Too often a dispute has unintended consequences. In theology nearly all disputes are not between right and wrong, but rather an over- or under-emphasis that leads to error. Heresy (broadly understood) is not a matter of being wrong, it is a matter of being only almost right. But when sides are taken and battle lines are drawn, it is then very difficult to acknowledge the good teaching because of the little bit of bad teaching mixed in. Rather than acknowledge any good on the other side of the line, we wall off everything on the other side of the line.
With that in mind, I offer a very interesting quote from Karl Barth:
One such time was when Augustine had to take up arms because the … innocent righteousness of works of the first centuries had obviously ceased to be innocent in the teaching of Pelagius and his followers and now threatened actually to obscure the Gospel as the message of the free grace of God. CD IV/1, p. 523.
I agree with Barth that there is an innocent righteousness of works. The trouble is, in the west we have a hard time talking about such a righteousness of works without immediately jumping across the line and assuming that it’s the same thing as a necessary human work that precedes and makes divine grace possible (which was Pelagius’ error). We therefore come up with euphemisms, such as “authentic Christian living,” to replace the perfectly good biblical phrase. That pesky line causes us to veer toward the opposite error of denying “the innocent righteousness of works” altogether.
As the Brits would say, “Sad, that.”