Thomas Aquinas distinguished between God's antecedent and consequent wills. Meanwhile, the Reformed confessions (eg Westminster Confession) distinguished between God's decretive and revealed wills. How do these categorization systems differ?

Aquinas discusses God's antecedent and consequent wills in Questiones Disputatae de Veritate Question 23:

The divine will is fittingly distinguished into antecedent and consequent. An understanding of this distinction is to be got from thee words of Damascene, who introduced it. He says: “Antecedent will is God’s acceptance of something on His own account,” whereas consequent will is a concession on our account.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism discusses the two decretive and revealed wills of God in questions 7 and 39:

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God? A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.

Q. 39. What is the duty which God requireth of man? A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.

  • Could you give an quote of where "Thomas Aquinas distinguished between God's antecedent and consequent wills"? And similarly for "Reformed confessions…distinguish[ing] between God's decretive and revealed wills"? – Geremia Apr 10 '18 at 18:37
  • @Geremia Sure - I've added quotes! – Betterthan Kwora Apr 11 '18 at 2:46
  • 2
    St. Thomas also distinguishes between 5 "wills" (really, "expressions of [His] will," as His will itself is absolutely one and immutable) in Summa Theologica I q. 19 a. 12, which are: "prohibition, precept, counsel, operation, and permission". – Geremia Apr 11 '18 at 3:15

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