Walter Brueggemann talks about pain, artistry and overcoming the culture of denial.
I came across Donald Miller’s latest blog post, Are People Basically Good? It was a good read, and he takes you on a journey that unpacks what is meant by the often loaded term, “Total Depravity.” He makes some good distinctions and critiques. I posted my response below.
Thanks for talking about this Donald, I liked your injection of humor and the journey this entry takes you on. You’re right on about total depravity. The way some of my “Calvinist/Reformed” friends frame the term, is that humans are nothing but dirty, grimy, unmoral, sinners until they say the sinner’s prayer. Recently a class I’ve been taking, has got me thinking about what this loaded term, “total depravity” really means…I’ve come to understand it as “there is not a part of who I am personally (or humanity in general) that is not effected by sin.” Total depravity is stating that there are parts of who I am that are still held in darkness, but the Lord desires them to be brought into his glorious light. So it’s not so much: “All non Christians are unmoral or evil”; but “the good that is in their morals and ethics are not enough for salvation.”
Just think… in a paradoxical way, the more we know Christ, the more we are freed to be more whole, creative, and unequivocally ourselves! (as well as His) “Only those who lay down their lives will find life.” (Mt. 10:39/16:25)… If we are in Christ we are a new creation! (2 Cor 5:17)… This is the great mystery: Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:26).
Furthermore, total depravity is not the starting point… If you are going to talk about sin, make sure you start at the beginning of the story with the Triune God being so filled with love that out of that overflow, creation is spoken into existence and we were created wholly good, in fact very good. It really sets the context of the entire story. Christians, if you’re going to tell our story, tell it well.. and start in the beginning!
What do you think? Join the conversation.