Originally Posted by MikeL
After reading the link, I decided to ask you a question: If I am unable to get to the store, am I still able to accept a ride when offered?

Obviously a way to look at total depravity.

A better analogy would be: I have no desire to go to the store. In fact, I hate the shopkeeper & will do everything within my power to keep out of the store. Am I going to accept a ride to the store when offered?

Another question left by the way-side (unless it's hiding somewhere else): The phrase "dead in sin" is taken literally, why not "dead to sin"? So far I've heard the argument that the former is a state of being, while the latter involves a process of sanctification. However, both are meant to describe different states: unregenerated are dead in sin, the regenerated are dead to sin. Sounds like two different states to me.

Yes indeed. Those who are dead to sin are fundamentally lovers of God. Sin does not have controlling power over them. They are living lives that are being continually renewed in the grace of God. Their new nature hates sin and is constantly warring against the remnants of the old nature within. They can never again fall from God's grace. Those dead in sin, by contrast, are fundamentally enslaved to sin. They are living lives in which they continually sin & rebel against God. They hate God and they resist whatever godly influences they may encounter. They will not, and cannot, leave this state except by God's regenerating grace.

As a final question: if election is unrelated to our physical and mental activities, why is it that every Calvinist I encounter, who has mentally assented to Calvinist beliefs, considers themselves elect? Wouldn't there be at least a few Calvinists, who, convinced of the truth of Calvinism, realize that they are reprobate? Does understanding Calvinism save you, or does being regenerated indepent of your mental activities?

No, understanding Calvinism does not save you. Salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. While a basic understanding of the gospel is necessary (e.g., I am a sinner worthy of death, I can be saved only by placing my trust in Christ alone, who by His death has paid the penalty for my sin), assent to Calvinism (as a fuller articulation of biblical truth) is not necessary for salvation. I suppose there may be some out there who assent to the truth of Calvinism while regarding themselves as reprobate; this is not theoretically impossible. But such a person could not be a "Calvinist," anymore than someone who assents to the basic truths of Christianity while considering himself headed for hell would be a "Christian."


I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.