If I am correct, Arminians believe that man does not have to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe; faith, in effect, becomes man's gift to God instead of the opposite. How is this possible? "The WHOLE head is sick, and the WHOLE heart fainsts. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is NO soundness in it" (Isa.1:5,6) I was raised Roman Catholic, did my time in private school, and was exposed to the Gospel for years...I knew ABOUT Jesus, but I certainly did not know Him personally. Where does this act of faith originate from? This act of faith, on the part of man, seems very questionable to me. Are there not people who believe, but to no avail? ("Many will say, Lord, Lord, didn't we cast out demons in Your name...Depart, I never knew thee") Indeed, the whole "movement" concerning the concept of "believism" is certainly a pipe dream. By saying that we have within ourselves the power, or ability, to "manufacture" our own faith, which in turn qualifies us for regeneration, seems to give us more credit than Scripture does. Everybody knows this passage: "The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are ANY who understand, who seek God. They have ALL turned aside, they have together become corrupt' there is NONE who does good, no, not one." (Ps.14:2,3) Do we really have it in our power to perform an act of faith that leads to regeneration, or is this saving faith a gift from God? (I personally believe it is a gift of God) We are saved by a faith that is given to us by God: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT of YOURSELVES; it is the GIFT of God" (Eph.2:8) If I can say, "See, it is all my doing; it was MY faith, after all, that brought me to regeneration. So I have at least THAT to boast of." But Paul says, "But God forbid that I should boast EXCEPT in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has be crucified to me, and I to the world." When Paul was writing to the saints in Philippi, he said "For to you it has been GRANTED on behalf of Christ, not only TO believe in Him, but also suffer for His sake" (Phil.1:29) Or am I misuderstanding the word "granted"? If I was "dead in trespasses and sin", how then can anything of such importance like saving faith originate from me? A rotten tree brings forth rotten fruit, does it not? "But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has BLINDED, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them." (2 Cor.4:3,4) Now, I am wondering, does this Scripture speak of the secret workings of God in our heart, ENABELING us to a saving faith: "For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone IN OUR HEARTS to GIVE the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Cor.4:6) Don't we have to be "made alive" first, then have faith? "And you He made alive, who were DEAD in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, ACCORDING TO the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobediance, among whom we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others." (Eph.2:1-3) The doctrine of Total Depravity gives all the glory to God, and leaves not the slightest opportunity for man to boast of ANYTHING, even a faith that brings regeneration. Can man really trust himself to such a responsibily of the most gravest importance, one for which the most dreadful consequences follow if he doesn't? What about those who are mentally retarded, psychotic, have organic brain disease like Alzheimer's, those who are aborted in the womb or die at birth? Automatically we assume that God extends His mercy to them, to those who lack the capacity to form a faith that leads to regeneration. But that is just my point! Upheld to the standard of goodness and holiness, we are ALL "mentally retarded", "psychotic", malformed in mind and heart, etc. "It is the sick who are in need of a physician". Total Depravity favors no man, and respects no persons. If we say we must have faith BEFORE regeneration, instead of after, then we presuppose a LOT of things. Think about it. After studying psychology for ten years, I became absolutely convinced of the doctrine of Total Depravity. Now I realize that not all psychology is worthy of study, that it is secular, and that there are many branches of it, but I am speaking of "descriptive psychology", a science of observation based on scientific method. Based on alot of theories, such as behaviorism and psychological determinism, a man makes decisions based on all his life experiences. I am not saying I but all of this, but there is some truth to it. The point I am trying to make is: Can we really, and I mean REALLY, trust ourselves to "manufacture" or construct a faith that leads to regeneration. I can only believe that it is regeneration that leads to faith, which is a GIFT.