Total depravity

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Total depravity (also called radical corruption or pervasive depravity) is a Christian theological doctrine derived from the concept of original sin. It teaches that, as a consequence of man's fall, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin as a result of their fallen nature and, apart from the efficacious or prevenient grace of God, is completely unable to choose by themselves to follow God, refrain from evil, or accept the gift of salvation as it is offered. The doctrine is advocated to various degrees by many Protestant denominations, including some Lutheran synods.


  • Man needs a certain moral sense of right and wrong. There is such a thing called evil, and it is not the result of being a victim of society. You are just an evil man, prone to do evil things, and you have to be stopped from doing them.
  • In God’s eyes – listen – no one is a victim. We are all perpetrators of open rebellion, scandalous, blasphemous sin against God. We are all rebels, we are all obstinate, we are all stubborn... Here we have the critical fundamental principle of the gospel; no one is a victim. From God’s viewpoint, no one is a victim.
  • There was a book written by Rabbi Kushner years ago called Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? and he went chapter after chapter after chapter trying to discuss why bad things happen to good people. And the book could have been very simple. The title would have been Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? You open the book and it should have said one thing: "There are no good people. There are no good people." Why do bad things happen to good people? There are no good people: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Bad things will always happen because there are no good people; we are all sinners.

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