Monday, November 17, 2008

Speaking this Evening

God willing, this evening I shall be speaking at Hethersett Independent Reformed Baptist Church, Henstead Road, on the subject of 'Augustine and the Pelagian Controversy'. The meeting is at 7.30 in the evening.

I am convinced that it is more vital than ever for us to understand what was the basis of this controversy, and what was at stake. The majority of modern churches are either semi-Pelagian (Evangelical), or fully Pelagian (Liberals). Semi-Pelagianism is a compromise that makes God's grace something that is given equally to all, and it is finally unstable. A recent biography of John Taylor of Norwich has stated that Methodists today are more likely to agree with John Taylor's Pelagian view of Original Sin than they are with John Wesley's Augustinian view!

A proper distinction between Law and Gospel is at the heart of the Pelagian controversy. To Pelagius the Bible message was essentially Legal, and indeed the giving of the Law was an act of Grace because we are able to keep it! Augustine, on the other hand, knew that he was a sinner, and clung to the Bible's teaching on Grace. To a Pelagian a saint is someone who does not sin, to an Augustinian he is someone who struggles with sin, but is justified by the grace of God.

That's just a little bit of the substance of the lecture.

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