Total Depravity

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by HankD, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. HankD

    HankD
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    Do we sometimes go overboard in our theology to prove something (like, maybe how spiritual we are?).

    We have heard that there is absolutely nothing good at all in man.

    Is this part of the teaching of Total Depravity?

    What about the image and likeness of God?
    Certainly that is a good thing?

    What do you think?

    HankD
     
  2. 4His_glory

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    What is the image of God? That has to be understood first.

    Keep in mind though that everything was corrupted at the fall, including a marring of that image of God whatever it may be.

    The Scriptures indicate that there is nothing God about man whatsoever. Paul stateted that in his flesh dwealt no good thing. Time and time again man is depicted as being spiritually dead, and utterly corrupt.
     
  3. Ransom

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    Total Depravity, properly defined, means that all of man has been corrupted by sin: his body, mind, and spirit. (Hence without an act of divine, saving grace, someone cannot be reasoned into the Kingdom, for example, since his power of reason is also corrupt.)

    It doesn't mean that a man is as evil as he can possibly be. Hitler, for all his other evils, loved his mother. Depravity is extensive, not intensive.

    The image of God is still present in man: it hasn't been destroyed, although it has been defaced.
     
  4. HankD

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    Yes and that's been debated from time immemorial.

    Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    Image:tselem Image, Shade, from shadow Tsel (tslelem is technically plural).

    Likeness: demuwth Similitude (similar to) and although listed as singular it also appears to be a feminine plural.

    There are penalties for either destroying that image

    Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

    Or an admonition against speaking evil of that image:

    James 3
    9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
    10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

    HankD
     
  5. DeadMan

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    Total Depravity

    The doctrine of Total Depravity could also be called “Total Inability,” or “Righteous Incapability.” The doctrine of Total Depravity teaches that man is inherently evil (Jeremiah 17:9; Genesis 6:5) and is born dead in transgression (Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:1, 5). Men’s hearts will inevitably sin from birth (Psalm 58:3).

    Being described as “dead in transgression” implies that man, before Christ, is incapable of raising himself to spiritual life much like a literal dead man is incapable of literally raising himself to physical life. What is more, the reason why man is incapable of raising himself to life is because he is held captive by a love for sin (John 3:19; 8:34). Men will not seek God (Romans 3:10-11) because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). Also, a man apart from Christ does not even understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14), much less his need for Christ. A man apart from Christ will not come to Christ, because if he does then his love for sin will be exposed (John 3:20) and will have to be abandoned.

    Therefore, men suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and continue to willfully live in sin. The sinful lifestyle seems right to men (Proverbs 14:12), so coming to Christ is a foolish idea (1 Corinthians 1:18). A further look at this truth reveals that God is allowing Satan to take away the seed of the Gospel (Mark 4:15) and blind the minds of the unbelieving so men will not believe (2 Corinthians 4:4). Those men apart from belief are held captive by Satan to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). The verse that speaks the loudest in favor of total depravity is Romans 8:7, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.”
     
  6. standingfirminChrist

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    If Total Depravity indeed meant Total Inability, then Pharaoh would not have been able to harden his own heart after the final plague that came upon the land of Egypt. Pharaoh hardened his heart, and he made a choice to chase after Moses and the Israelites rather than repent of his sin.
     
  7. Brother James

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    You just can't stand the thought that God controls everything can you brother? God raised Pharaoh up for his own glory. Both Pharaoh hardened his heart and GOD hardened his heart for his own sovereign purpose. :rolleyes:
     
  8. GeneMBridges

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    A. The infallible testimony of the Apostle Paul is that God hardened Pharaoh's heart.

    B. Saul killed himself. The text also said God killed Saul. The idea is the same.

    C. The text of Exodus explicitly says when God is speaking at the burning bush that God would do this.

    D. Read the Reformed Confessions, they speak to the efficacy of second causes. Soft determinism does not mean that there is only one cause. There is an ultimate cause and a proximate cause. The question isn't whether or not Pharaoh hardened his heart, but what lay behind that. Was it his indeterminate freedom? Did he act against his nature? No, he was an evil man already. The idea here is that God lifted the restraints on that nature in such a way that Pharaoh did what he did.

    E. Also, the confessions are specific. They deny indeterminate free will. They affirm compatibilism.

    See here: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/topic/freewill.html


    http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/libertarian.html

    http://www.reformationtheology.com/2005/11/bible_logic_fallacies_of_syner_1.php

    F. Total inability means that man is unable to contribute any spiritual good toward his salvation. It does not mean the will is annihilated.

    [ January 14, 2006, 05:51 PM: Message edited by: GeneMBridges ]
     
  9. takor

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    Hello to all, very interesting posts.
    A couple of things that I would like to adress.

    1. Acording to the posts that I have read here:
    After that God quickens our spirit then we "suposedly" have the ability to choose. Does that mean salvation and if it does where is the choice? We know we cannot loose our salvation so, can we choose to not believe?

    2. If you look up the verses that refer to election and the elect one could notice that the elect or the election refer to various people, nations, Israel, church even the Lord Jesus.
    1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
    We cannot exlusively use the word election for the ones that are part of God's salvation.

    3. There is a verse that talks about god's angelic election if that is so then could we say that God did not choose Satan to be with him and if so, then God must have placed the sin nature into Satan. We cannot posibly use the excuse that God did not choose them because of their sin nature, since there was not one yet.
    1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

    4. Please provide verses for the statement that "After God quickens our spirit we can choose."

    Please excuse my English.
    In Christ
     
  10. Helen

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    Takor, your English is quite good and easily understood. Welcome to Baptist Board and that is a very good post and not only biblical, but logical. Thank you.
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    Have you ever stopped to imagine the depths of spiritual and moral sin you are capable of going down to if God but for one minute withdrew his restraining hand from you ?

    That is what God did to Pharaoh.

    God witholds man from totally sinning against Him and against one another, as you will note in the case of Abraham and Abimelech.

    Genesis 20:6

     
  12. HankD

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    So we are moving away from the original premise.

    I think we can all agree that salvation is of the Lord, apart from that we disagree as to the want-to and/or the will-to.

    But what do you think, can we say that there is absolutely nothing good in man (and is this part and parcel of what is called "Total Depravity") seeing that he is made in the image and likeness of God?

    Thanks.

    HankD
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    What do you think first, HandD ? Is there any good in man that will cause God to be absolutely pleased with them as He was pleased with His Son ?
     
  14. Marcia

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    I think being made in the image of God as far as it applies to us now does not have anything to do with having goodness but rather with having value. Before the fall, there was goodness there because all that God made was good, but it became corrupted by sin. So man lost whatever goodness he had, but he did not lose the value of being made in God's image.

    I also think being made in the image of God means we have the capacity to understand good and evil.

    So while we are not good, we do have value in God's eyes.
     
  15. Ransom

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    standingfirminChrist said:

    If Total Depravity indeed meant Total Inability, then Pharaoh would not have been able to harden his own heart . . .

    Only if it means the total inability to sin, which it doesn't.
     
  16. genesis12

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    Man is totally unable to save himself. He is miserably lost in sin. He is totally, utterly dependent upon God to do the wooing and the saving. I'm so glad my salvation doesn't depend upon me being good.
     
  17. DeadMan

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    Amen, brother!
     
  18. EdSutton

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    Hank wrote some original questions- viz.

    We have heard that there is absolutely nothing good at all in man.
    Is this part of the teaching of Total Depravity?

    Probably for some flavors, not all. This so-called doctrine which I believe totally, incidentally, runs the gamut, I think, with many shades of variants, including a variant called Total Inability, itself with multiple variants, from the most extreme, that would say that an individual heart cannot even beat, or a breath be taken, without the direct hand of God causing it to happen. How far away from this POV one can be and still say to believe 'Total Depravity' is probably debatable. I'm highly leery of trying to force Scripture into any Systematic Theology, where the Theology book was written first, then Scripture injected. Likewise the same is true for injecting 'theology' into Scripture. That said, I would prefer to say, now that I do believe that Scripture 'absolutely' teaches 'Depravity' and that it is 'Total'.

    What about the image and likeness of God?
    Certainly that is a good thing?

    Certainly it is a good thing, since Scripture teaches such. Absolutely.

    What do you think?

    I've stated that above in the first part. But I do need to expand on Depravity some more. Ransom had a good phrase "Depravity is extensive, not intensive." I would agree to that and say that 'Total Depravity', properly understood from Scripture, refers to standing, not state. Hence it does not mean that man is as bad as he can be, rather he is as bad off as he can be. Apart from faith, he is in Adam. Adam fell totally. In faith, he is in Christ. Christ redeemed totally. The comments about Pharaoh and Hitler well show state. An interesting Scripture says that at the Great White throne, they were judged by their works. I submit that that is their good deeds. , not their sins. Sin and sins were judged once for all time on Mt. Moriah.- literally the mountain seen of the LORD. Golgotha. The Father would not look on sin (Ever wonder why Scripture says that "...in times of ignorance God 'winked at'(KJV) 'overlooked' (NKJV)..."? We should understand that the LORD did neither, in the sense we too often use these words. He looked over, or overlooked in the sense that he 'was focused' on something in the future- the cross. He didn't let it slide with a wink or miss it, in the sense we use. Related to this is passover. Where the blood was on the doorposts and lintel, He 'passed over' as He slew the firstborn. There was NO 'Death Angel', BTW, it was the LORD.); the Lamb bore all, once for all time. The Father was satisfied that the sin problem was done away. He remembers them no more. (The church could usually benefit, IMO, by doing the same.) This is described in detail in Hebrews. Then and only then do we get into faith. I'm not a preacher, just an ol' dirt farmer. But for somebody who is and would like it, in this is the 'makin's of a sermon'. Maybe even more than one. Feel free!

    I put your first question last:

    Do we sometimes go overboard in our theology to prove something (like, maybe how spiritual we are?).
    Oh, I don't know. Maybe sometimes. I guess that is sometimes hte case. But I see it is 9 PM. Time for my devotions and prayer time. I guess I might have done the devotion with the above study, so on to the prayer: "Lord, I thank Thee that I am not like these othe...!"
    Ed
     
  19. Me4Him

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    I think most of us know "Somebody" who is an "upstanding, Moral person", yet "IS NOT" saved.

    How does this person attain the "MORALITY", character of a person scripture describe as a "Christian", yet without the assistance of the "Spirit"??

    Evidently, depravity isn't as "total" as claimed.

    Scripture say some obey the law, without ever having "heard the law", how/why is this possible??

    Ro 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature
    the things contained in the law, these, having not the law,

    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness,

    The "knowledge of Good/Evil" isn't necessarily "learned", but like an "instinct", we're born (do by nature/written in heart) with the ability to recognize "Right from Wrong".

    When we become mature enough to recognize "right/wrong" we've reached the "Age of Accountability".

    Criminals don't commit crimes ignorant that the act is a crime, and neither do sinners, both are aware and "ignore" the consequences.
     
  20. Me4Him

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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