<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/platform.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d3510346\x26blogName\x3dBlogcorner+preacher\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://bcpreacher.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttps://bcpreacher.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d2859078888796720289', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
RSS feed for Blogcorner Preacher
          CONTACT    |      ABOUT     |      SEARCH     |      RECENT POSTS     |      ARCHIVES     |      RELIGION     |      BoG    |      DECABLOG    |     
6.09.2007    |    Total depravity
One of the pillars of Calvinism is the total depravity of man. The Cliff's Notes version of Calvinism is the acronym TULIP, in which the "T" is for total depravity. When I first came upon this expression, I thought of a drooling, knuckle-dragging troglodyte who ate small children after raping elderly women. Not quite.

The cause of the depravity? The very thing that is God's second-greatest gift to us (the greatest being our very being): our free will. The free will that had Adam and Eve chompin' at the forbidden fruits of the Tree of Life, thereby bringing disease, pain, and death to our species.

For a good, and in-depth explanation of total depravity, I recommend John Piper's essay, "What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism." Although there is much, much more, Pastor Piper writes that the essence of man's depravity may be found in Paul's letter to the church at Rome (Romans 3:10-11):
10 "None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
In different words, it is our continuing disobedience to God that lies at the dark heart of our depravity.

From the essay, the four salient points about our natural condition:
(1) Our rebellion against God is total.

(2) In his total rebellion everything man does is sin.

(3) Man's inability to submit to God and do good is total.

(4) Our rebellion is totally deserving of eternal punishment.
It is easy to see how many Romantic Era Protestants fell away from Calvinism. Too harsh; too judgmental on the part of God. Who the hell is He to judge me? Men are naturally good, and may be made perfect through hard work. We don't need any help, thank you Lord.

Or at least, so it might seem from watching how so-called mainline Protestant churches went from preaching fire and brimstone for sinners, to the pretty but vapid "social gospel" of the late 19th century. And the "social gospel" hasn't gone away, but metastasized into denominations that not only accept sin, but glorify it by naming bishops who are unrepentant sinners.

Perhaps this is my lack of Christian charity towards my wayward brothers. But at least I recognize that I am depraved, and need all the help I can get from God. I'm not perfect; far from it. But at least I'm honest about my condition.



Post a Comment

<< Home

About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.