Rejecting Synergism and Returning to Monergism


by Bob DeWaay

Recovering Reformation Theology

”For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

A key idea in the contemporary evangelical movement is that revival can be engineered. The Purpose Driven Web site says, “Peter Drucker called him [Warren] ‘the inventor of perpetual revival’ and Forbes magazine has written, ‘If Warren’s church was a business it would be compared with Dell, Google or Starbucks.’”1 The Purpose Driven movement can cite this business management guru approvingly only because they have a faulty theology of human ability. For example, Rick Warren says, “It is my deep conviction that anybody can be won to Christ if you discover the key to his or her heart. . . . It may take some time to identify it. But the most likely place to start is with the person’s felt needs.”2 If this were true one could use modern marketing principles to sell people on their need for Christian religion and convince them to convert in order to find satisfaction of their felt needs. But it is not true.

Furthermore, it might surprise many people that this idea is not new. Charles Finney first proposed it one hundred fifty years ago. Finney wrote, “A revival is not a miracle according to another definition of the term ‘miracle’ — something above the powers of nature. There is nothing in religion beyond the ordinary powers of nature. It consists entirely in the right exercise of the powers of nature. It is just that, and nothing else.”3 Finney wrote more: “A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means — as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means.”4 Finney’s position that there is some innate power in man that can be motivated by some discoverable process makes an engineered revival plausible.

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Charismatic Chaos – Does God Still Give Revelation?

John MacArthur – Grace to You

(Part 2 of 13 of the Charismatic Chaos (Sermon Series)

I want to just preface the message tonight, really a study of an issue rather than a text, which is a little unfamiliar to us, as normally we’re in certain text of Scripture.

But I want to preface it with just a couple of comments. First of all, I want to say that I’m very much aware of the fact that not everyone who is associated with the Charismatic movement is engaged in the kind of extreme error that we will be, from time to time, referring to. There are people who are more moderate. There are people within the Charismatic movement who, themselves, are very, very concerned about the heresies and the aberrations that exist within that movement. And so the movement runs quite a wide gamut and there are people at all different points.

However, there are some salient features and elements in the movement that we’re endeavoring to deal with and illustrate to you. Again, I ask you to keep in mind that not everyone in the movement would affirm all these things. There are various and sundry different kinds of viewpoints.

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The Rejection of Christian Doctrines

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