Total Depravity

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins…”

Jer. 17:9-10

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

Gen. 6:5

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way…”

Rom. 3:10-12

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Subsection

Natural vs. Moral Inability

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Order of Contents

Articles
Early Church
Quotes

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Articles

1600’s

Davenant, John – ‘Free-Will is Not Granted to the Unregenerate for their Spiritual Good’  in The Determinations, or Resolutions of Certain Theological Questions, Publicly Discussed in the University of Cambridge  trans. Josiah Allport  (1634; 1846)  bound at the end of John Davenant, A Treatise on Justification, or the Disputatio de Justitia...  trans. Josiah Allport  (1631; London, 1846), vol. 2

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1800’s

Hodge, Charles

The Total Depravity of Man  1841  in Way of Life

15. ‘Inability’  23 pp.  in Systematic Theology, vol. 2, Part II, ‘Anthropology’, ch. 8, ‘Sin’, pp. 257-279

Atwater, Lyman – ‘The Power of Contrary Choice’  1840  in Princeton Theological Essays, pp. 250-264

Atwater was an old school presbyterian and professor at Princeton Seminary.  The first two pages are very helpful on distinguishing the point at hand.  Atwater delineates five senses of the power of contrary choice that are not in debate.  The 6th sense is that which Atwater hangs the issue.  Atwater defends the necessitarianism of Jonathan Edwards.

Alexander, Archibald – ‘The Inability of Sinners’  1831  in Princeton Theological Essays, pp. 265-284

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The Early Church

Ussher, James – ‘Of Free Will’ & ‘Of Merits’  †1656  being chs. 11 & 12 of Answer to a Jesuit with Tracts on Popery, pp. 445-505

In the context against Romanism, Ussher surveys the early Church’s teaching on the Will and the nature of the freedom and inability therein.

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Quotes

Augustine

“The will is free, but only to evil.”

“Man, by  making a bad use of his free will, lost both himself and it.”

“God requires of us what we cannot perform, in order that we may know what we ought to ask from Him.”

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ed. van Asselt, Bac, Velde, Reformed Thought on Freedom: the Concept of Free Choice in Early Modern Reformed Theology, 2010, p. 15

“Being faced with the choice between good and bad, only rightly willing was taken to be properly free [by the Reformed scholastics].  A will in bondage to sin was denied to be free, though it acted freely in its own choice to sin.”

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“Life to the lost, to the dead, could come from no other source than the eternal life itself.”

“We bring…  not only our sins, but our sinfulness to Christ.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Related Pages

Regeneration