The Ancestral Sin is not Pelagian
Various thinkers are concerned that the Orthodox view of Ancestral Sin does not avoid the age-old Augustinian concern of Pelagianism. After all, the doctrine of Ancestral Sin maintains that fallen human beings do not necessarily or inevitably commit actual sins. In contemporary literature, this claim could be articulated as a denial of the ‘inevitability thesis.’ A denial of the inevitability thesis, so contemporary thinkers maintain, seems to imply both that human beings can place themselves in right relation to God as well as the Pelagian denial that all require Christ's work to attain this right relation to God. This article demonstrates that the Ancestral Sin, along with a denial of the inevitability thesis, is neither Pelagian nor Semi-Pelagian. I show that the doctrine of Ancestral Sin denies (Semi-) Pelagianism in various ways. I show that, for Ancestral Sin to entail (Semi-) Pelagianism, one must commit to several assumptions, each of which is plausibly deniable and none of which Orthodox thinkers affirm.