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Thread: Total Depravity

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    Over 750 post club Dialogos's Avatar
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    OK, so lets define Total Depravity because there is a complete misconception about what it is.

    Here is total Depravity defined in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.


    "A proper definition of total depravity should not focus primarily on the questions of sinfulness vs. goodness or ability vs. inability, but on fallen man's relationship to a holy God. Because of the affects of the fall, that original relationship of fellowship with God was broken and man's entire nature was polluted. As a result no one can do anything, even good things, that can gain soteriological merit in God's sight. Therefore, we may concisely define total depravity as the unmeritoriousness of of man before God because of the corruption of original sin.

    The concept of total depravity does not mean (1) that depraved people cannot or do not perform actions that are good in either man's or God's sight. But no such actions can gain favor with God for salvation. Neither does it mean (2) that fallen man has no conscience which judges between good and evil for him. But that conscience has been affected by the fall so that it cannot be a safe and reliable guide. Neither does it mean (3) that people indulge in every form of sin or in any sin to the greatest extent possible.

    Positively, total depravity means that the corruption has extended to all aspects of man's nature, to his entire being; and total depravity means that because of that corruption there is nothing man can do to merit saving favor with God.

    C.C. Ryrie: Depravity, Total, in the Baker Dictionary of Evangelical Theology page 312-313




    Angel4Truth and GloryDaz since you reject total depravity, why don't you tell us what you specifically disagree with in the former definition...
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    Worthy is the Lamb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angel4Truth View Post
    Exactly, i just said what John MacArthur says it means, and he said total depravity means man can do nothing but sin. I didnt say anything about someone being as evil as they can be.

    Until one is saved he is a slave to sin. What does that mean? It means as God's standard is flawless perfection continually, unregenerate men can only sin. Total depravity is a true concept even if its not called total depravity. And just because some believers define it in error does not make it untrue. In a way JM's statement is true. I can't speak about the context because I'm not going to listen to the entire message but upon face value saying man can do nothing but sin is ok for me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    OK, so lets define Total Depravity because there is a complete misconception about what it is.

    Here is total Depravity defined in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.


    "A proper definition of total depravity should not focus primarily on the questions of sinfulness vs. goodness or ability vs. inability, but on fallen man's relationship to a holy God. Because of the affects of the fall, that original relationship of fellowship with God was broken and man's entire nature was polluted. As a result no one can do anything, even good things, that can gain soteriological merit in God's sight. Therefore, we may concisely define total depravity as the unmeritoriousness of of man before God because of the corruption of original sin.

    The concept of total depravity does not mean (1) that depraved people cannot or do not perform actions that are good in either man's or God's sight. But no such actions can gain favor with God for salvation. Neither does it mean (2) that fallen man has no conscience which judges between good and evil for him. But that conscience has been affected by the fall so that it cannot be a safe and reliable guide. Neither does it mean (3) that people indulge in every form of sin or in any sin to the greatest extent possible.

    Positively, total depravity means that the corruption has extended to all aspects of man's nature, to his entire being; and total depravity means that because of that corruption there is nothing man can do to merit saving favor with God.

    C.C. Ryrie: Depravity, Total, in the Baker Dictionary of Evangelical Theology page 312-313




    Angel4Truth and GloryDaz since you reject total depravity, why don't you tell us what you specifically disagree with in the former definition...

    Excellent share.


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    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    Nah! Of course not! It just separates us from God, offends a our Holy Creator and created a situation wherein God's only Son had to come and die in our place, but on the whole, its not all that bad...


    Man, this has to be one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard anyone make.

    Did you really mean that?
    Well, it is your belief. You have repeatedly stated that man is not totally evil. So all the things you have mentioned cannot be described as that.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    As a result no one can do anything, even good things, that can gain soteriological merit in God's sight.



    Angel4Truth and GloryDaz since you reject total depravity, why don't you tell us what you specifically disagree with in the former definition...
    I disagree with the part I have quoted above. There is no result here. It does not follow that because man sins, he cannot be pleasing to God. What this says limits God as much as it limits man. It states that God is unable to be pleased with someone who is a sinner.

    Remember this argument for the future. Stating that man is unable to know God is equal to God is unable to communicate with man. Stating that man is unable to 'gain soteriological merit' is the same as saying that God is unable to save him.
    Last edited by Desert Reign; October 25th, 2013 at 03:40 PM.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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    Over 750 post club Dialogos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    Well, it is your belief.
    Nope. Its not even close to being my belief.

    Let me introduce myself. I'm Dialogos. I actually believe in Total Depravity and I'm a calvinist. Which means, among other things, that I think sin is a big deal. I don't think that mankind is incapable of doing good things, but I am absolutely certain that the wages of sin is death and that every single sinner on the planet deserves hell.

    I am also absolutely certain that the only remedy for sin was the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign
    You have repeatedly stated that man is not totally evil.
    I have repeatedly stated that it is erroneous to say that man is incapable of anything other than evil. This isn't' the same thing.
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    Worthy is the Lamb

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    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    Nope. Its not even close to being my belief.

    Let me introduce myself. I'm Dialogos. I actually believe in Total Depravity and I'm a calvinist. Which means, among other things, that I think sin is a big deal. I don't think that mankind is incapable of doing good things, but I am absolutely certain that the wages of sin is death and that every single sinner on the planet deserves hell.

    I am also absolutely certain that the only remedy for sin was the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross.

    I have repeatedly stated that it is erroneous to say that man is incapable of anything other than evil. This isn't' the same thing.
    So what? I also believe that sin is a big problem. What is distinctive in your belief is that you don't believe that each person's choice to seek after God (or not) determines their eternal destiny. To make this stick you need to also teach that no one can seek God unless they are predestined to do so.

    Total depravity is pure assumption.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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    TOL Subscriber glorydaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    I disagree with the part I have quoted above. There is no result here. It does not follow that because man sins, he cannot be pleasing to God. What this says limits God as much as it limits man. It states that God is unable to be pleased with someone who is a sinner.

    Remember this argument for the future. Stating that man is unable to know God is equal to God is unable to communicate with man. Stating that man is unable to 'gain soteriological merit' is the same as saying that God is unable to save him.

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    TOL Legend Angel4Truth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    Then quote that book, title and page number please.
    The book was "The gospel according to the apostles" , as far as the page number, sorry im not re-reading it right now to get that for you.

    It was the last book i read by MacArthur because of his teaching on election and predestination - its abject arrogance on salvation and his claim that man can do nothing but sin.

    It was that book that led me to study Calvinism.I know exactly what i read and why i never purchased another book by him.


    I was blown away that he could understand the bible so well on other issues ("the gospel according to Jesus" was an excellent book which led to me getting that other one) but, could totally drop the ball on this issue (total depravity) and claim lack of free will in ability to seek God when its all over the scriptures.

    So according to you, he (MacArthur) doesn't understand calvanist teaching.

    "Around the country, progressive bullies have attacked Christians for daring to put their faith ahead of the pet causes of those who feign compassion while destroying life-giving liberties. What we are seeing is a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners approach as the wildfire burns across our land. It is not enough that Christians be quiet. Christians must be silenced and punished. Their faith cannot be respected. Legislation that ensures people are free to live and work according to their faith without fear of being punished by government must be stopped and decried as discrimination...There is one key reason that those on the Left must force their beliefs on the rest of us: if they didn't force their craziness on us, we would never embrace it." ~Erick Erickson
    Proverbs 3:5-8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dialogos View Post
    OK, so lets define Total Depravity because there is a complete misconception about what it is.

    Here is total Depravity defined in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.


    "A proper definition of total depravity should not focus primarily on the questions of sinfulness vs. goodness or ability vs. inability, but on fallen man's relationship to a holy God. Because of the affects of the fall, that original relationship of fellowship with God was broken and man's entire nature was polluted. As a result no one can do anything, even good things, that can gain soteriological merit in God's sight. Therefore, we may concisely define total depravity as the unmeritoriousness of of man before God because of the corruption of original sin.

    The concept of total depravity does not mean (1) that depraved people cannot or do not perform actions that are good in either man's or God's sight. But no such actions can gain favor with God for salvation. Neither does it mean (2) that fallen man has no conscience which judges between good and evil for him. But that conscience has been affected by the fall so that it cannot be a safe and reliable guide. Neither does it mean (3) that people indulge in every form of sin or in any sin to the greatest extent possible.

    Positively, total depravity means that the corruption has extended to all aspects of man's nature, to his entire being; and total depravity means that because of that corruption there is nothing man can do to merit saving favor with God.

    C.C. Ryrie: Depravity, Total, in the Baker Dictionary of Evangelical Theology page 312-313




    Angel4Truth and GloryDaz since you reject total depravity, why don't you tell us what you specifically disagree with in the former definition...
    We gain favor in God's sight by hearing and believing the Gospel of Salvation. It's something any man can do.

    Some things never change.

    Psalm 5:4
    For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

    It is recorded in heaven....choose life. Faith pleases God.


    Deut. 30:11
    For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

    Romans 10:6-11
    But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above: ) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by intojoy View Post
    Until one is saved he is a slave to sin. What does that mean? It means as God's standard is flawless perfection continually, unregenerate men can only sin. Total depravity is a true concept even if its not called total depravity. And just because some believers define it in error does not make it untrue. In a way JM's statement is true. I can't speak about the context because I'm not going to listen to the entire message but upon face value saying man can do nothing but sin is ok for me.


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    We're "slaves to righteousness". Does that mean we can only do righteously? What's true on one side of the equation, must be true on the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glorydaz View Post
    We're "slaves to righteousness". Does that mean we can only do righteously? What's true on one side of the equation, must be true on the other.
    That^

    "Around the country, progressive bullies have attacked Christians for daring to put their faith ahead of the pet causes of those who feign compassion while destroying life-giving liberties. What we are seeing is a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners approach as the wildfire burns across our land. It is not enough that Christians be quiet. Christians must be silenced and punished. Their faith cannot be respected. Legislation that ensures people are free to live and work according to their faith without fear of being punished by government must be stopped and decried as discrimination...There is one key reason that those on the Left must force their beliefs on the rest of us: if they didn't force their craziness on us, we would never embrace it." ~Erick Erickson
    Proverbs 3:5-8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Reign View Post
    That's a bit of a straw man argument as I hardly think any OVer believes this. As to the Arminians. they can speak for themselves.

    The Calvinistic doctrine of total depravity is nonetheless completely wrong, just as all the 5 points are.

    Total depravity teaches that man is unable to seek God, excepting those individuals whom God predestined to do so and gave the necessary grace.

    When we point out such scriptures as Deut 4:29 or Jer 29:13 or Acts 17:27, illustrating basic principles that man should seek God and God is willing to be found by man, the reply is usually that this only applies to those whom God has predestined. Which is not a trifle disingenuous on God's part if it is true. After all, why would God say that he is willing to be found when he in effect has already chosen them?

    But praise the Lord that everyone can read the Bible and see for themselves the obvious and fair principle that God is willing to be found by anyone who seeks him. This aspect of God's character glorifies God because it shows God is fair and generous. The idea that God is only willing to be found by those who he selected in advance in itself is bad enough but to then go around telling people that all they have to do is seek him with all their heart is the pits.

    Total depravity had to be invented to support predestination so that Calvinists could say that everyone deserved damnation anyway. I have often said (see my signature on irresistible damnation) that in Calvinism, the vast majority of humanity cannot by any means whatsoever obtain salvation and the unique response I have received from Calvinists is that none of these people would ever want to be saved anyway. Is it just me or did I really a moment ago hear Calvinists proclaiming that our wills are not determinative of our eternal destiny? And yet here they are backtracking to get themselves out of trouble by elevating the role of the human will to a core pillar of their doctrine! Because they don't want to be saved, it makes their damnation right.

    I really hope it isn't just me who can see the hypocrisy in this position.
    I'm sorry I missed this one. Well stated, DR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glorydaz View Post
    We're "slaves to righteousness". Does that mean we can only do righteously? What's true on one side of the equation, must be true on the other.

    That which is born of God cannot sin.


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    Quote Originally Posted by intojoy View Post
    That which is born of God cannot sin.


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    True but doesnt adress what was stated. Its possible to act unrighteously without 'sinning' unless you ignore these:

    Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.…


    If one could not act unrighteously as a believer, that wouldnt be there. I know, those verses are issues for the calvanist... since one wouldnt be able to greive the spirit without a will.

    "Around the country, progressive bullies have attacked Christians for daring to put their faith ahead of the pet causes of those who feign compassion while destroying life-giving liberties. What we are seeing is a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners approach as the wildfire burns across our land. It is not enough that Christians be quiet. Christians must be silenced and punished. Their faith cannot be respected. Legislation that ensures people are free to live and work according to their faith without fear of being punished by government must be stopped and decried as discrimination...There is one key reason that those on the Left must force their beliefs on the rest of us: if they didn't force their craziness on us, we would never embrace it." ~Erick Erickson
    Proverbs 3:5-8

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