This volume brings together writings from early and late stages of Augustine’s involvement in the Pelagian controversy. On Nature and Grace and On the Proceedings of Pelagius both date from AD 415–416 and constitute two of Augustine’s most extensive treatments of the actual words of Pelagius. On the Predestination of the Saints and On the Gift of Perseverance were probably written in AD 428, near the end of Augustine’s life. Augustine’s opponents in his writings, he admits, are not really Pelagains at all. They were monks of Provence, led by John Cassian, who were disturbed by the more extreme consequences of the theology of grace and predestination that Augustine had worked out in his controversy with the Pelagians. Since the sixteenth century, they have been labeled “semi-Pelagians.”
Taken together, these writings provide an occasion to examine the continuity and development of Augustine’s theology of grace. They also afford much insight into the fifth-century status of many theological questions that are alive today, such as the extent of the damage done to human nature by sin, the theology of original sin, the effects of baptism, and the true meaning and scope of God’s salvific will.
These treatises include some of Augustine’s most significant statements on grace. Intended for scholars and students of theology and philosophy, this edition includes three treatises translated for the first time from modern critical texts. William Collinge’s trenchant introductions offer detailed accounts of the historical and critical work done over the hundred years since the last publication.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
For more of Augustine, check out the Fathers of the Church: St. Augustine (30 vols.).
Aurelius Augustinus (354–430) is often simply referred to as St. Augustine or Augustine Bishop of Hippo (the ancient name of the modern city of Annaba in Algeria). He is the preeminent Doctor of the Church according to Roman Catholicism, and is considered by Evangelical Protestants to be in the tradition of the Apostle Paul as the theological fountainhead of the Reformation teaching on salvation and grace.
“Therefore, this testimony of the Apostle, when, in order to suppress man’s conceit, he said, ‘What do you have that you have not received?’57 does not permit any believer to say, ‘I have faith which I did not receive.’ These words of the Apostle completely suppress all the pride of such a reply. Nor can even this be said: ‘Although I have not a perfected faith, yet I have its beginning, by which I first believed in Christ.’” (Page 227)
“‘Even so then at this present time also, there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace, it is not now by works; otherwise grace is no more grace.’70 Therefore, it is by grace that the elect have obtained what they have obtained; there preceded nothing which they might first give so that it might be given to them in recompense. God saved them for nothing. As to those others who were blinded, as it is clearly stated here, it was done in retribution. ‘All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth.’71 But ‘his ways’ are ‘unsearchable.’72 Hence, the mercy by which he freely liberates and the truth by which he justly judges are both unsearchable.” (Pages 231–232)
“At all events, there is no other way than the helping grace of the savior, Christ crucified, and the gift of his Spirit, by which any persons, whoever they be, can arrive at absolute perfection, or by which anyone can attain the slightest progress to true and holy justice—whoever denies this, I question whether he can be counted in the number of true Christians of any sort.” (Page 77)
“This is certainly true, but it was still necessary to inquire whether the merit of faith, too, comes from the mercy of God, that is, whether this mercy, then, is shown only to a man because he is faithful, or whether, in truth, it has been shown so that he has become faithful.” (Page 226)