Free will, grace, and anti-Pelagianism

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83 (2):183-199 (2018)
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Critics of synergism often complain that the view entails Pelagianism, and so, critics think, monergism looks like the only live option. Critics of monergism often claim that the view entails that the blame for human sin ultimately traces to God. Recently, several philosophers have attempted to chart a middle path by offering soteriological accounts which are monergistic but maintain the resistibility of God’s grace. In this paper, we present a challenge to such accounts of the resistibility of grace, namely that they imply that human beings are praiseworthy for omitting to resist God’s grace. Even if such views escape Pelagianism as it is typically defined, they fail to avoid the worry at the heart of prominent criticisms of Pelagianism concerning the praise for a human being’s salvation. At the end of the paper, we suggest three possible solutions to this problem.

Author Profiles

Taylor W. Cyr
Samford University
Matthew T. Flummer
Porterville College


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