Friday, August 03, 2007

What puts a Calvinist's knickers in a knot faster than you can say synergism?

You're right...synergism.

is anathema to most (all?) Calvinists and Reformed. Unfortunately, the idea is often misrepresented by Reformed people, and is therefore misunderstood by those under their tutelage. There is a Reformed website called "Monergism" that, predictably, misrepresents the orthodox, Christian idea of synergism.

1. Synergism is inferred by the Incarnation.
2. Synergism is clearly taught in the Scriptures.
3. Synergism is the overwhelming consensus of the Christian Tradition.

The propers for Trinity 7 also point to a synergistic relationship between God and man.

While not a dogmatic statement on soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), the two stories about Jesus miraculously feeding the multitudes with limited supplies are illustrative of the idea of synergism. Jesus does what only Jesus can do but he does it in cooperation with his followers. Someone else provided the bread and fish. Someone else distributed them to the crowd. Jesus initiated and perfected the work. Without the cooperation of the little boy who provided the food, the Lord and the Apostles the crowd's stomachs would have continued to rumble.

I "lifted" this part of Jason's post because it was just what I was recently pondering...the relationship of a loving God and us. How we have a part to play in our salvation, our cooperation is imperative and it's not just a 'done deal' by God. How God never intended us to be his automatons and or puppets dangling from strings. That was a view that always stuck in my craw, even when I tried to believe it, for a few years. I believe God's grace protected me from swallowing it, but he didn't "keep" me from believing it. I had the choice and then had to choose.

Great big H/t to Axegrinder... excellent post!
I suggest y'all drop by over there and read the whole of it.

I got into a bit of a "spat" with a Calvinist friend many years ago. My friend was adamant that God "willed"
everything and it was God who "made their hearts hard." That was her interpretation of the bible passage at least. So I said, "Well, no, God didn't MAKE their hearts hard, he "allowed" them to become hardened, he allowed them their free choice by free will and thus their hearts were hardened."

With voice and volume rising just slightly, she pretty much didn't agree with that and said, "It says right there in the bible, Susie,!" "The Lord God hardened their hearts!" I winced a little and added, "So free will isn't "in the picture" at all for you? You mean we have no part to play?" Nope...said her silence. Then she said: "God does it all." "Even when we turn to him, it's by his grace." said she. Of course, that's true, but, she and others like her just don't bother to go beyond the narrowness of where that thinking takes them, which is:

God has willed us saved, or we're pretty much screwed....albeit, doomed.

Well, then... s*#t! That's one flippin' Bleak paradigm! Too stinkin' bleak for me!

Thanks, Jason, for your brilliant post!

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John Calvin
"Hey, don't blame me, God willed I should do it."
"You did it yourself. God didn't "make" you tie
cans to my tail. You did this with your own free will!"

Nuh uh!
Uh huh!
Nuh uh!
Uh huh!
Did so!
Did not!
Did so!
Did not!

and the beat goes on...all over Christendom

Is this a pleasing and melodious sound to the ear of Our Lord? Whining and bickering was the most 'earritating' of sounds to me when my boys were small. hmm. Something to think about, eh?

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

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