Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

1721Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Synergy

Expand Messages
  • Benjamin Harju
    Sep 13, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Yes, basically. If you have further concerns about synergy, I hope you will
      continue to feel free to address them.

      Since salvation is not ever something anyone can earn, but is rather
      something we must engage and assimilate through activity (faith works),
      synergy is a must. In Orthodoxy pure passivity would keep a person from
      ever assimilating the Divine gift of salvation (like only half-believing, if
      there could be such a thing). The role of synergy comes to the fore in
      daily life - in prayer and keeping the commandments. Here the Christian is
      faced with his/her own sin and need for God. The Church, through 2000 years
      of experience, has learned the common depths of sin at work - the passions -
      and is able to guide the penitent in the struggle, so that the struggle is a
      profitable one. Awareness of the influence of the passions is a must for
      the one who wishes to know what synergy is all about in Orthodoxy, because
      synergy is most often a struggle - by the Grace of God - against one's own
      sin and toward the gifts that God offers. Struggle is key; it is the
      constant activity of faith.

      A good (GREAT) book that articulates the practical role of synergy in
      spiritual struggle is "Path to Sanity" by Dee Pennock. It outlines the
      influence of the major passions and directs the Christian in the proper
      manner of spiritual struggle. I wish I had read it as a Lutheran.

      The practice of synergy reveals a deep dimension to sin that I did not find
      in Lutheranism - not even in Luther's Theology of the Cross - a seriousness
      that Lutheranism does not know (despite how serious it desires to take
      sin!). I know that sounds like a slam, and I apologize for my bluntness,
      but I think it's worth taking the risk of offending someone. The practice
      of synergy reveals - in an existential sense - the depths of man's (my)
      sinfulness and the greatness of God's love and mercy toward us. It's the
      difference between reading about Paris and going to Paris. It is also how
      the Orthodox take up their cross daily and follow after Christ.

      In Christ,
      Benjamin Harju

      On Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 11:50 AM, mrthatoneguy92 <timsteele2@...>wrote:

      >
      >
      > So, synergy could basically be described as God working within and through
      > us, and us cooperating with that said work?
      >
      > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > "mrthatoneguy92" <timsteele2@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Wow... that is deep. I'm going to have to chew on that one for awhile.
      > >
      > > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > Christopher Orr <xcjorr@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I think it's especially important to remember that no one - including
      > > > Christ! - earns salvation. Forgiveness is not forgiveness if anyone -
      > > > including Christ! - pays for it; that turns forgiveness into
      > reimbursement
      > > > or paying on one's behalf.
      > > >
      > > > Similarly, sacrifice need not be to anyone. A soldier jumping on a
      > grenade
      > > > to save his friends is not a sacrifice to anyone, it is simply
      > sacrificing,
      > > > giving what need not have been given. Christ's sacrifice is not to any
      > > > person - it is kenosis to the point of death, death on a cross, and
      > descent
      > > > into Hades.
      > > >
      > > > You won't really 'get' the essence/energies distinction. I don't think
      > I
      > > > have beyond the textbook definition. The shorthand is: God is present
      > > > Personally, Himself in His energies, His actions. Grace is in some
      > sense
      > > > the presence of God Himself - often said to be the Holy Spirit.
      > > >
      > > > Grace is something that is always present and fillest all things - not
      > just
      > > > the predestined, the elect, those that believe. We are all imbued with
      > > > grace enough to choose and work synergistically, or not; this grace is
      > not
      > > > reserved for some only, in a special, unique way (for some, but not
      > all).
      > > >
      > > > Christopher
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 7:46 PM, mrthatoneguy92 <timsteele2@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Thank you, Christopher, for your help! I appreciate what you have
      > said.
      > > > >
      > > > > 1) One of the first things I saw as being an area of agreement
      > between
      > > > > Lutheranism and Orthodoxy is that salvation cannot be earned. I have
      > always
      > > > > appreciated that in all my talks with Orthodox Christians, that there
      > has
      > > > > always been an emphasis on the fact that salvation is not earned. It
      > helped
      > > > > me overcome some automatic safeguards that would have come up due to
      > being
      > > > > raised Lutheran.
      > > > >
      > > > > 2) I have been looking at the whole theology of God's Essence and
      > Energies.
      > > > > I am still confused (which I suppose is normal at this stage).
      > However,
      > > > > despite my lack of understanding, I still see what you are trying to
      > get at.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > > > > xcjorr@ wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I would add that if you remove the idea that 1) salvation is earned
      > and
      > > > > the idea that 2) grace is simply God's undeserved favor rather than
      > God's
      > > > > energies and presence, then the synergy 'problem' ceases to be a
      > problem at
      > > > > all.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > That is, this is a problem created by the Lutheran schema.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Christopher
      > > > > > Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
      > > > > >
      > > > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > > > From: Benjamin Harju <benjamin.harju@>
      > > > > > Sender: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > > > > Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2010 19:02:12
      > > > > > To: <LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Reply-To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
      > <LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>
      > > > > > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Synergy
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Tim,
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Synergy is based on the notion of human freedom and God's respect
      > of that
      > > > > > freedom. Fallen man is bound as a captive under the tyranny of the
      > devil.
      > > > > > He is comparable to the Israelites enslaved by the Egyptians. The
      > power
      > > > > > holding fallen man in bondage is death, and its sting is sin (1Co
      > 15:56).
      > > > > > So fallen man is under a tyrant, suffers the lash of sin, and is
      > shackled
      > > > > to
      > > > > > Hades by death. Yet in this situation he can still exercise his
      > will,
      > > > > > though because of his bondage to sin and death he cannot fully or
      > > > > > consistently accomplish that will. And, of course, his will cannot
      > > > > > accomplish his release and return to God!
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Synergy, for the unconverted man, means assenting to the release
      > effected
      > > > > by
      > > > > > our Passover Lamb, Christ. Basically that's all that fallen man can
      > do is
      > > > > > say yes or no, so that is what God requires. Faith in the heart
      > must work
      > > > > > through outward confession and commitment.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Synergy for the converted man means struggling against your own
      > love of
      > > > > sin
      > > > > > and conditioning toward it (passions) and to persevere by God's
      > Grace in
      > > > > the
      > > > > > commandments of God. This is the ascetic struggle, also known as
      > daily
      > > > > > repentance or bearing the cross and following Christ. Again, it's
      > about
      > > > > > willingly and purposefully growing closer to God. Man is invited to
      > do
      > > > > it,
      > > > > > and God supplies the Grace of His Spirit so it is possible. God is
      > not
      > > > > > passive man's autopilot, but rather the active man's Energizer. The
      > Holy
      > > > > > Spirit perfects, He does not take over. The demons do not respect
      > free
      > > > > will
      > > > > > and try to trick man and lead him into bondage so that they can
      > take over
      > > > > a
      > > > > > man.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > In the faith-works paradigm man believes and so he works. His work
      > is
      > > > > > beneficial in his growth in God because God supplies His personal
      > > > > Energies
      > > > > > (Grace) to man. The believing man is the active man. Faith works.
      > In
      > > > > > Lutheranism faith is a passive recipient, and based on what is
      > received
      > > > > it
      > > > > > works in gratitude. In Orthodoxy faith is activity, and this active
      > faith
      > > > > > receives Grace, which draws man deeper into union with God and
      > furthers
      > > > > the
      > > > > > potency of his personal spiritual warfare.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I hope this is a decent start.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > In Christ,
      > > > > > Benjamin Harju
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > On Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 3:23 PM, mrthatoneguy92 <timsteele2@>
      > wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > I'll be honest- even though I've done my fair share of research
      > and
      > > > > > > dictionary looking, I still don't quite understand synergy, how
      > it
      > > > > relates
      > > > > > > to the whole faith vs. works thing, etc.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > If y'all could help me understand it better, that would be
      > greatly
      > > > > > > appreciated.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > - Tim
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > ------------------------------------
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Show all 12 messages in this topic