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Featured Semi-pelagian

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by AustinC, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism are theological perspectives relating to the nature of man. Pelagianism is a heresy, a false teaching. It is the teaching by a fifth-century monk named Pelagius who taught that man’s nature was not affected by the fall of Adam and that all people are still free to equally choose between right and wrong. When Adam sinned, his offspring did not inherit the sinful nature. Pelagianism denies the doctrine of original sin and also denies that people are sinners by nature (Ephesians 2:3). It states that people become guilty of sin only when they choose to sin. It was officially condemned by the church at the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431.

    Semi-Pelagianism is a modification of the Pelagianism heresy. According to this position people are fallen, sinners by nature, that they are not free to equally choose God or not, but they are able to make the initial step towards believing in God. Along with semi-Pelagianism is the doctrine of prevenient grace which says that God gives grace to a person, enabling the person to freely make a choice of God. This doctrine was officially condemned by the Council of Orange in 529 A.D.

    Pelagianism
    Man: Man is not a sinner by nature

    Semi-Pelagianism
    Man: Man is a sinner by nature

    Pelagianism
    Free will: Man’s free will is fully able to choose God apart from God’s grace

    Semi-Pelagianism
    Free will: Man must have God’s grace to enable a person to believe in God or not

    Pelagianism
    Salvation: Man is capable of being saved via his own free will choice

    Semi-Pelagianism
    Salvation: Man is naturally able to initiate movement towards believing in God in order to be saved

    Pelagianism
    Grace: God’s grace is a response to man’s initial effort

    Semi-Pelagianism
    Grace: God’s grace is a response to man’s initial effort

    What are Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism?
     
  2. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    Would not many hold to the Semi view then today in american Christianity?
     
  3. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, Michael Horton, in the White Horse Inn podcasts, says that the majority of churches in the US are semi-pelagian.
     
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  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Saying most churches hold to semi-Pelagianism is a logical fallacy.

    To understand semi-Pelagianism read De gratia, not CARM.

    Members need to ask:

    Do most churches believe man's nature is corrupt but not to the extent that men cannot turn to God apart from the work of the Holy Spirit convicting them of sin?

    I doubt it. But either answer is a logical fallacy. At least it is a fallacy based on honesty rather than misnomer.

    Semi-Pelagianism holds several ideas -

    1. Due to the Fall men have corrupt natures.
    2. Men's nature is not corrupt to the extent they cannot turn to God of their own unaided volition (without being drawn to God, without the Spirit working in their lives, etc.)
    3. Once a man turns to God, God graces them with the ability towards conversion.
    4. Baptism is necessary for conversion.
     
  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Semi-Pelagian there are disagreements.
    I am of the persuasion the typical translation of Romans 9:11, ". . . For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, . . ." to be Pelagian.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    How would you translate the verse?
     
  7. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    Many today do seem to hold in churches that we can turn to God based upon our own decision, as we first approach God, and then he responds with saving faith and grace!
     
  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    ". . . For the children being not yet born, neither practiced any good or evil, . . ."
     
  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I would translate as "never done", but that's the same.
     
  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    How many? Where ate these located? Are they mostly in a particular denomination?

    I ask because I have attended many churches, but have yet to attend any that taught we turn to God without the Spirit working in our lives.
     
  11. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    They would say will seek after God first, and then He responds with saving grace towards them!
     
  12. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    How is "never practiced" and "never done" mean the same thing?
     
  13. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    We have a person on this board that believes people can turn to God without the Holy Spirit drawing them. Indeed, any drawing might be seen as God forcing them.
    This person has argued that Romans 1 does not state that humans cannot come to God by general revelation alone. That person has argued that people can repent by general revelation alone.

    Jon, there is much wrong in our churches, both theologically and morally. We have many churches that have played the harlot with the world.
     
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  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I mean, which churches?

    I know most are not Calvinistic, but which churches are really semi-Pelagianistic?
     
  15. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    We may. I just have either not encountered that member or have not encountered that member making the claim.

    Most I've seen here are more akin to Van, holding that God draws all men.

    It is also important to consider what one means by "general revelation". Many view this as God revealing to men enough for them to turn to Him (along the lines of Arminianism rather than Semi-Pelagianism as Semi-Pelagianism also holds that men, although corrupt, are not so corrupt as to substantiate an inability to turn to God).

    I agree with you about the state of our churches. If we were not sure all we'd have to do is look at US politics and churches.
     
  16. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    How is it not?
     
  17. AustinC

    AustinC Well-Known Member

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    I would say that any church teaching people that saying the sinners prayer equals salvation is a church that is semi-pelagian in nature.
     
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  18. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I wouldn't. Semi-Pelagianism had nothing to do with the "sinners prayer". I'd just say such a church would be wrong.

    Growing up we heard the "sinners prayer" a lot, but never as a mode of salvation. That said, some here have reported attending churches where it was essentially an incantation.
     
  19. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Never practiced does not mean never done. "Practiced" is for the plural. "Done" is singular.
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Then I disagree. The unborn have not committed a sinful action, therefore saying they have not committed sin actions is unnecessary.
     
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