Postmoderns don’t need the history of the church, but the first part of the Amazing Grace DVD is about the history of the church. So if you are a postmodern, don’t bother viewing.
Why do we need to know the history of the church? It has been said we are doomed to repeat history if we don’t learn from it. The debates in history become quite interesting in this film. I will not give you the whole carefully crafted historical account written and produced by Jerry Johnson and Eric Holmberg that includes the Council of Carthage, the Council of Trent and the Synod of Dort. Suffice it to say man either saves himself or God saves him--what the historic and current debate is about.
Augustine prayed, Lord give us what though commandest, and command what thou wilt. Pelagius disagreed. He felt that man was born sinless and could cooperate with God in his own salvation, taking credit. If I ought, I can was the view of Pelagius--the beginning of the free will concept.
Semi-Pelagian Erasmus believed that by free choice in this place we mean a power of the human will by which a man can apply himself to the things which lead to eternal salvation, or turn away from them.
Then came James Arminius of the Netherlands whose name is associated with Arminianism and of course in contrast the Martin Luther's beginning of the Reformation:
MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH AND NOT BY WORKS.
“Prince of Preachers” Baptist Charles Spurgeon quotes Martin Luther If any man doth ascribe aught of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.
Put all this in perspective as you view Part One of this DVD. Understand these concepts:
- Monergism-- Man is dead in trespasses and sin. Regeneration is the work of God alone.
- Synergism—God and man together for man's salvation.
The late D. James Kennedy says:
Unregenerate man is free
to do what he wants to do,
not what God wants him to do.
Human effort, doing God's work for Him, has crept into the church We need that prospective of history to evaluate this works/righteousness synergism.