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The Gospel By Paul Washer

Friday, April 17, 2009

Two Views of Regeneration by John Hendryx

Monergism: In theol., 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. The Holy Spirit, who joins us to Christ, 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. Only then do we apprehend the beauty and excellency of Christ. This gracious Spirit wrought work in the heart gives rise to a delight in His Word -- all that we might, with our renewed affections, willingly & gladly embrace Christ. Monergism is when God conveys that power into the fallen soul whereby the person who is to be saved is enabled to receive the offer of redemption. It refers to the first step (regeneration) which has causal priority over, and gives rise to, the moral and spiritual desire/ability to comply with all the other aspects of the process of being united to Christ, (i.e., the ability to apprehend the Redeemer by a living faith, to repent of sin and to love God and the Mediator supremely) It does not refer to the whole process that it gives rise to (justification, sanctification), but only the granting of the spiritual capacity to comply with the terms of the covenant of grace. As Michael Haykin says, "The Reformation was not merely about justification through faith alone but, more importantly, it considered "...whether sinners are wholly helpless in their sin, and whether God is to be thought of as saving them by free, unconditional, invincible grace, not only justifying them for Christs' sake when they come to faith, but also raising them from the death of sin by His quickening Spirit in order to bring them to faith."

Synergism: "...the doctrine that there are two efficient agents in regeneration, namely the human will and the divine Spirit, which, in the strict sense of the term, cooperate. This theory accordingly holds that the soul has not lost in the fall all inclination toward holiness, nor all power to seek for it under the influence of ordinary motives." The synergistic doctrine of prevenient grace does not resolve this issue, but only pushes it back, for if all have grace and only some believe the gospel, then what makes them to differ? Jesus Christ or something else in them? According to the synergist, something other than grace makes men to differ. This unscriptural view is the greatest threat to a true understanding of salvation in the Church today

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Two Views of Regeneration by John Hendryx

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