge of faith, which is of the things that are not seen by natural reason.

4 Besides, whenever something is moved by an agent to what is proper to the agent, the thing moved must be, at the start, imperfectly subject to the impulsions of the agent, impulsions that remain somewhat foreign and improper to it, until at the end of the movement they do become proper to it. For example, wood is first heated by fire, and that heat does not belong to the wood but is apart from its nature; at the end, however, when the wood is now ignited, the heat becomes proper and connatural to it.

Likewise, when a person is being taught by a teacher, he must at the start accept the teacher’s conceptions, not as one who understands them by himself, but by way of belief, as things which are beyond his capacity; but at the end, when he has become learned, he can understand them.

Now, as is clear from what we have said, we are directed by the help of divine grace to our ultimate end. But the ultimate end is an open vision of the First Truth in Itself, as we showed above. Therefore, before it comes to this end, man’s intellect must be subject to God by way of belief, under the influence of divine grace which accomplishes this.

Notes This is no small things, and comes to us in many forms. For example, axioms in logic and math. But also in all of the tools of reason, the way to argue, which we know are true only based on faith.

5 Moreover, at the beginning of this work we indicated the advantages which made it necessary for divine truth to be offered to men by way of belief. It is also possible to conclude from these reasons that it was necessary for faith to be a product in us of divine grace.

6 Hence, the Apostle says to the Ephesians (2:8): “by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God.”

7 By this conclusion we set aside the error of the Pelagians, who said that the beginning of faith in us was not from God but from ourselves.

Categories: SAMT

23 replies »

  1. No, Faith of what isn’t seen, not if that we naturally know, as the must evident for us, quoad nos, not in itself, quoad she, like God. The first principles, axiomata, are the best known to us by nature and, if the truthfulness of an argument is not known, that argument is no proof at all.That’s a contradiction in terms: the demonstration makes known the formerly less known or unknown, that now participates in the evidence of the premises, if these are unknown or its origin or the relations amongst premises and the proposition proven, there would be no demonstration. Patrick Coffin says nominalist-cartesian things like these, like the material world needs to be demonstrated. I say “nominalist-cartesian”, because I’m not sure if the problems is immanentism, we don’t know the world but our consciousness, or nominalism, the world isn’t intelligible and/or we don’t have the capacity to grasp it with an ability other than the senses. From Ockham on, Suárez, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, the reconstructionists, etc., all these people are nominalists, some inmanentists (Descartes, Hobbes, Kant, Hegel, at least). Both beliefs are evidently false. Being, all being is intelligible, that’s a primary evidence, that is, reallity is, absolutely, naturally, grasp by us without mediation of anything, we do it, simply. Every reasoning comes after this. It’s what Einstein says: if reality isn’t intelligible, our scientific hypotheses have no chance of explain anything. Saint Thomas and Aristotle (Metaf. IV): the principle of non contradiction is a primary evidence or there is no demonstration at all, because any demonstration goes from that better known to that less known, if there isn’t anything absolutely first, indemonstrable, but absolutely evident, there are no demonstrations. Being is intelligibility, so, since you grasp the principle at grasping being, therefore… you get it. Any notion supposes the principle; and all our knowledge comes from the senses, the most evident reality quoad nos, for us. Descartes’ reasons for the methodical doubt are ridiculous and this doubt is a doubt if “let’s pretend” thinking, “let’s do as if we believe this”: unacceptable. The depp connaturality of our intellect and being, the whole of reality, is one of the most powerful reasons to demonstrate God’s existence, as the book of Wisdom and Saint Paul say we can do, for real, not pretending, with reasons we can’t grasp.

  2. I tried to edit my comment, because, I had too many and important typos, but couldn’t do it. Is there a way to do that in this site? I really would like to, if I can’t, I could copy and amend the problems… ???

  3. Think it best to just to post again so that the post reads as desired. Others have done so.

    Man knows God is, according to Romans 1. But Faith in Jesus Christ is the gift of grace, accepted or rejected by the gift of free will, given to each person. And in order to be saved, one must accept one is a sinner, must repent unto God, and must believe in Jesus Christ.

    So, did that which you posted agree with all of this, above and below?

    “18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”
    Romans 1.

    So man knows God is, from creation.

    But Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift which can be accepted or rejected by the gift of free will given to man by God.

    God bless, C-Marie

  4. OK, I will correct it, but, first, I have to say, C-Marie, I know Faith is necesary to be saved, I’m talking about nature, as a condition to have Faith, here. By nature, unaided, we can know natural truths; and, from them, elevate ourselves to know God, as Wisdom, 13, and Romans, I, say. Thus, nature is condition of Faith, that is given freely, by God. So, here is my correction:

    No, Faith IS of what isn’t seen, not OF that we naturally know, as the mOst evident for us, quoad nos, not in itself, quoad se, like God. The first principles, axiomata, are the best known to us by nature and, if the truthfulness of an argument is not known, that argument is no proof at all. That’s a contradiction in terms: the demonstration makes known the formerly less known or unknown, that now participates in the evidence of the premises, if these are unknown or its origin or the relations amongst premises and the proposition proven, there would be no demonstration. Patrick Coffin says nominalist-cartesian things like these, like the material world needs to be demonstrated. I say “nominalist-cartesian”, because I’m not sure if the problems is immanentism, we don’t know the world but our consciousness, or nominalism, the world isn’t intelligible and/or we don’t have the capacity to grasp it with an ability other than the senses. From Ockham on, Suárez, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, the Deconstructionists, etc., all these people are nominalists, some inmanentists (Descartes, Hobbes, Kant, Hegel, at least). Both beliefs are evidently false. Being, all being, is intelligible, that’s a primary evidence, that is, reallity is, absolutely, naturally, graspED by us without mediation of anything, we do it, simply. Every reasoning comes after this. It’s what Einstein says: if reality isn’t intelligible, our scientific hypotheses have no chance of explainING anything. Saint Thomas and Aristotle (Metaf. IV): the principle of non contradiction is a primary evidence or there is no demonstration at all, because any demonstration goes from that better known to that less known, if there isn’t anything absolutely first, indemonstrable, but absolutely evident, there are no demonstrations. Being is intelligibility, so, since you grasp the principle at grasping being, therefore… you get it. Any notion supposes the principle; and all our knowledge comes from the senses, the most evident reality quoad nos, for us. Descartes’ reasons for the methodical doubt are ridiculous and this doubt is a doubt OF “let’s pretend” thinking, “let’s do as if we believe this”: unacceptable. The DEEP connaturality of our intellect and being, the whole of reality, is one of the most powerful reasons to demonstrate God’s existence, as the book of Wisdom and Saint Paul say we can do, for real, not pretending, with reasons we can’t grasp.

  5. @ C-Marie,

    > For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes … have been clearly seen

    Romans 1 is nonsense. God’s “invisible attributes” can’t be “clearly seen” in nature – that claim doesn’t even make sense. What are these invisible attributes? In reality, the universe which we observe is exactly what we’d expect if there is no God – ancient, vast, and uncaring, in which life appears to be a random accident.

    > But Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift which can be accepted or rejected by the gift of free will given to man by God.

    Can we use free will to reject gravity? No. We can only reject things for which there is no evidence. Like God. In any case, free will cannot exist. Either our choices are determined (in which case we aren’t in control of them), or they are random (in which case we also aren’t in control of them).

  6. God’s Word is true, whether we understand the phrasing or not … plus … understanding is by the Holy Spirit of God. We can all pray for understanding by the Holy Spirit of God.

    God bless, C-Marie

  7. Thank you, Carlos. Had to look up the Latin words for definitions, like quoad, but then it makes sense.
    God bless, C-Marie

  8. You, swordfish, your blindness is no law of the universe. You are like the blind man who says the sun doesn’t exist, because he doesn’t see it; your blindness changes nothing at all. The universe is metaphysically precarious, very obviously, so it needs a CAUSE, transcendent, that is, otherwise, that cause would take part in the same precariiusness. If it isn’t precarious, then, why Hawking invents something as stupid as the creative laws in order to account for its existence? Or Dennett’s origin in nothing? In order to avoid God, they are that willing to incur in absurdities. One of your 2 biggest idols, Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols: we got to get rid of language, because, if there is language, there is gramnar, if there is grammar, there is GOD. I could keep on going, quoting and quoting thinkers, Aristotle, Plato, Anaxagoras, Einstein, Plotinus, Anthony Flew, Anselm, Descartes, Hoyle, Dirac, Pasteur, Duns Scotus, Saint Thomas, Suárez, etc. It ain’t worth it, anyways, you are going to reamain stubborn until God deign illuminate you… only if you don’t reject decent reasoning…

  9. I don’t know what “metaphysically precarious” means, and google doesn’t know either. It’s not obvious that the universe requires a cause, nor why the cause would be the Christian God, and the fact that the majority of scientists who study cosmology aren’t Christians suggests that it isn’t obvious to them either, so I’m in good company.

    So far as I’m aware, Hawking didn’t invent “creative laws” other than as speculation, but ‘creative laws’ would be far simpler and less stupid than the claim that the universe was created by a disembodied mind which hates gay people but thinks slavery is fine.

    In total, you manage to list seventeen named authorities (some of whom are atheists), which must be some sort of record. Needless to say, merely listing authorities is literally an argument from authority fallacy, without even an argument in this case.

  10. Hey, Swordfish, I get it, you are a comedian… The creativeclaws are far less stupid than God… Jajajajaja. So, good joke: a quality of a thing, which supposes its existence, is a better candidate to be the cause of that thing than something with the power to do that. What you say about cosmologists is hilarious, maaaan, the majority of a group of culturally crippled people is better suited than Einstein, Plank or Heisenberg; and, of course 75% of physics Nobel laureates are Christians, look it up, you, funny man. So, you say you don’t even know the meaning of the words and you still want to discuss… you hysterical, jajaja, such a funny man. Yeah, I listed authorities to price God exists, not to show you that to say it’s a stupid claim is stupid, so you think the rest of man kind is that stupid, that you can stupidly twist their arguments’ meaning and get away with it. No, the metaphysical precariousness of the universe is proof of God; those authorities demand you respect that you seem to lack, and the blindness if a billion is no proof of the inexistence of the sun. In fact, the proof of the inexistence if anything is a logical impossibility, so, there you have it, keep on trying

  11. Since it has become a discussion and, again, I made many mispellings, etc., I’m going to post my comments again, with the corrections (I’m going to try to be more careful):

    Hey, Swordfish, I get it, you are a comedian… The creative laws are far less stupid than God… Jajajajaja. So, good joke: a quality of a thing, which supposes its existence (so the existence of the quality is subsequent), is a better candidate to be the cause of that thing than something with the power to cause effectively that thing. What you say about cosmologists is hilarious, maaaan, the majority of a group of culturally crippled people is better suited than Einstein, Plank or Heisenberg (that is, their daddys); and, of course 75% of physics Nobel laureates are Christians, look it up, you, funny man. So, you say you don’t even know the meaning of the words and you still want to discuss… you’re hysterical, jajaja, such a funny man. Yeah, I listed authorities to prove God exists, not to show you that what say -“claiming Gid exists is stupid”- is stupid, so you think the rest of man kind is that stupid, that you can stupidly twist their arguments’ meaning and get away with it. No, the metaphysical precariousness of the universe is proof of God; those authorities demand you a respect that you seem to lack (to gain that respect would be a huge breakthrough, because it would allow you to consider things more rationally), and the blindness of a billion people is no proof of the inexistence of the sun. In fact, the proof of the inexistence of anything is a logical impossibility, so, there you have it, keep on trying

  12. @ Carlos Julio Casanova Guerra,

    > 75% of physics Nobel laureates are Christians, look it up, you, funny man.

    So I looked it up. My claim was about cosmologists, not physicists, but it seems that you’re wrong anyway. There’s even a paper by cosmologist Sean Carrol titled: “Why (Almost All) Cosmologists are Atheists” (Faith and Philosophy 22, 2005). Apologist John Lennox claimed that 65% of all Nobel prizewinners were Christians, but even that is a long way from your claim, so I’ve no reason to think your claim is true.

    > So, good joke: a quality of a thing, which supposes its existence (so the existence of the quality is subsequent), is a better candidate to be the cause of that thing than something with the power to cause effectively that thing.

    Sorry, I don’t understand. Language barrier?

    > Yeah, I listed authorities to prove God exists,…

    You can’t prove that God exists (or anything else) by listing authorities, especially if some of them aren’t Christians. If I listed a bunch of famous atheists, would you accept that God doesn’t exist? I doubt it!

    > No, the metaphysical precariousness of the universe is proof of God;

    I’ve already said I’ve no idea what you mean by “metaphysically precarious”. You could have explained what you meant by it, but as you didn’t, I assume you’re not interested in having a good-faith discussion.

  13. Here is where I’m confused: you are always talking about your own agency, about your arguments, your thoughts, etc. You express all that in a discussion, I mean you say what you want, what you decide, based on your beliefs and what you consider are good reasons. Here is the thing: how is that possible, when you say things like this: “We can only reject things for which there is no evidence. Like God. In any case, free will cannot exist. Either our choices are determined (in which case we aren’t in control of them), or they are random (in which case we also aren’t in control of them)”? It shouldn’t be, you can’t argue and make claims, you can’t say anithing, there’s no YOU, you don’t use your board, a pile of matter hits some other pikes of matter (not a built computer, not by some knowledge, no, there’s no such thing). That only happen, it’s not something you do… I wonder (I mean, there’s no I and I’m no subject of any “wonder”, but….), I wonder, do you say that, you decide to express that to C-Marie, BECAUSE you are a materialist or a “laplacian” (a follower of Laplace, I don’t know if that adjective is a real one in English) or you are a laplacian materialist. Alas, you are expressing an opinion because you decided to (maybe to mortify some good lady), you have to realize that the fact that you are arguing and writting, conscioussly, contradictis what you are saying. So, after that, you might be reconsidering your possitions. You could want to become a vegetable: a veggie isn’t free, doesn’t make decisions or expresses opinions, doesn’t hold opinions; doesn’t read ir decide to read or can learn how to read… It’s different and, uf you endevored to behave like if you were something if that nature, it wouldn’t be because what you assume is not what you are, but you can assume that, because, in your nature, there is the ability to make that type of endeavors. So, you can be that absurd, you have to admit it, I hope… When you do, you will be in a much better possition to discuss about God… By the way, in this argument, you didn’t even name a reason to belueva what you belueve, only said that you don’t know what some syntagma, some expression. I’m puzzled, is that because proving God (or anything else) doesn’t exist is an impossibility or is there another reason? What an atheist can do is things like this, in the best of cases: “oh, oh, believers say there can’t be infinite chains of causations, oh, oh, that aint right, if course there can be those chains // believers say that, without God, there can’t be morals, of course there can, you can see this or that is good or lawful without believing in God (of course, idiot, no one says that you can’t grasp some material good, material, in itself, in a situation in which, belueving in God be a rational antecedent, what it means is that, if there us intelligibility and meaning in material beings, that oressuposes God, creation) // beluevers say God is good, how is that?, if there so much injustice, blablabla (if there is injustice, there is justice, son There is God… meaning and order, not a random universe…)”. Other than that, there’s not much more that you can do, other than try to ridicule orayer and other nice tactics… One last thing: cosmology studies the cosmos, so, it presupposes its existence, it doesn’t study its cause, that’s outside its object, it’s the object of metaphysics. And the bonus, all those cosmologists with which you fill your mouth are a bunch blind idiots, immersed in the same crppmed culture, contemporary, podtmodern, postcivilized IN-culture, so, I’m not impressed by that, the greatest, the biggest, are believers, one million of those idiots is not one Einstein,Plank, Heisenberg, Newton, Descartes, Malebranche, etc. Esoecially, not one Aristotle, Plato, Saint Thomas. Salud, compadrito, que Dios te bendiga, en serio, todo lo mejor…. Sense and Fairh… Horizon, Infinitude, Eternity… endless good and beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. My thoughts on God is, and on His gifts of grace….

    God is. Whether one accepts Him or rejects Him, He is. As I understand, an atheist says that God is not, and yet, why does the atheist work so hard to prove that God is not. If the atheist looks inside himself, he will recognize that he is not comfortable with the many saying and believing and knowing that God is. The atheist is missing out, but does not want to look with all of his heart to see what it is that he is missing. The atheist sees that many, but not all, of those who know God is, are willing to be named fools for Christ by the world, for they know Whom they believe. The believers in the One, True Living God are those who have received His pardon and peace for their sins, and who stake their present life here on earth on the reality of the salvation bought and paid for by the Son of God, Whom they have received as their Lord and Saviour and God. So, it is a life or death reality.

    Those who choose Christ Who is Life, as He said that He is, will ask for and receive God’s Love and helps by His Holy Spirit, day by day, so that they will live forever with God and His Saints and Angels.

    Those who utterly reject Christ Who is Life, will be separated from God forever in eternal pain.

    So it boils down to the use of our God-given free will, to freely entrust ourselves to the Living God, or to turn from Him purposely, forever.

    That the question lives in one, as to if God is, hope for salvation remains, I believe.

    God bless, C-Marie

  15. @ Carlos Julio Casanova Guerra,

    Have you not heard of paragraphs? Your reply is such a rambling mess that it’s completely impractical to respond to it. I’ve just wasted the best part of an hour trying to split it up into meaningful sections, but had to give up.

    Looking near the end, I can’t believe that you’ve listed authorities yet again. It’s obviously a waste of time to point out that this is a fallacy, so instead I’ll just say this: Einstein wasn’t a Christian, so you can’t cite him to support the existence of the Christian God. At best, he was some kind of deist, but he probably used the term ‘God’ as a metaphor.

  16. @ C-Marie,

    > As I understand, an atheist says that God is not, and yet, why does the atheist work so hard to prove that God is not.

    In a nutshell, it’s because I’d rather live in a world free from iron age morality, persecution, and superstition. Having said that, I wouldn’t say it’s hard work, more like a satisfying hobby.

    > If the atheist looks inside himself, he will recognize that he is not comfortable with the many saying and believing and knowing that God is. The atheist is missing out, but does not want to look with all of his heart to see what it is that he is missing.

    I started out, as many do, as a Christian. Unfortunately, I was always more interested in finding out what is true than clinging to a comforting fairytale. But I can assure you that reality is far more bracing than any story.

  17. You keep avoiding giving reasons, avoiding give any analysis of my arguments, trying to insult others, claiming your lack of understanding is some type of handicap of your counterpart (me) or some strength on your part and a plethora of those excellent tactics. And you have the nerve to, even after all this, tell me that you can’t argue with me because I some how don’t behave as a gentleman in the discussion. Mind blowing!

  18. @ C-Marie,

    > Will you tell, here, what was the comforting fairytale aspect?

    Specifically, the idea that there’s life after death in Heaven.

  19. @ Carlos Julio Casanova Guerra

    > You keep avoiding giving reasons, avoiding give any analysis of my arguments,

    I’m quite happy to give reasons for my position. If I’m honest enough to say that I don’t understand something you’ve said but you don’t explain, but instead just repeat yourself, it isn’t may fault that I’m unable to respond. Nor is it unreasonable of me to complain when presented with a single giant paragraph. Where you’ve made specific claims (“75% of physicists are Christians”), I’ve responded to them and even quoted sources.

    > trying to insult others,

    You called me an “idiot”. I don’t think I’ve insulted you in the same way.

    > claiming your lack of understanding is some type of handicap of your counterpart (me) or some strength on your part and a plethora of those excellent tactics.

    Try looking in a mirror. When I said I didn’t understand the term “metaphysically precarious”, instead of explaining it for me, you used my inability to understand as an excuse to insult me.

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