Help in understanding Monergism


#1

I was talking to a Calvinist who said Christianity all comes down to Monergism Vs. Synergism. The way I understand it God alone does the saving, which all Christians should believe. Is this right? I dont see where he could accuse me of synergism, but that seems to be what he is doing.

Im interested in whatever links, pages, etc people have to offer on the subject. Also anything you have to say about it would be helpful.


#2

Imagine you are on a boat, and you fall off. Now imagine God, who is also on the cruise, throws you a life preserver. You grab on, and God pulls you in.

Now you did something: you grabbed on to the life preserver. You held on. Maybe you even swam over to get a little closer to the boat.

Who saved you, you or God?


#3

[quote=Catholic Dude]I was talking to a Calvinist who said Christianity all comes down to Monergism Vs. Synergism. The way I understand it God alone does the saving, which all Christians should believe. Is this right? I dont see where he could accuse me of synergism, but that seems to be what he is doing.

Im interested in whatever links, pages, etc people have to offer on the subject. Also anything you have to say about it would be helpful.
[/quote]

Here’s my :twocents: …
Synergism (Catholic):
God’s grace + man’s cooperation = man saved; God’s grace + no cooperation from man = man damned. => God gives sufficient grace to all that they might be saved; a man’s eternal fate depends on whether or not he cooperates with God’s grace; good God.:slight_smile:

Monergism (Calvinist):
God’s grace alone = man saved; no grace from God = man damned. => God alone decides each man’s eternal fate; some men have no chance of being saved but were created by God only to be damned by God; evil God.:frowning:


#4

[quote=Lazerlike42]Imagine you are on a boat, and you fall off. Now imagine God, who is also on the cruise, throws you a life preserver. You grab on, and God pulls you in.

Now you did something: you grabbed on to the life preserver. You held on. Maybe you even swam over to get a little closer to the boat.

Who saved you, you or God?
[/quote]

I have used an analogy very similar to that, but another Calvinist told me that we dont just fall off the boat, we drown and are dead, so its impossible for us to act in even the sightest way.

[quote=Todd] Synergism (Catholic):
God’s grace + man’s cooperation = man saved; God’s grace + no cooperation from man = man damned. => God gives sufficient grace to all that they might be saved; a man’s eternal fate depends on whether or not he cooperates with God’s grace; good God.:slight_smile:

Monergism (Calvinist):
God’s grace alone = man saved; no grace from God = man damned. => God alone decides each man’s eternal fate; some men have no chance of being saved but were created by God only to be damned by God; evil God
[/quote]

Are Catholics synergists? I guess I dont know.


#5

I don’t know what synergism is to answer if Catholics are, but what I do know is what you ought to tell your Calvanist friend.

There’s a problem with your Calvanist friends’ assertion. The analogy has clear corresponding points to reality. The guy on the boat directly represents God. The guy in the water directly represents us. Now, if the guy in the water is dead, he is beyond the help of the guy on the boat. The guy on the boat can’t bring him back to life. Now they may say that God can do that, but it breaks the analogy because the guy represents God but he is not really God.

The point is that in our lives, are we ever beyond God’s help? Of course not. So the guy in the water can never be beyond the help of the guy on the boat. The analogy is best explained this way:

The guy in the water is us in life surrounded by the water which represents sin. On our own, we can’t do anything about the water (sin) and it will eventually overcome us. Only the guy on the boat can bring us out of the water (sin.) The guy on the boat wants to save us, though. He throws us that life preserver and asks to hang on. If we do, he’ll pull us up. If we don’t, we are overcome by the water and then we drown and then we die and are beyond his help.

That’s where their point falters. If we were dead and drowned, we’d be in hell. That’s what drowing is in the analogy. I mean, a person doesn’t just hit the water and then they are drowned. Even if you can’t swim, it takes a few minutes. The guy in the water represents us in life. So if him dead is us in life, what does he represent before he drowns? Is there some state in life which we’re in when we’re not drowned in sin? Of course not that makes no sense, and I’d imagine the Calvanists would even more forcefully oppose that.

We also have to remember that Calvanists, or most of them, believe God is basically controlling everything we do. He is totally sovereign, so in this anaolgy the guy on the boat would have a big long stick and he’d be moving us around and making us do stuff in the water with it before he saved us. He’d also probably have to fly down next to us and take our cold, dead, stiff arms and wrap them around the life preserver for us before he flew back up and pulled us in.


#6

[quote=Todd Easton]Here’s my :twocents: …
Synergism (Catholic):
God’s grace + man’s cooperation = man saved; God’s grace + no cooperation from man = man damned. => God gives sufficient grace to all that they might be saved; a man’s eternal fate depends on whether or not he cooperates with God’s grace; good God.:slight_smile:

Monergism (Calvinist):
God’s grace alone = man saved; no grace from God = man damned. => God alone decides each man’s eternal fate; some men have no chance of being saved but were created by God only to be damned by God; evil God.:frowning:
[/quote]

Monistic synergism: God, being omnipotent, is necessarily involved (by commission or omission) in everything which ever occurs, and is thus involved in man’s cooperation. Whether or not an individual is saved is thus a result of their own actions, but also a result of God’s choices. This can include an evil God who condemns those who were led to certain choices, or a good God who saves those who chose what was right in their circumstances, i.e., some Muslims, Hindus and Christians are saved.


#7

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