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Is Total Depravity logical?

April 3, 2012

Total depravity- the idea that we are born with an evil nature, unable to will the good is a popular notion proposed by some of the reformational heroes. Are we really just dried up grapes? Did we fall from being free, into being bound by our own nature? Can we, as depraved creatures, determine what is good vs what is bad? How then, do we determine that we are really depraved, while being in such a confused state: and how then, if we are ever able to be freed from our depravity- are we able to determine that we are truly free from it? How can we ever be freed of something that we cannot comprehend? We have read or heard :a Calvinist has no business preaching to the undetermined- but, what seems to be even more obvious of a question, is what purpose is it to tell the depraved-the ones who cannot distinguish between the good and the bad-that they themselves are bad, and expect them to understand it?

To look at the problem of depravity from another angle shows problems as well. Since we have already placed a claim against the so called ‘non depraved” in regards to their outlook on the depraved, the question then becomes ; how is it possible to know you are not depraved, once you had been:made alive? What is the determining factor for someone who was once not able to know the good, to now determine that they truly know the good? How does one determine that they themselves are now free from the thoughts of bondage, and that it isn’t their depravity skewing their insight? For Luther, his anguish was over what he thought was an impossible knowledge of salvation; but how has depravity and election freed anyone from that same problem, if one cannot determine if they are free? Why can’t it be true that you are a wolf that looks like a sheep? You might say:  you know your intentions: but if the depraved cannot distinguish between the good and the evil, how do you know that what you think -the good is- that you are relying on at the moment, isn’t your depravity convoluting your moral perspective?

We now see two clear problems. The problem of preaching to the elect if Total Depravity is true -and- the problem of having certainty of being elect if Total Depravity is true.


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