The Instigator
jo021698j
Pro (for)
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The Contender
TrueScotsman
Con (against)
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A Biblical Debate : Total Depravity (CALVINISM)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 539 times Debate No: 88220
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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jo021698j

Pro

Rules:

1. This is a biblical debate, so be sure to use Scripture to further your point.
2. Round 1 is acceptance
3. Round 2 is Arguments (Rebuttals)
4. Round 3 is Rebuttals
5. Round 4 is Rebuttals and Closing Statements

Total Depravity Definition

"The doctrine understands the Bible to teach that, as a consequence of the the Fall of man, every person born into the world is morally corrupt, enslaved to sin and is, apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ in faith for salvation."

http://www.theopedia.com...

In other words... The Natural Man can do NO good and cannot choose God apart from God's intervention in his/her life.

Opposing Side

The opposition of my side is known as "Partial Depravity". You will be defending partial depravity as the opponent or will be making some other case against my side.

I wish my opponent the best of luck.
TrueScotsman

Con

Greetings jo021698j!

I agree to the rules of the debate in that I must present Scriptures (The Bible) to further my point. Please be aware that I am a former Christian who was once both a Calvinist and Arminian (now atheist) though I promise to be as respectful and faithful to the actual text as I can.

I agree to this definition:

Total Depravity Definition

"The doctrine understands the Bible to teach that, as a consequence of the the Fall of man, every person born into the world is morally corrupt, enslaved to sin and is, apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ in faith for salvation."

http://www.theopedia.com......
I also agree to defend the position of partial depravity, which I assume will be clarified throughout the debate, but really the motion is on whether or not total depravity is Biblical.
Best of luck!
Debate Round No. 1
jo021698j

Pro

Definition of Total Depravity :

“Total depravity (also called total inability or total corruption) is a biblical doctrine closely linked with the doctrine of original sin as formalized by Augustine and advocated in many Protestant confessions of faith and catechisms, especially in Calvinism. The doctrine understands the Bible to teach that, as a consequence of the the Fall of man, every person born into the world is morally corrupt, enslaved to sin and is, apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ in faith for salvation.”

http://www.theopedia.com...

The Key Points :

1. Every person born into the world is morally corrupt and enslaved to sin (Before Regenerated)

2. Apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ for salvation

Total Depravity, foundationally, actually doesn’t deal with non believers doing good. It rather deals with the ability to choose God through our own strength or solely through God. The “good” argument is just a tag along debate that goes with Total Depravity.

Let us define Partial Depravity now :

“Humanity is depraved but still able to seek God. We are fallen and tainted by sin but not to the extent that we cannot chose to come to God and accept salvation, with the help of prevenient grace from God. Given such grace, human will is free and has the power to yield to the influence of the Spirit.”

http://www.gotquestions.org...

The Key Points :

1. Humanity is depraved but is still able to seek God

2. Fallen and tainted by sin but not enough to prevent us to come to Christ
3. Human will is free and has the power to yield the influence of the Spirit

SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE FOR TOTAL DEPRAVITY

1. Every person born into the world is morally corrupt and enslaved to sin (Before Regenerated)

Mark 7:21-23 - "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." (c.f. Matthew 15:19)

Titus 1:15-16 - ...to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

Ecclesiastes 9:3 - Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

We see that within the heart of man comes evil and Titus explains that all who are not believers, nothing is pure within them and their minds are defiled. Ecclesiastes furthers my point and states that the children of man are full of evil, man being the unregenerated man.

So to say that one could choose God with his own will without any divine intervention would be faulty due to what we have seen about man when unregenerated.


(Dealing with the "Sub - Subject) Can Man Do Good Without God?

Matthew 7:18 - "A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit." (c.f. Luke 6:43)

Matthew 12:34-35 - "How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil."

Romans 8:7 - For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please [God]

http://www.traviscarden.com...

2. Apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ for salvation

John 1:9-13 : 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own,[b] and his own people[c] did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 9:15-19 : For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” (Spoiler for Irresistible Grace)

Ephesians 2:1-5 : And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

The fleshly mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:7, 8).

Men in the flesh cannot please God, and yet those who believe in "partial depravity" believe that we can. Funny… We see according to these verses that man does not seek God on his own, rather, God, in His own mercy, brings us to himself.

Conclusion

Read these verses again and again and you’ll slowly come to realize that it is not from our own will that we become followers of Christ, because before coming to Christ, God has shown what man is like.

You may say, “I agree. My view is that God draws us to himself and then we make the decision to choose him.” Even if… You’re still admitting that we need an intervention of God’s grace in our life to “help” us choose.
TrueScotsman

Con


Hi jo02168j,



My arguments will follow the below format:



Argument #1 | Understanding the Logic of TULIP


Argument #2 | Key Texts Defending Total Depravity


Argument #3 | Key Texts Supporting Partial Depravity



Argument #1 | Understanding the Logic of TULIP



For those not familiar with the Calvinist versus Arminian debate, the TULIP is the acronym used to describe the response to the Arminian remonstrance from Calvin’s followers. They stand for the below concepts.



Total Depravity (as defined in the OP)


Unconditional Election, that god sovereignly selected certain individuals by grace according to the good council of his will to salvation, which was done not according to anything in them.


Limited Atonement, Jesus sacrifice on the cross achieved total salvation for all the elect individuals, not just potential salvation for all mankind.


Irresistible Grace, god’s regenerative work in salvation will overcome any opposition in the will of the elect by giving them a new heart which is done by the work of the Holy Spirit.


Perseverance of the Saints, those who were elected to salvation, regenerated by the spirit will be sustained in their faith by god’s power, he will lose none of his sheep in other words.


(Note: These are my definitions which are not binding on this debate necessarily)



Total Depravity therefore isn’t an independent concept but is inextricably linked to be the foundational concept for all of Calvinism. That because mankind is totally depraved and cannot choose god, it is necessary for salvation to be a complete work of god in which mankind is only the agent acted upon in such salvific operations. The other concepts to a degree then logically flow from this, that if god’s saving work is totally his prerogative then it is reasonable to conclude that only those saved are those whom god has chosen from all time unto salvation.



Primarily, the difference between partial and total depravity is the issue of volition. Is the individual a volitional agent in the conversion experience, or are they passively being acted upon. This hinges on the assertion that regeneration (the rebirth caused by the Holy Spirit) precedes faith, which is the mechanism Calvinists use to substantiate their conclusion that salvation is totally a work of god.



Therefore, the texts I will select will deal not particularly with the texts that declare man’s depravity (such is already agreed upon in the acceptance of this debate), but rather on the issue of man’s agency in choosing god in any way.



Argument #2 | Key Texts Defending Total Depravity



who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”[1]



This text is used by Calvinists to argue that the “will of man” is not involved with the act of being “born of god.” With this logic, Calvinists assert that any volitional activity on the part of man that causes him to be born again directly contradicts this text. Arguments such as this I will argue, contradict the direct historical and textual context. We will examine the textual context first.



He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,”



The author is providing an introduction to his gospel, which outlines from the onset a key issue which was quite revolutionary in Jewish thought. Beginning with the phrase, “he came to his own, and his own people did not receive him,” gives us the initial reference which the author is referring to. Jews were Jesus’ people who he came to, and of course they rejected him and his teachings. However, those who did receive him (which we of course now know is primarily Gentiles), those were the individuals that he gave the right to become children of god, as the text clearly says. Indeed, this text is not about people being unable to choose to become children of god, but rather it is a reorientation of what is the basis for being included by such a distinction. Jews, deemed themselves as members of god’s Covenant through the seed of Abraham, or perhaps became Jews later on through circumcision and obedience to the other Mosaic Laws.



Contrary to that position, the author of John who is writing after the rejection of Christianity by most Jews was in agreement with Paul concerning who truly were the children of god. Which he asserts it is on the basis of belief, and not in any outward obedience to the law, or any kind of physical intercourse producing a child into the lineage of Abraham. In essence, their Jewishness was invalid as it pertains to them being members of god’s covenant people, and most directly them being children of god.



No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”[3[



Perhaps the most often quoted text in discussing the matter that man cannot choose god is the text of John 6:44. In it, they argue that this text provides proof that mankind cannot come to Jesus unless god first “draws” them. However, from the translation itself it doesn’t seem to imply such, but their argument really lifts off on the meaning of the Greek word “helkyse” which they contend truly means “drag.”



The textual basis for this translation of the word is found in James 2:6, and Acts 16:19 where each of these texts indicates being physically dragged. However, this argument fails simply because the meaning of the Greek word has a semantic range, which does certainly afford the word translated by nearly every Greek scholar as “draw” in the context as it does not involve any kind of physical act. This distinction does not then support the narrow translation and interpretation of the text to indicate anything more than a drawing that happens, indeed to all men.[4]



Argument #3 | Key Texts Supporting Partial Depravity



One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”[5]



In this text we have Lydia who is described as a worshiper of god, which is a common theme throughout Acts as genuine worshippers of god are coming to faith.[6][7][8] The text then doesn’t describe a regeneration experience, but something more in line with the Arminian understanding which is not 100% effectual. The Arminian understanding isn’t necessarily about a universal prevenient grace, but simply that through the proclamation of the gospel message, the Holy Spirit acts upon all individuals listening to make them attentive to the message of the gospel. Effectually overcoming that sinful nature that would otherwise prohibit such attentiveness, though not overcoming the will in such a way that faith is certain.



And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed,”[9]



The important portion of this text is the final sentence where it talks about a preacher named Apollos “greatly aided” individuals who of course by “grace had believed.” The implications of this text is that it is possible for a preacher to aid through preaching, indeed greatly aid, while also recognizing that god is operative in the distribution of grace. The breakdown of this text is seen below.



Apollos: Greatly aided people coming to faith


Individuals: believed by grace and were aided by Apollos


God: Sent the preacher and provided the grace for individuals to believe.



This model does not fit the Calvinist version where the act of conversion is a result of regeneration preceding faith, such that the work is entirely independent of any human cooperation.



Kind Regards,


TS



[1] John 1:13 (ESV)


[2] John 1:11-12 (ESV)


[3] John 6:44 (ESV)


[4] John 12:32 (EV)


[5] Acts 16:14 (ESV)


[6] Acts 13:43 (ESV)


[7] Acts 18:7 (ESV)


[8] Acts 17:4 (ESV)


[9] Acts 18:27 (ESV)
Debate Round No. 2
jo021698j

Pro

I appreciate my opponent's response. I will now refute his arguments.

There are many concerns with my opponent's argument that I would like to point out.

1. My opponent refuted 18% of the citations Pro gave in his first argument.

Pro clearly gave verses about the heart of man prior to coming to Christ and my opponent did not acknowledge one. Con only chose to acknowledge the verses under the category, "Apart from the grace of God..." And he didn't even address all the verses under that category as well (No Refutation of Ephesians 2:1-5, Romans 9:15-19). He/She chose to point out the "key verses supporting Total Depravity" which best fit his outline of argument. If he does not address all the verses, then his argument is weakened.

2. The definition of Partial Depravity is as stated : "Humanity is depraved but still able to seek God. We are fallen and tainted by sin but not to the extent that we cannot chose to come to God and accept salvation, with the help of prevenient grace from God. Given such grace, human will is free and has the power to yield to the influence of the Spirit."

My opponent did now acknowledge this definition which is the side against Total Depravity. There is no middle ground in this debate. By accepting Con, Partial Depravity is automatically alleged to the con side. If we are going by definition, that is.

Let us look at the definition of Total Depravity yet again and point out the key points in the definition and what Scriptures I can use to back up the key points.

Definition of Total Depravity :

"...The doctrine understands the Bible to teach that, as a consequence of the the Fall of man, every person born into the world is morally corrupt, enslaved to sin and is, apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ in faith for salvation."

The Key Points :

1. Every person born into the world is morally corrupt and enslaved to sin (Before Regenerated)

Mark 7:21-23 - "For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." (c.f. Matthew 15:19)

Titus 1:15-16 - ...to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

Ecclesiastes 9:3 - Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

2. Apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ for salvation.

Matthew 7:18 - "A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit." (c.f. Luke 6:43)

Romans 8:7 - For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.

Ephesians 2:1-5 : And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience" among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ"by grace you have been savedâ€"

The fleshly mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:7, 8).

We see here that in these verses that men in the flesh can do no good and nothing good comes from them. Choosing Christ would be considered a "good" gesture, so it would be impossible to choose Christ from their flesh due to the nature of it. My opponent cannot give any verses that support that claim. His verses that he gave in his 3rd section have nothing to do with his argument because they don't prove a point.

My opponent even admits to my side in one of his arguments.

"...the Holy Spirit acts upon all individuals listening to make them attentive to the message of the gospel."

He is admitting that an outside force needs to act upon an individual in order to come to Christ, which is my argument.

Partial Depravity states that "human will is free and has the power to yield to the influence of the Spirit.” My opponent does not defend this claim and takes my side ironically.

Tying Predestination Into the Debate

My opponent's argument is to convince the viewers that salvation is not fully 100% from God. This has to do with Predestination vs. Free Will and not Total Depravity, but since he/she has brought it up, I will humor him/her and prove Predestination.


The words translated “predestined” in the Scriptures referenced above are from the Greek word proorizo, which carries the meaning of “determine beforehand,” “ordain,” “to decide upon ahead of time.” So, predestination is God determining certain things to occur ahead of time.

Predestination basically says that God determined before the world was created certain events to occur and no one can resist them. Predestination specifically deals with salavation mostly in the Bible, meaning, if God chooses someone to save, it was fully because of Him that they are/will be/have been saved.

Biblical Citations for Predestination

Acts 4:28, "to do whatever Your hand and purpose predestined to occur."

Rom. 8:29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren."

Rom. 8:30, "and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."

1 Cor. 2:7, "but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to our glory."

Eph. 1:5, "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will."

Eph. 1:11, "also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will."

https://carm.org...

http://www.gotquestions.org...

There are many cases in Scripture where God intervened in someone's will. (Joseph's Brothers, Pharaoh, Paul, etc...) This shows that God is in complete control and he can do whatever He pleases.

I have proved man's nature prior to coming to Christ which shows that he cannot submit to God's law or accept Christ on his own.
I have proved that God predestines people to be saved and that they did nothing to obtain salvation.

Good Luck to My Opponent Next Round!
TrueScotsman

Con


Hello again!



Thanks for the detailed rebuttal, I will address your remarks in the format below.



Rebuttal #1 | Biblical Proof-texting


Rebuttal #2 | Mischaracterization of Partial Depravity


Rebuttal #3 | Predestination and Election




Rebuttal #1 | Biblical Proof-texting



In my opponent’s rebuttal he has charged me with largely ignoring his arguments, which of course was only the case because I was presenting my own argument. Indeed, in my initial argument I went into a detailed exegesis of the passages considering their textual context and historical context. My opponent has unfortunately assumed that the passages he quoted supports his position at face value, I will demonstrate with a few examples that this is not the case.



For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”[1]



In the context of this passage, Jesus had just criticized the Pharisee’s for their commitment to human-made commands and traditions over the true works of god, which is love. This passage reveals their hypocrisy while addressing the ritual purity laws as pertaining to what foods they can eat. Jesus is saying that it isn’t the food that is consumed which makes a person unclean or defiled, it is rather that which comes out of a person, then details various sins.



Let us be clear on this matter, Partial Depravity does not say that humans are not evil, or that they aren’t responsible for their evil decisions. This text fits perfectly with an Arminian understanding of Depravity, and it does not in any way support my opponent’s position of Total Depravity as it relates to the differences in the positions of this debate.



To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”[2]



Beginning in v.1 we have the author addressing the ills of the “Circumcision Party,” which pertains to a 1st and 2nd Century debate in Christianity on whether or not Christians had to become Jews by circumcision and obedience to works of the Law. His remarks continue to address this party, when in v.15 he regards them much the same was as Jesus does, “defiled.” Which is a term indicative of being ritually unclean per the Mosaic Purity Laws, and is regarded as defiled on the same basis as Jesus claims, by their actions.



This text is proof-texted by my opponent to try to refer to all people, when in reality it addresses a specific group. Even if one considers it as a reference to all mankind, it still does not highlight a difference between Partial Depravity and Total Depravity.



Rebuttal #2 | Mischaracterization of Partial Depravity



The key point of my rebuttal is to highlight the fact that in no way has my opponent actually addressed the heart of my argument. He has in fact mischaracterized my argument when he said, “Partial Depravity states that "human will is free and has the power to yield to the influence of the Spirit.” My opponent does not defend this claim and takes my side ironically.”


Ironically, my opponent has conveniently left out the main portion of the definition that my position hinges on. Let’s examine the definition again, with the important portion bolded.



Humanity is depraved but still able to seek God. We are fallen and tainted by sin but not to the extent that we cannot chose to come to God and accept salvation, with the help of prevenient grace from God. Given such grace, human will is free and has the power to yield to the influence of the Spirit.”[3]



It appears that what he has actually been criticizing is the position of pelagianism, when in fact the link he quoted this from is on Arminianism which is a reformation position with a doctrine of Depravity almost on par with Calvinists. It fully acknowledges the necessity of grace, in the free choice of the individual to accept or decline salvation through the proclamation of the gospel. As stated in the previous argument, Lydia did not have her heart regenerated, she simply was made to be more attentive to listen to what Paul was saying.



Rebuttal #3 | Predestination and Election



As noted in my original argument, this debate is ultimately about the issue of Election, and Total Depravity is the foundation for this doctrine in the Calvinistic Systematic Theology. Since mankind is unable to choose god within the Calvinist framework, it is necessary for there to be an irresistible act of the Holy Spirit to cause that individual to be regenerated and therefore accept the gospel and be saved. This then informs the rest of the system, as it implies that only certain individuals are actually saved.



Again my opponent quotes Scriptures passages that he assumes supports his position, and alludes to the Greek definition of “predestined,” yet doesn’t understand that this still doesn’t demonstrate that individuals are predestined to salvation from all time. This debate is not a great format for making a detailed defense of Arminianism, but I think it is worthwhile to give a counter example of Corporate Election as juxtaposed against this Calvinist form of Election.



Corporate Election, is the doctrine that asserts that god has elected not individuals, but he has chosen a people for his possession out of all the peoples of the earth. That in the first Covenant he had done this with the Jewish people through the Covenant Representatives of Abraham and his sons. This has now been fulfilled if not superseded by the Covenant represented in the person of Jesus, and all who belong to Jesus are participators in that Covenant and heirs of the promises of god. The argument presented by Calvinists ignore the issue of the inclusion of the Gentiles as central to Paul’s Gentile missionary journeys, and read these justifications of his mission as texts on individual salvation. Rather, Paul argues that it was always god’s intention to make a way for the Gentiles via the disobedience of the Jews, which in a strange way was all about making the Jews jealous as well.



Paul summarizes it this way in the Epistle of Romans.



For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.”[4]



I await my opponent’s rebuttal and conclusion.



[1] Mark 7:21-23 (ESV)


[2] Titus 1:15-16 (ESV)


[3] http://www.gotquestions.org...


[4] Romans 11:32 (ESV)


Debate Round No. 3
jo021698j

Pro

I appreciate my opponent's response. I will now respond to his arguments and give my closing statement.

Opponent's Arguments

"Let us be clear on this matter, Partial Depravity does not say that humans are not evil, or that they aren’t responsible for their evil decisions. This text fits perfectly with an Arminian understanding of Depravity, and it does not in any way support my opponent’s position of Total Depravity as it relates to the differences in the positions of this debate."

I completely agree with this claim. What my opponent fails to realize is what my argument is. My argument says that nothing good can come out of the natural man.

Total Depravity - "The doctrine understands the Bible to teach that, as a consequence of the the Fall of man, every person born into the world is morally corrupt, enslaved to sin and is, apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ in faith for salvation."

Every person born into the world is morally corrupt and unable to choose God or choose to turn to Christ for salvation. The reason I used the verses in my previous arguments was that I was relating the natural ways of man apart from Christ and establishing, through Scripture, that the natural man is utterly corrupt.

The key point here is that there are two sides in this debate where one is logical and one is not.

1. Man is utterly corrupt and makes utterly corrupt decisions and cannot do any good. (Total Depravity)
2. Man is utterly corrupt but can defy his nature to make a good decision. (Partial Depravity)

This is the "Apple - Peach" Tree Debate.

I claim that an apple tree bears apples whereas my opponent can say an apple tree can bear peaches.

My opponent then goes on to his 3 point of his argument which deals with election.

My opponent believes that the word, predestination, in the Bible refers to Corporate Election, which means that when someone accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, then they become part of the elect that the Lord talks about in Scripture.

The weakness of his argument is a lack of biblical citations and a lack of argument in general.

He says that the word "Predestination" is not what I say it is, yet he does not prove that it is not.

"The Concept. Divine predestination means that God has a purpose that is determined long before it is brought to pass. It implies that God is infinitely capable of planning and then bringing about what he has planned, and Scripture speaks of him as doing this ( Isa 14:24-27 ; 22:11 ; 37:26 ; 44:7-8 ; 46:8-10 ). Prophecy in its predictive mode is to be understood accordingly. God plans and makes his plans known, as he chooses, to his servants the prophets ( Amos 3:7 )."

http://www.biblestudytools.com...

It is careful to say that GOD will bring about what he has planned, not man.

Biblical Verses for Predestination


Ephesians 1:4-5 "Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will."

Romans 8: 28-30 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day."

2 Timothy 1:9 "He has saved us and called us to a holy life" not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time..."

Ephesians 1:11-12 "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory."

Here is why all voters should vote for Pro :

Definition of Total Depravity :

"The doctrine understands the Bible to teach that, as a consequence of the the Fall of man, every person born into the world is morally corrupt, enslaved to sin and is, apart from the grace of God, utterly unable to choose to follow God or choose to turn to Christ in faith for salvation."

1. I have proven, through Scripture, the heart of man before Christ and that it is utterly corrupt. (Titus 1:15-16)
2. I have stated that since accepting Christ would be considered a good act, that it is impossible to accomplish from the natural man due to the fact that the heart of the natural man can do no good. (2 Timothy 1:9)
3. My opponent agrees with me that men are utterly corrupt, but states that we can still choose Christ on our own, which he has no biblical evidence for.
4. My opponent makes the claim that some can come to Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit, which indeed cancels his own argument because he is confessing that there is need of an extraterrestrial force in order to come to Christ.
5. My opponent states that man can seek God, yet does not give any Scriptural evidence for that claim. Nothing good can come out of man, and seeking God would be "good", which contradicts his whole argument.
6. I have given evidence for the side topic of predestination and the true definition of it and biblical verses to back it up.

These are the reasons the voters should vote for Pro!

I congratulate my opponent for giving me a very good debate and putting me up to the challenge.

Cordially, jo021698j
TrueScotsman

Con


In concluding this debate, it is unfortunate that it seems my opponent has been talking past my remarks, which seems indicative that he doesn’t quite understand the distinctions between Calvinism and Arminianism.



For instance, notice his reframing of the terms in his concluding remarks.



1. Man is utterly corrupt and makes utterly corrupt decisions and cannot do any good. (Total Depravity)


2. Man is utterly corrupt but can defy his nature to make a good decision. (Partial Depravity)”



Going back to my point in the third round, let’s compare that definition to the one given by Pro in his opening remarks.



“Humanity is depraved but still able to seek God. We are fallen and tainted by sin but not to the extent that we cannot chose to come to God and accept salvation, with the help of prevenient grace from God. Given such grace, human will is free and has the power to yield to the influence of the Spirit.”[1]



Note the bolded text, then compare to the characterization in the conclusion. At no point does he in this debate, is he consistent with this definition, and proceeded to deconstruct a strawman argument.



He also did not directly rebuttal my arguments from Round 2, and on these points alone Pro should lose this debate.



However, I will respond to the rest of his concluding statements below.



Rebuttal | Apple-Peach Tree and Other Mischaracterizations



Pro has attempted to characterize my position as some kind of arbitrary decision making, by using an analogy of a tree and the kinds of fruit that it can bear. He is claiming that my argument asserts that apple trees can produce peaches, when this is just another example of his failure to understand the position I have defended. Nowhere did I mention such a decision, but rather emphasized the Biblical writings pertaining to the necessity of grace which “opens [the] heart to understand.”[2]



Pro then moves on to talk about how my position regarding what the Biblical writers think on election doesn’t cognate with the word “predestination,” in order to assert such he has to again mischaracterize my position. As I explicitly said, “Rather, Paul argues that it was always god’s intention to make a way for the Gentiles via the disobedience of the Jews, which in a strange way was all about making the Jews jealous as well.”


In other words, it wasn’t individuals who were predestined to salvation, but the fact that god would extend his salvation to both Gentiles and Jews through Jesus Christ. This isn’t the heart of the debate which I accepted, so textual backing is not necessary for this particular contention.



Concluding Statements



As previously stated, the reasons for voting Con are quite clear.





  1. Pro did not address any of the arguments I presented in Round 2.




  2. Pro was not consistent in his characterization of Partial Depravity, which he provided a definition for.




  3. Pro’s Apple-Peach Tree analogy is guilty of the fallacy of the weak analogy.




  4. Pro did not characterize my position of Corporate Election.




  5. I was able to address examples of his proof-texting and how he did not actually support these texts with a detailed exegesis.





In the future, I recommend that Pro better defines the terms and positions which are to be adopted in his debates. As he seemed to be arguing against pelagianism[3] when in fact he quoted the position about Partial Depravity from a page titled, “What is Arminianism, and is it biblical?” In Biblical theology, there is a great deal of middle ground within those positions, and Pro would do well to further learn about those distinctions as a result of this debate I hope.



Kind Regards,


TS



[1]http://www.gotquestions.org...


[2] Acts 16:14 (paraphrase)


[3] http://www.theopedia.com...


Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TrueScotsman 1 year ago
TrueScotsman
My be delayed in posting my argument, I wrote up a detailed response, but was deleted by Windows Explorer..
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