Sunday, September 21, 2008

[This Q&A concerns the issue of monergism versus synergism. Those words are used to describe God's action in the salvation of a person. If God acts solely and independently, that's monergism. If He designed the process in such a manner that our cooperation is necessary, that's synergism.]

I recently received an email from a listener in Canada. In his email he included a Q&A from another website. Here's the original email:
"I wondered what you thought of the belief that salvation is based on monergism but sanctification is synergistic. Just so you know that this is a generally accepted concept of reformed individuals, I enclose the following (article). I have a problem with the idea of God being in charge up to when He saves us and then it being a partnership - but some well respected (Sproul) theologians seem to be in this camp!"
The author of the article in question is John Hendryx. Let me say at the outset that I like John and I admire the work he has done at He has even listed one of my books (By Grace Alone) on his resource page. But, I think this article deserves a response. I just want to make plain that my comments are directed at the topic of the debate; not toward the man.

continue reading...

1 comment:

a helmet said...

It seems like the question remains open, what sanctification actually is, what it comprises, entails.
The author writes:

To be fair, perhaps John's H.'s viewpoint is driven by his definition of what sanctification actually is. He may be limiting it to the concept of personal Christian growth. Speaking Biblically, the word "sanctification" in 2 Thess. 1:13 is the Greek "hagiasmos," from the root word that is also rendered "holy" and "saint." Our holiness - our set-aside-ness, our saint-ness - is the direct result of God's choosing. How that can be considered synergistic, I do not know.

There is no further discussion of this set-aside-ness, no clear measurement. The whole discourse is about a subject, namely sanctification, which seems not to be properly understood by either party of the discourse in the first place. Whether God does the work or man --- why is the "success" of sanctification so different among believers? Is it even valid to speak in that way, are some persons becoming holy faster/better than others? If so, why?

So I think there is much confusion as to what sanctification really, actually is and how to draw the line between "sanctifcation" and "no sanctification"