Protestants: Do You Believe in Free Will or the Monergism of Sola Gratia (by grace alone)?

Reformed Theology, which includes Monergism, draws heavily on the roots of the Protestant Reformation.

Definitions of Monergism: Link: monergism.com/what_is_monergism.php

**Monergism: In regeneration, the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ independent of any cooperation from our unregenerated human nature. He quickens us through the outward call cast forth by the preaching of His Word, disarms our innate hostility, removes our blindness, illumines our mind, creates understanding, turns our heart of stone to a heart of flesh – giving rise to a delight in His Word – all that we might, with our renewed affections, willingly & gladly embrace Christ.
**
The Century Dictionary defines Monergism as follows:

“In theology, the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the only efficient agent in regeneration - that the human will possesses no inclination to holiness until regenerated, and therefore cannot cooperate in regeneration.”

**Regeneration: **
Our union with Christ has its roots in divine election, its basis in the redemptive work of Christ, and its actual establishment with God’s people by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. All of God’s elect will be regenerated by the Holy Spirit during their life, at a time of God’s choosing. This regeneration is a spiritual resurrection given to sinners who are spiritually dead. It infallibly results in faith, repentance and obedience. This regeneration is accomplished by the irresistible power of the Holy Spirit (Jn.6:37,44; Eph.2:4-5; Ps.110:3).

These are quotes from Monergism.com

monergism.com/our_faith.php
“God saves us by grace alone, through faith alone, and this faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.”

God disarms the opposition of the human heart, subduing the hostility of the carnal mind, and with irresistible power (John 6:37), draws His chosen ones to Christ.”

“As such, man is utterly incapable of saving himself, or even to cooperate with God in his salvation. . . .his “free will” will always choose to reject God, apart from God’s grace.”

Our conversion to Christ was not a joint venture between us and God, but a unilateral move on God’s part to raise us from spiritual death to spiritual life, changing our hearts so that we believed and repented.”

God is not an equal opportunity Savior. Indeed, from Abraham on, God has always shown more mercy to one people than to another.”

**“This pretemporal choice was not based on the fact that God knew which persons would believe of their own free will, for there is no person which fits that description. This decision was based upon God’s sovereign good pleasure alone.”
**
“Therefore, if a person has been effectually called and drawn to Christ, he will never lose that salvation since it was based wholly on the finished work of Christ and God’s election, not on the strength of the believers commitment or obedience.”

I am a Christian in the Protestant Sector, and I do not accept the assertions of Monergism. I do not believe Monergism is supported by Scripture.

**So, my brothers and sisters in the Protestant Sector, what do you believe about salvation?

Are we predestined for either salvation or damnation?

Do you believe God is not an "equal opportunity Savior?

Is man incapable of cooperating with God in Salvation?

Does man’s “free will” always choose to reject God, apart from God’s intervention to “regenerate” man and prepare him for His “irresistible” call to salvation?

Is our acceptance of Christ not a joint venture between us and God, but a unilateral move on God’s part?

Do you believe God has always shown more mercy to one people than to another?

Do you believe God’s pre-temporal choice to save one person over another is not based on the fact that God knew which persons would believe of their own free will?

Are the “elect” chosen by God, based upon God’s “sovereign good pleasure,” alone?

Must one be “regenerated” by God before he can turn to Christ for salvation?

Do we have “Free Will” in any part of salvation?

I welcome all comments from all Faiths. Please feel free to answer the questions of your choosing.

Anna**

Before you answer this important question, please read Monergism.com on the gospel first. As a Protestant, I believe that all 5 solas as described in Monergism.com to be truth.

monergism.com/directory/link_category/Gospel/

The gospel according ot Monergism.com below:

The gospel of Christ in general is this: It is the good tidings that God has revealed concerning Christ. More largely it is this: As all mankind was lost in Adam and became the children of wrath, put under the sentence of death, God, though He left His fallen angels and has reserved them in the chains of eternal darkness, yet He has thought upon the children of men and has provided a way of atonement to reconcile them to Himself again…Namely, the second person of the Trinity takes man’s nature upon Himself, and becomes the Head of a second covenant, standing charged with sin. He answers for it by suffering what the law and divine justice required, and by making satisfaction by keeping the law perfectly, which satisfaction and righteousness He tenders up to the Father as a sweet savor of rest for the souls that are given to Him…And now this mediation of Christ is, by the appointment of the Father, preached to the children of men, of whatever nation or rank, freely offering this atonement unto sinners for atonement, requiring them to believe in Him and, upon believing, promising not only a discharge of all their former sins, but that they shall not enter into condemnation, that none of their sins or unworthiness shall ever hinder the peace of God with them, but that they shall through Him be received into the number of those who shall have the image of God again to be renewed unto them, and they they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Jeremiah Burroughs

…and Heaven have mercy on us all - Presbyterians and Pagans alike - for we are all dreadfully cracked about the head and desperately in need of mending.
Herman Melville Moby Dick

We must not suppose that if we succeeded in making everyone nice we should have saved their souls. A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world.
C.S. Lewis

We must have the full message. . . ‘deliver the whole counsel of God’. . . . It starts with the Law. The Law of God … the demands of a righteous God, the wrath of God. That is the way to bring men and women to conviction; not by modifying the Truth… We must confront them with the fact that they are men and that they are fallible men, that they are dying men, that they are sinful men, and that they will all have to stand before God at the Bar of Eternal Judgement…And then we must present to them the full-orbed doctrine of the Grace of God in Salvation in Jesus Christ. We must show that no man is saved ‘by the deeds of the Law’, by his own goodness or righteousness, or church membership or anything else, but solely, utterly, entirely by the free gift of God in Jesus Christ His Son. . . . We must preach the full-orbed doctrine leaving nothing out-conviction of sin, the reality of Judgement and Hell, free grace, justification, sanctification, glorification. We must also show that there is a world view in the Bible … that here alone you can understand history-past history, present history, future history. Let us show this great world view, and God’s Eternal purpose… Let us at the same time be very careful that we are giving it to the whole man … the gospel is not only for a man’s heart, that you start with his head and present Truth to it … Let us show that it is a great message given by God which we in turn pass on to the mind, to the heart, to the will. There is ever this danger of leaving out some part or other of man’s personality… Let us be certain that we address the whole man-his mind, his emotions and his will.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones The Weapons of our Warfare pg. 21-22

I’m not a 5-point Calvinist. I do believe that one’s salvation is rooted in God’s decree of election, but we don’t have enough evidence to say if it is based only on God’s choice based on His pleasure, or if He chose based on forseen faith, or some other option such as Molinism. I don’t believe in absloute free will, but I do think a person makes a legitimite choice to put his or her trust in Christ or not under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

One thing I am firm about is my belief in a general atonement, that is, that Christ died for every single sinner, but that His atonement is applied only to the elect. I also do believe in the Perserverance of the Saints; every regenerate person will not totally or finally fall away, but will be kept by the power of God.

Paul,

Thank you for your response to my questions. This is the first Thread I’ve started here at CAF. So, I wasn’t sure if anyone would respond.

I grew up in Southern Baptist Churches. So, I understand your point of view.
(I am no longer Baptist.)

I do agree with your “belief in a general atonement, that is, that Christ died for every single sinner.”

It sounds like you do not agree with Monergism–which makes man entirely passive in the salvation process.

For me, the idea of the “elect” and predestination is a mystery. I do not quite understand it. There are many Scriptures dealing with predestination, the elect, and of God “hardening hearts.”

Why do you believe “every regenerate person will not totally or finally fall away, but will be kept by the power of God”? Are there particular Scriptures?

Baptist history is very interesting. It has evolved over time. These are some quotes from The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689): spurgeon.org/~phil//creeds/bcof.htm.

Since we both came from a Baptist tradition; I am interested in your comments on this, if you have time:

The Baptist Confession of Faith (1689):
spurgeon.org/~phil//creeds/bcof.htm
.

9. Free Will

  1. God has indued the will of man, by nature, with liberty and the power to choose and to act upon his choice. This free will is neither forced, nor destined by any necessity of nature to do good or evil.
  1. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but he was unstable, so that he might fall from this condition.
  1. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has completely lost all ability of will to perform any of the spiritual good which accompanies salvation. As a natural man, he is altogether averse to spiritual good, and dead in sin. He is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself for conversion.
  1. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into a state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage to sin, and by grace alone He enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good. But because of his remaining corruptions he does not only (or perfectly) will that which is good, but also wills that which is evil.
  1. The will of man will only be made perfectly and immutably free to will good alone in the state of glory.

10. Effectual Calling

  1. Those whom God has predestinated to life, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time to effectually call by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death which they are in by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ. He enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God. He takes away their heart of stone and gives to them a heart of flesh. He renews their wills, and by His almighty power, causes them to desire and pursue that which is good. He effectually draws them to Jesus Christ, yet in such a way that they come absolutely freely, being made willing by His grace.
  1. This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not on account of anything at all foreseen in man. It is not made because of any power or agency in the creature who is wholly passive in the matter. Man is dead in sins and trespasses until quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit. By this he is enabled to answer the call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed by it. This enabling power is no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.

Thank you,
Anna

2nd Adam,

Why am I not surprised that you were the first to respond to this Thread.:wink:

I appreciate your comments. I am familiar with your views on Monergism from other Threads.

I’m sure this post will be an interesting read for those new to the idea.

Thank You,
Anna

You might find this helpful.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., serves as the ninth president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary-the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

He is a staunch Calvinist.

albertmohler.com/


Mark Dever is another staunch Calvinst with a Southern Baptist background.

capitolhillbaptist.org/we-are/led/senior-pastor/

Senior Pastor

Mark Dever
Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. A Duke graduate, Dr. Dever holds a M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Th.M. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Ecclesiastical History from Cambridge University. He is the president of 9Marks Ministries and has taught at a number of seminaries. Dr. Dever has authored several books and articles, most recently, What is a Healthy Church? and The Gospel and Personal Evangelism (Crossway 2007). Earlier books include Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (Crossway 2000, 2004), The Deliberate Church (Crossway 2005), Promises Kept: The Message of the New Testament (Crossway 2005), and Promises Made: The Message of the Old Testament (Crossway 2006). He and his wife Connie live and minister on Capitol Hill, with Connie giving a lot of her time to creating a childerns’ curriculum (PraiseFactory). They have two adult children. Pastor Dever’s Itinerary


They are part of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. They have called the Southern Baptist denomination back to their historical Calvinist roots.

alliancenet.org/

Anna,

A few thoughts –

Are we predestined for either salvation or damnation?

I do not believe that we are predestined in the sense that our ultimate fate is decided before the day of judgment.

Do you believe God is not an "equal opportunity Savior?

If by this question you mean that salvation will be universal then my answer is “no.”

Is man incapable of cooperating with God in Salvation?

Does man’s “free will” always choose to reject God, apart from God’s intervention to “regenerate” man and prepare him for His “irresistible” call to salvation?

Is our acceptance of Christ not a joint venture between us and God, but a unilateral move on God’s part?

In partial answer to these three questions I offer this, from Luther’s explanation of the Third Article of the Apostles Creed:

I believe that I cannot come to my Lord Jesus Christ by my own
intelligence or power. But the Holy Spirit called me by the Gospel,
enlightened me with His gifts, made me holy and kept me in the true
faith, just as He calls, gathers together, enlightens and makes holy
the whole Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus in the one, true
faith.

I think we have to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit within us because we can’t do it ourselves.

Do you believe God has always shown more mercy to one people than to another?

Well, the people of Israel fared better than the Amelekites and the Canaanites.

Do you believe God’s pre-temporal choice to save one person over another is not based on the fact that God knew which persons would believe of their own free will?

I don’t believe that our salvation – or lack thereof – is predetermined. I do believe that it is God’s will that all be saved but that it is possible for a person to fall from grace and thereby lose that salvation. I don’t presume to know who is saved and who isn’t – that is for God to decide.

Hi Pastor Gary,

Since you are a Lutheran pastor, I thought Luther’s view on predestination should be discussed. I thought Martin Luther taught predestination with much greater force than John Calvin. What do you think about his book, “Bondage of the Will”?

“The human doctrine of free will and of our spiritual powers is futile. The matter (salvation) does not depend on our will but on God’s will and election.” - Luther

Pastor Gary:

Thank you so much for your response.

Your perspective as a Lutheran Pastor is not only interesting, but important in sorting out Monergism’s claim to the Theology of the Protestant Reformation.

Again, I will say that I do not accept the assertions of Monergism.

monergism.com/our_faith.php
Monergism.com claims:
[LIST]
*]Man is incapable of even cooperating with God in his salvation
*]Our conversion to Christ is a unilateral move on God’s part to raise us from spiritual death to spiritual life, changing our hearts so that we believe and repent
*]God’s pretemporal choice was not based on the fact that God knew which persons would believe of their own “free will”
*]God is not an equal opportunity Savior–meaning God chooses the elect based upon His sovereign pleasure, alone
*]Union between Christ and the elect was planned already in eternity, in the sovereign “pretemporal” decision of God the Father, who selected certain sinners as His own
*]God’s power to draw His chosen ones to Christ is irresistible
*]If a person has been “effectually” called to Christ, he will never lose his salvation
[/LIST]

This seems to be a very fatalistic view of salvation and denies free will—other than to say that man’s “free will” always chooses to reject God, apart from God’s intervention to “regenerate” man and prepare him for His “irresistible” call.

Another quote from Monergism.com. Are there any points here that you would comment on?

Regeneration Precedes Faith, By R. C. Sproul (from the book, The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, Tyndale House, 1990
monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/sproul01.html

"One of the most dramatic moments in my life for the shaping of my theology took place in a seminary classroom. One of my professors went to the blackboard and wrote these words in bold letters:** ‘Regeneration Precedes Faith.’**

These words were a shock to my system. I had entered seminary believing that the key work of man to effect rebirth was faith. I thought that we first had to believe in Christ in order to be born again. . .

. . . .The debate between Rome and Luther hung on this single point. At issue was this: Is regeneration a monergistic work of God or a synergistic work that requires cooperation between man and God? When my professor wrote “Regeneration precedes faith” on the blackboard, he was clearly siding with the monergistic answer. After a person is regenerated, that person cooperates by exercising faith and trust. But the first step is the work of God and of God alone.

The reason we do not cooperate with regenerating grace before it acts upon us and in us is because we can- not. We cannot because we are spiritually dead. We can no more assist the Holy Spirit in the quickening of our souls to spiritual life than Lazarus could help Jesus raise him for the dead.

When I began to wrestle with the Professor’s argument, I was surprised to learn that his strange-sounding teaching was not novel. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield - even the great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas taught this doctrine. Thomas Aquinas is the Doctor Angelicus of the Roman Catholic Church. For centuries his theological teaching was accepted as official dogma by most Catholics. So he was the last person I expected to hold such a view of regeneration. Yet Aquinas insisted that regenerating grace is operative grace, not cooperative grace. Aquinas spoke of prevenient grace, but he spoke of a grace that comes before faith, which is regeneration.

These giants of Christian history derived their view from Holy Scripture. The key phrase in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians is this: “…even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved)” (Eph. 2:5). Here Paul locates the time when regeneration occurs. It takes place ‘when we were dead.’ With one thunderbolt of apostolic revelation all attempts to give the initiative in regeneration to man are smashed. Again, dead men do not cooperate with grace. Unless regeneration takes place first, there is no possibility of faith."

This is a very interesting statement, and I agree with you. It does contradict the fatalistic salvation espoused in Monergism.

If our fate is not decided before the day of judgment; do you believe that our lifetime on earth is not the only opportunity for salvation? I have been pondering the question for a long time.

I agree.

Do you believe we have a choice in how we answer the call of the Holy Spirit? IOW, is it within our power to reject God’s call to salvation, or is God’s call “irresistible” as Monergism proponents claim?

Great answer.

I agree completely.

Pastor Gary: do you think the claims of Monergism proponents that their beliefs are rooted in the Protestant Reformation are accurate; or do you think they have misunderstood Luther, Calvin, and others?

In Christ,
Anna

“The human doctrine of free will and of our spiritual powers is futile. The matter (salvation) does not depend on our will but on God’s will and election.” - Luther

Who truly represents Lutherans, a pastor from the Lutheran denomination or Martin Luther?

2nd Adam:

At this point, I trust the statements of Pastor Gary, a Lutheran Minister, above Martin Luther. I think Pastor Gary’s statements are more grounded in Scripture and the tradition of Christianity.

2nd Adam, I do have a question for you: Do you accept every writing of Martin Luther or just selected writings?

Anna

I prefer Scripture over Martin Luther and Pastor Gary. We are discussing ultimately who is sovereign in salvation, God or man? If we look to the Scriptures, God is sovereign in salvation of sinners.

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. - John 1

Did you even try to study John 1, John 6, John 10, Romans 8-11, Ephesians 1 and 2 for starters?

Romans 9

God’s Sovereign Choice
9:1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, [1] my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, [2] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25 As indeed he says in Hosea,

“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’
and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”
26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”

27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel [3] be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, 28 for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” 29 And as Isaiah predicted,

“If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring,
we would have been like Sodom
and become like Gomorrah.”

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness [4] did not succeed in reaching that law. 32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, 33 as it is written,

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

**

“The human doctrine of free will and of our spiritual powers is futile. The matter (salvation) does not depend on our will but on God’s will and election.” - Luther

Who truly represents Lutherans, a pastor from the Lutheran denomination or Martin Luther?**

**

I prefer Scripture over Martin Luther and Pastor Gary. We are discussing ultimately who is sovereign in salvation, God or man? If we look to the Scriptures, God is sovereign in salvation of sinners.**

2nd Adam,

Your question was “Who truly represents Lutherans, a pastor from the Lutheran denomination or Martin Luther?” Not—whether or not we prefer Scripture over Martin Luther and Pastor Gary.

Anna

2nd Adam:

If you would like to quote the passages you believe support “predestination,” I would be glad to read them and comment.

Anna

**From the OP: Reformed Theology, which includes Monergism, draws heavily on the roots of the Protestant Reformation.

I do not accept the the assertions of Monergism.**

Definitions of Monergism: Link: monergism.com/what_is_monergism.php

Monergism: In regeneration, the Holy Spirit unites us to Christ independent of any cooperation from our unregenerated human nature. He quickens us through the outward call cast forth by the preaching of His Word, disarms our innate hostility, removes our blindness, illumines our mind, creates understanding, turns our heart of stone to a heart of flesh – giving rise to a delight in His Word – all that we might, with our renewed affections, willingly & gladly embrace Christ.

The Century Dictionary defines Monergism as follows:
“In theology, the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the only efficient agent in regeneration - that the human will possesses no inclination to holiness until regenerated, and therefore cannot cooperate in regeneration.”

Regeneration:
Our union with Christ has its roots in divine election, its basis in the redemptive work of Christ, and its actual establishment with God’s people by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. All of God’s elect will be regenerated by the Holy Spirit during their life, at a time of God’s choosing. This regeneration is a spiritual resurrection given to sinners who are spiritually dead. It infallibly results in faith, repentance and obedience. This regeneration is accomplished by the irresistible power of the Holy Spirit (Jn.6:37,44; Eph.2:4-5; Ps.110:3).

These are quotes from Monergism.com

monergism.com/our_faith.php
“God saves us by grace alone, through faith alone, and this faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.”

“God disarms the opposition of the human heart, subduing the hostility of the carnal mind, and with irresistible power (John 6:37), draws His chosen ones to Christ.”

“As such, man is utterly incapable of saving himself, or even to cooperate with God in his salvation. . . .his “free will” will always choose to reject God, apart from God’s grace.”

“Our conversion to Christ was not a joint venture between us and God, but a unilateral move on God’s part to raise us from spiritual death to spiritual life, changing our hearts so that we believed and repented.”

“God is not an equal opportunity Savior. Indeed, from Abraham on, God has always shown more mercy to one people than to another.”

“This pretemporal choice was not based on the fact that God knew which persons would believe of their own free will, for there is no person which fits that description. This decision was based upon God’s sovereign good pleasure alone.”

“Therefore, if a person has been effectually called and drawn to Christ, he will never lose that salvation since it was based wholly on the finished work of Christ and God’s election, not on the strength of the believers commitment or obedience.”
I am a Christian in the Protestant Sector, and I do not accept the assertions of Monergism. I do not believe Monergism is supported by Scripture.

**So, my brothers and sisters in the Protestant Sector, what do you believe about salvation?

  1. Are we predestined for either salvation or damnation?

  2. Do you believe God is not an "equal opportunity Savior?

  3. Is man incapable of cooperating with God in Salvation?

  4. Does man’s “free will” always choose to reject God, apart from God’s intervention to “regenerate” man and prepare him for His “irresistible” call to salvation?

  5. Is our acceptance of Christ not a joint venture between us and God, but a unilateral move on God’s part?

  6. Do you believe God has always shown more mercy to one people than to another?

  7. Do you believe God’s pre-temporal choice to save one person over another is not based on the fact that God knew which persons would believe of their own free will?

  8. Are the “elect” chosen by God, based upon God’s “sovereign good pleasure,” alone?

  9. Must one be “regenerated” by God before he can turn to Christ for salvation?

  10. Do we have “Free Will” in any part of salvation?

I welcome all comments from all Faiths. Please feel free to comment and/or answer the questions of your choosing.

Anna**

Anna,
I do not know if I can answer your questions above, or even add much to the conversation for I believe that all such discussions, while they may be acedemcially interesting, concernthings that we can never know for sure on this side of the viel of death.
Moreover such speculation adds nothing positive to the day to day struggles of Christians on their journey.

Are we Predestined? In some senses we are.
Can we know to what we are predestined? No we cannot.

Each Person on the Spiritual journey must “work out their salvation with fear and trembling”. They must, “Run the Good race”. and leave the rest to God.

In conversations of this kind, the person making the assertions is looking at things from the “perspective of God’s eye”. By that I mean that the person says, God knows who is going where and has even chosen the saved persons from the beignning, see such and so verses in the Bible.
Untorutnately we, as humble and limited human beings, do not have the advatage of seeing things from such a perspective. All we know is that we are moved to faith, trust, work, study, love, and the other virtuous traits and activities that bring us closer to God.
Whether, or how much these things are God’s doing or ours is open for acedemic speculation, but has no bearing on how we live our Christian Lives.

That being said I will answer at least some of your questions.

Are we predestined for either salvation or damnation?

yes and no
In the sense that God knows all and knows where we will wind up, YES
IN the sense that we can Know for sure during our lives, NO

Do you believe God is not an "equal opportunity Savior?

No
John the Baptist and Jesus Both preached far and wide to all who could hear to repent and be baptized. God wishes ALL to come home to Him.

Is man incapable of cooperating with God in Salvation?

I believe so

Does man’s “free will” always choose to reject God, apart from God’s intervention to “regenerate” man and prepare him for His “irresistible” call to salvation?

Man is comprised of two parts. Flesh and Spirit. We have both from the moment of conception and these two do battle against each other throughout our lives. Thus it is that God has already intervened by giving us an eternal soul.
Man’s Flesh will, I’m afraid always chose to reject God for it’s substance and nature is tied to the things of the world. Man’s Spirit - His soul - will constantly seek to return to God who is it’s highest good. One or the other of these will be strengthened or weakened by every action we undertake - By every “Choice” we make.

Is our acceptance of Christ not a joint venture between us and God, but a unilateral move on God’s part?

dunno

Do you believe God has always shown more mercy to one people than to another?

No - But I do believe he has shown more mercy to one individual than another.

Do you believe God’s pre-temporal choice to save one person over another is not based on the fact that God knew which persons would believe of their own free will?

Are we talking about God’s Choice, or God’s knowledge?
God knows who will not be saved, that does not mean it is God’s “Choice” that they not be saved.

Are the “elect” chosen by God, based upon God’s “sovereign good pleasure,” alone?

dunno

Must one be “regenerated” by God before he can turn to Christ for salvation?

dunno

Do we have “Free Will” in any part of salvation?

I believe we do

I welcome all comments from all Faiths. Please feel free to answer the questions of your choosing.

Anna

Be careful what you wish for - :stuck_out_tongue:

Peace
James

The best context on predestination is the entire Bible. However, here are several passages on predestination that I would appreciate your comment.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. - Romans 8-26-30

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. - Epheisans 1:3-14

James:

This is actually a very helpful and comforting response. I can see that from a Catholic perspective, this might be a futile discussion. Perhaps it is, James.

I started this Thread, because another Protestant insisted this idea of predestined salvation (outlined at Monergism.com) is rooted in the Protestant Reformation; and true Reformed Theology espouses predestined salvation of the elect.

On Monergism.com, there is a link to the ***1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith ***(“Particular Baptists.”)

I grew up in Southern Baptist Churches. Even though I have already left the Baptist Church, the roots in Monergism are very disturbing.

General Baptists and Particular Baptists disagreed on several key doctrines and predestination was one of them.

General Baptist were so named, because they believed in a general atonement----Christ died for all people; whoever believes in Christ could be saved—they emphasized the ability of humans to respond freely to God’s grace. They also believed it was possible for one to fall from grace or lose his salvation.

Particular Baptists appeared about a generation later than General Baptists. They believed in particular atonement----that Christ died only for a particular group, the elect—God plays a sovereign role in the salvation of the elect. John Calvin had a great influence on this group. They believed “once saved, always saved.”

The “predestination” issue is one of many, as I look at the cause and effect of the Protestant Reformation.

I suppose the main questions I am asking, as I study are: “What has the Protestant Reformation accomplished?” and “What are the repercussions of Protestantism at this point in history?”

I realize as I write this, that all of these differences and debates within Protestantism must appear, to Catholics, to be absolute chaos. At the moment, it feels like chaos.

I do envy the fact that your faith is settled. Some days, I feel like I am drowning in the “sea of Protestant voices.”

So, to make a long story, “somewhat” shorter, I think you make very insightful points.

So, I will end this post by quoting your words, “Each Person on the Spiritual journey must ‘work out their salvation with fear and trembling.’ They must, ‘Run the Good race’ and leave the rest to God.”

Thank you, kind friend,
Anna

(Election and chosen ones)

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
1 Cor 1

What is written is to be received in Faith to the praise and glory of God alone. There is no room for boasting in the truth. Salvation is of the Lord. You did not choose Christ, because God choses whom He wills for His own good pleasure.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.