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Theology And Christianity: The Works Of Augustine And Pelagius

2037 words - 9 pages

Augustine and Pelagius were two of the great fourth century theologians who’s work has an effect on the theology of Christianity today which centers in the areas of original sin and free will. Sin can be defined as anything that does not express or conform to the holy character of God. The issue of sin is not in its definition it is in the origin. Augustine and Pelagius were two people with two different views of the origin of sin. Pelagius, was a British faithful monk who claimed that we came into the world with a free will. This free will allows us to make the choice of whether or not to sin. Our sin is based on our actions. We are considered to be like Adam before the fall.
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Over time we begin to lose sight of God’s standards. An example is an old tee shirt. The old shirt still looks good to us but once it is placed beside a brand new tee shirt we can begin to see the changes that have occurred over time. We have to be careful not to become ignorant in our ways. We always have the power to change because of our free will. Pelagius says that God comes with grace to solve our problems. The solutions are Grace in God (Grace of Illumination) and the Grace of Forgiveness. Through the Grace of God, we need someone to show us God’s gold standard of righteousness. Christ was our example. We were also given the Ten Commandments to use. Through the Grace of Forgiveness, God helps those who helps themselves. Your level of forgiveness is determined based on your commitment.
We have to remember that Pelagius did not believe in original sin. He believed that people chose to sin on their own. Augustine wanted to know why we are so broken. He felt like Pelagius under estimated the power of sin. According to Augustine, Adam and Eve had free will. The lost their freedom of the will when they ate the fruit in the garden. They no longer had the ability to chose good. This caused them to turn away from God. Which says that original sin is like a fountain that keeps spewing out sin. Augustine believes that comes from Pride. Pride then cause us to pull farther away from God. Romans 12:3 says, “Do not think yourself more highly than you ought.” All sin comes from self serving pride according to Augustine. His struggles and belief in the Bible are not uncommon for many. He lived a life as a young man who did what most men of his time were doing. A life of sex and temptation of the word. God made us as rational creatures. Therefore; we would not be subject to out of control matters. The sex life of Adam and Eve could be viewed as rational. But once they ate the fruit it become an act of lust. The cause of corruption stemmed from the pleasure of sex.
In 431 the Council of Ephesus dealt with the controversy. They said that Augustine was right and Pelagius was wrong. On the issue of Original Sin and Freedom of Will, they said that original sin cannot be denied. We were tainted when we were in the womb. When it comes to free will some says it destroys (Augustinian) and some say it weakens (Semi- Pelagianism). Ephesians 1:4 says, “God chose us before the foundations of the world.” Meaning their was Foreknowledge of God choosing us. This was done by looking into the future of what we will do with our free will. Foreknowledge is the bases of Semi-Pelagianism. But Augustine says that grace is different. He believes that you cannot separate from God and original sin completely destroys the will of freedom. The Grace of God is exclusive, irresistible, and wholly God’s Authority. Is exclusive because we are a mess. We all deserve damnation. However; God’s love chose to save us and that is how we receive grace. It is irresistible because when God...

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