A Jagged Contention: Semi-Pelagians

The law, the stress of life driving you to a breakdown, reduces you to a walking question mark. The question is answered, amazingly, by God’s one-way love. Grace changes everything. You then enter some form of church or community. At this point, the iron curtain of the law comes down. You are told you need to be “disciple” or “mentored” or “coached”: held “accountable.” Sermons contain lists of things to do, “disciplines” to take up, a “Christian worldview” to embrace. The law is reimposed.

No wonder the hymn writer complained, “Where is the blessedness I knew/When first I saw the Lord?” People become semi-Pelagians the day (after) they become Christians.

– Paul FM Zahl, Grace in Practice: A Theology for Everyday Life, pg. 91


Why is the church so prone to reduce grace for the Christian? Is there a place for discipleship/mentoring/coaching/disciplines? Or, does all such preaching result in semi-Pelagianism?

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