Alright so Jamie probably wont care much about this post I'm guessing since he has abandoned BC and AD in favor of BCE and CE (ironically while changing the names of the different eras he still uses the same date of the same birth as a boundary line between the common era and the era that was before that special event...) But somebody out there might be interested. The issue really isn't how bad you feel about the sins of Adam and Eve.. It is about the nature of man. and Augustine didn't claim that man didn't have a will, only that it wasn't free. Or if you think you have free a totally free will, why were you born where you were, the sex you were, when you were born. or the color of your eyes? What Augustine, and Paul... and Jesus say is that Adam and Eve's actions changed the nature of man. Unless you entirely disbelieve the account of Genesis you know this. Man was created good, and would not have known death had he not disobeyed. but now we all die. It's in our nature. Without belaboring the point, it is also in our nature to sin. The secularists and atheists acknowledge that to err is human. That being the case and God being a Holy God and us (mankind) being sinners by nature... we are screwed. So God sends his son.... (insert gospel track here.. I really don't want to bore anyone with this) up until here There might be agreement between Augustine and Pelagius... certainly there is agreement in our time between the Reformed Church and the Semi-Pelagians. The bible, OT and NT, Gospels and Epistles show man to be dead in his sins, hopelessly blind, and... dead. (I'll send you citations if you like but I don't have enough time to type them all out) Just think of Jesus raising lazarus from the dead as a physical illustration of our spiritual condition before and after conversion and what works took place there. Augustine doesn't deny man has a will, only points out that the will of man is to sin and that it is outside the nature of man to seek God, though man might seek the good things of God... victory in battle, a promotion, health, long life...even relief from guilt but never God... This is the question of the fall in the garden. how much did Adam's sin impair the nature of man? Pelagius does see it as a fall... from grace. but that we could regain favor with God if we seek refuge in the blood of Christ. whereas Augustine's explanation of Man's fallen nature would make the fall of Rome at the hands of the Goths look like nothing. The fall (says Augustine.. and Paul... And Jesus) was absolutely devastating so that No one would go to Jesus unless the spirit of God first drew him. You're not going to choose Christ in order to hedge your bets and it do any good for you. although it does seem like Constantine did experience true conversion later on. And that is pretty much it, it isn't something a person chooses without God first changing his heart. He experiences the conversion of his heart from stone to flesh, and the he chooses Christ. A person is born of the spirit, and then believes... not as the semi-pelagians of today would say that we believe and then get born again. What choice do we have in getting born? and why do you think Jesus used that as the metaphor when talking with Nicodemus? Pelagius of course down plays all of this, even the modern day semi-pelagians do, and say that man is corrupted, but not so corrupted that he is not unable to ask for divine intervention to cure his corruption.... basically Lazarus wasn't really dead, but just sick and laying in bed and jesus brought medicine, and all Lazarus had to do was open his mouth to let Jesus pour the life saving medicine down his throat.... And now we begin to see why this is such a dangerous heresy... I mean aside from being untrue, It is untrue in one of the worst ways, The sacrifice of Christ on the cross as a miraculous act of salvation for his people, it is morphed into a roll of the dice, so that maybe Augustine is redeemed and maybe he isn't... and worse than that if he is, it wasn't entirely by the power of God, Pelagius.. or at least the semi-pelagians around today admit that it is mostly the work of God, but when the issue is pressed, they, and not God are ultimately responsible for saving themselves since they used their own free will to make the decision. And thus would deny their own sinfulness, "Oh I might have done some bad things but deep down I'm not so bad." and thus diminish the work of Christ, and altogether deny the calling of the spirit, or diminish it's power by claiming it calls everyone, most of the time failing.. and lastly they steal glory from God taking it (albeit humbly) for themselves. I just want to put it out there that this is an internal fight, and while it is a heresy, it doesn't make a Christian not a Christian. they believe in Christ, but are mistaken as to the inner workings of how they came to be a Christian doesn't make them not a Christian it just makes them ignorance. There are some very real and applicable differences in world view that arise out of this divergence of theology and it does matter a great deal. but at the end of the day a person driving a car who doesn't understand how the internal combustion engine works is still moving down the road. but it really is a little more important for a Christian to have a grasp on this doctrine than for a motorist to have an understanding of the internal combustion engine. I hope this is coherent as I Just finished a long night at the Goodyear Plant in Oklahoma. DEO VINDICE.
Hi attackdonkey,I don't know that this is the venue for theological discussions regarding ancient dissident religious factions. At least in the terms and sense you are giving them. Perhaps if you know something about how Pelagisnism shaped British contemporary culture? I know I'd like to know more as the topic of dissident religious groups fascinates me. From a a broader historical viewpoint, the creation of an offshoot of Christianity originating is interesting. The only other contacts with heresy (and I'm using the term loosely and out of convenience) are a brief exposure to Catharism, and then finally Lollardy. What I find interesting is how independent and successful Britain is in handling religion their way, even when it is in the context of Catholocism. The king and layitynalwaysnhad more power over positions in the church than was held generally on the continent..