Divine Grace and the Christian life : a study of Paul's teaching on the tension between Divine Grace and human responsibility
This thesis is an attempt to identify the problems bound up with the grace-responsibility tension in Paul's writings and to point out their significance for understanding the Christian life within the structures of his thought. We have tried to examine 'three main issues' in order to get a general picture of what Paul has taught in relation to the question of the grace-responsibility tension. This enables us to ascertain whether Paul's teaching discloses a consistent pattern of thought, or whether it includes differences in emphasis of elements of discord. The total pattern of thought which emerges from this study is that two types of language are used in all these three problems; man must hold himself responsible to continue in the faith, but, if he does so, Paul often depicts their responsible action in terms of God's own action. But we also noticed that he applies language differently with reference to time and eternity. The ontological gap between time and eternity cannot be bridged by any human reasoning; it is 'methodologically' wrong to translate the relationship between God and men into a rigidly logical system in terms of God's absolute mode of action, because many unknown aspects of God's rule resist this approach. Rather this ontological distance necessitates our faith-approach to it, in so far as the responsible life of faith is the only logical standpoint from which our belief in human freedom and responsibility can be verified and become evident under the sovereignty of God. This kind of conception we defined as experiential monergism in order to keep balance between divine sovereignty and human responsibility.