Is man born totally depraved or can they become depraved over time?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Calvinism teaches that mankind is born Totally Depraved, which doesn't mean that all men are as evil as they could be, but it does mean they are totally unable to understand and accept the truth revealed in the gospel message. But does this line up with scripture? You will notice the bolden underline phrases reveal man's capacity to clearly see and understand God's invisible qualities and his eternal power and divine nature. You will see they "knew God", they had "the knowledge of God" and "exchanged the glory of the immortal God...and the truth of God." That their thinking wasn't always futile, that their hearts were not always darkened, and defiled. But instead, they BECAME this way over time and God thus GAVE THEM OVER TO THEIR DEPRAVITY.

    But, Calvinists will no doubt argue, that this was and is inevitable for every man who are not the "elect of God." And that men do not have the ability to do otherwise. However, the scripture clearly teaches that man can do otherwise.
    Paul contrasts one group of people with another showing that before men have grown calloused to the revelation of God (as was Israel) they indeed can and will listen. They, "MIGHT SEE, HEAR, UNDERSTAND AND TURN."

    Can a Calvinist explain these texts? Thank you.
     
  2. Skandelon

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    No takers? Come on Calvinists, do your simple pat answers not work on this one? (I'm provoking you here) :)
     
  3. ReformedBaptist

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    How about telling us what you now believe rather than endless posts about what your against.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    I'm sorry, I must have missed the election where we voted you to be the forum policeman. Where do I cast my vote? :)

    You obviously have not been reading many of my posts. Most of my posts have been about what I believe on the subject of the nature of man, the judicial hardening of Israel and how that relates the mistakes I believe Calvinism makes in interpreting the scripture...mistakes mind you that I made for many years and would like others to avoid if possible. Now, with all due respect, either engage with the topic of the post or move on. Thank you.
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

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    If you can't handle being called out, then maybe you shouldn't post.

    I log in every now and again. And when I logged in tonight all your posts some challenge or another against Calvinism.

    If that is how you want to be known on the BB that is your business. Take my reply to as a friendly obsevation...or not. Doesn't matter to me.
     
  6. Skandelon

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    And if you can't handle being rebuked for calling me out and hijacking my post then maybe you shouldn't post... Doesn't matter to me. :rolleyes:
     
  7. ReformedBaptist

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    Do I come accross as a man who can't handle the heat? :laugh:

    All right sonny boy, let's help you get on the right track. When you start a thread with "Calvinists believe" try to put something in there that actually carries some weight...not the internet discussions your having, not your little debates with weirdo calvinists, but something of real substance.

    You have made yourself the opponent of Calvinism. You have in this thread set yourself against the doctrine of Total Depravity.

    Now...here is what you should be trying to refute:

    That is from the 1689 Confession, but you will find it identical in substance to the Westminster. These are standards for Calvinist doctrine.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Which is the exact question I was attempting to imply in my response to you.

    What specifically have I stated in my OP that misrepresents Calvinism RB? We can go back and forth copy and pasting creeds and catechisms if you want, but I'd rather not. I'd rather deal with the substance of the debate, and if I have misrepresented your view then spell it out and I will deal with that...
     
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    I am creating a widely accepted standard. You say your against Calvinism. Let's make sure you are.

    Are you against this teaching:

    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.
    ( Romans 8:7; Colossians 1:21; James 1:14, 15; Matthew 15:19 )


    In other words, are you saying that people are not wholly inclined to all evil? Are you teaching that somewhere in man is something unaffected by the fall of Adam...some part of man that was unaffected?

    If so, what part?

    Let add, I am not ignoring your whole post. I have read it and re-read it. I am taking it one step at a time. Your OP question is "Is man totally depraved?" Which I am taking to be the subject of your thread, the doctrine of total depravity. I am stating, for my part, and as a standard, the Calvinist position on the subject...using a widely accepted creed of most Calvinists. There is not a Calvinist I know that would not affirm the above statement.
     
    #9 ReformedBaptist, Dec 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2009
  10. ReformedBaptist

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    Alright, heading to bed. I will pick this up tomorrow God willing.
     
  11. Winman

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    I disagree with this. Unsaved man is not utterly disabled from doing good. I have posted the scriptures concerning Cain numerous times.

    Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
    7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.


    Read for yourself. Did God say Cain could give an acceptable sacrifice and that God would accept it?

    Do you agree that is what God is saying to Cain here, or do you disagree? If you disagree, then please explain.

    It this is true, then the doctrinal statement you provided is in error from the scriptures.
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    Man is totally depraved. He is dead in trespasses and sins. Romans 1-3 teaches how completely he is in sin and its' effect.

    I believe man's actions can become more totally depraved over time. There are clearly well intentioned and good acting people who are not saved. They are stilll dead in sin. They still have a sin nature. But they can become more depraved in their actions.

    I think this is what Romans 1 is talking about. God gives them over to the end result of their sin. Mankind does not get any better over time. He gets worse. How he lives out that sinful nature gets worse and worse.

    (by the way, I am not a Calvinist)
     
  13. Skandelon

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    You are arguing for the doctrine of Original Sin while claiming to support the doctrine of Total Depravity. We all hold to the doctrine of Original Sin, but we are talking about man's natural ability to willingly respond in faith when confronted by the powerful revelation of God.

    Sure men are sinners and wouldn't seek God on their own, but God seeks sinners and the question is do we have the ability to respond to Him and his revelations? I think scripture is clear that we do...as presented in the OP.
     
  14. Johnv

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    Is man born totally depraved or can they become depraved over time?

    The simple answer is "yes". Depravity has an adverse affect on one's salvific state, and one's righteousness. A man is born salvifically depraved. In a man's life, his actions contribute to his righteous depravity.

    The whole answer is a lot more complex than that, but that's the "calvinism for dummies" answer.
     
  15. Tom Bryant

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    The Bible teaches original sin and total depravity. It also teaches that man will not come to God unless the Spirit draws him. And that the Holy Spirit's work is mysterious in that He goes where He chooses to go. But it also teaches that man can choose to believe or not believe.

    I try as best as I can to be faithful to what I believe the Bible teaches, so I don't really have a theological system that is easily catalogued and pigeon holed. Most of our systems of theology attempt to limit God's work in salvation to what we can understand and write down logically. I am entirely comfortable with my position being seemingly illogical when it comes to God's work in salvation.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    "Calvinism for dummies" was the term I was thinking of too.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    And what mean's has God chosen to draw all men to himself? Some secret irresistible calling? No, we both agree that is not the case.

    The means God has chosen is the Holy Spirit wrought gospel truth spoken by Holy Spirit filled people (the church). The Gospel and the work of the church is a work of the Spirit's drawing. Yes, its resistible, but its his appointed means. I don't see where in scripture that more is needed, required or even discussed.
     
  18. ReformedBaptist

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    Again, as someone claiming to have been a calvinist for 10 years, we would expect you to understand and be able to articulate (since you make yourself the opponent of calvinism) what effectual calling/irresistable grace is. Back to the basics for you:

     
  19. Skandelon

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    Again, you will need to specifically quote what I have said that appears to misrepresented your dogma and than explain why...then I will address it!

    I can copy and paste a creed everytime you post something, but that accomplishes nothing.
     
  20. ReformedBaptist

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    I thought you were astute enough to connect the dots.

    You are confusing and confounding two biblical teachings, the means by which God effectually calls His elect, and effectual calling. Please actually read the doctrinal statement.
     

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