Friday, February 25, 2011

Episode 31: Just Dropped In

Episode 31 of the Theopologetics Podcast is now available! The first point of Calvinism, the "T" in "TULIP," stands for "Total Depravity." We are by nature in opposition to God, in bondage to sin, and will never, left to our own devices, turn to Christ.


  1. First of all, the idea of original sin and inherited guilt was unknown until the time of Augustine. Augustine spoke Latin, and partly due to a mistranslation from Greek to Latin by Jerome, he developed the idea of original sin.
    Romans 5:12 says, Adam sinned and "death" spread to all men, not sin or guilt. The reason we sin is because of our fear of death.

    In the original Greek Romans 5:12 literally says: "because Adam sinned, death spread to all men, and on account of death, all men sin"

    Satan brought "corruption" into the garden and man(Adam & Eve) chose to participate in that, bringing about death. Adam chose to participate in corruption instead of pariticpating in God. And now, because of death we sin. Hebrews 2:14-15 He(Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery(slaves to sin) by their "fear of death."

    Romans 5:14 Nevertheless, "death" reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. It says death reigned, not sin or guilt reigned.
    1 Cor 15:56 The sting of death is sin, (not the other way around)

  2. Secondly, you said we sin because we are born sinners. Untrue.

    (Psalm 51:5) "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." This is from a Psalm of David after his sin with Bathsheba. It deals with the sin of an adult, and shows the repentance of an adult (vs. 10-13). David does not say he was a "sinner baby" but rather that his mother conceived him in sin. Read it again and see! David was born into a sinful world. Sin was all around him from birth, so he was 'brought forth in iniquity." The Jewish writers who wrote of this Psalm say the same thing.; David is saying that he was born into a sinful environment.

    (Psalm 58:3) "The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth." First, note that if these people were born astray then they could not "go astray from birth." Infants are born into a sinful world with their eyes and ears wide open. They are so inquisitive, beginning to learn immediately through taste, touch, sound, sight and smell. They are watching, and they see evil all around them constantly from birth. They may not know it is evil yet, but it is there and it does influence them. The clincher is this: the ones going astray speak lies, so the going astray has to be accomplished, at the very least, only after the person has learned to speak!

    (Ephesians 2:3) "Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." What made these people "children of wrath"? Was it something they inherited or something they had done? Verses 1 and 2 help us to answer that question. "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world..." They were "by nature" what they were. "Nature" here does not refer to constitutional character but rather to habit... sin became natural, or we sometimes say, "second nature" to them by their long and diligent practice of it.

    (Matthew 18:3) "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." Jesus said we must become converted and like little children. He would not tell us to do this if children were truly born totally depraved. If they were born as totally depraved that would mean that there is nothing in them that is not depraved and therefore we should not become like children in any sense. But Jesus said there was something in children that we need to take as our example (their humility). This passage shows that children are not born totally depraved.

    (2 Timothy 3:13) "But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." If we were born totally depraved, then we could not get worse.

    (Luke 8:15) "...these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance." If total depravity is true, then there is no such thing as "good and honest" hearts.

    One final point. God defines sin for us. It is not something inherited, nor does He define it as something we are born with. Lord, what is sin? God answers: "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4). Sin is not something we are born with; it is something we do. When we break God's law, we sin. The good news is that the gospel of Christ is the power of God to take away our sins.

  3. Again, as to us being born sinners:

    You misinterpret Rom 5:18-19.... if through Adams sin we ALL were automatically made sinners than likewise through Christs obedience we are ALL automatically made righteous, which of course is not the case.
    If verse 12 teaches that ALL men inherit Adam's sin unconditionally, then verses 18 and 19 would teach that ALL men are saved through Christ unconditionally. In fact, both are conditional: through "disobedience" to God we die spiritually; through "obedience" to Him we are made alive in Christ.

    What it really is saying is that because Adam fell, mortality passed to all of us. Because of death, we choose to sin which separates us from God; so likewise with Jesus, because of his sacrifice, eternal life is now available, and if we "choose" to follow him we will live.

  4. Palagianism is alive and well; the three prior comments make that evident. Unfortunately for Tbolson76, the text of Romans 5 includes verse 19. I find it rather revealing that he left that verse out of his comments; how convenient. Note the verb in 5:19; it is in the aorist tense, thus indicating a past completed action. That is, "for as by one man's disobedience many *were made* sinners." Clearly the Apostle knows nothing of the palagian heresy and affirms repeatedly the imputation of the sin of Adam.

    When the totality of Scripture is surveyed, it is only the doctrine of total depravity that satisfies the biblical revelation of man.

  5. I believe Terry did address that verse, but you're right that the heresy of Pelagianism butchers it. What's more, verse 12 doesn't read as Terry suggests but says death spread to all men because in Adam all sinned. And that's the point of verse 13, too, that death reigned before Moses even though there was not yet a Law.

  6. Chris said, "What's more, verse 12 doesn't read as Terry suggests but says death spread to all men because in Adam all sinned"

    Augustine, by his own admission, did not properly learn to read Greek and this
    was a liability for him. He relied mostly
    on Latin translations of Greek texts. His misinterpretation of a key scriptural reference, Romans 5:12, is a case in point.
    In Latin the Greek idiom "eph ho" which means because of was translated as in whom. Saying that all have sinned in Adam is quite different than saying that all sinned because of him.

    1 Cor 15:21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

    Again, we received "death" from Adam, and we will recieve "life" from Christ. No where does the Bible say we recieve guilt or sin from Adam.
    The entire OT says we all are guilty of our own sins, not someone elses'.

    Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the LORD God banished him from the Garden.

    The word “nature” in the Bible, when it refers to our birth, never refers to a “sinful nature”. This is shown in Romans 2:14, which says, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law…” Now the word “nature” in this text does refer to the nature we receive at birth. But it is evident that the word nature used here is not a “sinful nature”. For how would a sinful nature ever cause us to “do by nature the things contained in the law”? A sinful nature would not cause us to do the things contained in the law. A sinful nature would only cause us to commit sin!

    Let us go back to Lucifer before the fall.

    1.) Why did he sin against God?

    2.) Did he have a sinful nature?

    The answer to the questions is, He sinned because he chose to sin. It was not because
    he had a sin nature, he did it willingly.

    Now let us go to Adam and Eve. God created them perfect and yet they sinned. Why, because they chose to sin. They, like Lucifer did not have a sin nature, they willingly chose to sin. Adam and Eve did not sin because they were sinners.
    Sorry all you Calvinists.......