Thursday, July 15, 2010

Self-resourced contribution

This great post comes from Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology. I was for a long time, in my mind, a semi-Pelagian. I always maintained some "tiny bit of self-resourced contribution" to my own salvation. I may act at times like I still believe this, but at least, by God's grace, I no longer believe this; by grace alone through faith alone!

Forde on our Functional Semi-Pelagianism

Semi-Pelagianism is the notion that all humans require grace in order to be right with God, but because we have free will we have the natural ability to seek out, respond to, and appropriate this grace. Forde comments-
Officially this position . . . has been rejected by the church. Even the tiny bit [of self-resourced contribution] cannot be reconciled with grace alone. I say it has officially been rejected because I think one can nevertheless say that in actual practice this is the kind of system most people finally settle for. . . . [A] position which is officially rejected becomes nevertheless the basic operating theology of the church.
--Gerhard Forde, Where God Meets Man: Luther's Down-to-Earth Approach to the Gospel (Augsburg 1972), 50; emphasis original

'To the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly . . .' --Romans 4:5

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