Free Will Synergism vs. Free Grace Monergism

I originally posted this link back in February 2011.  In light of the recent debate about soteriology in the SBC I thought I would repost it today.

————————————————————————

Here is a link to a nice short summary of the difference between the synergistic view and the monergistic view of salvation.  Scripture references are included.  If you are unfamiliar with the difference between the two take five minutes and read this and you will have a better understanding when done.  It is my hope that it may even inspire you to do some more research into the subject.

Some Points to Consider When Examining Limited Atonement

I think I prefer the term Particular Redemption over Limited Atonement but the concept is the same.  In this article, Robertson lists several points in favor of limited atonement Roger Nicole made from chapter 5 of his book Our Sovereign Savior.  One of the best points is

The real issue is the design or intent of the Father when he sent his Son to die on the cross and purchase redemption for sinners.  Since all sinners do not get saved then there is either a limit in the effectiveness of the atonement or a limit in its intent.  Was God doing something to save all sinners and failed?  Or was God purchasing the salvation of the elect and succeeded?

I have heard this before.  I have used this myself.  I have yet to hear a reasonable response to this.  That does not mean that one does not exist but I have yet to encounter it.  Please read the list and leave a comment with your response to any one or all of them.

Moore’s Response to Reformed Red Flags

Jared Moore has responded to the document that was recently being distributed among West Tennessee churches in order to help them determine if their pastor is a “dirty Calvinist”.  It contained 16 things that churches should look for.  Moore responds to each of the 16 things with some much needed sanity.

There does not have to be a division in the SBC over this issue.  It is my hope that at some point those who are so vocal about their opposition to Reformed Theology in the SBC will realize this.

A Voice of Reason Concerning the Rise of Calvinism in the SBC

Jared Moore has written a response to a short video posted by Peter Lumpkins.  Lumpkins spends a great deal of time and effort on his blog decrying the rise of Reformed Theology in the SBC.  Personally, I think his concerns are all overblown.  In the video, Lumpkins mentions that 90-95% of the SBC is not Calvinistic and he wonders why the Convention has elected so many Calvinists to positions of denominational leadership.  Moore challenges Lumpkins assertions and gives some statistics refuting them.  He concludes with this:

The truth is that Calvinism is NOT a threat to Southern Baptist life.  Contrary to what Peter is arguing, Calvinists are not taking over the SBC.  There is room for both groups.  Why can’t the gospel be our emphasis, instead of winning others to our theological systems?

I believe there is room in the SBC for Calvinists, Arminians, Biblicists, or any group who affirms the Baptist Faith and Message.  I further believe that these could exist within the same congregations.  I believe theology is important but the Gospel is what should unite us.

Watch Lumpkins’ video and read Moore’s response and tell me where you stand.

A Primer on Limited (or Definite) Atonement by Justin Taylor

Justin Taylor has posted a primer on Limited Atonement on his blog.  In it he summarizes the arguments of John Owen from The Death of Death in the Death of Christ,  Lorraine Boettner in The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, and John Piper from his Desiring God website.  If you have ever wondered about this doctrine this post will help you get a better understanding of it.

Take the time to read it and let me know what you think.

John Piper On “Why We Love The Doctrines Of Grace”

In this short post Piper gives us a great deal to contemplate.  If you hold to the Doctrines of Grace (Reformed Theology or Calvinism, if you prefer) then this post really helps put what we believe in perspective and does it in a succinct manner.  If you do not hold to the Doctrines of Grace, this post should give you some things to ponder or contemplate.  As you consider this, turn to the Word of God and see what it says.  I encourage you to do so.  It will be time well spent.

Calvin: Free Will Combined With Divine Grace Is Corruption

“We must, therefore, remember what we quoted from Augustine, that some men labor in vain to find in the human will some good quality properly belonging to it. Any intermixture which men attempt to make by conjoining the effort of their own will with divine grace is corruption, just as when unwholesome and muddy water is used to dilute wine.”   [Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin, Translated by Henry Beveridge, Book Two, Chapter 5, Section 15]

The illustration Calvin used in the above quote is very powerful.  It clearly explains what would happen if God’s election had to be combined with our free will choice to accomplish our salvation.  Anytime you combine something that is pure with something that is not pure, the end product is no longer pure.  It is impossible for the pure to remain pure.  God’s election is pure, our will is impure (totally depraved).  So, we can now see that God’s election cannot be combined in any way with our will (even in the most minuscule amount) to accomplish our salvation.  This means that if we have to cooperate (accept the free gift, seek Him, give our lives to Him, ask Him into our heart, etc.) with God in accomplishing our salvation then we cannot be saved.

Libertarian free will is a hot button issue today.  It is the first objection usually posed against reformed theology.  Do we have free will?  If so, in what measure?  If not, are we robots?  Proponents of libertarian free will are very dedicated to it.  In fact, it is nearly impossible to change their mind….only the truth of God’s word can do it.

What do you think if Calvin’s illustration?


Does Calvinism Teach That We Are Forced To Become Believers

New post over at Exploring Theology.

Click here to read it.

Jeff Noblit: Causes for Rejoicing Concerning the Rise of Calvinism

Jeff Noblit of Anchored In Truth has been releasing a series via his podcast with the above title.  It is a very good series and I would recommend that you take the time to listen to it.  You can find it here.

I have been very excited about the rise of Calvinism in the SBC.  I think it is a very good thing that we get back to theology.  Whether you agree with Calvinism or not, the cause for Christ is advanced when we return to the study of theology.  What do you think?

Tom Ascol Says “SBC Churches Are Not Christian Enough”

Wow.  Here is the full quote:

The great problem with many churches in the Southern Baptist Convention is not that they are not Calvinistic enough, but that it is not Christian enough.

He makes this quote in an article entitled “The Other Resurgence” in the current issue of the Founders Journal.  You can read the article here.  In the article, Ascol compares the Conservative Resurgence of the 70’s to the Calvinist Resurgence occurring now within the SBC.  It is a good article and worth your time to read it.

What do you think?  Do you agree with Ascol’s assessment?  Why or Why not?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 418 other followers