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Predestination: The Meaning of Predestination in Scripture and the Church [Paperback]

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Item description for Predestination: The Meaning of Predestination in Scripture and the Church by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange...

In Predestination, the great Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange gives a masterful theological exposition of the classic Thomistic teaching on this, the most difficult of all theological tracts, showing the reconciliation - as far as it can be understood this side of the Beatific Vision - of the various elements of the Church's teaching on Predestination.

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This is a masterful theological exposition of the classic Thomistic teaching on this, the most difficult of all theological tracts, showing the reconciliation - as far as it can be understood of the various elements of the Church's teaching on Predestination. In every respect Predestination, by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange is a magnificent exposition of this difficult subject for serious students or all who are seeking a profound, theological, Catholic understanding of the mystery of election and reprobation.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.
Pages   404
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.17" Width: 5.45" Height: 1.17"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 22, 1998
Publisher   Tan Books & Publishers
ISBN  0895556340  
ISBN13  9780895556349  

Availability  63 units.
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More About Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., was born in 1877 and is held as one of the greatest Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. He focused his writings against the error of Modernism, which denied the objective truth of Divine revelation, as well as on apologetics, including philosophy. In total, he authored over five hundred books and articles, and wrote as a thorough Thomist. Among Father Garrigou-Lagrange s numerous works are The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Christian Perfection and Contemplation, Christ the Savior, and God, His Existence and Nature. He died in 1964.

Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange lived in Rome. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange was born in 1877 and died in 1964.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Free Will & Determinism
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Catholic
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

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Reviews - What do customers think about Predestination?

Illuminating the great paradox - God's sovereignty and man's responsibility  Jun 18, 2007
When we say that God is sovereign in all things yet at the same time attempt to endow mankind with free will, we expose a paradox that has challenged some of the greatest theological minds of church history. So many have attempted to explain or deny the paradox with varrying degrees of success, Pelagius, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and more. But a comparative study of the varying views was lacking before this definitive work. Granted, one goal of the book is to illuminate primarily a Roman Catholic doctrine on the subject; still, there is not another work that provides the depth that this one does for both Catholic and Protestant theologians. It is a must read for anyone looking for the history of this volatile and challenging subject.

Reverend Garrigou-Lagrange organized this work into 3 parts: 1. A summary of Roman Catholic teaching on the subject and how they reveal the paradox, 2. Principal solutions offered to the paradox and what each implies concerning the efficacy of grace, 3. The efficacy of grace.

The depth of coverage and the use of terms unfamiliar to most outside seminaries, makes this a difficult book to follow at times. It also assumes a level of knowledge concerning Roman Catholic theology that many outside the church will not share. But, as far as completeness on the topic, it is still without rivals.
Excellent!  Jun 3, 2006
This great, difficult book (the middle part, dealing with philosophical issues was very tough) shook me out of my semi-pelagian complacency and opened my eyes to alternative views on grace. I am indebted to Lagrange forever.
* Concerning the issue of predestination we must distinguish between the opinions of Thomists/Augustinians/Scotists on the one hand, and Molinists/Congruists on the other hand
* God has chosen (elected) certain individuals from all eternity (before all time) and granted them the gift of Final Perseverance, irrespective of their merits. This is what we call "predestination to glory"
* It is impossible to find out the reasons for this divine choice. Augustine wrote: "Why He draws one and not another, seek not to judge, if you wish not to err;" Isidore wrote: "In an obscurity so great as this, it is of no avail for man to investigate the divine dispensation and examine the secret arrangements of predestination" (p.54); and finally Thomas: "Yet why he chooses some for glory and reprobates others has no reason except the divine will." (p. 102)
* The two main problems with the idea of predestination are: 1) How to reconcile predestination with God's universal salvific will; 2) The reason why Peter is chosen and Frank is rejected
* Predestination is before and not contingent upon foreseen merits (p.84). In other words, God is not a passive spectator, but the reason and cause of our predestination.
A) God wills the end before the means: thus, He wills the predestined glory before
willing them grace by which they will merit it
B) The principle of predilection states that "no being would be better than another unless it were more by God (p.94) Also, "That is loved more which receives a greater good." (p. 87) In other words, God loves the elect more (as Scriptures says too)
C) Grace is intrinsically efficacious, and does not depend merely on God's
foreknowledge (p.51)
* There is no double predestination or predestination to sin; only predestination to glory
* Negative reprobation = "it is not the privation of a good that is due; it is merely the negation of a good that is not due to one." (p. 209) This is the non-election and the will to permit unforgivable sins Positive reprobation = an eternal decree to inflict punishment for sins
* Antecedent salvific will; Sufficient grace;Aquinas builds his view of predestination on it; Consequent salvific will; Efficacious grace; Foreknew ; Predestined ; Called; Justified; Merits; Glorified. Thomas wrote: "God preordained to give grace to some so that they would merit glory." (p. 69); St. Albert: "It is of Catholic faith that merit does not come before grace." (p. 68)
* Distinction between order of intention and order of execution. Is it like someone who sets up a race saying: "I wish you all luck" but then favors his compatriot in the race itself? Nah...bad example
* Free will and predestination are two total, subordinated clauses (not partial and coordinated)
* Not only corporate but also individual election (p. 200)
* God does not command the impossible: sufficient grace for salvation is given to everyone, though most people do not respond to it. Therefore, in the words of the Council of Quiercy: "That certain persons are saved, is the gift of Him who saves; but that certain persons are lost, is the fault of those who are lost." (p. 202)
* Predestination is infallible; no one can know for sure, with absolute certainty if he/she is in the number of the elect: you can only have a moral certainty (p. 216)
A Thomist View of Predestination  Jan 28, 2006
This is an excellent presentation of a very controversial and difficult subject. The book is divided into three parts. Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange begins by investigating the doctrine of predestination in reference to Sacred Scripture, canons of various ecumenical councils, and the early controversies that first necessitated a definition of the doctrine. He pays particular attention to the writings of Sts. Paul and Augustine.
In part two of the book the various solutions to the problem of predestination are explored. Positions ranging from those developed in the Middle Ages, to St. Thomas Aquinas, the various Protestant stances, and positions arising after the Council of Trent. In this section Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange introduces the teaching of the Jesuit, L. Molina. Throughout the remainder of the work, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange compares the doctrine of Molina and his sciencia media to that of the Thomists, using it as a sort of relief against which he defends the principle of predilection first articulated by St. Augustine and later advanced by St. Thomas.
The principle of predilection, "one thing would not be better than another, if God did not will greater good for one than for the other," is referred to on numerous occasions. According to Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, the answer to why some individuals are among the "Elect" and predestined from all eternity to glory and others are among the "Reprobate" and allowed to freely resist God's grace can be found in no other answer except that God loves some individuals more than others. God is not bound to love everyone equally, and if anyone goes to hell it is not because God is denying something owed to the individual, but because God in His Sovereign Will chooses to manifest in these individuals His justice, while in the Elect He manifests His mercy. The awesomeness of someone, through their own free will, choosing not to respond to God's grace and subsequently being damned is disturbing to us and rightly so. Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange admits that in this life, how God's mercy and justice are reconciled will always allude us, but it is clear that the beauty of God's creation could not be known by anyone but Himself and would therefore be pointless if there were no free beings to witness it. This implies the revelation of God in the totality of His being and therefore His justice as well as His mercy. God's justice is manifested through the damnation of the Reprobate. That we don't see the beauty in this doesn't mean God is unfair, but that we simply are deficient in our ability to appreciate the beauty of God's justice in the same way that we appreciate His mercy. Our personal sinfulness makes us biased toward God's mercy and prevents us from an objective appreciation of His justice. In other words, if we truly realized the gravity of sin we would then concur in the damnation of the Reprobate as readily as we would in the glory of the Elect.
In part three, the manner in which God's grace operates within us is described. For me this was the most interesting since the puzzle lies in how God causes an individual to infallibly choose to respond to His grace without violating the individual's free will. The answer, because of its simplicity, can be easily overlooked or fall into suspicion. St. Thomas is quoted in response to the objection: "Every cause that cannot be hindered, produces its effect necessarily. But the will of God cannot be hindered," therefore if God determines our will it is not free. St. Thomas responds,
"From the very fact that nothing resists the divine will, it follows that not only those things happen that God wills to happen, but that they happen necessarily or contingently according to His will." Therefore, when God wills that a man do a particular thing He wills it in accord with the man's nature, that is, in such a way that the man do it freely. Only God because of the absolute efficaciousness of His omnipotent Will can accomplish this. This concept of "physical premotion" becomes the overriding preoccupation for the remainder of the book since it is crucial that its operation be correctly understood.
Many ideas are repeated in this work and the reader may feel it monotonous, but the arguments are so subtle that frequent repetition helps the ideas to ferment in the mind. If one is patient, the third part of the book explains the "how" of predestination and for me this was the most profitable.
Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange could have addressed the ideas of the Reformers more deeply. I came away with a good grasp of the ideas of St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and Molina, but those of Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin were barely touched upon. Perhaps he felt the ideas of the Reformers were nothing new, already having been dealt with in earlier heresies.
For those without a background in philosophical terminology the book will be difficult, but the same ideas are reviewed from so many different angles that if one is persistent the terminology will become self-explanatory.
Thomistic Treatise  May 22, 2003
This book is primarily a treatise on the Thomistic understanding of predestination. In that it does a very good job. Fr Lagrange does a good job of spelling out the difficulties in our understanding of predestination and how attempts were made to resolve these difficulties. The author does a great justice in the preface by pointing out that it is impossible to completely resolve these difficulties this side of Heaven.

The cornor stone of Thomasim, according to the book, is predilection and this is repeated constantly through out the book. The universal will of God to save is scarecly touched on in the book and God's love is touched upon even less except in the context of predilection. Virtually every objection is met with the quote of predilection.

Other recognized schools of predestinational thought, I belive, are not very well presented, contrary to what the author claims. They are received by the author only in as much as they mimic Thomism. The scrutiny that the author applies to these other systems is not equally applied to Thomism. This is why I decided to only give it 3 stars rather then 4. I can see how very easy it would be for Luther and Calvin to come up with their views if this is what they had to start with. The author does not do a very good job at all dealing with the differences arrived at by Luther and Calvin. He merely states that they are false then moves on. With the authors constant hammering of predeliction I think it would be very difficult for him to do otherwise.

Reading this book left me with more questions then answers. Maybe that is unavoidable when dealing with this subject.

The one book every Reformed Protestant should read!  Feb 3, 2003
I must admit that I approached Father Lagrange's work with skepticism, but after I finished his work on the difficult issue of Predestination I was completely stunned. Being from the Reformed tradition I strongly believe in the doctrines of election and predestination and affirm that they are biblical tenets of the faith. Nevertheless, I was compeletely uninformed concerning the two schools of thought on this issue which exist within the Catholic Church. The first school is the Molinist school which is very similar in many respects to Protestant Arminianism, while the second is the Augustinian/Thomistic school, which is very similar to Protestant Calvinism. Although I knew that the Church was very Molinist in it's practices, I did not know where these practices originated from. Furthermore, I was completely unaware that there were many who still believed in traditional Augustinian ideas regarding grace and predestination.

Lagrange begins his work by laying out the history of the doctrine of predestination in the Church. He starts by analyzing scripture then works his way up through history analyzing the writings of many of the Church's greatest theologians who wrote about predestination including, Augustine, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Bellarmine, Suarez, Molina, and many others. Lagrange shows that several of the councils convened in the sixth century to deal with the issue of election did in fact support the Augustinian viewpoint. Father Lagrange uses documented evidence from the Coucil of Orange to show how the Church of the 6th century condemned Pelagianism and Semi-pelagianism and upheld traditional Augustinianism.

In the second part of this book Lagrange sets out to uphold and clarify the traditional Thomistic teaching on predestination. Many of his arguments were fascinating and intriguing. I love his work on the doctrines of grace and premotion. Lagrange argues that grace does not destroy free will, but perfects it and that grace is not irresistable but instrinsically efficacious. Lagrange emphatically affirms the absolute gratuity of predestination and constantly makes reference to the same quote of Augustine which states "No one thing would be better than another, unless it were loved more by God." According to Lagrange, the only reason one individual chooses God and another does not is because God has loved the one more than the other. It is a hard truth indeed, but one that is ratified by scripture.

The one negative side to this book is that it does contain a lot of vague and intellectual terminology. It may be hard for anyone who is not familiar with Augustine and Aquinas to follow Lagrange's reasoning since he continually refers to their writings and their ideas. Nevertheless, this book is a valuable resource for anyone wishing to understand the other Catholic school of thought on predestination. Every Reformed Protestant should read this book in order to understand that not all Catholics adhere to the Molinist train of thought; The Catholic Church has in fact taught predestination throughout it's 2,000 history and this is beautifully illustrated by Father Lagrange.


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