Let us listen to some of his ideas: For him, death is a natural event and not a result of the fall. Death would have happened, it belongs to finitude, even if Adam had not fallen into sin. Now you remember what I said about Ignatius and Irenaeus, where the same idea is expressed, namely that man is naturally finite and therefore due to die – as everything natural – but that in the paradise story the participation in the food of the Gods made it possible for man to overcome his essential finitude. What Pelagicus does here s to leave out the second possibility and to state only the first is true and is even in the Christian tradition.

Secondly, the sin of Adam belongs to him alone and does not belong to the human race as such. In this sense original sin does not exist. Original sin would make sin into a natural category, but man has moral existence and therefore the contradiction to the moral demand cannot be a natural event but must be an event of freedom. Everybody must sin, in order to be a sinner. The simple dependence on Adam doesn’t make (one) a sinner. Here again Pelagicus says something which is universally Christian, that without the personal participation in sin, there is no sin.

On the other hand, he does not see that Christianity sees the tragic universality of sin and makes it therefore a destiny of the human race. The relationship to Adam as the presupposed first man is of course mythological, but in this myth the Christian Church – whether or not the Church took it literally – has preserved the tragic element which we also find in the Greek world view. So again Pelagicus has some point, but on the other hand he doesn’t see the profundity of the Christian description of the human situation.