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Monergism vs Synergism

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Postby frrostedman » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:44 pm

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.

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Last edited by frrostedman on Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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
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Postby orangetom1999 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:19 am

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,
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Postby frrostedman » Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:31 am

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
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Postby sandra » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:20 am

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
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Postby orangetom1999 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:54 am

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
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Postby orangetom1999 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:57 am

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
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Postby sandra » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:40 am

orangetom1999 wrote:
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


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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Postby qmark » Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:08 pm

I believe there are more scriptures in the New Testament that agree with synergism than monergism. I believe we have been down this road before so, at this point in time, I choose to wait on the Lord for wisdom concerning this issue before I commit myself to either camp. The one thing I do know is this, Jesus Christ is Lord.
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Postby orangetom1999 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:13 pm

John 5:24 KJV.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 5"25 KJV

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.


Much of what is quoted out of the Word is what is called reference texts. Reference texts can be made to read many things and are more in line with the synergism points.

Proof texts are more difficult to wiggle out of in that they definitely lock down doctrine.

There are not that many proof texts in the Word and they are avoided by many teaching and preaching Humanism and Humanistic doctrines so popular in many Churches today. And Synergism is very popular with the Humanistic approach.

In John 5:24 the word used is "hath" meaning already has everlasting Life .... and shall not come into condemnation ..is passed from death unto Life. Many of the new versions read...gets...as in future..application. Not already has everlasting life but gets everlasting life.


The usage of the word Verily Verily in the opening of these two passages is a good indicator that these are proof texts verses reference texts.

In 5:25 the Word is speaking of the spiritually dead being able to hear the Word of God and they that hear shall live.

And this is done by Gods will and For His purposes. They are Awakened unto Him and for His purposes. There is no implication here of Synergism in these passages.

Same thing in Ephesians 2:8,9.


2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

And even going back to Ephesians 2 at the begining in verse 1, It is God who Quickens..not us..not we ourselves. The passages read...you whom he hath quickened. For we are His workmanship..not our workmanship. Monogism.

Just as Saul/Paul was taken on Damascus road..by the will of God. And Saul/Paul is most certainly the last person anyone in the flesh would believe to have been converted. And Paul was not converted or Awakened by synergism.

Thanks,
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Postby sandra » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:18 am

There is such a thing as irresistible grace.

There is such a thing as Gods spirit being in us, of us.

There is such a thing as Chosen people by God.

Through Gods Spirit what is not Chosen?

I suppose what is not of Love, God will not Choose, because
what God chooses and what his spirit chooses is what grows
and flourishes within us and outside of us, around us.

Chosen people do choose, and it is by the grace of God,
that no man should boast of self. Still sovereign and living
in us and through us.

"God singular does the choosing"???

Please get out of that crap hole.

Some of these concepts you guys are discussing are very
correct and real of course, however I do not read through things
and miss the personal points that are bagged along with them,
the personal truth in how these things are applyed
and lived by.

Orangetom, alot of what you always state goes fairly hand in hand
with scriptures words. Although when you look alot closer it appears
you continue to say "oh not me" "oh not you" -
I'm not reading alot about this sovereign grace, more
like foreign grace.

And qmarks honesty is admirable on this subject, as I see
others have ideas set in stone that is not stone whatsoever.
“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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