By the beginning of the fifth century, the rate of growth for Christianity was increasing exponentially. However, there was a negative result of this rapid growth. What might have simply been a different interpretation of one person, spawned into indifference among the entire population of Christian followers. The Church wished for elimination of these indifferences to maintain the strength of true worship. However, they saw it essential to put down the beliefs of one man in particular, Pelagius. His views were observed as a true threat to Christianity's entire existence . With the very foundation of Christianity in jeopardy, Saint Augustine aggressively disputed, with the support of his own past religious struggles, the arguments of Pelagius concerning God's grace and human free will. .
The dispute between Augustine and Pelagius regarding God's grace and free will stemmed from their differentiating views of the original sin of Adam and Eve. Pelagius believed that human nature was left unaffected by original sin . He could not see how infant children, generations later, would be burdened with a sin that they had no part in. Instead, according to Pelagius, children were born into life with total purity and innocence. .
The birth of a child is seen as the miraculous beginning of a new life. Because there is no evil attached to this new life, Pelagius saw it as perfectly reasonable for a person to continue life free of sin. Referring to sin, Pelagius quoted, "Whether we will or whether we will not, we have the capacity of not sinning." Pelagius recognizes the fact that not everyone will be psychologically strong enough to avoid the temptation of sin. Because sin surrounds us everyday, surrendering actually becomes easier than eluding. Pelagius argued that when faced with a confrontation between evil and virtue, if a man should choose sin opposed to righteousness, his own free will is what allowed him to make that decision .