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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 1018-6441

Abstract

VAN WYK, H.F.. Salvation: From Pelagius to Joseph Smith. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.44, n.2, pp. 475-500. ISSN 1018-6441.

Every Christian church believes that she is a true church and proclaims that man can be saved and has eternal life. This dogma of salvation is usually based on the Bible as the Word of God. Mormons claim that Joseph Smith, founder and first president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, received a divine message to restore the church that Jesus had started. In studying the plan of salvation the Mormons proclaim it is quite clear that that way of salvation was not restored in their church, but that it followed a pattern of false doctrine that was revealed time and again in history. The core of their preaching of salvation is that man has the free will to choose his own salvation. Mormons are not the first to preach this message. This article will show that Pelagius oistykated the free will of man. In the Reformation the Anabaptists preached the same message, being a third movement next to the reformed and Roman Catholic believes. The Anabaptists became part of the churches of the Netherlands and at the Synod of Dordt the theology of the free will was rejected and answered. The dogma of the free will of man did not end at this Synod: 150 years later John Wesley preached the same message of salvation during his and Whitefield's campaigns at the dawn of the nineteenth century in the USA. During this time Joseph Smith started to seek the true church and founded the Mormon Church. Although his theology differs quite strongly from the Methodist Church in which he grew up, the core of the way of salvation is the same: man has free will in choosing his salvation.

Keywords : Anabaptist; church cult; free will; Mormon; Remonstrant; salvation.

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