Calvinism - TULIP - "T"otal Depravity

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jdlongmire, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. jdlongmire

    jdlongmire
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    Total Depravity (or Total Inability) (1)

    When Calvinists speak of man as being totally depraved, they mean that man’s nature is corrupt, perverse, and sinful throughout. The adjective “total” does not mean that each sinner is as totally or completely corrupt in his actions and thoughts as it is possible for him to be. Instead, the word “total” is used to indicate that the whole of man’s being has been affected by sin. The corruption extends to every part of man, his body and soul; sin has affected all (the totality) of man’s faculties - his mind, his will, etc.

    As a result of this inborn corruption, the natural man is totally unable to do anything spiritually good; thus, Calvinists speak of man’s “total inability.” The inability intended by this terminology is spiritual inability; it means that the sinner is so spiritually bankrupt that he can do nothing pertaining to his salvation. The natural man is enslaved to sin; he is a child of Satan, rebellious toward God, blind to truth, corrupt, and unable to save himself or to prepare himself for salvation.

    Spiritual Deadness

    Genesis 2:16-17; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3; John 3:5-7; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 2:13.

    Darkened Minds and Corrupt Hearts

    Genesis 6:5; Genesis 8:21; Ecclesiastes 9:3; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; John 3:19; Romans 8:7-8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 4:17-19; Ephesians 5:8; Titus 1:15.

    Bondage to Sin and Satan

    John 8:34; John 8:44; Romans 6:20; Ephesians 2:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:25-26; Titus 3:3; 1 John 3:10; 1 John 5:19.

    Universal Bondage

    1 Kings 8:46; 2 Chronicles 6:36; Job 15:14-16; Psalm 130:3; Psalm 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:9-12; James 3:2; James 3:8; 1 John 1:8; 1 John 1:10.

    Inability to Change

    Job 14:4; Jeremiah 23:13; Matthew 7:16-18; Matthew 12:33; John 6:44; John 6:65; Romans 11:35-36; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 3:5.

    In response to this thread

    ULIP on the way!

    Adapted from the former blog of Joel Barnes; the explanations of TULIP and corresponding biblical text arrangements have been adapted from David N. Steele, Curtis C. Thomas, and S. Lance Quinn, The Five Points of Calvinism (Second Edition), P and R Publishing, 2004, pp. 17-71. Further explanation adapted from James R. White, The Potter’s Freedom, Calvary Press Publishing, 2000, pp. 135-151.

    Full text here.

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    #1 jdlongmire, Jun 16, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2008
  2. Allan

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    Most Non-Cals will agree with you here, that man in and of himself can do nothing good (as in salvic good). There are some key things to note here 1). in and of himself and 2) can 'do' nothing salvicly good (the word 'do' refers to works).
    However where we typically differ is not that man cannot 'do' anything in or of himself to be saved but the understanding of what the typical Calvinists understands in relation to the work of God in the world through His Spirit because of mans depravity. IOW - the Calvinistic understanding of depravity and what God does in relation to it that one might be saved.

    Both agree that without God's work no man can believe because no man knows that he even has a need to believe anything for he is blind to his own state. And that no man can come to the knowledge of truth (spiritual truth) without God himself first revealing it to man because mans sin distorts and pollutes all he will obtain intellectually through any of the sin impaired 5 senses we use.

    As do the non-Cals. What you specifically wrote the Non-Cals do not argue with because man can 'do' nothing to save himself. However issue is not in what was said but what was meant of course :)

    Since I know what you are intending to mean here I will comment on the intent and not what is actually stated (because I agree with what is written).

    It is here where it appears you start getting into contradictions even in your own words. The inability that scripture speaks of is always in reference to man doing something spiritually good by himself or coming to spiritual truth by himself - IOW - without God's intervention.

    However in the first section of your post that I quoted I took the liberty to underlined one thing you said that brings a contradiction to what you just stated (regarding the calvinistic intent there in) about being "spiritually bankrupt". In the first portion you state:
    "The adjective “total” does not mean that each sinner is as totally or completely corrupt in his actions and thoughts as it is possible for him to be"
    and then turn around and state:
    "The inability intended by this terminology is spiritual inability; it means that the sinner is so spiritually bankrupt that he can do nothing pertaining to his salvation."

    So at one point you state that a person is not so total as to be completely corrupt on all his thoughts and actions and then state that man is just that corrupt.
    Which is it?

    Question - Can the unregenerate IF they 'know' (God revealing) there is a possiblity to be freed to a different life, have a desire or wish for such ??


    Agreed.


    All the arguments below I state are based entirely upon God's intervention and not that man is able to 'do' (works) something of or by himself. Salvation is an act of God, repentence is the act of man unto salvation (2 Cor 7:10). But we are saved not because God is bound to save us based upon something we 'do' (work-wise) but because it is His desires to have mercy upon those who will obey.
    Spiritual deadness is not disputed it is the understanding of what that deadness means and thus entails.

    Again their minds being darkened is not in dispute but the extent of corruptness is. Is man so corrupt that he is as bad as he can be?? If not then IF God so reveals truth to the darkened mind (thus illuminating to a degree some or that aspect of their darkness) can they not desire contrary their coruptness since man is not as corrupt as he can be?
    If a man is bound to be a slave of another can they not desire to be free if someone shows their true state and any possible hope? Remember that what is state regarding bondage is based upon the understanding of a slave. That slave must do what his master says but that does not mean he can not desire contrary to his master.

    We are agreed here. All mankind are under the bondage of sin.
    Some of your verses have nothing to do with 'inability'.
    However, as I stated previously. Man of and by himself can 'do' nothing salvic or to save him. The fact that man of himself is inable to come to God is again not indispute but what is disputed is that when God reveals truth man, man can choose to be accept it or reject.

    Just because God calls someone to Himself does not mean they will come (Prov 1:22-(24)-33; Rom 10:21[/B), and just because He reveals truth to a person does not they will believe it (Rom 1:18- ), and just because a person rejects the gospel does not mean that it could not have saved them (2 Thes 2:10-13).

    Thus the truth of Total Depravity reveals man as he is without God or His intervention.
     
    #2 Allan, Jun 17, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2008
  3. skypair

    skypair
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    jdlong...

    That is a very good overview of the issues involved in "total depravity" as Calvinists see it. Unfortunately, Calvies suffer under 2 very serious delusions in just this one "pedal" of the TULIP:

    1) They make no distinction between soul and spirit. To Calvies, the soul (conscience, self and God awareness) and the spirit (intellect, emotions, and will) are both dead from birth (sin nature).

    Not so. The Bible tells us that SIN causes the SOUL to die, Ezek 18:20. Yet Calvies insist that everyone is born "dead as Lazarus" in John 12. Let's just take a deep breath and realize that the spirit may be spiritually dead to God but we all, so long as we are living, haven't lost the use of our brains where spiritual information of all sorts is "received and processed."

    2) They have a misguided "model" of the sin nature. Every creature born into this world has INSTINCTS that allow it to survive, grow, and regenerate in kind. Only the human creature has "spiritual laws" whereby instincts are regulated for the common good through conscience, family, government, commandment, etc. It is when our "instinctive" acts encounter these "spiritual laws" that we have SIN in the strictest sense of the word, Rom 7:9-11.

    The same thing that allows us to understand "spiritual law" (conviction) and obey it on these various levels is the thing that makes us capable of "seeing" God's provision for sin and obeying it unto salvation.

    Ergo, Calvinism's "totally depraved" person just does NOT exist! There is no creature alive that is 1) brain dead and 2) living totally instinctively with no regard for spiritual regulation of his behavior.

    skypair
     
  4. jdlongmire

    jdlongmire
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    T in my own words:

    Total Depravity: Post-Fall, man is completely enslaved to sin - born with a "heart of stone" - all thoughts, deeds and actions naturally inclined toward self-centeredness as opposed to God-centerdness - without the merciful direct intervention of God to regenerate or make some Men reborn, all men would remain in this natural state and be subject to the absolute justice of God and the consequences thereof.

    And I'll respond to the other posts later - but I certainly welcome others to do so :) - don't wait on me! :D
     
  5. jdlongmire

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    Both.

    "The adjective “total” does not mean that each sinner is as totally or completely corrupt in his actions and thoughts as it is possible for him to be"

    This means that Man may not go around doing the most depraved things that he is capable of doing all the time, but that we WILL do things that are self-loving/centered, rather than God-loving/centered.

    Doing ONE thing self-centered/loving without it being first driven by God centered motivation is worthy of eternal condemnation.

    "The inability intended by this terminology is spiritual inability; it means that the sinner is so spiritually bankrupt that he can do nothing pertaining to his salvation."

    This means that while Man may do something, sometimes we would classify as a "good" thing, his natural heart-state is inclined away from God, thus invalidating any "good" thing that could be considered salvific.
     
  6. webdog

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    Scripture for man being born with a "heart of stone"? If man is born "dead", with dead by definition meaning the ceasing of life...when was the individual who was born "dead" alive, and when?
     
  7. jdlongmire

    jdlongmire
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    1. Ezekiel 11:19
      And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh,

    2. Ezekiel 36:26
      And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh
     
  8. webdog

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    First, in context that is referring to Isreal collectively, not individually. Second, that does not imply that man is BORN with this "heart of stone".

    So...since death is the ceasing, or ending of life...when do these individuals who were born "dead" possess life for it to have ended?
     
  9. jdlongmire

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    The elect are the spiritual Israel - you don't think the OT principle applies?

    Romans 3:23
    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    Psalm 51:5
    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,And in sin my mother conceived me.

    James 1:15
    Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

    When they are regenerated through the Holy Spirit.
     
  10. webdog

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    Those verses are also used to refute Augustinian original sin. The "all" in Romans speak of sin in past tense. When do fetuses sin? In Psalm, David's mother did conceive him a sinner, but that does not state David was conceived as a sinner. I don't know how your passage in James is being used to uphold original sin, since it is speaking of lust leading to death.
    :confused:
    So at some point in the womb, the Holy Spirit regenerates an individual...and then they die spiritually at some point prior to birth? You stated we are all born dead, remember? Since death is the ceasing of life, all have to be alive at some point before death occurs. When is this?
     
  11. skypair

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    How can you use the word "total" if that is not what you mean???? This is the CREDIBILITY problem for Calvinism. They say "total" and then have to back away from it. It's like a total lie that we are supposed to believe!

    It's called "SIN," jd. Please answer the points my post makes.

    A) Soul and spirit.

    B) Sin nature.

    skypair
     
  12. jdlongmire

    jdlongmire
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    webdog - before we continue - do you not believe in original sin?
     
  13. Jarthur001

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    As it turns out, we have a few on here that believes the word dead means anything but dead. :):cool:
     
  14. jdlongmire

    jdlongmire
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    from here

    Note the thesis - trichotomy is gnostic in principle.

    This philosophy reminds me of the synergist's prayer:

    "Lord, I thank thee I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to thee of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have, they might all have been saved. Lord, I know thou dost not make us willing if we are not willing ourselves. Thou givest grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Ghost given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not thy grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal, still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not-that is the difference between me and them."
     
  15. Rippon

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    Wow! Does that 'prayer' ever echo the sentiments of numerous non-Cals on the BB!
     
  16. webdog

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    ...and we have a few more that believe dead means corpse. I believe dead means what dead is supposed to mean in the context it is used. If the calvinists did the same thing, we would be a lot closer to agreement.
     
  17. webdog

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    Define original sin. Augustinian original sin? No. The original sin of satan? Adam and Eve?
     
  18. jdlongmire

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    Seeking to understand: How do you differ from this?

    from here
     
  19. jdlongmire

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    Curious: How does your hermeneutic work with this?

    Romans 8:10
    But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
     
  20. webdog

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    I don't agree with "a", and somewhat with "b", too. This view would have every fetus and newborn who dies reprobate, unless there is some special dispensation of salvation for this group of mankind not spoken of in Scripture (there are calvinists here who believe just that)
     

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