This chapter argues that Augustine’s attempts at interpreting Paul in the mid 390s, culminating in the Ad Simplicianum, must not be read as representing a dramatic break with earlier ideas of human autonomy and the ability of the will to freely choose the good without divine help, but as affirming what he had always held: fallen humanity’s complete and utter dependence upon God’s grace to know, will, and do the good. It demonstrates that his suggestion in the Propositiones — that the free choice of faith is to be counted as a merit which is rewarded by grace — is uncharacteristic of either his earlier or later thought. By considering other works written at the same time (such as the Enarrationes in Psalmos), it is shown that there is a fundamental continuity in his approach to these difficult questions from the very beginning.
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