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Featured Terms speaking of God and Man's role in Salvation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    When discussing doctrine I prefer terms like synergism and monergism because they are in one way more precise (depending on the conversation) and in another broad enough to incorporate differences within each view. Often they get to the "meat" of the matter where other terms (like Calvinism, Arminianism, Pelagianism, Semi-Pelaganism, Compatabilism and Fatalism) do not. Even "free-will" is a loaded term (free-will is both a Calvinistic and an Arminianian doctrine, but held differently). So you end up having to push terms (like saying "theological libertarian free will vs human free-agency") or drawing things out to unrealistic and false dichotomies (all non-Calvinists are Armianians, all Arminians are Pelagianists, etc.).

    With monergism and synergism you cut to the chase. Is salvation dependent on the will of God alone or on the will of God and man? That is really all that matters in these discussions.

    Arminianism, Pelaganism, and Semi-Pelaganism are all different doctrines (one is not the other). But all synergistic.

    Lutheranism and Calvinism hold different views (Calvinism has at least two views on this issue). But all are at least monergistic on the positive point of salvation (there are differences regarding reprobation).

    What terms do you use and why?

    Do most know the difference between Semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism when it comes to divine and human will?

    Do most know the difference between Calvinism and Fatalism when it comes to divine and human will?
     
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  2. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Here is how monergistic I am.

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Gen 1:27
    And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2:7

    At that moment that man would need to be born again to enter/inherit the kingdom of God. I believe at that very moment the following applied.
    for to vanity was the creation made subject -- not of its will, but because of Him who did subject it -- in hope, Rom 8:20 YLT

    What part could man possibility play in birthing himself from above?

    Rom 8:19,21 YLT for the earnest looking out of the creation doth expect the revelation of the sons of God; that also the creation itself shall be set free from the servitude of the corruption to the liberty of the glory of the children of God;

    Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did bless us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, according as He did choose us in him before the foundation of the world, for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love, having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, Eph 1:3-5 YLT

    Que sera sera
     
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  3. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

    Does anyone see man doing anything in those verses?
     
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  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    No their not. They are in fact incorrect and pejoratives as much as anything else.
     
  5. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    You mean they're. But they are (as I said, depending on the conversation).

    On this board most of the conversations gravitate to that specific issue (not if the human will inclines towards God and then God intervenes, or if God draws man and then man must choose). The issue is most often if repentance and belief is of God or if it is of God and man. And that is ultimately a question of synergism and monergism.
     
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  6. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    And that conversation is built by Calvies to fit their presupposition. I will not give room for it. It is a complete misrepresentation.
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    It may not represent your views, but no one is putting you in either category. No one is asking you to give room for it, but it is a very basic question with very basic categories.

    Many denominations and many people believe that God draws all men to Christ in some form, enabling man to freely choose God. No one is saying YOU believe this, and I am certainly not putting you in that category. But that is by definition synergism. It is not man saving himself as Calvinists would claim. But it is God giving men the freedom to repent and believe, even urging men to repent and believe, without causing men to repent and believe. God is the source of salvation in synergism.

    Others believe that God is the cause of salvation for those who are saved, that God remakes a man so that man will choose God. The human nature or "natural man" has absolutely no part in salvation. The recreated man (the Spirit in man, regenerated man) chooses God because God has caused the man to "walk in His statutes". This is monergism. God is the source and cause (determining factor) of salvation in monergism. It is not that man repents and believes (monergism holds that man cannot repent and believe) but that God gives men that faith and regenerates man so that he will believe.
     
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  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    That is not the definition by my experience. The way it has been used by those who created these terms (calvies) they say that man takes part in the credit for his salvation because he responded.

    Others believe that God is the cause of salvation for those who are saved, [/QUOTE]

    Everyone believes that not just "others".
     
  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Everyone believes that not just "others".[/QUOTE]
    I know. That is why I started this thread.

    I've seen terms abused and misused. Arminianism called Semi-Pelagianism, non-Calvinists called Arminianians, Calvinism called Fatalism, Semi-Pelaganism called Pelaganism.

    My experience is that people who cannot discuss theology often use theological terms as insults. But the words themselves have meanings.

    Synergism does not mean that man can take credit for his salvation (that is Pelaganism, which is a heresy). But at the same time Monergism does not negate human responsibility.

    Perhaps the simplest way to look at it is to focus on the human nature (to focus on "natural man"). Does regeneration come before or after repentance and belief is the common quesiton.

    Personally, I believe salvation is one act and we err when we break it down into micro-doctrines. I see it all as philosophy. But still, these words have meanings and should not be used as insults.
     
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  10. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Well you are the first and only person I have seen say this. Everyone else I have debated on these issues, and I mean everyone, says otherwise.

    However, such terms are just not necessary.
     
  11. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Yes. They have always called me "special" :Geek
     
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  12. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    Mark,
    Are you offended by people using terms that you find pejorative?
    Like, "Arminian", "Semi-Pelagian", "synergist", etc?

    I'm not so much, but I know that you seem to be...at least that is what I have gotten out of our interactions.
    If this is the case, then I encourage you to do unto others as you would have them do to you.
    I agree.
    To me, it is also a complete misrepresentation to say that everyone who agrees with TULIP got their understanding of it from John Calvin, and label them as "Calvies".

    What concerns me more, though, is that you seem to think you can call someone whatever you want, but take exception when it happens to you.
    If I'm wrong, I will of course ask Jon to edit this post, and offer my apologies and to ask your forgiveness.
    But if I'm correct, would you please consider this the next time you type the word, "Calvies"?

    Thank you, sir.
     
    #12 Dave Gilbert, Mar 25, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  13. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    I agree.
    I tend to stick strictly to terms I see used in the Bible, although I sometimes borrow an occasional one from the "Reformed" side, and also to unconsciously fall back on terms I learned while I was an Independent Baptist....terms like " go to church ", " take communion", and others I'm not able to recollect at the moment.

    For example, I don't like to use the term "get saved", because I don't see God's word saying that a person becomes saved and has their name written in the Book of Life the moment they believe, yet I still occasionally slip and say it.
    Rather, I use the term, "born again" or "regenerated", "come to Christ" or even " be converted" to describe that miraculous happening.

    I also am firm about staying away from terms like "sublapsarianism", "infralapsarianism", "desiretive vs. decretive" and so forth, because I see them as products of a theological system created by the Reformers to describe things that I believe Biblical language should be enough for.
    I believe so.
    I see them closely related, and so closely as to be almost married to one another.

    However, I do not see "Semi-Pelagianism" describing the fullness of what "Arminianism" has become.
    A different way of explaining this would be to state that I see everyone who teaches that the will of man is what determines someone's salvation, as being a "Semi-Pelagian", but not necessarily an "Arminian".

    Not all that long ago, I interchanged the words freely.
    Good question, and I think that most here on the BB don't know the difference.
     
    #13 Dave Gilbert, Mar 25, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
  14. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Are you offended by it? Have I ever called you that? Its not a pejorative. However, for those who insist on using those other terms at least in reference to me do not get to complain about it.
     
  15. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree. Most seem not to be able to differentiate between Calvinism and Fatialism or between Arminianism and Semi-Pelagianism. I guess we live in a "theology lite" world.
     
  16. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    Until the past 17 years or so, I wasn't in my Bible much.
    I think that very thing is why I took so long to get educated on it.

    1 Peter 2:2.
     
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  17. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    I suppose it depends on who you ask, but I would argue that classical Arminianism is monergistic in regard to actual salvation.

    Even if you believe that man has a choice to believe (and I tend to believe that) that doesn't mean that man's belief causes salvation. Rather, it's God's choice to reckon faith that causes salvation.

    Paul speaks of God reckoning the faith of ungodly men (Romans 4:5). Paul also speaks of faith having no merit with which to obligate God (Romans 4:2-4).

    If you view faith as a meritorious act that obligates God to save you, yes, you must say salvation is synergistic. But if faith is not meritorious, and does not obligate God, then salvation is wholly of god. It is monergistic.
     
  18. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Pelagianism is, in fact, monergistic. Man is able to be righteous as an act of volition, and neither prevenient nor efficacious grace is required to bring man to salvation.

    I do not understand why synergism is pejorative. It accurately describes soteriological beliefs. You can't have it both ways: Either you are cooperating with God — through his grace, of course — or you are not.

    The fact that some misguided Calvies want to claim that synergism is a means of "taking credit" for salvation is just a shame. I do not doubt that some synergists mistakenly emphasize their own role is salvation, just as some Calvies — who really should know better — deep down think there is something in them that makes them worthy of election. That, of course, is a strong indicator that they are NOT among the elect, IMO.
     
    #18 rsr, Mar 25, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  19. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    :confused:
     
  20. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    Pelagianism fully relies on man to determine his own destiny.
    He can be righteous and can approach God on his own merits and needs no assistance from God to do so.

    That is why it is not Biblical.
    I can see that you appear to enjoy the use of the term "Calvie" as well.

    I wish it were not so, but you are, of course, free to assign whatever term helps you to identify with people that you disagree with.
    In the process, if you enjoy applying that label just because someone objects to it, I would encourage you to read Romans 12 as well as many other passages that have to do with our conduct towards each other as believers.

    To address your point, "synergism" is defined as "co-operation".
    Therefore, "Synergism" as used to describe a cooperation with man and God to achieve salvation, is accurate.

    If you can demonstrate that the term does not mean "co-operation", then I will concede that it is not applicable.
    Perhaps I misunderstand your statement here, but, respectfully, that has been answered, sir.

    Election, by its very nature, strips the rug of works out from under us as men.
    No one is worthy of salvation by God's grace.


    As I see it, if anyone deep down thinks that they are worthy of election, then they do not understand it.
     
    #20 Dave Gilbert, Mar 26, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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