Christian Forums

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

  • Focus on the Family

    Strengthening families through biblical principles.

    Focus on the Family addresses the use of biblical principles in parenting and marriage to strengthen the family.

  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ

    Heard of "The Gospel"? Want to know more?

    There is salvation in no other, for there is not another name under heaven having been given among men, by which it behooves us to be saved."

  • Site Restructuring

    The site is currently undergoing some restructuring, which will take some time. Sorry for the inconvenience if things are a little hard to find right now.

    Please let us know if you find any new problems with the way things work and we will get them fixed. You can always report any problems or difficulty finding something in the Talk With The Staff / Report a site issue forum.

A discussion on TOTAL DEPRAVITY

Donations

Total amount
$1,642.00
Goal
$5,080.00

atpollard

Member
First we need to accurately define some terms:

ORIGINAL SIN: It is not, as some think, talking about the very first sin that Adam and Eve committed. The Church has historically talked about “the doctrine of Original Sin” and meant the consequences to the human race because of that first sin. In short, something happened at that first sin that has impacted the entire human race … we “fell” and our nature is now influenced by the power of evil. The issue of Original Sin is that we are not sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are by nature sinners!


So now let’s discuss the “T” of TULIP: TOTAL DEPRAVITY

WHAT TOTAL DEPRAVITY IS NOT
:
Total Depravity is not UTTER DEPRAVITY. Every human being is not as bad as they could possibly be. (Even Adolph Hitler probably loved his mother, so there is room for everyone to be more evil than they are.)

WHAT TOTAL DEPRAVITY IS:
Total Depravity means that the fall affects the whole man. The fallenness that corrupts our nature, affects our BODIES - so we become sick and we die. The fallenness that corrupts our nature, affects our MINDS - so our thoughts become what the Bible calls “darkened” and “weakened”. The fallenness that corrupts our nature, affects our WILL - according to Paul we are now in bondage and enslaved to the evil desires of our hearts. The fallenness that corrupts our nature, affects our SPIRIT - we are no longer born with that innate spiritual connection to God that Adam once had and which only Christ can restore. So the fall has corrupted our bodies, our minds, our will and our spirit … the WHOLE MAN is corrupted by the power of sin.

R.C. Sproul likes to call it “Radical Corruption” because the Latin origin for “radical” is the word “root”. It designates that the problem with man and sin is not something applied to the surface of us, but rather it is something that comes from the very core of us. The REFORMED view of fallen man is that our “sin problem” is something that originates in the very “core” or “heart” or “innermost” part of us. It is not shallow or superficial. It is not easily removed.

Thus no small adjustments from the outside can change a man. Salvation requires radical transformation beginning at the core of who we are. God must transform our heart before anything else is possible.

That is the essence of the Reformed doctrine of TOTAL DEPRAVITY.

(After I get some sleep, we can discuss whether or not Scripture actually teaches any of this … or if people just made it up out of whole cloth. For now, we at least have an understanding of what the term actually means.)
 
Genesis 6:5 kjv
5. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

All the way from God? Total depravity?

Mississippi redneck
eddif
 
First we need to accurately define some terms:

ORIGINAL SIN: It is not, as some think, talking about the very first sin that Adam and Eve committed. The Church has historically talked about “the doctrine of Original Sin” and meant the consequences to the human race because of that first sin. In short, something happened at that first sin that has impacted the entire human race … we “fell” and our nature is now influenced by the power of evil. The issue of Original Sin is that we are not sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are by nature sinners!

Agreed.
Can we also agree that the EFFECTS of O.S. is called either:
Concupiscense
Sin Nature
Flesh

Different denominations call it different names, but it means the same thing.


So now let’s discuss the “T” of TULIP: TOTAL DEPRAVITY

WHAT TOTAL DEPRAVITY IS NOT
:
Total Depravity is not UTTER DEPRAVITY. Every human being is not as bad as they could possibly be. (Even Adolph Hitler probably loved his mother, so there is room for everyone to be more evil than they are.)

Agreed.

WHAT TOTAL DEPRAVITY IS:
Total Depravity means that the fall affects the whole man. The fallenness that corrupts our nature, affects our BODIES - so we become sick and we die. The fallenness that corrupts our nature, affects our MINDS - so our thoughts become what the Bible calls “darkened” and “weakened”. The fallenness that corrupts our nature, affects our WILL - according to Paul we are now in bondage and enslaved to the evil desires of our hearts. The fallenness that corrupts our nature, affects our SPIRIT - we are no longer born with that innate spiritual connection to God that Adam once had and which only Christ can restore. So the fall has corrupted our bodies, our minds, our will and our spirit … the WHOLE MAN is corrupted by the power of sin.

Agreed.

R.C. Sproul likes to call it “Radical Corruption” because the Latin origin for “radical” is the word “root”. It designates that the problem with man and sin is not something applied to the surface of us, but rather it is something that comes from the very core of us. The REFORMED view of fallen man is that our “sin problem” is something that originates in the very “core” or “heart” or “innermost” part of us. It is not shallow or superficial. It is not easily removed.

Agreed.

Thus no small adjustments from the outside can change a man. Salvation requires radical transformation beginning at the core of who we are. God must transform our heart before anything else is possible.

That is the essence of the Reformed doctrine of TOTAL DEPRAVITY.

(After I get some sleep, we can discuss whether or not Scripture actually teaches any of this … or if people just made it up out of whole cloth. For now, we at least have an understanding of what the term actually means.)
Agreed.
That was easy!
Too easy.

I don't know a Christian that does not agree with the above.
How about if I add what I BELIEVE to be reformed theology?

The problem is not what you've posted...it's 100% in line with other denominations, including Catholic and Orthodox.
The problem is that man is so depraved that he cannot pull himself up to reach for God.
This is the reason that God must throw the rope down, tie him and pull him up.
Man's WILL is so corrupt that he basically has no free will and must wait for God to save him.
(If God so chooses).

Also, I don't agree with the WCF that Adam's sin is IMPUTED to us.
I agree with your explanation as to its effect on mankind.

Please see WCF VI, 3
WCF VII, 3
 
Concupiscense
Good word ... never heard it before. "intense desire"

I don't know a Christian that does not agree with the above.
Before I focus on the end of your post in a separate response, I just wanted to "poke" this one a bit. If someone claims that babies are born "innocent" with absolutely no sin nature (the Bacon vs Hobbes debate: are people naturally GOOD or naturally BAD), then do they really agree with what I wrote about "Sin Nature" and "Radical Corruption"?

I have heard many people claim that babies are born 100% innocent and sinless.
I know they exist. :)
 
Genesis 6:5 kjv
5. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

All the way from God? Total depravity?

Mississippi redneck
eddif

Thank goodness for verse 8.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Genesis 6:8


By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Hebrews 11:7


Noah having the same fallen "Totally Depraved" nature as everyone else obeyed the Lord and was declared righteous.


So much for the man made theory of Total Depravity.



JLB
 
Good word ... never heard it before. "intense desire"


Before I focus on the end of your post in a separate response, I just wanted to "poke" this one a bit. If someone claims that babies are born "innocent" with absolutely no sin nature (the Bacon vs Hobbes debate: are people naturally GOOD or naturally BAD), then do they really agree with what I wrote about "Sin Nature" and "Radical Corruption"?

I have heard many people claim that babies are born 100% innocent and sinless.
I know they exist. :)
Deep subject.

Here goes: Take it or leave it.
I'm going to make it simple...we could get into it more with links and stuff, if you want to.

BEFORE Augustine babies were baptized but not because of sin on their soul.
They were baptized to be a member of the community, for the grace received, etc.

In about 400 Augustine decided that Adam's sin was IMPUTED to every man born.
This is a problem because if Adam's sin is imputed, then, yes, babies are born with sin on their soul/spirit.
The church of the time accepted this BUT DID NOT AGREE WITH IT. Long story...not now.
This is why the CC insisted that babies be baptized as soon as possible in case of death.

But, alas, the CC has gone back to its original belief (which it never really left but it's too complicated), and teaches that sin is NOT imputed to us. Sin is personal and we're only responsible for our own sins.

SO,

Babies are born WITH THE SIN NATURE, they will tend toward sin,
but they are not responsible for Adam's sin...
so until they reach the age of reason, and commit their own sins, they will be considered saved in God's eyes.

So people are naturally BAD, but only when they get to the age of reason and sin will they be responsible to God.

A person must know what sin is in order for it to be a sin.
He must KNOW that he is sinning.
If YOU commit a sin that you're not aware of, God cannot hold you responsible for it.
 
How about if I add what I BELIEVE to be reformed theology?

1. The problem is not what you've posted...it's 100% in line with other denominations, including Catholic and Orthodox.
2. The problem is that man is so depraved that he cannot pull himself up to reach for God.
3. This is the reason that God must throw the rope down, tie him and pull him up.
4. Man's WILL is so corrupt that he basically has no free will and must wait for God to save him.
(If God so chooses).

I added numbers for easy reference.

  1. Total Depravity is pretty much so well documented in Scripture that all serious denominations have pretty much reached the same conclusion on the PROBLEM. We also, technically, agree on the SOLUTION (Jesus Christ), which is documented in scripture with equal clarity. It is all of the details of all the Man-God interaction that comes between "being fallen" and "being justified" that we (PEOPLE IN GENERAL) tend to throw in our two cents and argue over the details.
    • The RCC holds to a "mystic union" involving the sinner, the Church, the Priest and the Sacraments.
    • John Wesley (and his Methodists) describe something called "prevenient grace" - God does "something" that gives people 'some grace'. Not enough to save them, but enough to free them to make a choice unchained from their fallen nature. God EMPOWERS men to make a "Free Will" choice. To those that choose Jesus, God then fully extends the grace of salvation.
    • Reformed place more emphasis on the verses that talk about "will not go to the light" or "cannot comprehend the things of God" or "foolishness to those perishing" or "dead in our sins". From there we conclude that man cannot do, cannot help and cannot cooperate. God must "drag" us from A to B. :)
  2. Yup. That is what we believe. The favorite "go to" analogy is the corpse from Ephesians 2. How much help does a corpse floating in the water give to Jesus throwing him a lifeline?
  3. Again I agree. Back to the floating corpse analogy, Jesus must lasso the corpse and drag it into the boat and revive it. The whole time, the corpse is a passive participant.
  4. I think I would disagree with this slightly. The result is correct, but you ascribe a relationship that is Contra-Biblical and is not really accurate for what I (me personally) understand to be Reformed Theology. [Before I state my opinion, there are undoubtedly some "Calvinists" that do believe what you stated. Just like with Free Will Theology, ask 3 people and you get 4 opinions.]
    • I BELIEVE: Man has a will that is both FREE and FALLEN. That means that people are free to do anything that they want ... anything that is in agreement with their nature. The example that I give is a crack addict who is free do make an infinite number of choices. The only thing he cannot choose is to NOT BE A CRACK ADDICT. He can do whatever he wants and his nature will allow. He cannot do what his nature will not allow. Thus he can refrain from drugs FOR A WHILE, but the addiction will eventually overpower him and he will ultimately return to his addiction.
    • We have a FREE WILL and a FALLEN NATURE. Therefore, we are free to do anything that we want ... and our fallen nature makes us WANT to sin. As John 3:19-20 put it ... "people loved the darkness" and "everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light". Thus it is not God that prevents Men from approaching. It is Men that freely refuse to approach God.
    • God COULD have allowed men to forever hide from SALVATION and then ALL MEN would be damned ... not by an act of God, but by the FREE WILL and FALLEN NATURE of Men. Like those in Romans 1:18-22, "their senseless hearts were darkened" and God could have left them there (given them over as he did those in Romans 1). BUT GOD ... as Ephesians 2:4-5 says "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive". So God chose to DRAW some (as a fisherman draws fish in a net) into salvation. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast." [Ephesians 2:8-9]
So you see that I agree with the WHAT of your understanding, but disagree on the implied HOW and WHY. ;)
 
So people are naturally BAD, but only when they get to the age of reason and sin will they be responsible to God.
When a child reaches the "terrible two's" and throws his plate across the room, do you think they were unaware that was "wrong"? [by the way, did we teach then "anger" or did they come already knowing that?]

No, I don't think God sends babies to Hell for "His glory". However I do not think that babies DESERVE to go to Heaven because they are sinless. I think babies go to heaven because God is Good.

Moving on ...
 
When a child reaches the "terrible two's" and throws his plate across the room, do you think they were unaware that was "wrong"? [by the way, did we teach then "anger" or did they come already knowing that?]

No, I don't think God sends babies to Hell for "His glory". However I do not think that babies DESERVE to go to Heaven because they are sinless. I think babies go to heaven because God is Good.

Moving on ...
He throws the plate across the room because he hasn't been HUMANISED yet!
But the sin is against the mom...not against God.
They don't even know God exists.

So, yes, I believe they go to heaven too.
But this imputed thing is kind of serious, but OK, let's move on...
 
Are you implying that Noah was a GOOD man?

God is GOOD and "grace" is UNMERITED favor.
Once again ... But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Genesis 6:8

Noah was declared to be righteous according to his faith;
the obedience of faith.

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7

Noah moved with godly fear and built the ark.

IOW Noah obeyed the word spoken to him by God, and became righteous.


Noah had the same fallen nature (Totally Depraved according to TULIP) yet he like so many others obeyed God and were justified.


Would you like more examples.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. Hebrews 11:17-40


All these who had a fallen nature, (supposedly totally depraved) yet each of them received a good testimony from God, through faith.



JLB
 
and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
  1. Noah BECAME heir … so at one point, Noah was not heir and then later Noah was heir. Total Depravity conquered by God (a thing no Reformed person denies).
  2. Noah became HEIR … one cannot inherit something that they posses innately. Heir also implies a FUTURE inheritance, not a present possession. Noah was born with the same Total Depravity as the rest of us and will inherit the same Glorification as all of the saints.
  3. according to FAITH … as we know from Ephesians 2:1-10, we start out enemies of God (dead), then God grants Faith as a gift (along with grace - unmerited favor - and salvation) and only then do we walk in the good works which God prepared (like building an Ark).
Sorry, but I don’t have a lot of time or inclination to chase after your silly points that attempt to refute obvious scriptural truths. Noah obeyed God in faith (which was a good thing), but that hardly negates the reality that FAITH comes from God or the reality of Noah just a few chapters after the boat is finished that clearly show him as much a victim of Original Sin as anyone else.
 
Also, I don't agree with the WCF that Adam's sin is IMPUTED to us.
I agree with your explanation as to its effect on mankind.

Please see WCF VI, 3
WCF VII, 3
The WCF is the “gold standard” of Reformed Theology … but as someone once said:

”It is a good book to have in a flood because it is so dry that you can stand on it and never get wet.”

Ultimately, it is more Presbyterian than Baptist in its origins, so while I have read it and appreciate its exhaustiveness, there is much that I disagree with in the fine details.

So let’s take a close look at the WCF:

CHAPTER 6​

Of the Fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment Thereof​

  1. Our first parents, begin seduced by the subtlety and temptations of Satan, sinned in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory.
    • (paraphrase): Adam and Eve sinned; God allowed it. [I agree]
  2. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.
    • (paraphrase): Original Sin corrupted Adam and Eve completely (body and soul). [I agree]
  3. They being the root of mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity, descending from them by original generation.
    • Imputed (definition) = to lay the responsibility or blame for (something); to credit or ascribe (something) to a person or a cause
    • (paraphrase): Adam’s guilt became our guilt; as he was dead in sin, so we are dead in sin; as he was corrupt in nature, so we are corrupt in nature.
    • I can see your issue with the wording. Why did HIS guilt become OUR guilt … we have enough of our own! I agree with you in disagreeing with the WCF. I will save that for another paragraph.
  4. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.
    • (paraphrase): our natural URGE to sin progresses to actually DOING sins. [I agree and think that this is a really cool Biblical point. We sin because we are first sinners by nature.]
  5. This corruption of nature, during this life, doth remain in those that are regenerated; and although it be through Christ pardoned and mortified, yet both itself, and all the motions thereof, are truly and properly sin.
    • (paraphrase): we may sin less, but in this life, we will never be completely sinless. [I agree]
  6. Every sin, both original and actual, being a transgression of the righteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal.
    • (paraphrase): both our “sin nature” and our actual sins condemn us as guilty under the Law of God. [I tend to agree, but not enough to fight over. This is where we split hairs over hypotheticals like are babies guilty of sin before they actually commit a sin and do they need Jesus to save them?]
 
Please see WCF VI, 3
WCF VII, 3
Continuing with WCF Chapter 7 (just to #3)

CHAPTER 7​

Of God’s Covenant with Man​

  1. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him, as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which He hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.
    • (paraphrase): we could never reach up to God, so God reached down to men. [meh … probably true, but so what. I was more impressed that God commanded everything except man to just ‘EXIST’ in Genesis 1, but for man, God rolled up his sleeves, got his hands in the mud to form us with his bare hands … then even that was not intimate enough, so God - the Great I AM, Creator and Sustainer of all that is - placed His mouth over our face and blew His breath into our nostrils to give us LIFE!]
  2. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.
    • (paraphrase): we can’t save ourselves by doing good and obeying the Law [I agree. That was the purpose of the Law … to teach us that we NEED Jesus to save us because we can’t save ourselves.]
  3. Man by his fall having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace: wherein He freely offered unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life, His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.
    • (paraphrase): Since the Law can’t save us, Jesus came to save us.
 
Noah BECAME heir … so at one point, Noah was not heir and then later Noah was heir.

Noah BECAME righteous by his obedience, the obedience of faith... just like everyone today.
 
Noah became HEIR … one cannot inherit something that they posses innately. Heir also implies a FUTURE inheritance, not a present possession. Noah was born with the same Total Depravity as the rest of us and will inherit the same Glorification as all of the saints.

No one becomes righteous apart from obedience; the obedience of faith.
 
according to FAITH … as we know from Ephesians 2:1-10, we start out enemies of God (dead), then God grants Faith as a gift (along with grace - unmerited favor - and salvation) and only then do we walk in the good works which God prepared (like building an Ark).

By faith Noah built the ark.
 
Our Savior told us to turn and become like little children, because all little children believe. So total depravity is wrong from the start.
 
I added numbers for easy reference.

  1. Total Depravity is pretty much so well documented in Scripture that all serious denominations have pretty much reached the same conclusion on the PROBLEM. We also, technically, agree on the SOLUTION (Jesus Christ), which is documented in scripture with equal clarity. It is all of the details of all the Man-God interaction that comes between "being fallen" and "being justified" that we (PEOPLE IN GENERAL) tend to throw in our two cents and argue over the details.

Hi A, sorry for delay, I've been around but wanted to give this time.

    • The RCC holds to a "mystic union" involving the sinner, the Church, the Priest and the Sacraments.

I know Catholic doctrine and since we're discussing JUSTIFICATION (is that what we're discussing? It IS the solution, I think)
then I'll have to disagree with the above.
The CC teaches that man is saved only by faith...
but then in the sanctification phase (which they call ongoing justification) works are necessary and man received grace from sacraments and also naturally from God.

    • John Wesley (and his Methodists) describe something called "prevenient grace" - God does "something" that gives people 'some grace'. Not enough to save them, but enough to free them to make a choice unchained from their fallen nature. God EMPOWERS men to make a "Free Will" choice. To those that choose Jesus, God then fully extends the grace of salvation.

I agree with the above.
It seems to me that this is what makes God be a just God...giving to everyone the same opportunity of salvation.

    • Reformed place more emphasis on the verses that talk about "will not go to the light" or "cannot comprehend the things of God" or "foolishness to those perishing" or "dead in our sins". From there we conclude that man cannot do, cannot help and cannot cooperate. God must "drag" us from A to B. :)
Yes, I know the above, but, apparently, do not agree with it.
But we're just discussing our beliefs so I'm going to let it go at that with no verses.

  1. Yup. That is what we believe. The favorite "go to" analogy is the corpse from Ephesians 2. How much help does a corpse floating in the water give to Jesus throwing him a lifeline?
I understand this is how you feel.
But we're dead in spirit - not in our brain and in our body.
We can move, we can think.
The bible is chock full of verses that state we are to seek God and that He's happy when we do so.

  1. Again I agree. Back to the floating corpse analogy, Jesus must lasso the corpse and drag it into the boat and revive it. The whole time, the corpse is a passive participant.
  2. I think I would disagree with this slightly. The result is correct, but you ascribe a relationship that is Contra-Biblical and is not really accurate for what I (me personally) understand to be Reformed Theology. [Before I state my opinion, there are undoubtedly some "Calvinists" that do believe what you stated. Just like with Free Will Theology, ask 3 people and you get 4 opinions.]
    • I BELIEVE: Man has a will that is both FREE and FALLEN. That means that people are free to do anything that they want ... anything that is in agreement with their nature. The example that I give is a crack addict who is free do make an infinite number of choices. The only thing he cannot choose is to NOT BE A CRACK ADDICT. He can do whatever he wants and his nature will allow. He cannot do what his nature will not allow. Thus he can refrain from drugs FOR A WHILE, but the addiction will eventually overpower him and he will ultimately return to his addiction.

I know what you mean...here's how I understand it, or would explain it:
Let's keep in mind that even unsaved persons have the capability to do good works.
It's not that everyone is depraved, as the dictionary explains it.

The problem is that we're born separated from God.
Adam's fall caused us to be born with the effect of his sin...let's call it the sin nature.
This means that whatever man does, however good it is, it means absolutely nothing as far as God is concerned, although it could have a lot of merit for humanity in general.

So besides tending toward sin, we also don't have the proper help in order to avoid sin.
Many times, when a decision is made, the sin nature imbedded in us has the biggest voice in making that decision.

Once we become born from above, as Jesus said, then we can see the Kingdom of God and we can see how to become a part of it to help in the problems of humanity. That could be any kind of help - I think how nice I've been to my sisters in law when they assuredly did not deserve it.

So our spirit becomes alive and it affects out soul and that affects our decision making and it will most probably be mostly influenced by God. We have become freed from satan's temptations, although not fully. But this is what makes us truly free. We will be free indeed. Free to use the good to make proper decisions.

These decisions are made using our free will, but our will tends toward God now - but not because He changes our will (compatibilist free will) but because of our love for Him and the help we receive from the Holy Spirit.

I'd say that 90% of knowledgeable Christians believe the above.

    • We have a FREE WILL and a FALLEN NATURE. Therefore, we are free to do anything that we want ... and our fallen nature makes us WANT to sin. As John 3:19-20 put it ... "people loved the darkness" and "everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light". Thus it is not God that prevents Men from approaching. It is Men that freely refuse to approach God.
    • God COULD have allowed men to forever hide from SALVATION and then ALL MEN would be damned ... not by an act of God, but by the FREE WILL and FALLEN NATURE of Men. Like those in Romans 1:18-22, "their senseless hearts were darkened" and God could have left them there (given them over as he did those in Romans 1). BUT GOD ... as Ephesians 2:4-5 says "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive". So God chose to DRAW some (as a fisherman draws fish in a net) into salvation. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast." [Ephesians 2:8-9]
So you see that I agree with the WHAT of your understanding, but disagree on the implied HOW and WHY. ;)
 

Donations

Total amount
$1,642.00
Goal
$5,080.00
Back
Top