Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Obviously, there are those who play with a Semi-Palegian idea that we're not really dead in sin, but we're sort of hurt in sin. The old controversy between Augustine and Palageus is still happening today.
The Palageanist viewpoint is that you've got a pit, man is down in the pit, and he can't necessarily get out by himself, but he's standing there, he's whole, and he has use of his arms and his legs. All he really needs is an example from God on how to get out of the pit, and Jesus provides that example. There's really no need for grace because man has the capacity to get out of the pit himself.
Augustine taught that here's the pit, the man is laying flat on the bottom, and there's a tulip growing out his chest because he is dead. You can throw all the aids down to him you want, but since he's lying dead in the bottom of the pit, he won't be able to get out of it. You can throw ladders down to him, you can yell at him, you can give him water, you can give him food, but it doesn't matter because he's dead. What happens is that Christ has to come down, resurrect him to life, and take him out.
The Semi-Palagean view, the one in the middle which is where most people like to be because "nobody likes extremes" you know, is the man is sitting there propped up against the wall. He's got a broken leg and a broken arm. So what has to happen is that God has to throw down the ladder and Jesus Christ has to come down and help the guy, but without the guy's help, without the guy's assistance, Jesus Christ isn't going to be able to get him back up the ladder so it's this "cooperative effort" between the two.
Those are your three view points. Either it's 1) All of man , 2) All of God , or 3) A mixture of the two, and people like to go, "Well, you know, I really don't like to be extreme either direction, and so I'll be comfortable in the middle."
- Dr. James R. White