Denying original sin as well as Christian grace? Yes, that should fit right in with modern Episcopal theology.
So on to courting heresy:
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Diocese of Atlanta has been asked to rehabilitate Pelagius.
Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.
Resolution R11-7 before the convention states in part:
“Whereas the historical record of Pelagius’s contribution to our theological tradition is shrouded in the political ambition of his theological antagonists who sought to discredit what they felt was a threat to the empire, and their ecclesiastical dominance, and whereas an understanding of his life and writings might bring more to bear on his good standing in our tradition;”
“And whereas his restitution as a viable theological voice within our tradition might encourage a deeper understanding of sin, grace, free will, and the goodness of God’s creation, and whereas in as much as the history of Pelagius represents to some the struggle for theological exploration that is our birthright as Anglicans, Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta appoint a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to honor the contributions of Pelagius and reclaim his voice in our tradition.”
A British monk, Pelagius rejected the doctrines of original sin, substitutionary atonement, and justification by faith. Mankind possessed an unconditioned free will and was able to obtain his own salvation through personal betterment rather than grace, he argued. In the Letter to Demetrias, Pelagius argued that Adam’s sin was not what caused us to sin. Humans were born good, but over time became wicked through voluntary acts. “Over the years our sin gradually corrupts us, building an addiction and then holding us bound with what seems like the force of nature itself.”
The Council of Carthage in 416 condemned Pelagius’ teaching. Augustine argued that the British monk’s teaching contradicted Paul’s words in Philippians 2:12-13 because Pelagius located the capacity “to will and to do” what pleases God in human nature rather than in God’s grace. (On the Grace of Christ, V.6 and VI.)
“We must realize that Pelagius believes that neither our will nor our action is helped by divine aid…he believes that God does not help us to will, that he does not help us to act, that he helps us only to be able to will and to act.”(On the Grace of Christ, V.6).
The proposed resolution has brought mixed responses from the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies chat room, with some ridiculing the notion that the Diocese of Atlanta believed itself capable of redefining church doctrine. However, other deputies have endorsed the resolution saying it gives a breath of Celtic Christianity to the Episcopal Church and enhances the church’s theological diversity.
The vote on Pelagius takes place on 4 Nov 2011.
Wikipedia has more on Pelagius here.
Forty years ago, the sexual revolution broke through the last barricades of Victorian propriety. A whole generation drifted toward moral anarchy in its fitful pursuit of sexual liberation. At the end of the day, the casualties of this revolution surround us—AIDS patients, aborted children, and single mothers. But only recently have the intellectual elite come to recognize a new class of walking wounded: America’s teenage girls.
Near-epidemic levels of teen pregnancy, abortion, suicide, eating disorders, and self-mutilation among American girls, supply overwhelming evidence that something has gone seriously wrong. But what or who is to blame? Could there really be a connection between the Age of Aquarius and the sad facts of life for girls today?
I must read at Crisis Magazine here.