I'm beginning a 5 part series on Calvinism's "5 points" as summed up in the acronym TULIP, summarized in the Canons of Dordt. It has already led to great discussion at church, as I covered the first, "Total Depravity" yesterday.
If we are born sinners, and cannot help but sin, how can God judge us for sinning?
The answer to this question, I believe, lies in understanding our relationship to Adam and Eve. Adam, as the first specimen of mankind, perfectly represented each and every person. This adverb "perfectly" doesn't mean he was morally perfect, but that he behaved in a manner perfectly in line with what any person who came after would have done in his position.
The objection above assumes this to be untrue. The objection is that if WE had the chance to be in Adam and Eve's position, we would have obeyed. This can hardly be proven or assumed.
After the Fall we could
not obey; before the Fall, we would
not have obeyed for long. Both situations bring the same punishment and Jesus saves us from both, too (remember the tunics with which God clothes Adam and Eve? remember His promise to crush the serpent's head?).
The objection above asserts that we are not identified with our race. That WE, the individual objector, are different and better than the average bear... I mean, person. I would say the objection can be rejected on these very grounds. Who are you to assume you are better than Adam and Eve?
The objection assumes we must each have a chance, a blank slate from which to keep the law on our own merits. But why insist on this when Jesus Christ has kept the law FOR us? One would only insist on this if one wanted to reject God's Messiah and Son, or if one wanted to keep the credit for obedience (or for believing in Christ) to himself.
The objection assumes that God's story should begin on the day the objector was born. But it does not. We find ourselves aware, looking around and blinking, in chapter 35 of God's story. Much has already happened. Is this not the Author's right, to introduced characters as He sees fit? Do you (the objector) insist on having the star part? on being the hero who overcomes and resolves everything, against all odds? That role has already been cast. Your insistence on the lead role only confirms the idea of total depravity.
Labels: Reformed Theology