Q&A 10: What Do You Think About Total Depravity?

Question: What do you think about total depravity?

Reply:

Having been asked about my own perspective on Calvinism, I think it would be helpful for me to walk through what are known as the 5 points or the classic acronym TULIP. I should note that I spoke to this issue some years ago in an SBC Life article. That article can be accessed at danielakin.com . My views have not changed in any real sense since I wrote that article. In fact, my views have not changed concerning the issue of Calvinism since I began teaching at Criswell College back in 1988.

When it comes to the issue of total depravity, I simply cannot see how anyone can read the Bible and not come to understand that we come into this world with a fallen sin nature that we soon follow with moral culpable acts of disobedience against our God. Romans 3 is so crystal clear on this. There is none righteous no not one. There is none who seeks after God. In other words we come into this world with a sin nature that is bent toward and determined to sin. To say it another way, I believe every molecule in our body is infected with the disease and the germ of sin. If God did not take the initiative in reaching out to us through the ministry of His Spirit and the Word, no one would take a single step in the direction of God. We are at the very core of our being rebellious sinners who wish to idolize ourselves in arrogance and pride. Therefore, when it comes to the doctrine of total depravity, I believe that the Bible is crystal clear.

Adultery Nation

Doug Baker has written an important blog post for Patheos titled “Adultery Nation.” This is one of the critical issues facing our churches and the wider culture today. With almost every passing month, I learn of another Christian (and often a fellow minister) who has either engaged in adultery or is the victim of adultery. Families are being destroyed, ministries are being forfeited, and trust is being shattered.

As Doug hauntingly notes,

Adultery is the enemy of reverence. By its sheer brazenness, adultery creates enormous pastoral challenges for modern churches as more and more Christians find themselves caught in the web of adulterous activity-either as the offending or the innocent party. Absent (omitted?) in much of Savage and Haag’s research are the awkward conversations, the cover-up, the lying, the betrayal, the horror of discovery, and the aftermath of ruptured trust that usually accompanies adultery.

Victims of adultery often find themselves ashamed, reeling from embarrassment, and filled with rage at the offending spouse. Adultery’s treachery leaves a scar that takes decades to heal, and the children of adulterers too emerge into adulthood with open wounds and confused ideas about marriage. Sadly, the pattern of adultery often continues in the children of adulterers, creating a living horror that seemingly knows no end.

I’d encourage you to read the whole article. I’d also recommend you pick up a copy of Russ Moore’s convicting and encouraging book Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ (Crossway, 2011).

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