Grace School of Theology is blessed to have one of today’s foremost Augustinian scholars serving on our faculty. Dr. Ken Wilson, Professor of Systematic Theology and Church History, spent years studying Augustine, ultimately choosing to make him the focus of his doctoral studies at the University of Oxford.

Through his research, Dr. Wilson uncovered Augustine’s syncretistic theological revisions, still vibrant in church doctrine more than 1500 years later.

Only a handful of people in the world have read all of Augustine’s extant works, and Dr. Wilson may be one of only two scholars who have read the massive Augustinian collection in the order it was written (chronologically). This chronological analysis exposed that “Augustine departed from what the earliest church fathers believed about people’s freedom to choose God,” says Wilson.

“The early church did not view God as deterministic, but Augustine changed that by combining Christianity with Gnostic Manichaeism, Stoicism, and Neoplatonism.” Because of Augustine’s immersion in Greek philosophy (Stoicism and Neoplatonism) and Gnostic Manichaeism, his version of Christianity became deterministic – everything is unilaterally predetermined by God.

Dr. Wilson’s work has been praised as groundbreaking by scholars from a wide range of theological views, and his dissertation will be available in September from Mohr Siebeck, the world’s premier academic publisher. The title is Augustine’s Conversion from Traditional Free Choice to ‘Non-Free’ Free Will. To learn more about Dr. Wilson’s research on this topic, we invite you to register for our free course entitled “The Grace of God,” which features his teaching on the subject of sovereignty.

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