Tag Archives: Free will

Friday Phraseology: Theodicy

Theodicy: An answer to the problem of *evil that attempts to “justify the ways of God to man” by explaining God’s reasons for allowing evil. Two of the more important theodicies are the “soul-making theodicy,” which argues that God allows evil so as to make it possible for humans to develop certain desirable virtues, and the “free will theodicy,” which argues that God had to allow for the possibility of evil if he wished to give humans (and angelic beings) *free will. Theodicies are often distinguished from defenses, which argue that it is reasonable to believe that God has reasons for allowing evil even if we do not know what those reasons are.

Evans, C. Stephen (2010-03-17). Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion: 300 Terms & Thinkers Clearly & Concisely Defined (The IVP Pocket Reference Series) (p. 114). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Biblical Nuggets: Pelagius, Pelagianism, and Augustine

Pelagius was an Irish monk. On his visit in Rome, he was so much scandalized when he saw people who identified themselves with Christ were still engaging in sin and living immoral lives. Their barbarian lifestyle provoked him. Upon his rebuke, those engaging in such immoral lifestyle responded, saying they could not resist or control their indulging desires. But he believed other way. So, he told them they had to resist themselves from lust and indulgence. God of the Scripture says, “Just do it.”

He believes that human beings have free will and thy are free to make choice of their own. Also, he believes that we are not fully dead (in the spirit) by the effect of sin, and we have to work for our salvation. Basically, he held the view that apart from faith in Christ, salvation is attained through work.

Augustine had a very high respect for Pelagius, as he was the man of his own words. Pelagius lived what he preached, but Augustine countered his wrongheaded doctrine of sin and salvation. He believed that we are fully dead in the spirit. Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, we cannot help ourselves for salvation. Human beings have sinful nature by virtue of the totally deprived condition. We love to sin, so we sin. It’s not the case that we have to or want to sin. Our free will is tainted with sin in the fall. In this sense, we are free or have free will only to sin than seeking true God.