Friday, July 22, 2005


Today I found out that my friend Niki's mom has gone into a coma as a result of anesthesia from yesterday's surgery. Upon receiving the anesthesia she immediately flatlined. Although they were able to resuscitate her, and it appears that she has no brain detectable brain damage, she is totally unresponsive to anything. If you're reading this, please pray for Niki, her mom, and her family. They're all believers in the hope of the redemption of all creation, including our bodies (Rom 8.18-25).

Comas: a weird thing, to say the least. Yes, the person is alive in a very real sense but can't respond to the world around or move about. The thought came to me how very much this is like each and every one of us humans, the living dead. Try as you wish to deny it, but we are all conceived as dead to God by mere virtue (or lack thereof) of being human, just dry bones (Ezek 37.1-14). "You were dead in your trespasses and sins . . . and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest" (Eph 2.1,3).

I don't quite have the time right now, but the beautiful truth theologians call monergism (mono = one, erg = work; one person's work) gripped me in a strange way a year ago and has become one of the rocks upon which I stand, the rock from which the cross of Jesus was raised up. Essentially, it is this: man is totally dead to God and under his just condemnation and eternal shame. We have no ability or desire to reach for him apart from his calling and grace. Therefore all of salvation, all of faith, must come from him and be accomplished by him alone (Eph 2.8-9). Our only choice comes in our condemnation and sinfulness, not our rebirth and justification. Monergism stands over and against synergism (working together), which says that salvation involves some component of our own choice and doing--a key tenet of Wesleyan, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian traditions. Hopefully I'll have time to flesh out what this means, why I believe it, and why it has become a joy to me.

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