Total Depravity Exposed

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by npetreley, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley
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    I had to take a deep sigh when I read this sort of thing once again for the umpteenth time:

    Total Inability, a.k.a. Total Depravity is not something extra-biblical Calvin invented, nor is it something that only appeared in Calvinist doctrine. Arminius affirmed Total Depravity. I read that even Wesley affirmed Total Depravity, although I know more about Arminius than Wesley, so I can't say.

    Total Depravity is assumed to be true in the five articles of Remonstrance (the 5 articles prompted Calvinists to create TULIP in response). The Remonstrance even affirms that regeneration precedes faith.

    Here is Article III of the Remonstrance (emphasis decidedly mine):

    Do you see what it says? Man has no energy of free-will in his state of sin that he might do ANY truly good thing, not even enough free will to have faith. It is needful (necessary) for man to be born again in order to have faith. That's what it says -- TOTAL DEPRAVITY IS TRUE, and REGENERATION PRECEDES FAITH. These two doctrines are NOT unique to Calvinism. They are both affirmed in Arminianism, and the Remonstrance which affirms them preceded any notion of TULIP.

    ANYTHING LESS than the above was considered heresy even by followers of Arminius. This is an extremely important point, because, contrary to what many claim, these concepts were not some new thoughts introduced by Calvin. They were considered basic, fundamental doctrines even by those who did not agree with Calvin.

    That's also why it would lack integrity to call most of the free-willers on here Arminians. They aren't Arminians at all. They are semi-pelagians. If they were Arminians they would affirm Total Depravity, and agree that regeneration precedes faith.

    .
     
    #1 npetreley, Jul 13, 2007
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  2. EdSutton

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    I agree that Lordship Salvation 'flows' from 'classical' Calvinism. I'm not sure that total depravity is any of the reason, however, although Total Inability might be, but I've never thought that through to any degree.
    If anything of the "Five Points", I would say it 'flows' especially from "the perseverance of the saints", whatever that is supposed to mean.

    Ed
     
    #2 EdSutton, Jul 13, 2007
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  3. npetreley

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    Here's the problem. When someone says something like this:

    As far as I'm concerned, they've already lost the argument. It would be just as historically accurate to say...

    Or even...

    Why don't people say things like that? Because they don't have an ax to grind against Arminianism. Calvinism is the whipping boy. When one's obsession with bashing Calvinism infects the argument in this way, the argument has lost all its power. I toss it out with the rest of the garbage.
     
  4. pinoybaptist

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    Well, now I guess they will have an ax to grind against Arminianism, since not even Arminius will dare take all the glory away from God.

    Here's something else :

    Not to derail the OP, but if the semi-pelagian "Arminians" here would read the source carefully, they will find that those who call themselves 4-point or 3-point Calvinists are actually more in agreement with Jacobus Arminius, especially in the matter of Limited Atonement.
     
  5. skypair

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    That only means ALL of them beleived in something that was EXTRA-BIBLICAL! You cannot find Calvinism's concept of "total depravity" nor "total inability" anywhere in scripture. They even got "sin nature" all messed up!

    They were working out the theory 500 years ago. After 1500 years of having salvation through the church, they were finally getting around to figuring out how salvation was directly from God. And they were practicing a little CYA as the almost imcomprehensible flatulence of their confessions and remonstrances demonstrate!

    That's the THEORY alright! Yet man has faith in something new almost every day -- faith in his wife, in his ability to make a paycheck, faith that the sun will come up. Yet somehow he is unable to have faith of any kind in God or Christ or salvation. What is the "missing link?" Only the gospel.

    Absolutely!! Regeneration is the PROOF that God keeps the promises of scripture that we believe and trust in.

    Total depravity CANNOT be confirmed in scripture (as I already noted) but regeneration before faith is valid.

    Who cares? Heresy from a cult? from a "theory?" Big deal!

    skypair
     
  6. Martin

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    ==You mean the "reformed" concept of total depravity. I say that because true Classical Arminians (sometimes refered to as Reformed Arminians) believed/believe in total depravity. You can go back and read Jacob Arminius and it is very clear that he believed in total depravity. Total depravity was believed by Martin Luther and others. To deny total depravity is to either accept, or come dangerously close to accepting, the error of semi-Pelagianism. The reformed concept of total depravity is that man can do nothing to save himself and that salvation must come from God. Man cannot please God, and man will not turn to God by his own strength (Rom 3:10-11).
     
  7. skypair

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    Yes, martin ---- the ALL I referred to was ALL who espoused it (Arminians, Calvinists, etc.).

    I really need to hire me a translator apparently. :laugh:

    skypair
     
  8. Dale-c

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    Skypair, it would be a compliment to call you an arminian.
    That would be a step up from the humanism that you are espousing here.
     
  9. David Lamb

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    If they didn't find it in scripture, they wouldn't believe it. That is one reason why I am not wholly in favour of the term "Calvinist", because it implies that the beliefs are dependent upon John Calvin. I expect there are some people somewhere in the world who would say, "I believe such-and-such a doctrine because Calvin taght it," but I have yet to come across such a person, either in person or in print.

    I wonder if what you you really mean is: "I (that is, Skypair) cannot find Calvinism's concept of "total depravity" nor "total inability" anywhere in scripture"? Or perhaps: "Calvinists must have a different underststanding of Scripture to me (Skypair)"?
     
  10. skypair

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    I've even heard a Calvinist say that Calvinism IS the gospel, DL.

    And of course we all can find our theology in scripture -- but it is the whole counsel of God from Truth is discerned.

    Neither the words together nor the concept are found. Total depravity finds NOTHING good in unregenerate man and yet Christ said, "Anyone who gives a cup of water to one of these little ones will in no way lose his REWARD." God only rewards good works, friend. And man is capable of doing them and, therefore, is capable of receiving the gospel unto salvation.

    skypair
     
  11. skypair

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    I don't find where I espouse humanism. But if you mean that I attribute humanism to Calvinism, in some respects -- perhaps.

    skypair
     
  12. Dale-c

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    Humanism to Calvinism? Surely you jest!

    It is you that keeps saying that man is not totally depraved and can make good decisions on his own.
    If you don't believe that let me know.
     
  13. Martin

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    ==So? What that person was saying is that the teachings of Calvinism, the doctrines of grace, or monergism, are just titles to describe what the Bible's gospel message is. The Bible teaches salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The Bible teaches the total depravity of man, unconditional election, particular atonement, effective calling, and the perseverance of the saints. Those are Biblical teachings. The first four are indeed the Gospel message that the Word of God teaches.

    ==That is why many Godly men like John Newton, Martin Luther, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, John Robinson, William Bradford, John Piper, John MacArthur, and others have believed in monergism. They believed it because God's Word teaches it from cover to cover. The Bible knows nothing of a semi-Pelagian gospel. The Gospel of the Bible is monergistic.

    ==Scripture finds nothing good in unsaved men. Unsaved men are enemies of God, can do NOTHING to please God, are children of wrath, children of the devil, who do NO good, who do not understand truth, and who don't seek after God (Eph 2:1-3, Rom 8:5-8, Jn 2:23-25, 8:44, Rom 3:10-18, etc). So is there any good in unsaved man? Not in God's eyes. God sees all of their "good works" as nothing but dirty rags (Is 64:6). Holy God sees nothing good in sinful, fallen, dead in sin mankind.


    ==If you pay attention to the context of that verse (Matt 10:40-42) I think you will see that Jesus is talking about believers who give a cup of water. Notice that Jesus says "whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink". The same is true of Mark 9:38-42. These people, though not part of the twelve, were on Christ's side. I don't see these verses as apply to unbelievers who are enemies of God and against Christ.
     
  14. Dale-c

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    Skypair, you are making salvation based, at least in part on works!
    Works based salvation IS heresy.
     
  15. menageriekeeper

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    I know better than get involved in these things but I'm curious so I'm going to go against my better judgement and throw my questions out there:

    Martin's post is merely convinient to quote, but I've seen similar statements in other places in this thread, so everyone feel free to answer me.

    I believe this too, but how does this belief preclude the necessity of man to choose for himself whether to believe or not?

    If God chooses who He will save what happens when one of His choices says no? Can we really say from a scriptural point of view that God must not have really chosen him after all?

    That's funny cause my Bible says this:

    Lu 11:13If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

    Notice, even someone evil knew how to do something good. Our righteousness next to our Lord's is indeed insignificant(I think filthy rags is how the Bible describes it). But it does seem to exist. If that much exists how then can it be said that that we don't posess enough goodness to make the choice to accept Christ and that choice must be made/has been made for us?

    I have more but the doorbell rings so ya'll start with this and I'll be back eventually.
     
  16. webdog

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    Great questions, menageriekeeper! :thumbs:
     
  17. Dale-c

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    Ah, but we serve an omnipotent God who is able to bring ALL that the father has given to Himself.
    All who have been elected will come to Christ.
    Now from our perspective we must not worry about who is and who isn't since God has not revealed that to us.
    From our standpoint, all believers are part of the elect, obviously.
    However, that does not mean that all unbelievers are not the elect since we do not know what their future holds.

    We should strive to reach all men for Christ, but at the same time realizing that only God will give the increase and only those whom He has chosen will believe.


    Also as far as good works by an unbeliever, yes it is possible. However pleasing God is not.
    See, even though plowing is in and of itself a good thing, an unbeliever is in sin because he works to make it on his own so to speak.
    A Christian works to provide for his family after the command of God.
    The unsaved person works to advance his own causes.
    The actual deed is not what makes it a sin, it is the hearts condition.
    So, it is impossible for an unsaved person to do anything good, even though the deed itself may be something we would consider good itself.

    Did that help at all?
     
  18. Dale-c

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    In fact, every man who is saved must believe, no calvinist will deny that.
    But since the natural man can't receive the things of God, it takes awakening for that man to become saved.
    It takes a change of heart, by God in order for that person to want to be saved.

    See, if it was not for election, there would be NO ONE who was saved for all would reject Him!

    Praise God for saving many!
     
  19. menageriekeeper

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    The question wasn't about pleasing God. No one denies that there is no pleasing/satisfying God but through the blood of Christ. Well, no one here anyway.

    The question is whether man has the intelligence, the wherewithall or the will to want to believe in God without God reaching down and grabbing hold of him/her and saying I have chosen you therefore you will choose me. That is the essence of freewill to me. Not that God couldn't do those things but that He doesn't so that man may come to Him freely. Not as slave to master as election implies, but as Father to son/daughter.

    Why do you believe that man is so evil/depraved/blinded that he can't want something better than he has when something better is presented to him (by this I mean the gospel)?

    Where, scripturally speaking, do you get the idea that man is "totally depraved" as opposed to the idea that man is "totally condemned"(Jn 3:17)?

    See, when I hear that man is "depraved" I understand this to mean that man is incapable of good when the Bible clearly teaches that man is capable of good, just not good enough to satisfy God. This doesn't preclude man's free will to chose God for him/herself. It does preclude man's ability to pay the price for his/her own sins. That is why we need a Savior. Does not the knowledge of good and evil mean implicitly that man is capable of making the choice between the two, even if his natural leaning is to himself?

    Did God not say to Cain, "Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."? Why would God ask such a thing if it weren't possible for Cain make the right decision? At this point Cain hadn't yet killed his brother. How can you say that Cain couldn't have just as easily presented the required sacrifice if he had simply chosen differently when God Himself showed Cain what his choices were?
     
  20. Martin

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    ==We could also throw in John 6:44:

    "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day"

    Notice what Jesus said and what Jesus did not say. Jesus did not say "no one will come to Me". Rather Jesus said "no one CAN come to Me". Unsaved people do not have the abilty to come to Christ apart from this unique drawing of the Father. O people may attend church (etc) but no one comes to Christ in a saving way unless the Father draws them. Who does the Father draw to Jesus? Those He has given to Jesus (Jn 6:37, 17:2, etc).

    But wait, it gets even worse for the lost man! Look at Paul's words in Romans 3:10-18 (a passage I did mention). No person seeks after the true God. Left to their own freewill ALL lost people reject the true God. Not only can't they come to Christ apart from the drawing of the Father they will not come to Christ apart from the drawing of the Father. The only way people seek after the true God and come to Christ is if the Father draws them. Apart from that nobody CAN (or will) come to Christ. So people are trapped on both ends (can't and won't).


    ==That does not happen. Jesus said very clearly that "all that the Father gives to Me will come to Me" (Jn 6:37). In Romans 8:29-30 Paul is confident that those God foreknew and predestined are also called, justified, and glorified. There is no way for God to fail to bring about His purpose and will. God works in the heart of the elect in such a way as to bring them to Christ. He does not force them to Christ, He brings them to Christ (Heb 8:10-11, ex: Ez 11:19-20). If you believe God can fail to bring those to Himself whom He has elected then you believe in a different God then I do. The God I believe in is all powerful, all knowing, and does not make mistakes or leave things to chance. The God I believe in declares "the end from the beginning" and makes sure that His purposes "will be established" (Is 46:8-11). The God I believe does not fail nor does He make mistakes. Nor is His will undone by sinful man.

    ==If a person rejects Christ and dies and goes to hell then they were not elect (chosen). None of those the Father has given to Jesus (the elect) will perish (Jn 6:37-39, 2Pet 3:9).

    ==What did Jesus call them? "EVIL". All lost men are "evil", enemies of God, and children of wrath (Eph 2:1-3). All Jesus was saying here is that even evil people are good to their children. He is not saying that lost men can do any good that will aide them in salvation nor is He saying that they can do good that God will value (Is 64:6).

    Nice try though. :)


    ==Because Scripture says we can't and won't (see above). It is that simple.
     

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