Reverend Leo Booth
time of writing this article I had just heard that Health
Communications Inc. will be publishing my latest book,
The Happy Heretic subtitled,
Dancing with Pelagius and
Rumi. It is about affirming
the metaphysical teaching concerning co-creation and applying it our
daily relationship with God.
the book I trace the arguments that arose between Pelagius and
Augustine of Hippo, later known to the world as Saint Augustine. In a
nutshell, Augustine said that without God’s grace a human being
can do or achieve nothing; Pelagius affirmed that grace is manifested
when human beings co-operate with God’s intention for living
the good life. Pelagius sees Jesus as the perfect human being who
fully and actually co-operated with God’s will and is therefore
the example (not the exception) that we should follow in the living
of our lives.
my belief that everything changes when we grasp what Pelagius is
saying, because now instead of waiting
over our lives to God we now
have been given, within nature itself, divine creativity. It is
therefore nonsense for me to suggest that I have nothing to do with
my success, recovery, health or ability to live the spiritual life.
God supplies one hand and I supply the other in our mutual applause
Happy Heretic we consider
what our part is in the following messages; we discover what is to be
found in the other hand. Let’s examine them:
God wants you to have it, then it will happen.
don’t believe that we have a job, wife, car or a college degree
because God wanted us to have them; I’m
convinced that we also did something.
We attended the interview with an excellent resume, we got to know
and love the woman who is now our wife, we saved for the car that we
now own and yes, we studied hard for our exams.
but for the grace of God, go I.
always liked this saying until I began to think about it. Do I really
want to suggest that we are not blind, or in prison, or homeless
because God’s grace stopped these tragedies from happening to
us? Should we thank God that we’re not like those we feel sorry
for, or do we need to feel good about the circumstances, actions or
choices we’ve made that prevented us from going to prison or
not being able to make our house payment? Our choices create success
in life and we are necessarily involved, even if we’re not
always conscious of it.
your time is up, God will take you home.
saying feels appropriate when we die at eighty, in a comfortable bed
with our family around us; not so acceptable when our teenage son or
daughter is killed by a drunk driver or dies as a young soldier in a
war. Are we seriously suggesting that God directed the drunk driver
or created the war?
God has joined together let no man put asunder.
marriage, healthy or unhealthy, both people are involved. The choice
to marry is made for many reasons and sometimes there are unrealistic
expectations on both sides; however, it
is the two people who make their marriage work. Yes,
God is involved but He does not magically keep the couple together.
also unacceptable, especially if abuse is involved, to invoke a
promise made before God in order to keep a toxic relationship
been exploring these ideas during the writing of my book at Common
Ground, a Spiritual Center in Tustin, CA.
challenged the congregation and the recovery people who come the last
Sunday of each month (a service called A Celebration of Spirit) to
this dynamic Pelagius philosophy; We
don’t need to be praying for what we’ve already been
recent years I have come to understand the person Jesus in a
different way; He is much more the example than the exception. He is
what we can seek to be; He epitomizes the combination of divine and
human grace, asking us to do the same.
truly, I tell, the one who believes in me will also do the works that
I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am
going to the Father” - John 14:12
reflects the perfection we are all called to be. Yes, Jesus called us
to His perfection. “That’s heresy!” you might say.
Well yes, I am the Happy Heretic.
Leo Booth is a Unity Minister, former Episcopal priest and an
acclaimed author, lecturer and trainer on all aspects of spirituality
and recovery from depression, addictions, compulsive behaviors and
low self-esteem. He is the author of 12 titles including: Say Yes to
Your Life, Say Yes to Your Spirit, The Angel and the Frog, The Wisdom
of Letting Go and Spirituality and Recovery. To learn more: visit:
and Facebook Reverend Leo Booth.