Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Grace, Pt. 2

There's a fascinating part to this that I have no answer to. Typically the heresies of the East were those of the theologia, or of the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity while in contrast those of the West were those of the oikonomia or those of the works of the Trinity.

That leads us to the next part, where the doctrine of grace is ironed out. Pelagius was most likely a British monk who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries, one who might not have actually held the beliefs he held. Poor Pelagius.

These views are attributed to Pelagius, at least by St. Augustine. My professor pointed out that rarely are complete heretical treatises left, at least in the Patristic era. What we know of the heresies comes from the interpretations and rebuttals of those who held, as it became apparent, the orthodox view.

  1. Denied inability of humans to choose good over evil even after the Fall of Man
  2. Put another way, by our own ability we can refrain from sin.
  3. Grace isn't necessary.
St. Augustine disputed this and explained that when we sin we do so freely, and God rightly holds our sins against us. We also require grace to do good.

Unlike in the heresies of the Trinity, which I'll get to eventually (yeah I know, working backwards...) no one really accepted Pelagianism after its condemnation. There's semi-Pelagianism and Protestants have adopted weird views on grace (Mormons are non-Christian Pelagians...) but within the Church, the problem became one of ironing out the kinks. I think I'll skip the controversy "De Auxiliis" and move onto the dispute over grace and the interaction with human freedom.

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