Sitting…on the couch, writing a status report and watching the Texas beat Tampa Bay in the first game of the first round of the American League playoffs.
Wondering…how much of the Twins’ first playoff game I’ll be able to watch this evening. It starts at 5:30pm and I have a church business meeting at 7. Obviously, they did not consult me when they scheduled the business meeting.
Finished…all the fall yard/garden/canning work I’d planned to do. I’m usually scrambling around at the last minute to get things done ahead of snow, but this year I did good.
Reevaluating…whether I should leave this category on my status report because I can’t think of anything to put here. Reevaluating…reevaluating…hmmm…. I got nothing.
Loving…the fresh tomatoes I’m still harvesting from the tomato plants I moved indoors. And my new dryer, which dries clothes so much faster than the old one that it makes me think that something was wrong with my old one for a long time before it actually quit working.
Listening…to nothing. I like to listen to my iPod while I work on solitary boring projects, but I haven’t had much solitary, boring time recently.
Looking forward…to Thanksgiving, which for Canadians is this coming weekend.
Praying…Oh boy! Lately, I’ve been praying for so many things that sometimes I get frustrated because I forget things I want to pray for.
Moving…toward the final consummation and I can’t wait.
Realizing…that winter, with it’s darker shorter days, is right around the corner. Actually, the darker shorter days are already here.
Drinking…a little mango juice for lunch.
Feeling…a little sunshine through the windows.
Heading…off soon to pick up my car. I had the tires switched from summer to winter today. It might be a little early, but I had a slow leak in one of the summer tires that was becoming extremely annoying.
Worrying…too much about too many things too silly to list.
Thinking…that this blog may contain more than fluff posts than usual this week. You can take your complaints to the complaint department.
“[T]he doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the only efficient agent in regeneration—that the human will possesses no inclination to holiness until regenerated, and therefore cannot coöperate in regeneration.”1
- From scripture:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)
- From The Canons of Dordt, The Third and Fourth Main Points of Doctrine:
Article 10: Conversion as the Work of God
The fact that others who are called through the ministry of the gospel do come and are brought to conversion must not be credited to man, as though one distinguishes himself by free choice from others who are furnished with equal or sufficient grace for faith and conversion (as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains). No, it must be credited to God: just as from eternity he chose his own in Christ, so within time he effectively calls them, grants them faith and repentance, and, having rescued them from the dominion of darkness, brings them into the kingdom of his Son, in order that they may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called them out of darkness into this marvelous light, and may boast not in themselves, but in the Lord, as apostolic words frequently testify in Scripture.
Article 11: The Holy Spirit’s Work in Conversion
Moreover, when God carries out this good pleasure in his chosen ones, or works true conversion in them, he not only sees to it that the gospel is proclaimed to them outwardly, and enlightens their minds powerfully by the Holy Spirit so that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God, but, by the effective operation of the same regenerating Spirit, he also penetrates into the inmost being of man, opens the closed heart, softens the hard heart, and circumcises the heart that is uncircumcised. He infuses new qualities into the will, making the dead will alive, the evil one good, the unwilling one willing, and the stubborn one compliant; he activates and strengthens the will so that, like a good tree, it may be enabled to produce the fruits of good deeds.
Article 12: Regeneration a Supernatural Work
And this is the regeneration, the new creation, the raising from the dead, and the making alive so clearly proclaimed in the Scriptures, which God works in us without our help. But this certainly does not happen only by outward teaching, by moral persuasion, or by such a way of working that, after God has done his work, it remains in man’s power whether or not to be reborn or converted. Rather, it is an entirely supernatural work, one that is at the same time most powerful and most pleasing, a marvelous, hidden, and inexpressible work, which is not lesser than or inferior in power to that of creation or of raising the dead, as Scripture (inspired by the author of this work) teaches. As a result, all those in whose hearts God works in this marvelous way are certainly, unfailingly, and effectively reborn and do actually believe. And then the will, now renewed, is not only activated and motivated by God but in being activated by God is also itself active. For this reason, man himself, by that grace which he has received, is also rightly said to believe and to repent.
- From Concise Theology by J. I. Packer:
Regeneration is monergistic: that is, entirely the work of God the Holy Spirit. It raises the elect among the spiritually dead to new life in Christ (Eph. 2:1-10). Regeneration is a transition from spiritual death to spiritual life, and conscious, intentional, active faith in Christ is its immediate fruit, not its immediate cause.
- Theopedia: Monergism
- John Hendryx: A Simple Explanation of Monergism
- John Hendryx: Two Views of Regeneration
- James White: A Defense of Monergism
- Gannon Murphy: A Defense of Monergistic Regeneration
- Fred Butler: Identifying the Heart of the Debate: Synergism vs. Monergism (mp3)
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.
When our neighbour left for his week-long holiday trip to Europe, he had youngest son take care of his house and young dog, leaving a page of instructions for Fred’s care, including the address and phone number for his veterinarian. I looked at it and thought, “It’s good to have that information, but we won’t be needing it.”
I was almost right. Everything went well until the afternoon before our neighbor returned. Youngest son finished work early and decided to take the three dogs for a walk in the warm autumn sun. As a rule, he walks the dogs unleashed, but takes one leash in his pocket just in case. Yes, we live in town, but our home is right next to woodland space where energetic pups can roam and sprint and wrestle freely.
Wednesday afternoon they all set off and I began canning applesauce. Thirty minutes later the back door opened. “Mom,” youngest son said. “I need you to stay calm and come out here.”