Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

27 Jan 417 A.D. Bishop of Rome Condemns Pelagius and Fellow Cohorts on Ego-Steroids—Belittlers and Deniers of Original Sin & Total Depravity; Think 19th-20 Century Liberals & Evangelicals

27 Jan 417 A.D. Bishop of Rome Condemns Pelagius and Fellow Cohorts on Ego-Steroids—Belittlers and Deniers of Original Sin & Total Depravity; Think 19th-20 Century Liberals & Evangelicals

Dr. Rusten tells the story.

Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.  Available at:

On Pelagius’ view, Adam and Eve fell, but the results and consequences ended there. Romans 5 is redefined into oblivion.  All humans are born pure and unaffected by sin.  Every human birth results in a new, little pure Adam or little pure Eve.  It’s very appealing to human pride and untaught minds and egos. Nothing can drag them down but their own free and uninfluenced choices.  Each little pure Adam and each little pure Eve are fully able to resist any sin and, thus, can save themselves without Christ, the Holy Spirit, the cross and more. Little by little, Pelagius’ influence spread from Britain to North Africa.

Augustine of Hippo fought, debated and wrote against Pelagius and his “Ego-Boosted” theology.  He spent 25 years in the war teaching original, federal, transmitted and penal consequences to being born in the first Adam.

Pelagius, a deceiver, conceded that sin appeared to be universal.  But that universality was because these little pure Adams and little pure Eves began, little by little, following bad examples. Anyone can trust and believe Christ by his or her free will.  Of course, predestination and election got the bum’s rush by Pelagius….right out the door.

The rancor and doctrinal divisiveness continued.  A local synod of 64 bishops in North Africa condemned Pelagianism in 417 and asked the bishop of Rome, Innocent I, to excommunicate Pelagius. Another Council of Mileve made the same request.

On 27 Jan 417 A.D., Innocent did that.  He condemned and excommunicated Pelagius.

Another Council in 418 reached the same conclusion.  The succeeding bishop of Rome, Zosimus, concurred with the ruling.

“Ego-boosted” Pelagius had two supporters who continued the ego-drive, Celestiu and Julian of Eclanum.  The whole lot of them were condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431—calling it a “heresy.”


  1. Who today would believe these things?
  2. Rev. “Bob Schuller” of Crystal Cathedral? TBN?
  3. Romans 5, 1 Corinthians 15, and Romans 9?
  4. Who believes today in free will in salvation?  Rome, Greeks, and evangelicals?
  5. Who genuinely has a good grasp on federal theology, sin and its consequences?  The English Reformed and the Continental Reformed Churches, where their confessions are upheld, are on track.


Boer. Short History of the Christian Church. 161-2.

Douglas, J.D. “Pelagius.” WWCH. 546-7.

I.W. “Pelagianism and Pelagius.” DCB. 820-7.

Nash, Ronald H. “Augustine of Hippo, Philosopher, and Theologian.” In Leaders of the Christian Church. Edited by Woodbridge, 90.

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