Theology

Theological Term of the Week: Pelagianism

This week’s term: Pelagianism – The doctrines taught by Pelagius. Pelagius was a monk born in England of great intellectual stature, but no apparent knowledge of God. He taught that man was inherently capable of doing right or wrong, that it was possible for him to live a sinless life, and that some men had actually done so. He taught that Adam’s sin had no real effect on mankind as a race, and that man was free to choose either right or wrong, not having a fallen nature. 

Last week’s term: Arminianism – The system of doctrine which holds salvation is brought about by a cooperative effort between God and man. Again, Arminius was not the originator of this doctrine but simply became identified as the champion of it. Arminianism is a modification of Pelagianism, though most Arminians will deny that they are in agreement with Pelagianism.

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