November 24, 2020

The Council

Proclaiming the truth to the world.

Is Southern Baptist Traditionalist Soteriology Synergistic?

What is synergism?

[Synergism] is the teaching that we cooperate with God in our efforts of salvation. This is opposed to monergism which is the teaching that God is the sole agent involved in salvation. Cults are synergistic in that they teach that God’s grace combined with our efforts are what makes forgiveness of sins possible. (Synergism

In other words, God is the only efficient cause in the bringing about of regeneration.

Dr. Leighton¬†Flowers and I had a discussion on one of his Facebook Live videos called, “Q&A on G3 and Synergism,” on his Soteriology 101 facebook page. At around 10:40 in, Dr. Flowers did something that perplexed me: he stated that he pushes back (i.e. rejects) against the term “synergism”. ¬†He stated that the reformed use of the term was the result of a conflation on the reformed side. I will allow him to speak for himself:


To see more, check out his video here and jump to 10:40.

Upon hearing his argumentation, I immediately realized that the issue of synergism was being confused with something else. As someone who has taken the time to understand Dr. Flowers and has spoken with Dr. Flowers in video chats, comment boxes, and through direct messages, I figured that I was well equipped to properly represent and respond to his position. After commenting, I responded to another commenter and tried to kindly, graciously correct the mistake made by Dr. Flowers. Here is our conversation:








When speaking with a synergist in a situation like this, a friend of mine pointed out that it is very useful to bring up the term, “efficient cause.” Ask the synergist, “who is the efficient cause of regeneration?”