Selected Writings on Grace and Pelagianism
presents six treatises, in chronological order, showing how Augustine's thought on grace, predestination, and perserverance developed over time.Of the different controversies that preoccupied Augustine during his lifetime, Pelagianism was indisputably the most important for the subsequent history and theology of the western church. It touched on any number of issues central to Christianity, most notably grace, predestination, original sin and baptism, all of which in turn could be reduced to the fundamental question of the exact nature of the relationship between God and his human creation.
The six major treatises presented in Selected Writings on grace and Pelagianism
amply illustrate Augustine's struggle with the theological problems that Pelagianism raised. They begin with the Miscellany of Questions in Respondse to Simplician
. Although written in 396, before Pelagianism even appeared on the scene, this work shows in a few pages the remarkable evolution of Augustine's thought on the matter of grace and the position at which he arrived and to which he clung for the rest of his life.
The final two treatises, The Predestination of the Saints
and The Gift of Perseverance
, written in 428/9 shortly before Augustine's death, indicate where the position that he had elaborated more than thirty years before was fatefully destined to take him. The three middle treatises shows Augustine in the process of refining-but not altering-his thinking in the face of what he rightly saw as Pelagianism's terrible threat to orthodox Christianity's ventral tenets.Treatises Included:
- Miscellany of Questions in Response to Simplician
- The Punishment and Forgiveness of Sins and the Baptism of Little Ones
- The Spirit and the Letter
- Nature and Grace
- The Predestination of the Saints
- The Gift of Perseverance