Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Total Depravity: Depraved or Deprived?

In a recent contribution to a Christian forum, I was commenting on the Calvinist understanding of “Total depravity”. Within that article I got my words confused and instead of using “depraved” I wrote “deprived”.
This mix-up was soon brought to my attention.

However, looking again at the differences between the definitions of the words “depraved” and “deprived” – I now see that my use of “deprived” was totally appropriate.

In the Calvinist scheme of things man comes into the world DEPRIVED of the ability to seek or desire God in any way. It is NOT man’s depraved nature that leads him to be condemned to hell. The determination of his eternal destiny was made before creation – therefore it was made PRIOR to the man being born with a depraved nature and obviously before he has had the opportunity to sin.

According to Calvinist doctrine a man is destined to hell entirely because God withheld his saving grace from them. In other words they have been totally DEPRIVED of the very thing that they need for salvation.

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