May 24, 2007

Options

The heretical "fundamental option theory" sounds very attractive, but isn't it likely that if it ever became commonly accepted it would eventually be deemed too harsh and a fresh "one-time option" theory would spring up in its place? Slipping into parody...
CHICAGO, IL--Six in ten theologians now support the controversial "One Time Option" theory of salvation.

The theory posits that salvation is attainable by having at least once entertained the idea of serving God. The thought need not be conscious.
Whilst doing a Google, I came across this post from Pontifications, written back when he was still Anglican:

But over the past year I have discovered, to my chagrin, that the fundamental option theory has been severely criticized by the Catholic magisterium. Now as an Anglican I do not need to take the Vatican’s criticisms with solemn seriousness; but when I read Pope John Paul II’s critique of fundamental option theory in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor (65-68), I had to change my tune. I find the Pope’s criticisms of fundamental option to be compelling:
"By his fundamental choice, man is capable of giving his life direction and of progressing, with the help of grace, towards his end, following God’s call. But this capacity is actually exercised in the particular choices of specific actions, through which man deliberately conforms himself to God’s will, wisdom and law. It thus needs to be stated that the so-called fundamental option, to the extent that it is distinct from a generic intention and hence one not yet determined in such a way that freedom is obligated, is always brought into play through conscious and free decisions. Precisely for this reason, it is revoked when man engages his freedom in conscious decisions to the contrary, with regard to morally grave matter."
Faith in Christ, in other words, cannot be divorced from the various concrete ways this faith is incarnated in our moral lives. “Show me your faith apart from your works,” the Apostle James writes, “and I by my works will show you my faith” (James 2:18). Clearly faith is a mystery that cannot be reduced to a transcendental relation to God independent of the concrete actualities of living. To one degree or another, my acts are directed to or away from God.

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