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Monergism vs Synergism
November 14, 2010
3:44 am
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frrostedman
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I've approached this subject many times. All but about 2 of us Christians here believe salvation is a Synergistic work. I and 1 other if I'm not mistaken, believe salvation is a Monergistic work.
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MONERGISM AND SYNERGISM
A monergistic work is a work produced singly, by one person. The prefix mono- means one. The word erg refers to a unit of work. Words like energy are built upon this root. A synergistic work is one that involves cooperation between two or more persons or things. The prefix syn- means “together with.”

I labor this distinction for a reason. It is fair to say that the whole debate between Rome and Martin Luther hung on this single point. At issue was this: Is regeneration a monergistic work of God, or is it a synergistic work that requires cooperation between man and God?

When my professor wrote, “Regeneration precedes faith” on the blackboard, he was clearly siding with the monergistic answer. To be sure, after a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust. But the first step, the step of regeneration by which a person is quickened to spiritual life, is the work of God and of God alone. The initiative is with God, not with us.

The reason we do not cooperate with regenerating grace before it acts upon us and in us is because we cannot. We cannot because we are spiritually, dead. We can no more assist the Holy Spirit in the quickening of our souls to spiritual life than Lazarus could help Jesus raise him from the dead.

It is probably true that the majority of professing Christians in the world today believe that the order of our salvation is this: Faith precedes regeneration. We are exhorted to choose to be born again. But telling a man to choose rebirth is like exhorting a corpse to choose resurrection. The exhortation falls upon deaf ears.

When I began to wrestle with the professor’s argument, I was surprised to learn that his strange-sounding teaching was not a novel innovation to theology. I found the same teaching in Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, and George Whitefield. I was astonished to find it even in the teaching of the great medieval Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas.

That these giants of Christian history reached the same conclusion on this point made a tremendous impact on me. I was aware that they were neither individually nor collectively infallible. Each and all of them could be mistaken. But I was impressed. I was especially impressed by Thomas Aquinas.

Thomas Aquinas is regarded as the Doctor Angelicus of the Roman Catholic church. For centuries his theological teaching was accepted as official dogma by most Catholics. So he was the last person I expected to hold such a view of regeneration. Yet Aquinas insisted that regenerating grace is operative grace, not cooperative grace. Aquinas spoke of prevenient grace, but he spoke of a grace that comes before faith, which is the grace of regeneration.

The key phrase in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians on this matter is this:

even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). (Ephesians 2:5)

Here Paul locates the time when regeneration occurs. It takes place when we were dead. With one thunderbolt of apostolic revelation all attempts to give the initiative in regeneration to man is smashed utterly and completely. Again, dead men do not cooperate with grace. The spiritually dead take no initiative. Unless regeneration takes place first, there is no possibility of faith.

This says nothing different from what Jesus said to Nicodemus. Unless a man is born again first, he cannot possibly see or enter the kingdom of God. If we believe that faith precedes regeneration, then we set our thinking and therefore ourselves in direct opposition not only to Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, and others, but we stand opposed to the teaching of Paul and of our Lord Himself.

link to full article

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein

April 24, 2013
12:51 pm
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at1with0
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Been reading this thread and it's giving me a lot of peace, though I'm disturbed by my replies.
I had forgotten most of it until the words "acknowledged" and BV came to mind.
Thank you Sandra for always being there for me when I need it most.

"it is easy to grow crazy"

April 24, 2013
12:58 pm
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at1with0
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"sandra" wrote:
Not a year down the road, its coming very soon.

it's been 2 long assed years 😛

"it is easy to grow crazy"

April 24, 2013
6:58 pm
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at1with0
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"sandra" wrote: Look back at this conversation some time from now.

I am doing so now. Can't believe it's been this long. Feels like 12 months at the most.

"it is easy to grow crazy"

November 14, 2010
8:19 am
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Indeed Frostedman,

Indeed..indeed..indeed.

We cannot choose God because we are totally depraved. The very material out of which we are made is insufficient, lacking. This is called by many.."Fallen."

When we appear before God, He had better see the Blood of the Lamb upon us ..covering our sins. Not anything we do or claim.

Chosen people do not choose...they are chosen by God. God does the choosing of who are His and for His reasons..not ours.

God...Singular does the Choosing, The Saving, The Grace, The Electing.

The popular version is we choose, we decide, we put our monies in the box...we elect, we decide.

This is clearly illustrated by Jacob and Esau..of the same lump of clay..brothers. One is chosen, Jacob, and Esau is not.

And that not of yourselves.

I have never heard of this by the name Monergism but I understand the concept verses Synergism.

In the Olde School from which I come it is called Soverigin Grace. For God is Sovereign and we are subject.

THe difference in this outlook can be clearly seen in many of the posts on this Religion section.

Particularly in those who come from the line of Ishmael and not of Issac.

Thanks,
Orangetom

November 14, 2010
9:31 am
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frrostedman
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Interesting! I was thinking of you possibly being the only one here that agrees with me, but I hadn't seen you post in a long time. Great that you were able to post and also see this thread. Thanks for participating, brother.

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein

November 14, 2010
10:20 am
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sandra
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You two have little clue what the hell grace is to begin with.
Hardly a clue.

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great
astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

November 14, 2010
12:54 pm
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"frrostedman" wrote: Interesting! I was thinking of you possibly being the only one here that agrees with me, but I hadn't seen you post in a long time. Great that you were able to post and also see this thread. Thanks for participating, brother.

You are correct Frostedman. I've not been around much of late. Working 12 hour nights leaves little time for the boards.

I am glad that I was able to read your post and offer mine in suppliment and support to your's.

I know this as Sovereign Grace. The Lord God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob chooses those who are His and puts His Way and knowledge into their hearts to bring them unto Him...and for His purposes.

A proof text like John 5:24 and 25 bears this out.

Anything else is of Ishmael and for the purpose of making the children of the bondwoman heir with the children of the freewoman.

Thanks for your post Frostedman.

In His name,
Orangetom

November 14, 2010
12:57 pm
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"sandra" wrote: You two have little clue what the hell grace is to begin with.
Hardly a clue.

Sandra,

Please think this quote of your's through ..carefully.

Thanks,
Orangetom

November 14, 2010
4:40 pm
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sandra
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"orangetom1999" wrote: [quote="sandra"]You two have little clue what the hell grace is to begin with.
Hardly a clue.

Sandra,

Please think this quote of your's through ..carefully.

Thanks,
Orangetom

Ok. Yup. Did.

Uhhh hmmm, I said what I said, can't take it back that moment
is gone. There is always more room needed to be available for grace and for all of us.
There is no conflict in grace.

“Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great
astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

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