Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Human Ability vs. Total Depravity Rom. 8:6-8 teaches that the man who is spiritually minded has the ability to please God, which is knwn as spiritual good. Rom. 8:9 explains that spiritual goodness is only obtainable through the indwelling of the Spirit, via salvation. Rom. 5:12 speaks plainly; Adam sinned, and on that introductory note, sin entered the world. For man, that entailed inheriting a sin nature from conception. Even though we may be able to do good deeds on earth, we cannot say that because of that ability to do good deeds we have no sin nature. Without a sin nature at conception, it would be possible to live a life without sin; it would also be possible to go to heaven without being saved because of that absence of sin, rendering Christ's death as unnecessary. John 3:16 & Rom. 3:23 show that all of mankind has sin, and that all who are not saved will perish – go to hell. As all who are not saved do go to Hell, that leaves no room for the notion that we are born without a sin nature. We see, then, that we can only get Total depravity out of the equation, Total Depravity being explained in that when man fell in the Garden, he lost that state of original righteousness which he had enjoyed, including also the ability to do spiritual good from conception, which had been made natural to him by God from the beginning. We can therefore conclude that while man is as bad off as he could be, in that he has completely fallen away from God and into sin, he isn't as bad as he could be, in that each individual is not a full-fledged opponent of all that is good, nor is a perpetrator of all that is evil.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Tulip Acrostic

A much debated in the past and even more so in the 21st century is the philosophy of the Docrines of Grace, more popularly labeled as "Calvinism". The Society of Gentleman has concluded that we will, within the next few weeks, either refute or prove the Doctrines of Grace. Below, outlined in an acrostic known as the "TULIP" acrostic are the five main points of controversy. ------------------------------------ T -Total Depravity - This means that man is tainted by the effects of Adam's fall in every part of his human constitution, his mind, emotions and will. While fallen, man is still capable of moral good, but he is incapable of any spiritual good, or of any good that would earn him the favor or blessing of God. --------------------------------------- U -Unconditional Election - This means that God chose men in Christ for the ultimate end of their salvation even before the foundation of the world, and hence, apart from any merit, worth or goodness in man.----------------------------------------------------------------------------- L - Limited Atonement - Jesus Christ died a substitutionary, penal sacrifice for sinners'; therefore, He had to be, of necessity, a substitute for actual, particular human beings when He died on the cross. This being the case, the Father limited the scope of redemption by limiting His intention in saving not all the human race, but only those chosen from the mass of humanity and given to His Son for the purpose of their redemption. ------------------------------------------------ I - Irresistible Grace - When God commences His saving work within a human soul, the grace of salvation, while initially spurned, even resisted, will ultimately win the tug of war, and that soul will eventually be infallibly saved. ------------------------------------------------ P - Perseverence of the Saints - This means that a true saint, an unconditionally elect man, will persevere in his faith unto the end and be eternally glorified. -------------------------------------------------- We will be working on each point one at a time, producing results in roughly every 3-4 weeks. In Christ, Stephenb