Thursday, December 14, 2006

Catholicism equals monothelitism

For those who are curious about what, exactly, Dr. White is referring to (, here’s the original:

35. Photios Jones Says:
May 23rd, 2006 at 8:50 am
William Witt,
“I would say inconsistently, as does Damascene, by distinguishing between God’s antecedent and consequent will.”
St. John knows of no such limitation of God’s salvific will, especially ones that would include a collapsing of nature and person, which he says is not just the paradigm of a few heresies, but of all heresey (Expos. Ortho. III.3)
But Thomas’ teaching–which I found your gloss about right–is part of the problem and not the solution. Switching gears over to Christology, Thomas’ doctrine of predestination is monenergism. There is only one possible outcome. This means that merely confessing two wills is not enough for Orthodoxy. And why in the world would consideration of a divine attribute (predestination) precede a discussion of the Person of Christ in the first place? Does the Person of Christ fall under the category of divine providence?

Dear Dr. White,

Regarding your recent post in which Prejean and Enloe attempt to tar Calvinism with the broad brush of monothelitism, I'd just note, in the above quote, that Orthodox apologetes use the very same tactic to tar Thomism—and, by implication, Catholicism—with the odium of monothelitism.

Hence, according to the inner logic of Prejean's argument, Prejean is a monothelite, guilty of the same Christological heresy he imputes Calvinism.

Like the witch-craze, this charge takes on a life of its own, implicating the accuser as well as the accused.


The upshot is that a Catholic polemicist equates Calvinism with monothelitism while an Orthodox polemicist returns the favor by equating Catholicism with monothelitism. Same argument: different target.

My advice to Prejean (as well as Enloe) would be that when you douse your opponent with gasoline, make sure you didn’t spill some on your shirt before you light the match.


  1. I like how Jerry-Jet's comments didn't even make any kind of coherent sense.

  2. Actually, now that I think of it, aren't there a few strains of predestination philosophy in Catholicism? That is, Thomism vs. Molinism? Has any doctrine of predestination been formalized at, say, Vatican 1, Trent, Florence, or the like?

  3. HAW HAW HAW!!!

    Those crazy Catholics...when will they ever learn.

    HAW HAW HAW!!!

    Calvinists rock!!!

  4. Anonymous atheist teaches his son how to shave:

    Son: This is hard dad

    Anonymous atheist: HAW HAW HAW HAW!!

    Son: I need help..aahhhh

    (Son slashes his face with razor, blood dribbles onto beard)

    Anonymous atheist: HAW HAW HAW HAW!!

    Son: I think I'm going to die

    (Son keels over and dies in a pool of blood)

    Anonymous atheist: HAW HAW HAW!!!!

    Anonymous atheist's wife: HAW HAW HAW!!!

    Anonymous atheist: HAW HAW HAWWWWW!!!

    Anonymous atheist's wife: I loved that HAW

    Anonymous atheist: Well I get a lot of practise on triablogue HAW!!

    Anonymous atheist's wife: I can't believe that Steven Hayes is still defending that fairy god HAW HAW!! You have fun now... HAW!

    (Anonymous atheist goes off to post yet more comments on Triablogue, guffawing to himself)

  5. Truth be told, Prejean's account of the transmission of the tradition at this point is correct.

    The argument came from me, then to Daniel (Photios) Jones, and then eventually to Jonathan Prejean along with the readers of Pontifications.

    It is rather funny that you guys are stumbling on to this now.

    In any case, thea rgument can go either way, Catholics can use it to tar Protestants and Protestants can use it to tar Catholics.

    As an Orthodox, I am quite happy to let you two go picknicking on each other. :)

  6. Mathetes,

    Thomism is very predestinarian and Scotism even more so. Truth be told, Molinism is quite predestinarian since it posits that God selects worlds to create in which agents perform acts determined by their essence.