By Robert Truelove
Augustine vs. Pelagius
We will now move in our studies to a doctrinal controversy that occurred during the fifth century between Augustine bishop of Hippo and Pelagius, a British monk. Pelagius was the father of the doctrines now referred to as Pelagianism, which Augustine argued against and considered destructive of the gospel. In this short article, we will give a brief overview of their positions and point out the error of the Pelagian system. This is an issue that strikes at the very heart of the gospel message. I would ask that everyone who reads this would consider the practical importance of a proper understanding of sin and grace.
Pelagius taught that Adam was created neither good nor evil, but was created neutral. His will was completely free to choose to sin or not to sin. He also believed that whether Adam sinned or not he was still mortal and would one day die. He therefore denied that man was created holy and that by Adam’s sin, death entered into the world. As a matter a fact, he went so far as to say that man is born in the same condition as Adam was before the fall; that is, he is born without sin. The only difference, according to Pelagius, between him and Adam is that Adam did not have the example of sin before him whereas his posterity does. Pelagius therefore did not believe Continue reading