A Suitably Scholastic Case for CWOB, once again
In case anyone is keeping track, I figured a corrected, current version of my argument for CWOB might be handy. This for the most part just restates earlier lines of reasoning.
The core intuition is captured in commitment to God's Otherness (Holy, Holy, Holy!) which implies that even Incarnate, God remains a Mystery to us; one part of that mystery is God's sovereign power, his omnipotence. Of course, we run head-on into the power of God in the Creeds, which presume God revealed in Scripture as El Shaddai and Pantokrator, the God who will be whom he will be.
(1) If CWOB is forbidden, God is not omnipotent.
(2) God is omnipotent.
Thus, (3) CWOB is permitted.
The initial premise, if CWOB is forbidden, God is not omnipotent, might shock, so it gets a special argument in its support:
(1) Suppose CWOB is forbidden.
(2) If CWOB is forbidden, then God cannot save all human beings.
(3) If God is omnipotent, then God can save all human beings.
Thus, (4) God is not omnipotent.
I know that [A2] might look outrageous, but hang in there a sec. I give this consideration in support of the third premise of [A2], if God is omnipotent, then God can save all human beings:
1. Suppose God is omnipotent.
2. If (1), then whatever God does by means of a creature, God can do immediately.
Thus, (3) whatever God does by means of a creature, God can do immediately.
The normal means of salvation proceed through creatures--consent to Jesus as Lord and Savior, perhaps sacraments as well--but God can bypass these altogether. Thus, presuming that it is at least possible all could be saved by means of creatures (e.g. it is at least possible each human being says "Yes" to Jesus), then by [A5] God could simply save everyone, minus any contribution on the side of creatures.
Yes, the second premise in [A2], if CWOB is forbidden, then God cannot save all human beings, now needs some support as well. The argument below has an asterisk b/c I have had to weaken its premises in a minor way to get the argument to come out right (the original had "obligated" in for "permitted").
(1) If God can save all humans beings, we are permitted to hope that God does save all human beings.
(2) If we are permitted to hope that God does save all human beings, then CWOB is permitted.
(3) Suppose CWOB is forbidden.
Thus, (4) God cannot save all human beings.
Someone might balk at [A3]*(2), the connection between being permitted to hope that all humans are saved (I leave angels out for the moment) and being permitted to perform CWOB; so, taking the "we" above to refer to the church:
(1)If the church is permitted to hope that all humans are saved, then it is permitted to act on the hope that all humans are saved.
(2)The church is permitted to hope that all humans are saved.
Thus, (3) the church is permitted to act on the hope that all humans are saved.
Built in to the premises here is an understanding of the Eucharist as being in part eschatological--as being more than merely a gathering up and sanctification et al of the Body here below. The Eucharist taken with an eschatological understanding sees the Kingdom to come already present in part in the Church. Operating under the imperative "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"--that "is" being eternal, we might expect implications to flow for us here below from the eschatological reality of the consummated Eucharist. Given the possibility of universalism--not the necessity of it or even the actuality of it--everyone baptized or not could have a place at the table from the point of view of eternity. More--we may hope that they belong here with us. By [A4], given that hope--grounded in a real possibility which itself is grounded in the omnipotence, in the very being, of God, the church is permitted to act on that hope.
CWOB is an action the church takes in solidarity with the hope (foolish, wasteful, unreasonable, etc) for the total triumph of God's love over human evil.