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Was Luther a monergist?

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2.20

Don't worry, I had to look it up too! A monergist is someone who believes that God operates directly in a person's life to bring about redemption without any contribution from the person in question. In contrast, a synergist understands redemption as a process in which God's reviving grace cooperates with the will of the individual to bring about that individual's salvation.

Though Luther was condemning of the ability of human beings to make any contribution towards their/ our salvation, on account of our utter capitulation to sin, he is completely confident in the power of God to bring about our regeneration. This happens when we die to ourselves and are reborn in Jesus, in the manner expressed by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians (quoted above).

But does this not leave us with an unbalanced christology (understanding of Jesus)? According to the Council of Chalcedon (451), Jesus was both fully divine and fully human. So does Luther's low view of human-ness not undermine Jesus' incarnation as a human-being, made in God's image as the masterpiece of his creation? Another objection derives from feminist theologians, who also feel undermined in their campaign for equality. If human "being" is so corrupted that it must be totally eclipsed by the divinity of God, as opposed to the two natures - divine and human - co-existing in a perfectly balanced and redeemed equilibrium, does that not negate their efforts?



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