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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Augustine changed his mind

This is a quote from The Story of Christian Theology by Roger E. Olson about Aurelius Augustinus, more commonly known as Augustine (I really like his full name).

"...Augustine began by arguing that sin and evil are not in any way determined by God but are products of human free will misused. Later, [pause...and this is the best] in debate with Pelagius and the Pelagians (and so-called Semi-Pelagians) he changed his mind and began to interpret human freedom as the ability only to sin and commit evil apart from God's transformig grace. He elevated God's freedom and sovereignty over against all human freedom and debased human agency as always evil left to its own devices."

As I was entering the text, I had a typo that I found appropriate. It went like this: "over against all human greedom". I like it because it fits so well. When man insists on wanting the freedom to choose, he is elevating his rights above his Creator's. It comes down to an arrogance and to greed. Once, a person actually said to me, "...but what I love most about my salvation is that ultimately, I am the one who made the choice." This reeks of pride and self-elevation. It is taking the first clause of John 15:16 and making those words come out of her mouth instead of God's, rendering it, "You did not choose me, but I chose You" instead of how it really is,

"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you."

The state of insisting that you are attributed or given more than is due you.

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