Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sin: A moral inability, not a natural one

An excerpt that is amazingly helpful to me and hopefully will be for you too:

"the sinner's inability to obey God does not nullify his duty to do so. This is a crucial point—perhaps the most crucial point of all—because it is the very point that ultimately distinguishes true Calvinism from both Arminianism and hyper-Calvinism. Both Arminians and hyper-Calvinists will protest that it is illogical or unjust to teach that God demands what sin renders us incapable of doing.

But it is neither illogical or unjust. Sin itself is a moral issue, and since sin is the cause of our inability, it is, as Jonathan Edwards said, a moral inability, not a natural one. The defect in man is his own fault, not God's. Therefore man's own inability is something he is guilty for, and that inability cannot therefore be seen as something that relieves the sinner of responsibility."
Excert from Phillip Johnson


Anonymous said...

sin is not an inability but an act of rebellion. otherwise, there is no responsibility. a piece of plastic is not responsible for its lack of faith in the gospel, because it is a piece of plastic and cannot comprehend anything. "Oh no!" says the Calvinist "that piece of plastic is still responsible despite its inability!" Total rubbish.

Anonymous said...

And hyper-Calvinism is exactly what you are arguing because hyper calvinism and calvinism are the same. trying to pretend an agreement between hyper calvinism and arminianism on the issue of responsibility is a bold faced lie on your part. your position is the hyper calvinist (and indeed only calvinist) position

Deb said...

Plastic is not in anyway comparable to human will, so that is a ridiculous analogy.

Sin has different facets. There are specific "sins" or acts in which people engage and there is "Sin," as in "sin and death" which entered the world at the fall. This second kind of "Sin" has permeated humanity ever since the fall. That's what Phil Johnson and other reformed people are refering to when they talk about ability.

The point of the quote is to say that the sin nature is not a "natural" condition. God did not give us this condition.

As an example, when someone says they were born gay, they are usually trying to imply is that gay is therefore "natural." However, any genetic propensity that one might have toward same sex attraction is not naturally given. Rather, it is a moral condition due to the noetic effects of the fall. But Romans 2 tells us that ALL people know by nature what is good and evil and therefore are without excuse for their specific sins. I know you don't believe in that, but I'm reformed and I do.

The Hyper-Calvinist (and yes, there is a distinction! whether you recognize it or not) in this case makes the error of believing "Sin" is in someway natural in the reprobate due to the fall which skews the human responsibilty factor and God's immutabilty.

If you really think that this quote says that there is agreement between hyper-calvinism and arminianism, then my only objection to your second comment is that your reading comprehension skills are highly lacking.

Deb said...

Beowulf: I'm really not sure who you are or why you keep harassing me. But here's the deal. I've got lots of Arminian Christian friends and don't think less of them because we disagree. I value iron sharpening iron by challenging each other's study and beliefs. I am open to doing that here. But personal attacks will not be tolerated on this blog (which is why I have deleted about 40 of your comments). If you can handle that, then go for it. Otherwise, future comments will be deleted immediately. Thank you.