THE SOVEREIGNY OF GOD AND HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY
Augustine's understanding of the relationship between the sovereignty of God and human responsibility is more biblical than Cassian's view. Augustine's school of theology totally relies on God as the grace giver, however Cassian's school relies on man's merit before receiving grace. This debate has been going on since the early church and still affects the church today. Many people have different opinions and interpretations of how the Bible deals with predestination and man's free will. Augustine's understanding is more biblical due to his ability to use scripture properly, show both sides of the argument, and defend his case with better clarity.
Augustine's main point is that faith is a free gift from God and does not rely on man's works. Augustine begins his writing by explaining this in great detail and organization. To Augustine, grace is irresistible and is given to humanity based on God's desires. This is a thread that runs throughout his writing. To answer the relationship between the sovereignty of God and human responsibility one must first understand the roles both God and man play in the big picture. Is God in control of everything in the cosmos or does he rely on human free will to help define the outcome of life? Augustine states that those, "who are said to be unwilling to be dependent on the uncertainty of God's will, prefer rather to trust themselves to their own weakness than to the strength of God's promise." Augustine's view of God causes him to rely on God's will and strength instead of relying on his own choices and strengths. This view is difficult for humanity to understand due to our nature to want to be in control and in charge of our own destiny. To say that God is in control of all things, including salvation, would mean that man's salvation is not based on it's own will. Which comes first, does God place an irresistible grace on those He wishes to save or does He wait...
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