The "How we label ourselves" thread resulted in a lot of good material for further discussion. As a believer in the Doctrines of Grace I prefer not to be called a Calvinist; mainly because Calvin believed in infant baptism and Presbyterian ecclesiology. However I cannot deny that Calvinism is the most commonly used term to describe all who hold to the Reformed view of soteriology. Arminianism is the most commonly used term to describe those who do not hold to the Reformed view of soteriology. But like Calvinism it also carries with it unwanted connections like being able to fall from grace. Monergism and Synergism are two terms that get to the core of the belief systems most commonly expressed on this board. A good textbook definition for both is given by Donald McKim's dictionary of theological terms. Monergism is "the view that the Holy Spirit is the only agent who effects regeneration of Christians." Synergism is described as "working together in the gospel. Theologically the term is used for views of salvation, particularly Semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism, where the human will cooperates with the divine will in achieving salvation." One of the difficulties that this thread faces is getting those who hold to Synergism to actually admit that they do. I believe that everyone who describes themselves as "non-Cal" is a Synergist whether they like the term or not. To be a Synergist, and deny it all at the same time, one must maintain a state of cognitive dissonance when it comes to understanding the fall of man and the effect of sin upon the individual. In other words a person must deny both total depravity and total inability. Total depravity: "that sinfulness pervades all areas of life or the totality of human existence" (Isa. 55:8; Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:1). Total inability: "because of their sinfulness, humans are not able to perform any action that will lead to their salvation. God must take the initiative to give the gift of faith and repentance" (Rom. 8:7; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph 1:4-5; Eph. 2:8-9). If man is not totally fallen (depraved) in his nature, and not totally unable to take positive action towards God, then it can be said that man brings something to the table during justification. Man is not spiritually bankrupt. His balance may be low, but there is something still in the bank; some spiritual currency that he can use to effect his salvation. That spiritual currency is a works-based "faith." God reaches out to the sinner, through the Gospel, with the gift of eternal life, and man reaches back and accepts God's gift. Many "non-Cals" will agree with that statement, not realizing that is the Synergist view. They are caught with their hands in the cookie jar while at the same time claiming they were not trying to take any cookies! Synergists claim that God is sovereign in salvation, but not completely sovereign. I mean, how could He be? Let me share an anecdote to make my point. When I was a student at Word of Life, a popular professor explained the Synergist view of salvation this way: "The Holy Spirit will lead the sinner to the lake of salvation, but He won't make them drink. God will not violate the sinner's free will. God offers and man has to accept." If if were to tell that professor he was advocating Synergism he would emphatically deny it. He would say that God is completely sovereign in salvation, but the technical aspects of his theology belied his claim. The good part about all this is that most of those who hold to a synergistic view of soteriology deny it at the same time. This is a happy inconsistency that I am thankful for. They understand that Jesus saves. They deny works in salvation, even if they are so invested in their Synergism that they can't possibly let it go. After all, for many of them to embrace Monergism (aka "Calvinism") would be unthinkable! So, they keep to their happy inconsistency for which I am grateful.