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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 20, Issue 4, October 2003

Augustine

Lynne Rudder Baker
Pages 460-478
DOI: 10.5840/faithphil20032045

WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT BE LIBERTARIANS
AN AUGUSTINIAN CHALLENGE

The prevailing view of Christian philosophers today seems to be that Christianity requires a libertarian conception of free will. Focusing on Augustine’s mature anti-Pelagian works, I try to show that the prevailing view is in error. Specifically, I want to show that---on Augustine’s view of grace-a libertarian account of free will is irrelevant to salvation. On Augustine’s view, the grace of God through Christ is sufficient as weIl as necessary for salvation. Salvation is entirely in the hands of God, totally independent of anything that any human being might do. And faith, the human response to salvation, is best understood in terms of a compatibilist account of freedom.

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