IN HIS IMPORTANT essay The Pelagian Captivity of the Church R.C. Sproul notes that almost all of our thinking about theology rises or falls on our understanding of human nature. Pelagianism is a term for the belief that people are born basically good and possess the capacity to earn God’s favor. Since the fifth century, the church has condemned Pelagianism. 

Despite this fact, R. C. Sproul notes that most contemporary Evangelicals are thoroughly Pelagian. He writes, “In a George Bama poll, more than seventy percent of “professing evangelical Christians in America expressed the belief that man is basically good. And more than eighty percent articulated the view that God helps those who help themselves. These positions-or let me say it negatively-neither of these positions is semi-Pelagian. They’re both Pelagian. To say that we’re basically good is the Pelagian view. I would be willing to assume that in at least thirty percent of the people who are reading this issue, and probably more, if we really examine their thinking in depth, we would find hearts that are beating Pelagianism. We’re overwhelmed with it. We’re surrounded by it. We’re immersed in it. We hear it every day. We hear it every day in the secular culture. And not only do we hear it every day in the secular culture, we hear it every day on Christian television and on Christian radio.”[1]

Brothers let us pray for one another, and let us be very clear on the consequences and affects of sin. Great issues ride upon our willingness to clear here. 

[1]R. C. Sproul, The Pelagian Captivity of the Church, pg 5, PDF version online.