What I Read Online – 09/21/2011 (p.m.)

22 Sep
    • God works in us and we also work. But the relation is that because God works we work. All working out of salvation on our part is the effect of God’s working in us, not the willing to the exclusion of the doing and not the doing to the exclusion of the willing, but both the willing and the doing…. The more persistently active we are in working, the more persuaded we may be that all the energizing grace and power is of God.
    • When one has the power to do something, the motivation for doing it follows.
    • The terms monergism and synergism refer to the working of God in regeneration. Monergism teaches that we are born again by only one working (mono is Greek for “one,”  erg is from the Greek word for “work”). Synergism teaches that we are born again by human cooperation with the grace of God (the syn prefix means “with” in Greek). The Protestant Reformers strongly opposed all synergistic understandings of the new birth. They believed that given the spiritual deadness and moral inability of man, our regeneration is owing entirely to the sovereign work of God. We do not cooperate and we do not contribute to our being born again. Three cheers for monergism.
    • On the other hand, we are on dangerous ground if we imply that we are passive in sanctification in the same way we are passive in regeneration. We don’t want to suggest God is the only active agent in our progressive sanctification. So which is it: is sanctification monergistic or synergistic?
    • And yet, I believe it is better to defend both of these points with careful explanation rather than with terms that have normally been employed in a different theological controversy. Sanctification is both a gracious gift of God and it requires our active cooperation. I’ve tried to show in previous posts that these two truths are biblical. In this post I want to show these two truths are also eminently Reformed.
    • For Calvin, growing in godliness is hard work.
    • Give this caveat, it’s hard to think Turretin would have been comfortable saying sanctification is monergistic, though he certainly believed holiness is wrought in the believer by God.
    • We contribute nothing to sanctification in that growth in godliness is a gift from God. And yet, we must be active in the exercise of this gift.
    • he does not hesitate to use the language of cooperation. We are active in the sanctifying process with Christ as he works in us.
    • Bavinck sees no conflict “between this all-encompassing activity of God in grace and the self-agency of people maintained alongside of it” (4.254). He warns that Christians go off the rails when they sacrifice “one group of pronouncements to the other.” Sanctification is a gift from God, and we are active in it.
    • In other words, sanctification is essentially a work of God. But it is also “a work of God in which believers co-operate.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 22/09/2011 in Current Issues


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