Vol.XI No.VIII Pg.5
October 1974

The Aeolian Harp

Jim R. Everett

The Aeolian Harp was a stringed instrument incased in a wooded frame which was open at both ends. Its strings were tuned so that when it was set in a window the wind would stimulate harmonious vibrations soothing to the ear. Is man like the Aeolian Harp? Is he a will-less instrument which gives glory to God only as God chooses to vibrate him by the Spirit? Or, to put it another way, is monergism or synergism true?

Monergism is, "the doctrine that regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit alone, and that the human will, having no inclination to holiness, is incapable of assisting or cooperating ," Websters Unabridged Dictionary, p. 1160). As opposed to monergism, synergism means that man has a will and cooperates with divine grace in accomplishing his own salvation.

If man is as the Aeolian Harp then God places him where HE wills, does with him as HE chooses, and picks out and individually vibrates a mans spirit to salvation without any consideration for mans will, belief, or aspiration. Such a view postulates Gods will as monothetic — i.e., that Gods will is the single, essential element. Logically, it also makes man a mere puppet who dances when God pulls the strings.

God made man a free, moral being with a will and right of choice. The historical account of mans creation and fall so affirms (GEN.1:26-27, 3:1-ff). However, in order to create man with the right to choose either good or evil, God had to impose upon himself certain restrictions in dealing with man. To deny that statement is to make Adam's sin the result of Gods will Therefore from the beginning, God has expressed His will for the good of man and when man orders his life in conformity, God is glorified. But, God neither forces man to obey or disobey His will.

After Christ died to atone for mans sin, Paul expressed Gods will thusly: "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth". (1TI.2:4). Later, in the N. T., Peter clarifies Gods longsuffering as His willingness that none perish, but all should come to repentance (2PE.3:9). To make Gods will monothetic would mean that all men are going to be saved — God willed it. Such a conclusion contradicts Jesus statement that few would be saved (LUK.13:23-24)

Christs death was for all men but not all will choose to avail themselves of such benefits. God is longsuffering not willing that any should perish, but many obstinately misinterpret His patience. God would have all men to be saved, but serving God is not the will of the multitudes. You see, man is not like the Aeolian Harp, for, even as our beloved brother Paul says, man must actively seek God and His will. "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish..." (ROM.2:7-9)verett