ROMANS 3:10-12 DOESN'T SUPPORT "TOTAL INABILITY"

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by William C, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. William C

    William C
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    The two passages that Calvinists have continually referred to when supporting their teaching of Total inability are Romans 8:3-5 and Romans 3:10-12, neither of which say anything close to what the Calvinists claim. We have already looked at Romans 8; now let's look at this passage:

    Romans 3:10-12
    As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one.

    Somehow Calvinist take this passage to mean that all mankind in unable to respond to the general calling of the Holy Spirit through faith in the gospel presentation. What does this verse say?

    1. No one on their own is righteous or good, not even one.
    2. No one on their own seeks God
    3. All on their own have turned away and are useless without God

    We all agree with these facts!
    1. Without being clothed in the righteousness of Christ, no one is righteous
    2. Without the call of the Spirit and the gospel no one would could know anything about God for no one seeks him on their own.
    3. Without the intervention of God through the working of His Spirit and the call of the gospel we would all still be turned away and useless!

    Without the work of Christ on the cross, the calling of the Holy Spirit, and the appointed apostles preaching and inspired writings of the gospel we could never be clothed in the righteousness of Christ through faith, we could never seek God--for he seeks us; as the scripture says, “He came to seek and save that which is lost.” He has left his disciples with the help of the Holy Spirit to spread the good news, thus SEEKING out the lost by those very means!

    Before he did this all mankind had turned away and were useless, they were not righteous, they did not seek God, which is exactly why he appointed the means of the preaching of the gospel to the entire world.

    This passage never mentions man’s inability to respond to God’s call of the gospel by faith. The words “faith,” “belief” or “gospel” do NOT even appear in this passage so to assume that this teaches “total inability” to respond to God’s plan of redemption by faith is absurd and very presumptuous upon the text.

    As a matter of fact, if you read what Paul goes on to say in the following verses you can clearly see that he wasn’t meaning to say that men are totally unable to respond by faith in verses 10-12.

    He writes: 3:21-24
    But now, apart from the law, God's righteousness has been revealed--attested by the Law and the Prophets --that is, God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood.

    It is very clear in this passage that he is introducing a new righteousness from that spoken about in verse 10 for it’s a righteousness that is applied THROUGH FAITH and not by the works of the Law. It seems that this would be a real good time for Paul to clarify that no man is able to have faith sense he does mention the word "faith," 9 times in this passage, but he never draws that conclusion.

    Many Calvinist try to equate faith with a work of the law but Paul doesn’t, look at what he writes:

    Romans 3:27-30
    Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith. For we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law. Or is God for Jews only? Is He not also for Gentiles? Yes, for Gentiles too, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

    It is clear that there is no boasting in having faith. Why? Because it is set in contrast to the works of the Law.

    This passage in no way supports the “total inability” of man to respond by faith to the call of the gospel!
     
  2. Yelsew

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    Said another way,
    Romans 3:10-12
    Do the following conditions of man imply inability or ability?

    "There is no one righteous, not even one;" If one can be righteous but chooses to not be righteous, it that inability?
    "there is no one who understands," If one can understand, but does not, is that a lack of ability?
    "there is no one who seeks God." If one can seek God, but does not, is that lack of ability?

    "All have turned away, together they have become useless;" If one and all have turned away (having the ability to do so) does that imply that they have no ability to not turn away?
    "there is no one who does good, there is not even one." If one does not do good, does that mean there is no ability to do so?

    If all have the ability to do evil, they also have the ability to do good. Ability is Ability. Use of an ability is dependent upon one's belief system. That is the message of Romans 3:10-12
     
  3. KenH

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    1)If all have the ability then surely at least one would exercise such ability. The Bible says no one does.

    2)If all have the ability to understand then surely at least one would exercise such ability. The Bible says no one does.

    3)If all have the ability to seek God then surely at least one would exercise such ability. The Bible says no one does.

    4)If all have the ability to not turn away then surely at least one would exercise such ability. The Bible says all have turned away.

    5)If all have the ability to do good then surely at least one would exercise such ability. The Bible says no one does.

    6)Having the ability to do evil in no way implies the ability to do good. You believe in a false symmetry.
     
  4. romanbear

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    Hi Ken
    A quote from you;
    -------------------------------------------------------
    6)Having the ability to do evil in no way implies the ability to do good. You believe in a false symmetry
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    What about the good samariatian.Do you believe that Jesus was capable of fiction. in the creation of an example.
    Romanbear
     
  5. William C

    William C
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    I agree, which is the reason I approached this text differently than Yelsew. Please address my argument and you will see that this text in no way supports "total inability."
     
  6. KenH

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    Please address my argument and you will see that this text in no way supports "human ability".

    Now that's symmetry. [​IMG]
     
  7. KenH

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    We discussing conversion and man's inability, not the fact that man is not as depraved as possible in all of his actions. Man is capable of relative good, otherwise we would all be killing each other.
     
  8. Yelsew

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    No Ken, we are not discussing conversion, only ability or lack thereof.

    If man has the ability to do evil, man also has the ability to do good. Ability is not the issue for your argument, beliefs are.

    Man has the ability to do good, but not the belief to do good. Man according to Paul has the ability to do what man believes in, and surely we are examples of that. Even though we continue to sin as Christians. Our confessed sins are not held against us. However the unsaved still have their sins accounted against them because they do not believe in Jesus, God's own Son, the Christ.
     
  9. KenH

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    Yes we are Yelsew. :rolleyes: In case you don't know this - this whole forum for debating Calvinism vs. Arminianism is about conversion - why one person repents and believes and another person doesn't repent and believe.

    Maybe that's why your posts seem so offbeat to some of us - you're discussing the wrong subject for this forum.
     
  10. Yelsew

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    This topic on this forum is Romans 3:10-12 Doesn't support "Total Inability". It is intended to discuss only one aspect of the debate between Calvin and Armenius. Conversion is not the issue, Ability vs Lack thereof is this issue.
     
  11. KenH

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    It's the ability or lack thereof to be converted that is at issue, Yelsew. :rolleyes:

    Here is how Brother Bill started this thread - "Somehow Calvinist take this passage to mean that all mankind in unable to respond to the general calling of the Holy Spirit through faith in the gospel presentation."

    I hope you understand the issue now. [​IMG]
     
  12. William C

    William C
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    Ken, I'm well aware of the issue and the fact that Calvinists have ignored my argument because they know this text does not support the Calvinistic doctrine of "total inability." So, why don't you all stop using is as a proof text!
     
  13. KenH

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    For two reasons -

    1) You are outright wrong.

    2) You are not the final authority to tell anyone else whether he can use a passage to support his position or not.

    I find it amazing, Brother Bill, that you think in your puny crusade against Calvinists that you can silence those with whom you disagree. What gall! :rolleyes:
     
  14. William C

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    Has anyone actually addressed any of my arguments?

    Uh..................nope!

    Revealing.

    (Hey Ken if you keep making rude comments and ignoring the arguments, I'll still be here waiting [​IMG] )
     
  15. KenH

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    The flaw in your thinking, Brother Bill, is that you think every verse has to address every issue that you rail against Calvinists on. Listen to me - you must take the Bible as a whole, as a whole, to arrive at a correct understanding.

    When the apostle Paul quotes from the Old Testament he is saying no one seeks after God. He does not have to say at the same time that that means man is unable to come to Christ by his own power. Jesus had already made it clear that only God can enable a sinner to come to Jesus.

    Brother Bill, you continuously set up these quite inane arguments that have no basis for use in understanding the Bible and then, unless everyone does mental gymnastics for your amusement, you claim that no one is addressing your arguments. Why don't you quit hiding behind sophisms and discuss these theological issues mano a mano?

    Good night.

    [ February 27, 2003, 12:06 AM: Message edited by: Ken H ]
     
  16. Yelsew

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    The challenge is that Calvinists defend their use of Romans 3:10-12 as a proof text for man's inability to do anything when it is clear to non calvinists that the text does not support that claim.
     
  17. William C

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    There is not flaw in my thinking, several Calvinists on this post have used this passage to support Total Inability, I'm addressing that argument. I am taking the Bible as a whole and I am systematically showing you that none of your proof texts for Total Inability ever teach what you claim they teach. If the Bible as a whole supports the doctrine of Total Inability it has to have passages that specifically support your claim. IT DOES NOT!

    THANK YOU. Archangel, Sturgman, Nepty, Russell55 and the rest of you Calvinists who continually refer to Romans 3 as a proof text for total inability please look at the observation that Ken has made here. This passage is only saying that man on their own are not righteous and do not seek after God, it says nothing about their inability to respond in faith to the gospel.

    I assume you are referring to John 6. Wrong again. Jesus is speaking directly to Israel for the Gentiles have not even been introduced to the gospel as of this time. If you notice the context of John 6 shown for us in John 12:37-41:

    37But despite all the miraculous signs he had done, most of the people did not believe in him.38This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted:
          "Lord, who has believed our message?
                To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?"
    39But the people couldn't believe, for as Isaiah also said,
          40"The Lord has blinded their eyes
                and hardened their hearts--
          so their eyes cannot see,
                and their hearts cannot understand,
          and they cannot turn to me
                and let me heal them."

    41Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he made this prediction, because he was given a vision of the Messiah's glory.


    It is quite easy to see that Jesus was addressing Hardened Israel, who could not hear, see or believe and the Remnant, who were chosen to avoid the Hardening by God's grace because they were enabled to do so by God's uncondition choice of them.

    But even if you are like most Calvinists and completely ignore the context in which Jesus was speaking and the audience Jesus was addressing; this passage never says that the general call of the Spirit through the gospel is not suffiecient enough to "enable" all who hear it.

    Either way this passage has so many points that Calvinists have simply overlooked that it can't possibly mean what you try and make it mean.

    Funny, I was thinking that exact same thing about the entire history of the Calvinistic system. Calvinists have put the church through mental gymnastics for their own amusement for hundreds of years, and they are making insane arguments with absolutly no basis. WHAT IS YOUR BASIS FOR TOTAL INABILITY?

    Translation: I can't deal with the Calvinistic proof texts so lets just talk about the "theological issues".

    I am one of the few people who is actually addressing the real issues. Total Depravity is the foundation for the Calvinistic system and I am systematically addressing each of the proof texts that Calvinists misapply to support this false doctrine. IMO, I have throughly illustrated how these "proof texts" are in no way supporting the doctrine of "Total Inability."

    Without that Calvinism falls flat on its face! So why don't you start defending the foundation of your system becasue from this perspective it is looking mighty weak.
     
  18. npetreley

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    ROFL!!! Given how much you read into what isn't written in the Bible, "this" (your) perspective is somewhat unique. The Bible doesn't say that Mr. Bill is not a con-artist, therefore the assumption that Mr. Bill is a con-artist carries as much weight as his assumptions, and anything you say to the contrary is, from this perspective, looking mighty weak.
     
  19. russell55

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    BB,

    I don't know why you are saying Romans 3 doesn't support inability when you have used it to prove inability yourself.
    This is exactly what inability is addressing. The natural condition of human beings--what they are on their own, what they are without the intervention of God through the working of His Spirit.
     
  20. npetreley

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    Are the rules of this game that we can only address Romans 3? Do I have to confine my arguments to what the Bible does not say, or can I supplement russel55's point with another section of the Bible?

    The word "can" is dunamai, which is power or ability. There's your inability.
     

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