Monergism vs. synergism-which view is correct?

Monergism vs. Synergism-Which View is Correct?

When it comes to the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, there are few subjects that generate as much debate as the relationship between monergism and synergism. Put simply, Monergism is the belief that God alone initiates and completes human salvation, while Synergism contends that God and human wills cooperate in the salvation process. Both views have a long and storied history within the Church, and both have their passionate defenders. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Monergism vs. Synergism and explore which view is correct.


The concept of Monergism is rooted in the Greek word “monergia”, which means “single working” or “working alone”. Broadly speaking, it refers to the idea that salvation is entirely the work of God and is not dependent on any cooperation or contribution from human beings. Advocates of Monergism point to various Bible verses to support their position, such as Romans 8:30, which reads, “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

In the context of salvation, Monergism posits that God alone chooses, calls, regenerates, justifies, and sanctifies the sinner. This means that human beings are entirely passive in the salvation process, unable even to cooperate with God in their own salvation. Monergism supporters argue that this view emphasizes the sovereignty and glory of God in salvation and obliterates any trace of human pride.


Synergism, on the other hand, refers to the concept that human and divine wills work together in the salvation process. The term comes from the Greek word “synergeia”, which means “working together”. Synergism’s advocates contend that God’s grace is necessary for salvation to occur, but that human effort is also essential. They argue that human beings must exercise their wills and cooperate with God’s grace to be saved, citing verses like Philippians 2:12-13, which reads, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

From a Synergistic perspective, the sinner’s will is not completely inactive but partially responsive to God’s grace. The advocates of Synergism believe that God’s grace changes the human will, and that people have the ability to choose God in response to His calling. Thus, they claim that the individual’s free will is a necessary ingredient in the salvation process.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the Bible support Monergism or Synergism?

While there are Bible verses that can be seen as supporting both viewpoints, there is no consensus among believers as to which view is more biblically sound.

2. Is Monergism the same as Calvinism?

Not necessarily, however, Monergism is a cornerstone of Calvinism.

3. Does Synergism suggest that humans can save themselves?

No, Synergism does not teach that humans can save themselves, but rather that humans must cooperate with God’s grace to be saved.

4. What is the relationship between faith and works in Monergism?

In Monergism, faith is seen as entirely the result of God’s grace and it is solely responsible for the individual’s justification. Good works, however, are the result or evidence of the individual’s salvation.

5. Are Monergism and Synergism mutually exclusive?

Yes, they are mutually exclusive views and cannot be reconciliation.

6. Does Monergism emphasize God’s sovereignty at the expense of human accountability?

No, Monergists believe that God is completely sovereign in salvation, but this does not absolve human beings from their responsibility for their sins.

7. Do Synergists believe in Predestination?

Yes, some Synergists believe in predestination, but they understand it differently than Monergists.

8. Can a Christian believe in both Monergism and Synergism?

No, not really. Monergism and Synergism are incompatible views.

9. What is the importance of understanding Monergism vs. Synergism?

The importance of understanding Monergism vs. Synergism is in gaining a better understanding of God’s plan of salvation and how it works. It can also help individuals evaluate their own beliefs and gain a deeper understanding of doctrines related to salvation.

10. How does Monergism view the role of human will in salvation?

Monergism holds that the human will is entirely passive in the salvation process and cannot cooperate with God in any way.

11. How does Synergism view the role of God in the salvation process?

Synergism believes that God is the initiator of salvation, but human beings have a crucial role to play in cooperating with Him.

12. What is the role of grace in Monergism and Synergism?

Both Monergism and Synergism believe that salvation can only come through the grace of God. However, they emphasize grace differently in the salvation process. While Monergism sees grace as the sole cause of salvation, Synergism sees grace as the necessary condition for salvation but cooperation with it being equally important.

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About Emma Miller

Emma Miller has enjoyed working as a writer for over 18 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and Education, but has also studied Ancient History and Engish Literature. She is fascinated by the science of dreams and is a long-time member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

She has a wide range of hobbies and interests, ranging from mythology and ancient cultures to the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and taking care of her extensive garden.

Emma works as one of the staff writers of Rockridge Institute – The Spirit Magazine but also enjoys writing about other topics that interest her for various publications and websites.

She lives with her husband, Tom, and their two cats, Mitzy and Frodo, in San Diego, California.

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