Fr. Most's theology on salvation
Dear Mr. Sungenis,
I'm one chapter away from finishing your book How Can I Get To Heaven -- I've thoroughly enjoyed it and feel that I've learned a great deal about the Bible's and Catholic Church's teaching (their being one in the same, of course) regarding justification, predestination, etc. Thank you for your hard work.
I find myself in disagreement with some of the positions you take and champion these days, but I am truly appreciative of your excellent works of Catholic apologetics. I own all three "Not By . . ." books, your CASB commentary on Matthew, and the "Heaven" book. I look forward to reading all of them, and others that you publish in the future.
Regarding predestination, I'm wondering if you have you read the late Fr. William Most's work: Grace, Predestination and the Salvific Will of God: New Answers to Old Questions
If so, what did you think? What do you think of Fr. Most's work in general?
R. Sungenis: Michael, Fr. Most was a very good conservative theologian. I especially was appreciative of his work on biblical inerrancy. He was vilified in the Catholic liberal circles for his tireless work in this important area. But regarding his work on soteriology, just before he died, Fr. Most and I were in some heated battles by letter. We probably exchanged about half a dozen letters, but then he died suddenly (I hope it wasn't because of me!). I took exception to his view of grace. He was teaching a sort of "negative acceptance" of God in an effort to protect us from exercising free will beyond God's will. It turned out that he was saying that "if we don't refuse, then we are accepting," but he wouldn't allow us to directly accept God because he thought that would infringe on God's will and make our salvation a matter of works. I told him the Church never taught such a thing, and neither did Scripture. Our wills work in accord with God's will, and our positive acceptance of him is never considered an infringment upon God's will nor a work of debt or a work outside of grace. I also told him that the Council of Trent was against his novel approach, especially in Chapters 4-5 in Session 6 regarding prevenient grace and man's free will.