The Motive of the Incarnation
Merry Christmas! Fascinating read. I'm going to have to ponder Scotus' definition of predestination; it's rather profound.
Well maybe I should wait for Fr. Chris, our very own Thomist, for his comments on this topic, but I'm very exegetical and Augustinian minded, which the Augustinian naturally at times agrees more with Aquinas, but I think there's room for development here.
I recently wrote an essay on the defense of Augustinian Original Sin arguing that the claim that Augustine formulated the doctrine based on a mistranslated Ambrosiaster text of Romans 5:12 is nonsensical exegetically in short because both translating and interpreting a text has many different factors, which one has to then argue that Augustine simply whiffed on them intellectually.
I'm not so familiar with Scotus' writings as Aquinas, but I do know that in the Summa that Aquinas would make an exegetical argument for his claims, what is Scotus' interpretation of scripture on this point? When reading your article, I pulled out my bible to John's prologue mainly due to your explanation of God's predestination and thought, "Scotus could make an argument from here..."
But here is the most problematic text from Sacred Scripture that I think off the top of my head:
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (ESV-CE, Gal 4:4–7)
The analysis would have to begin with what is to be understood by the phrase, "In the fullness of time..." From Romans, Augustine, and exegetes, make the point that Paul stresses a dichotomy of "in Adam" vs. "in Christ," but what is to be made from the earlier text from St. Paul and "the fullness of time..."
Augustine would argue against Pelagius of "making void the cross of Christ..." So, I wonder what Scotus' views are with Scripture, I wonder if he makes the argument, or other Franciscans, that the key then is the fall of man is an ancillary catalyst in the fullness of time? I'm trying to reconcile St. Paul here with Scotus' take.
Hi Andrew, very interesting read and it was great to get more insight into the thought of Blessed Duns Scotus. One question I have after reading it though is that if the Incarnation was predestined before any contingent considerations, would the particular time in history in which Christ would become man also necessarily be predestined? It seems that there must be some consideration for the free choice of man in at least the choosing of the particular time and manner in which the incarnation happened.