Depravity of Man Purposed or Not?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by humblethinker, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    As I understand the teaching of Calvinism, the depravity of man has so affected his will that man is unable to respond to God. As much as this is an accurate understanding, which of the following questions would Calvinism be able to answer? In the first question God is responding to a circumstance, in the second question God purposed the circumstance. In both scenarios God is enabling only some men to respond to Him.

    In response to such an inability, did/does God then miraculously enable only some men to respond to Him?

    -OR-

    Was/is it God's purpose that man would have such an inability and that God miraculously enables only some men to respond to Him?
     
  2. quantumfaith

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    Humble,

    I think ALL men are "enabled" to respond to Him, the question I ask is why do some reject Him?
     
  3. Winman

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    Do the scriptures teach that man is so depraved he cannot respond to God?

    Gen 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

    This was the pre-flood world, the world where God said the imaginations of men were only evil continually, but we see here that men called on God.

    So, do the scriptures really show that all men are so utterly depraved that they cannot respond to God? I don't think so.

    Gen 6:5 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.

    Some love this verse, and argue that it proves the Total Depravity of man. But if they would read the next few verses they would see it does not.

    Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

    So, folks love verse 5 because they believe it proves all men are totally depraved, yet they fail to read just four verses more to see that Noah wasn't totally depraved.

    And if they read even a little more they would see that men do not start out in a depraved condition, but men corrupt themselves and become depraved.

    Gen 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
    12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

    Look up the word corrupt in any dictionary. Corrupt means to go from a good state to a bad state, as when fruit spoils. From Strong's:

    So, you see, to become corrupt means to go from a good state to a ruined or spoiled state, just as if you don't eat fruit in a short time it will spoil and become corrupt. But the scriptures do not say man is born or starts out depraved. Look at the famous verses some use to prove depravity.

    Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

    Does this verse say men are born evil? NO! It says they "go astray" as soon as they be born. They weren't born evil, but they soon went astray and became evil.

    If you are born evil, you can't go astray from that to become evil, you are already evil. No, you must begin good to go astray and become evil or corrupt.

    And you will see this throughout the scriptures. The scriptures say all we like sheep have "gone astray", we have "all turned to our own way". How can you go astray from evil to evil? How can you turn from evil to evil?

    1 Pet 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    How can you go astray from the Lord if you were born separated from him? How can you RETURN to the Lord if you were never with him?

    The scriptures do not teach that man is so depraved he cannot respond to God. From the beginning, from chapter 4 of Genesis the scriptures say men began to call upon the name of the Lord. This was said well before God said men's imaginations were only evil continually.
     
  4. preacher4truth

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    Winman, you quote and underline a portion of Genesis 4:26 as a proof text that men "sought" (called upon) God, and then build your case off of this, correct?
     
  5. Winman

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    I showed you scripture that says men began to call upon the name of the Lord. Look in your own Bible and see if I made this up.

    This is either true, or it is not, which is it? I ask you.

    I could show you much more. For instance, in Luke 15 Jesus tells three parables of sinners returning to the Lord. Look what he says twice about the prodigal son.

    Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
    18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
    19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
    20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
    21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
    22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
    23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
    24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

    Luke 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

    Twice Jesus said the prodigal son was alive AGAIN. How can you be alive again if you were born dead in sin?

    Explain that to me. And don't tell me Jesus didn't know correct doctrine.
     
  6. quantumfaith

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    PFT,

    To be fair, Winman has been very consistent on insisting he opposes the concept of "total depravity/inability" as illustrated so often by DoG adherents. I think this is just one of many citations he has used, combined with reasoned thought to defend his position.

    How do you see this scripture in Genesis....what meaning and/or import to you attach to it?
     
  7. Iconoclast

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    here you go humble, enjoy
    Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling
    1._____ Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.
    ( Romans 8:30; Romans 11:7; Ephesians 1:10, 11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Ephesians 2:1-6; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:17, 18; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19; Psalm 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4 )
    2._____ This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, nor from any power or agency in the creature, being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit; he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.
    ( 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:5; John 5:25; Ephesians 1:19, 20 )

    3._____ Elect infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleases; so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
    ( John 3:3, 5, 6; John 3:8 )

    4._____ Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved; be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.
    ( Matthew 22:14; Matthew 13:20, 21; Hebrews 6:4, 5; John 6:44, 45, 65; 1 John 2:24, 25; Acts 4:12; John 4:22; John 17:3 )
     
  8. preacher4truth

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    Is that what this passage means (Gen 4:26)?

    I beg to differ.

    Sinful man then started to seek after God? Contrary to Romans that man does not? How can Scripture contradict Scripture? It cannot.

    Or, is this a terrible understanding?

    What does Genesis 4:26 really mean when it says they began to call upon the Lord? It's not at all what you think Winman.

    Not one person can seek after God without His enabling.

    You've built a case off of a proof-text that does not mean what you think it says. Most translations get this passage wrong.

    Look into it.
     
  9. quantumfaith

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    PFT,

    Since you brought it up, could you explain your take on the apparent contradiction between this verse in Genesis and Romans?
     
  10. Iconoclast

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    Gen 4:26 is the first recorded public prayer meeting....men corporatley began to pray
     
  11. quantumfaith

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  12. preacher4truth

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    We should be 100% certain here that mankind began to seek God. Or is there another meaning here?

    Are you 100% certain this is men seeking God?

    - Peace
     
  13. Winman

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    LOL, so you blame the scriptures themselves for what they say?

    Perhaps you have misinterpreted Romans, has that ever occurred to you?

    And again, how could Jesus himself say a sinner was ALIVE AGAIN if he was born dead? And talk about contradictions, saying someone is born dead is an oxymoron if ever there was one, yet many actually use this ridiculously illogical term.
     
    #13 Winman, Jul 10, 2011
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  14. preacher4truth

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    You're becoming cynical.

    God used Romans 3 as an indictment upon mankind that all the world is lost and cannot seek God:

    Rom 3:10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
    Rom 3:11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
    Rom 3:12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."
    Rom 3:13 "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS";
    Rom 3:14 "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS";
    Rom 3:15 "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
    Rom 3:16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
    Rom 3:17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN."
    Rom 3:18 "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES."


    No need for the "blame scriptures" rhetoric. I believe the Bible from "foreward" to "concordance" clear to "notes." OK? No need to sling mud.

    No, I've not misinterpreted Romans 3, unless many many godly men have. The passage is clear in Romans 3. Genesis 4:26? Not so much. Also, this in Romans is not only here in Romans alone, but also "mid-Bible" as Paul via the Holy Spirit writes inspired of God and exposits truth. Go search it out.

    So when you read Genesis 4:26 you should say "wait a minute, this interpretation disagrees with a "mid-Bible" truth, and also with Pauls magnus opus Romans 3, so there is a problem here?"

    Paul also thought he sought after God, and found he was wrong, and cast it off as dung; Php_3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and found that it was God who sought him instead, and now that in Christ he can truly seek Him. Hence Acts 9 his state prior. And then after, he wrote Romans 3, and also 7 that also applies here.

    I am contending that your entire premise is based off of a weak Genesis 4:26 interpretation. It cannot contradict Scripture and you need to look into it.

    - Peace
     
    #14 preacher4truth, Jul 10, 2011
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  15. Winman

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    Mid- Bible Truth? What is that, your own personal method of interpreting scripture? What does that mean, books in the middle are true, but books on the outside like Genesis and Revelation are false? I have been a Christian over 45 years and have never heard this. I even Googled it and nothing came up.

    You just can't handle scripture that refutes your view. Too bad, because there is MUCH scripture that does so.

    That's OK, I'm sure there is a Reformed commentary you can consult where some "theologian" wrote a mini-novel to explain this verse away. It usually takes lots of words and mental gymnastics to do so, but I am sure someone attempted to do so.

    Me, I'll simply believe what Gen 4:26 says and leave the mental gymnastics to you.
     
  16. preacher4truth

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    More:

    We in our lost state are enemies of God; Romans 5:10, hostile toward God; Colossians 1:12, at enmity with God; Ephesians 2, in darkness; John 3, alienated from God; Romans.

    Yet you say we aren't, implying that we are friends of God and that we seek Him?

    Also this:

    Rom 8:7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
    Rom 8:8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.


    Yet you imply we can please God outside of Christ. Hmmmm.

    This above is lost man. Not even able.
     
    #16 preacher4truth, Jul 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2011
  17. preacher4truth

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    Settle down my friend. The truth he quotes is in the middle of your Bible, i.e. in Psalms.

    No need to go into your books in the middle are true and those that aren't aren't accusation. Simmer down and become civil. You're dreaming up things here that have no basis other than your illogical subjectivity.

    Nothing in Scripture refutes "my view."

    You need to look into Genesis 4:26. No one seeks God. To believe against this is a serious fallacy against Scripture.

    Not even Paul sought God, and he threw it all in the dung pile. He understood this.

    - Peace
     
  18. Winman

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    I agree about the flesh being enmity with God, but is man flesh only? In Rom 7:15-25 Paul speaks of a conflict between his mind and his flesh. His mind wills to do good and delights in the law of God (vs. 22) but he sees another law in his members, warring against the law of his mind (vs. 23).

    Most believe Paul is speaking here as an unregenerate man, because he begins this passage by saying he is carnal, sold under sin. But in chapter 8 he says he is now free from the law of sin and death.

    If this interpretation is true, then Paul shows the unregenerate can will to do good, he can seek God in his mind, however, in the end the unregenerate man is brought into captivity to the law of sin in his members and will sin. I do not believe he means in every instance he will sin, but overall sin will control him. This is why the unregenerate cannot have victory over sin.

    This is a difficult passage with much controversy, but it would argue that man is not totally depraved, but overall he is.
     
  19. humblethinker

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    Thank you Iconoclast for giving probably the clearest statements regarding Calvinist belief that I've read on this BB. I would be interested in knowing if you and other calvinist's subscribe to all that was claimed.

    No Calvinist seems to address directly the questions I put forth. So, based on what I've read on this post it seems that the following would be accurate:

    God purposefully actualized a universe in which man would be unable to respond to Him. He only chooses to save a minority of men and chooses not to save the remaining majority.
     
  20. Van

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    Calvinists do not understand Romans 3, but think they do. Therefore, they say all the other verses where men seek God do not mean what they say. Thus they use a misunderstanding of one verse to justify misunderstanding all other verses. Quite a do loop.

    No one seeks God ever is what the Calvinists claim Romans three says, but note they have added "ever" to scripture. Someone like me would say no one seeks God at all times, because we are not seeking God when we are sinning and we all sin.

    It does not matter how many times this addition to scripture is pointed out, they continue to refer to it and continue to nullify all the rest of the Bible.
     

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