21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism: The Third and Fourth Misunderstandings

Reformedontheweb's Blog

By Sam Waldron

I. Misunderstandings related to Total Depravity

(3) Total depravity means that men are as bad as they can be!

Once more this is not mainline Reformed teaching. While it is true that men can do no spiritual or saving good, the Reformed tradition has recognized that unconverted men can and do perform what is often called acts of civil righteousness. It was better that Ahab outwardly responded to Elijah’s rebuke than if he had not, but it did not mean that Ahab had truly repented or truly done anything spiritually good. Here is the language of 1 Kings 21:27-29: “It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently. 28 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Do you see how Ahab has…

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