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#44140 - Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:58 PM Arminians and Synergism  
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Tom Offline
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I was told that Arminians claim to be Monergistic in their Soteriology. Is this true?

Obviously reading what Arminians believe about Soteriology, they are Synergistic. However, I want to find out if what I was told about their claim to be Monergistic is a correct representation of what they believe.

Tom

#44141 - Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:47 AM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Tom]  
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I have done a little bit of research into my question and I found that most Arminians refuse to call themselves Arminians. Mainly because their views don't match those of "traditional Arminianism". Most could be labled "Free-will Theists".

They say they believe that "salvation is solely of and from God alone. But they also believe their self efforts are not true works in the sense of true Arminianism."

That last part I believe is inconsistant and an attempt to justify what they believe.

Tom

#44142 - Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:48 AM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Tom]  
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Tom,

I have never heard nor read of any non-Calvinist, limiting this to those who profess to be Christians, affirm that they believe salvation is by grace+works. Even Roman Catholics affirm that salvation is all of grace. So, it is not unexpected that they would deny synergism in salvation.


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#44143 - Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:00 AM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Tom]  
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Tom,

I think that those today who are usually called "Arminians" by Calvinists are correct in rejecting that label for the reason given; "their views don't match those of 'traditional Arminianism'. This of course rests upon the meaning given to "traditional" if it is synonymous with "historic".

Instead of me answering this matter directly, which I will reserve for later, I think it would be much more profitable to approach this subject with a question.

This is asked of all and not just you specifically.

QUESTION: Do you (pl) affirm the following statement is biblical?

Quote
That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will, in as much as he, in the state of apostasy and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do anything that is truly good (such as saving faith eminently is); but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John xv. 5: ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’

True or False?
single choice
True
78%, 7 Votes
False
22%, 2 Votes
Total Votes: 9
Voting on this poll ends: Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:00 PM

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#44145 - Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:30 AM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Okay, I'll bite. But if I'm wrong is only because I'm such a stickler for words! They must be precisely chosen and refer to the common meaning of the words - not changing their definitions without telling anyone, the way the NPP/FV people do when they "argue" in support of their efforts to call Protestants back to Rome... oops, off-topic again. Where was I? Oh, yes, WORDS. Here goes:


Quote
That man has not saving grace of himself, nor of the energy of his free will...


Whoa, stop right there for a sec... Man, if the term refers to unregenerate Man, does not have "free will." So even though the rest of the statement seems to be monergistic, this first sentence suggests that salvation is still a matter of choice once the sinner has been regenerated. I would disagree with that. Even after the unregenerate soul is acted upon by the Spirit of God, we still cannot do anything contrary to our nature - new or old.


Quote
... in as much as he, in the state of apostasy


Whoa, stop: Apostasy? Is this supposed to refer to a person who has repudiated the gospel having once professed to believe it? Is the statement a suggestion that salvation can be lost once it has truly been given by God?

Quote
... and sin, can of and by himself neither think, will, nor do anything that is truly good (such as saving faith eminently is);


Waitaminute... saving faith is a work?!? I don't think so. The Scripture is quite plain about the nature of faith - "and that (meaning faith) not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works (Eph 2:9)..."

Quote
... but that it is needful that he be born again of God in Christ, through his Holy Spirit, and renewed in understanding, inclination, or will, and all his powers, in order that he may rightly understand, think, will, and effect what is truly good, according to the Word of Christ, John xv. 5: ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’ (emphasis added)


This part suggests regeneration plus the understanding of the mind and an act of the will to "effect" the "work" of faith in order to save a lost soul.

It's not as though God does it all and we just sit here passively. We do get to participate in our own sanctification and that of others (by praying for people, sharing the gospel with people, studying God's word together, etc). We do play a role! But faith is not a "work!" Faith is a gift that, when it has grown in us, produces the fruit of good works and right choices that lead to greater and greater sanctification.

Our salvation is in no way an "equal partnership" with God in which He frees us and thus enables us to choose Him. We have been bought, not "freed." It is not only that our former master (sin and death) has no more claim upon us, but also that we are bound to a new Master who holds us to Himself.

-Robin

#44146 - Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:44 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Robin]  
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I must be getting senile. I was confused by some of Robin's extrapolations and so I did some research and ran down the source of the quote. Now I'm really confused.

Pilgrim, are you going to comment on this after the survey is closed?


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
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#44147 - Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:57 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: gotribe]  
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Originally Posted by gotribe
Pilgrim, are you going to comment on this after the survey is closed?

You betcha! grin I can be sneaky at times and even enjoy being so. Thanks for not revealing the 'source'.

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#44148 - Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:02 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Oops, I'm sorry anything I said was confusing! I didn't mean to be. I've discovered the source of the quote too (no I won't tell) and I can see how someone might think I was assuming way too much. But like I said, words in the strictest narrowest meaning is all I go on... especially if those words purport to be an accurate statement of orthodoxy.

Hopefully any confusion I caused will be cleared up when the veil is lifted after the poll closes.

-Robin

#44156 - Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:55 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by gotribe
Pilgrim, are you going to comment on this after the survey is closed?

... Thanks for not revealing the 'source'.


Pilgrim-

I also found the source of the quote....grin

#44157 - Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:27 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: RJ_]  
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Originally Posted by RJ_
Pilgrim-

I also found the source of the quote....grin

Well, aren't you all the clever ones!! [Linked Image]

HOWEVER, regardless of the actual source, the statement needs to be evaluated on its own according to Scripture and other Reformed Confessions and Catechisms (as secondary authorities, of course). wink

After the Poll ends, I would like to know how each of you found the source. giggle

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#44164 - Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:58 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Pilgrim]  
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I've been checking in here all day to see if Pilgrim has posted up his comments now that the poll has closed.

As to your question: I copied and pasted the whole quote into Google to find the source of the quote.

This has been an interesting exercise. I've learned a lot!


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
#44166 - Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:58 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Quote
After the Poll ends, I would like to know how each of you found the source.


Cheated bigglasses

#44167 - Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:06 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Tom]  
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How Tom?


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All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
#44168 - Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:12 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: gotribe]  
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Sorry, Sis...

But, I've been at church for most of the day. grin

So, here are my comments on the quote I included in the Poll:

  1. The source is the "Remonstrants" submitted by the Arminian "party" at the great Synod of Dordt in 1618, out of which evolved the "Five Points of Calvinism" in response to the "Five Points of Arminianism"; aka, the "Remonstrants".
    .
  2. The article on its face is very much true and biblical. I'm sure that most may find that shocking due to the fact that Arminians wrote it. However, the whole point in having the poll and including the quote from the Remonstrants was a way to answer the original question concerning modern day Arminians who claim to be "monergistic" in their soteriology (doctrine of salvation) and not "synergistic".
    .
  3. It is important to note that the vast majority of evangelical churches are NOT Arminian in their theology. nope They are much worse as they are actually semi-Pelagianism. They could never assent to what the Arminians at Dordt wrote in regard to man's fallen condition. But that's a subject for another discussion.
    .
  4. Another important historical note is that the term "free will" used in the article could easily throw a Calvinist off the track IF one isn't privy to the fact that the term did not have its modern definition/meaning at that time. There were some Reformed men who also used the term "free will" in their theological treatises and sermons. But again, what they meant by the term was not what is commonly understood today. For them, it was a term which is synonymous with "free agency", i.e., that man's will is indeed free to make choices; nothing more, nothing less. The semi-Pelagians, e.g., Charles Finney coined the phrase to mean something far different. For the semi-Pelagian "free will" means that man is free to make choices of ANY kind, even choices which are contrary to man's nature. And since they do not believe that man is "dead" spiritually; only terminally ill so that man still retains some goodness, wholesome desires and moral ability, it is within man's ability to repent and believe upon Christ before regeneration. In fact, they hold that regeneration (being born again) is the result of one believing upon Christ.
    .
  5. Thus, the article is in fact sound ON ITS FACE! However, what the Arminians wrote in the articles which preceded it and followed it revealed what they really meant in that article. Although they confessed to adhere to what the Belgic Confession taught about man's depravity, they denied that a sovereign and divine work of the Spirit in bringing a spiritually dead sinner to life is absolutely necessary before a sinner could believe. They held to a universal "prevenient grace", which being universal was given to all men. Secondly, this prevenient grace allegedly gave spiritually dead sinners the ability to "choose Christ", despite the fact that they were spiritually blind, deaf and dumb without a radical change of nature. This is subtly seen in their following article on "Resistible Grace".
    .
  6. One of the important lessons to be learned here is two-fold: 1) CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT... even in non-inspired writings, it is so crucial to correctly understand what someone is saying to take things in context. And 2) Nothing is new under the sun. Heresy most always originates IN the Church, not from the world outside the Church. And the way it is most always presented is in familiar terms, BUT with new definitions which all too often aren't mentioned. This was the modus operandi at Dordt, that used by neo-Orthodoxy and now most recently by those promoting NPP (New Perspective on Paul), FV (Federal Vision), Shepherdism and all its morphs, and even the "New Calvinism".

Okay, so what do you all think now? scratchchin

In His grace,


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#44169 - Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:16 PM Re: Arminians and Synergism [Re: Tom]  
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[Linked Image] Did the cheating give you the right answer?

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