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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Monergism and/or Synergism

Hoping this will catch Eric's attention.

I can't find the reference but I recall that you said something to the effect that you regarded regeneration as monergistic and sanctification as synergistic. It brought to mind a verse...“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:” (Col. 2:6, KJVS)
Discuss?

So as to include everyone from the start. Monergism (mono-one) stresses the sovereign initiation and completion of regeneration with no contribution from the man. Synergism (syn-co) stresses the need for a human cooperation in God's regenerating action. (Eric will no doubt sharpen these thumbnail sketches). The reason I ask the question is that in the quotation above from Paul it seems to indicate that the beginning is the pattern for what follows. It would seem, on the surface, that salvation then is EITHER monergistic OR synergistic.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/5/23 6:49Profile









 Re: Monergism and/or Synergism

Quote:
Monergism (mono-one) stresses the sovereign initiation and completion of regeneration with no contribution from the man. Synergism (syn-co) stresses the need for a human cooperation in God's regenerating action... The reason I ask the question is that in the quotation above from Paul it seems to indicate that the beginning is the pattern for what follows. It would seem, on the surface, that salvation then is EITHER monergistic OR synergistic.



Instinctively I feel that both monergism and synergism are relevant - not one or the other only. But first, could you explain why you changed from 'regeneration' in the first sentence, to 'salvation' in the last, please?

 2005/5/26 7:03
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
But first, could you explain why you changed from 'regeneration' in the first sentence, to 'salvation' in the last, please?

Hi Dorcas
I can see I am going to have to watch my step here! ;-) Yes, I did consciously switch from regeneration to salvation. It would be interesting to know if anyone else spotted it. The main reason was that 'salvation' is the wider term, which includes both the beginning and the walk, although it is often used as a synonym for regeneration.

In the 1980's in the UK there was a Bible teacher who was well known for his challenging message. He used to say. "Don't let anyone tell you that salvation is free; regeneration is free, salvation will cost you everything". (Denis G Clarke)


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Ron Bailey

 2005/5/26 11:03Profile
Svineklev
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 Re: Monergism and/or Synergism

Hey, Ron--

I'm not at all sure that Colossians 2 is saying anything more than that we both receive and walk in CHRIST. [i]He[/i] is the repeated element. I'll look at it some more, but what makes you think Paul is saying that the WAY we receive is analogous to the WAY we walk?

In terms of sanctification being synergistic: it's almost as if it's BOTH monergistic and synergistic...though we get to participate in it as regenerated children of God, it is still all of Him.

The classic verse on this is, of course:

"...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

--Eric

 2005/6/4 23:52Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Hi Eric
The sense of Col 2:6 is that the second half of the verse is dependent upon the first. The word for 'received' (paralambanO) is, I think, always an active exercise rather than a passive acceptance.

You don't have to convince me of the synergism part of this question. ;-) Now the concept of of BOTH monergistic and synergistic I like. I have absolutely no doubt that all is initiated by God in grace. In fact it sounds as though your definition of 'both' is pretty close to my definition of synergism. There is not a corner for self-effort to hide in. Nevertheless, salvation is 'by grace through faith'. Does not the fact that God commends 'faith' and rebukes 'unbelief' indicate that we are being held responsible? Whatever we are being held responsible 'for' is man's part.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/6/5 3:52Profile
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 Re:

Hey, Ron--

To the extent that we can be, we are held responsible for out ongoing growth in faith (or for our lack thereof). The Bible specifically mentions heavenly rewards for good and faithful service. But God's grace runs through it all, so that even our part of the equation is made possible by Him.

I'm glad you feel as you do about self-effort. Can I make you an honorary Calvinist? 8-)

--Eric

 2005/6/8 12:33Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
To the extent that we can be, we are held responsible for out ongoing growth in faith (or for our lack thereof).



but not for our initial response to the word of God? How do you feel about the word Paul is using in Col 2:6 for 'received'? This is a very 'active' verb and is in the 'active' voice and certainly seems to be pointing to the Colossians initiating experience/response.

This may seem a tangent but I have always been deeply moved by Jer. 2:2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Where God recognises the 'God-enabled' response and commends them for their 'kindness' and 'love'. The only explanation I have for this is the insight of David “Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.[u]I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart[/u], and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.” (1Chr. 29:10-17, KJVS) He attributes everything to God's enabling but he knows that God is watching the response of his heart. Surely there is a point here at which 'man' is responsible?

An 'honorary Calvinist'? I can hear the poor guy spinning in his grave. ;-) (do you have that expression over there?)


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Ron Bailey

 2005/6/8 15:02Profile
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 Re:

Ron--

I don't think it matters that "received" is in the active voice, since it is a passive act.

If I hit you on the head with a hammer, you may well receive it (active voice, see?) without any voluntarism on your part.

Calvinism does not play down the desire of God for our earnest obedience, our genuine yearning after Him. It simply emphasizes that in order for our ability-to-respond to [i]be[/i] "God-enabled" it must be begun by God, solely by God. (I actually believe that the notions of "justification by faith alone" and "regeneration" [i]require[/i] such an understanding.)

At any rate, your note is beautiful and to my mind expresses the true heart of God...and sounds unmistakably Calvinistic to me.

And yes, we have the same idiom (though "rolling over" is perhaps more common than "spinning").

However, in this case, he would be more likely to nod his agreement and smile!

Ciao, my friend...

--Eric

 2005/6/14 22:42Profile
dohzman
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 Re:

This whole topic has my head spinning. It's a topic I've struggled with for many years. Manward side verses the Godward side. But I am enjoying reading everyones posts. Brother Daryl


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D.Miller

 2005/6/14 23:21Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
I don't think it matters that "received" is in the active voice, since it is a passive act.


I don't think this will run, as they say.
dechomai may have a passive sense, but lambanO is very active particularly when it is strengthened as in paralambanO. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”
(John 1:11-12, KJVS) The first of these 'received' is paralambano, the second is lambanO. The whole mood of this passage is active. To receive-not is to reject. This is not passive indifference but violent rejection. The positive is also the case, 'lambano' and its derivatives are not the passive reception of an open hand but the active 'taking hold of'.

Quote:
However, in this case, he would be more likely to nod his agreement and smile!

smile? are we talking about the same Calvin?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/6/15 2:46Profile





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