Archive for the ‘Total Depravity’ Category

Rejecting the Truth with Clement XI

November 21, 2010

Some of Rome’s rejections of Scriptural truth are more clear than others. One particularly clear set of examples comes from the dogmatic Constitution, “Unigenitus,”dated Sept. 8, 1713, and authorized by Clement XI. I’ve previously posted a full list of the 101 “errors” condemned (link to full list).

There many alleged errors identified. I’ve taken the liberty to highlight a few of them. Remember, these are what the Roman church has officially proclaimed to be errors.


  • 79. It is useful and necessary at all times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.
  • 80. The reading of Sacred Scripture is for all.
  • 81. The sacred obscurity of the Word of God is no reason for the laity to dispense themselves from reading it.
  • 82. The Lord’s Day ought to be sanctified by Christians with readings of pious works and above all of the Holy Scriptures. It is harmful for a Christian to wish to withdraw from this reading.
  • 83. It is an illusion to persuade oneself that knowledge of the mysteries of religion should not be communicated to women by the reading of Sacred Scriptures. Not from the simplicity of women, but from the proud knowledge of men has arisen the abuse of the Scriptures, and have heresies been born.
  • 84. To snatch away from the hands of Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for them the mouth of Christ.
  • 85. To forbid Christians to read Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.

The Power of God in Salvation

  • 30. All whom God wishes to save through Christ, are infallibly saved.
  • 31. The desires of Christ always have their effect; He brings peace to the depth of hearts when He desires it for them.

Particular Redemption

  • 32. Jesus Christ surrendered Himself to death to free forever from the hand of the exterminating angel, by His blood, the first born, that is, the elect.

Justification by Faith that Works through Love

  • 51. Faith justifies when it operates, but it does not operate except through charity.

Faith as the Gift of God

  • 69. Faith, practice of it, increase, and reward of faith, all are a gift of the pure liberality of God.

The Church

  • 72. A mark of the Christian Church is that it is catholic, embracing all the angels of heaven, all the elect and the just on earth, and of all times.
  • 73. What is the Church except an assembly of the sons of God abiding in His bosom, adopted in Christ, subsisting in His person, redeemed by His blood, living in His spirit, acting through His grace, and awaiting the grace of the future life?
  • 74. The Church or the whole Christ has the Incarnate Word as head, but all the saints as members.
  • 75. The Church is one single man composed of many members, of which Christ is the head, the life, the subsistence and the person; it is one single Christ composed of many saints, of whom He is the sanctifier.

Total Depravity

  • 38. Without the grace of the Liberator, the sinner is not free except to do evil.
  • 39. The will, which grace does not anticipate, has no light except for straying, no eagerness except to put itself in danger, no strength except to wound itself, and is capable of all evil and incapable of all good.
  • 40. Without grace we can love nothing except to our own condemnation.
  • 41. All knowledge of God, even natural knowledge, even in the pagan philosophers, cannot come except from God; and without grace knowledge produces nothing but presumption, vanity, and opposition to God Himself, instead of the affections of adoration, gratitude, and love.
  • 42. The grace of Christ alone renders a man fit for the sacrifice of faith; without this there is nothing but impurity, nothing but unworthiness.
  • 48. What else can we be except darkness, except aberration, and except sin, without the light of faith, without Christ, and without charity?

The Absolute Necessity of Grace

  • 1. What else remains for the soul that has lost God and His grace except sin and the consequences of sin, a proud poverty and a slothful indigence, that is, a general impotence for labor, for prayer, and for every good work?
  • 2. The grace of Jesus Christ, which is the efficacious principle of every kind of good, is necessary for every good work; without it, not only is nothing done, but nothing can be done.
  • 5. When God does not soften a heart by the interior unction of His grace, exterior exhortations and graces are of no service except to harden it the more.
  • 9. The grace of Christ is a supreme grace, without which we can never confess Christ, and with which we never deny Him.

The Irresistibility of Grace

  • 10. Grace is the working of the omnipotent hand of God, which nothing can hinder or retard.
  • 11. Grace is nothing else than the omnipotent Will of God, ordering and doing what He orders.
  • 12. When God wishes to save a soul, at whatever time and at whatever place, the undoubted effect follows the Will of God.
  • 13. When God wishes to save a soul and touches it with the interior hand of His grace, no human will resists Him.
  • 14. Howsoever remote from salvation an obstinate sinner is, when Jesus presents Himself to be seen by him in the salutary light of His grace, the sinner is forced to surrender himself, to have recourse to Him, and to humble himself, and to adore his Savior.
  • 15. When God accompanies His commandment and His eternal exhortation by the unction of His Spirit and by the interior force of His grace, He works that obedience in the heart that He is seeking.
  • 16. There are no attractions which do not yield to the attractions of grace, because nothing resists the Almighty.
  • 17. Grace is that voice of the Father which teaches men interiorly and makes them come to Jesus Christ; whoever does not come to Him, after he has heard the exterior voice of the Son, is in no wise taught by the Father.

Unjust Excommunication

  • 91. The fear of an unjust excommunication should never hinder us from fulfilling our duty; never are we separated from the Church, even when by the wickedness of men we seem to be expelled from it, as long as we are attached to God, to Jesus Christ, and to the Church herself by charity.
  • 92. To suffer in peace an excommunication and an unjust anathema rather than betray truth, is to imitate St. Paul; far be it from rebelling against authority or of destroying unity.

Yes, folks, those are things that Rome has officially taught are errors – yet many of these teachings are the truth, as I think will be obvious to most of those reading.

– TurretinFan

Romans 5 a ProofText for Universalism?

April 24, 2008

Recently a poster over Steve Gregg’s forum, using the handle “Homer,” suggested (it seems, he was a bit oblique) that if Romans 5 demonstrates Original Sin, that it also is a “prooftext for Universalism.”

I had written: “Calvinists affirm what Paul taught in Romans 5, that Adam’s guilt was imputed to his family, just as Christ’s righteousness is imputed to his family.”

Homer responded that perhaps my statement seemed right when Romans 5 was “read through [a] Calvinist lens,” but then went on to claim that if Romans 5:12-15 and 18-19 are talking about spiritual death, then we have a “proof-text” for Universalism.

Before my answer, here is a reproduction of the passage (Romans 5:8-21):

Romans 5:8-21
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

I answer:

a) Both do refer to spiritual death.

b) They are only a “prooftext” for universalism to the extent that the “many” to whom the grace of Christ has abounded (in verse 15), the “all men unto justification” in verse 18, and the “many” that shall be made righteous (in verse 19) are co-extensive with the “all men” in verse 12, “all men to condemnation” in verse 18, and the “many were made sinners” in verse 19. If, however, (as we would suggest) the latter group is all in Adam (i.e. Adam’s family) and the former group is all in Christ (i.e. Christ’s family), then there is no reason to reach a universalist view from the text.

c) But let’s go a step beyond. Could they refer to physical death alone? How could God permit an innocent man to die (even purely physically) without imputing sin to that person? For whose sins do infants die?


Innocent from Man’s Perspective or God’s?

April 21, 2008

A poster at Steve Gregg’s forum, using the handle “Suzana” made an interesting argument in favor of the supposed innocence of young children. I’ve presented here basic argument below, followed by my response.

Suzana’s basic argument is based on Psalm 106:37-38

Psalm 106:37-38
37Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, 38And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.

Then, her implicit argument was that because it says “innocent blood” it means that the children had no guilt of sin.

My response to is as follows:

With respect, I think you’re overreaching to view “innocent” there to refer to absolute innocence. It seems easier to understand that passage as referring to innocence in the eyes of man’s law. Compare, for example, Deuteronomy 19:10, in which the person who kills his neighbor without malice is considered “innocent,” even though surely you would agree that a person who is old enough to be out chopping wood has committed at least one sin in his life in view of “all have sinned ….”

If then it is simply a statement that the children did not commit any capital crimes, then there is no reason to infer absolute sinlessness to such people.

It’s actually a frequent idiom in Hebrew to say “shed innocent blood” as a way of saying “murder.” (see, for example, 2 Kings 21:16, Proverbs 6:17, Isaiah 59:7, Jeremiah 22:3 & 17, and Joel 3:19).

Let us not hesitate to stand up against the shedding of innocent blood at the hands of women and their doctors, who sacrifice their children not on the altar of Molech but to the altar of convenience.


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