Also blogging at

« Round the Sphere Again: Pieces of Church History | Main | Round the Sphere Again: Mother's Work »
Tuesday
Oct122010

Theological Term of the Week

As you can probably tell, I’d be firmly on the monergism side of this debate.

synergism
The view “that there are two efficient agents in regeneration, namely the human will and the divine Spirit, which, in the strict sense of the term, cooperate,” and that, therefore, humankind “has not lost in the fall all inclination toward holiness, nor all power to seek for it under the influence of ordinary motives.”1

  • Two texts from scripture used as proof texts for synergism:
    The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:9 ESV) 
    Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? (Galatians 3:2 ESV)
  • From The Wesleyan Church Articles of Religion:

    VIII. Personal Choice

    224. We believe that humanity’s creation in the image of God included ability to choose between right and wrong. Thus individuals were made morally responsible for their choices. But since the fall of Adam, people are unable in their own strength to do the right. This is due to original sin, which is not simply the following of Adam’s example, but rather the corruption of the nature of each mortal, and is reproduced naturally in Adam’s descendants. Because of it, humans are very far gone from original righteousness, and by nature are continually inclined to evil. They cannot of themselves even call upon God or exercise faith for salvation. But through Jesus Christ the prevenient grace of God makes possible what humans in self effort cannot do. It is bestowed freely upon all, enabling all who will to turn and be saved.

    X. Repentance and Faith

    228. We believe that for men and women to appropriate what God’s prevenient grace has made possible, they must voluntarily respond in repentance and faith. The ability comes from God, but the act is the individual’s ….

    XI. Justification, Regeneration and Adoption

    230. …We believe that regeneration, or the new birth, is that work of the Holy Spirit whereby, when one truly repents and believes, one’s moral nature is given a distinctively spiritual life with the capacity for love and obedience. This new life is received by faith in Jesus Christ, it enables the pardoned sinner to serve God with the will and affections of the heart, and by it the regenerate are delivered from the power of sin which reigns over all the unregenerate.

Learn more:

  1. John Hendryx: Two Views of Regeneration
  2. John Hendryx: Monergism vs. Synergism
  3. Alan Kurschner: Synergism Belongs in a Car Dealership, Not in Divine Salvation
  4. Bob DeWaay: Recovering Reformation Theology
  5. Fred Butler: Identifying the Heart of the Debate: Synergism vs. Monergism (mp3)

Related terms:

1 Century Dictionary

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>