July 19, 2007 11 Comments
This is the first of my posts on TULIP and my understanding of the 5 points of Calvinism or Reformed Theology.
What is taught by Reformed Theology: In order to understand Total Depravity we must first understand where it originated. To do this we must look all the way back to Adam and Eve and the first sin. Read Genesis 3 to get the details of what happened. We see that through their actions sin entered into the world (Romans 5:12). Now we must remember that at the time Adam and Eve were the entire human race. So the entire human race was guilty of sinning against God.
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God and this means they were created perfect but God gave them the ability to choose not to obey Him. When they chose not to obey Him there were consequences to them and all that would come from them (i.e. the entire human race). They lost fellowship with God that they had enjoyed and they became not perfect…a sin nature grew in them. This sin nature was passed on to their offspring and the Bible teaches that now all men are born in sin (Romans 5:18-19).
This sin nature that all men have inherited permeates every aspect of our being. There is no part of us, physical, mental, or spiritual, that is does not affect. The contamination is not just partial but is complete. It renders us spiritually dead. We are unable to do anything good in the eyes of God. We are unable to hear God’s call or turn to God, in fact, we don’t even want to because our will is so corrupted that we desire only to remain in our fallen sinful state. This is the concept know as Total Depravity.
My Questions and Comments: I really have no questions on this point of the 5 Points of Calvinism. I agree with it and understand that this is a concept taught throughout the Bible. One of the best known verses on this topic says for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If this were not the case then there would have been no need for God to send Jesus to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10 says In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Even in our fallen sinful state God still loved us enough to provide a way for us to be reconciled to Him.
Total Depravity serves as the foundation for much of Christian theology and this is certainly the case for Calvinism (and classical Arminianism as well but that is for another time). The remaining 4 points flow logically from this foundation and I will explore each of them in the near future.
What do you think? Agree or disagree? Let me know