Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

Calvin’s Concerns – Do You Affirm Total Depravity?

In our previous post, I tried to give some of my interactions and history with the Calvinistic thought process and teachings.

With this post, I would like to introduce you to the teacher I referred to earlier. He is a former Calvinist also, and has recanted, and has become a bit of a lightning rod for provisionism soteriology teaching.

Many of his videos are quite lengthy, and have kept my interest now for weeks. What I would like to do is offer his “60 Second Soteriology” clips to introduce you to Mr Leighton Flowers.

I do hope you will consider the teaching with an open mind.

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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

60 thoughts on “Calvin’s Concerns – Do You Affirm Total Depravity?

  1. Wow, what a long discussion. Almost didn’t want to read through it.
    I feel that “man” is not a puppet. I feel that we have a “free” will, a soul. We are a tripartite being, body, soul, and spirit.
    But. to argue the point seems fruitless because it never really ends up in an agreeable end.
    I feel Paul was correct that we “see through a glass darkly”. We see more when our will is put down and we allow God’s will in our lives. Man is a stubborn creature, for we want to do things our way. It wounds us if we feel that we are wrong in a matter.
    I have many times had to repent for having such a “bull in a china store” attitude towards others when I was challenged about Scriptural things.


      1. The Bible is systematic and will interpret itself
        “ God is not willing that any should perish”
        How many people have perished against God’s will?

        I’m confident you think or are interpreting that God is not willing that any single individual that has ever lived should perish?

        John 6:37-44
        Says the will of the Father is that Christ not lose any that He has given Him and that all given will be saved and He always does the Will of the Father
        Isaiah 46:10
        Says God will do all His desire

        The “any” must mean the children of Promise in Romans 9 and His people Matthew 1:21

        Your interpretation makes God a liar and we know that isn’t true


        1. You are again assuming that God’s will is not able to be resisted.

          You speak of creation as simply fated to its predetermined end.
          If so, why this discussion?
          Why do each of us struggle in making decisions, or experience regret, or even consider other people’s opinions.
          Why do some not believe in this theological determinism?
          I suppose theological determinism makes me into a puppet.


          1. All I can say is line the scriptures out starting with God not natural man’s feelings or sense of righteousness The Bible gives you the systematic answers if line them up one by one in a systematic fashion but I have come to the conclusion we are going to remain with opposite ideas of who God is and whether or not he determined all things before creation. I think the Bible teaches he ordained the means and the ends all for His glory and the benefit of the unconditionally chosen elect


          2. I’m not assuming that God’s will can’t be resisted Acts 7:51 says the uncircumcised Jews were always resisting. The natural man can do nothing else but resist since he is spiritually dead. The issue is a resistant vessel is still drawn to Jesus chosen by the Father given to Jesus not to be lost but secured John 6:37-39 John 6:44 and believes the Gospel once God regenerates his spirit 2 Corinthians 4:6 and is made alive spiritually; given eyes to see and ears to hear. That, the chosen vessel will not and cannot resist. Yes, all things were predetermined from before the foundation of the world John 6, John 3 Romans 8 Romans 9 Ephesians 1, 2 Isaiah 46:10 Romans 10…. Why would the apostle Paul pray to God for the salvation of the unsaved Israelites if God wasn’t in complete control of who and when someone is saved. The Apostle Paul judged them to be lost for seeking to establish their own righteousness and not knowing The Righteousness of God and not submitting to the righteousness of God


          3. “Why the discussion” because it goes to the heart of who God is and the true Gospel of Grace and not a false Gospel conditioned on the sinner. We need to know and believe the true Gospel to show the fruit of our salvation and the Bible teaches only a gospel of Grace without any effort from the sinner or natural man; a salvation that is conditioned solely on the work of Christ and person alone It is God rescuing His promised people Matthew 1:21 Matthew 11:27 Romans 3,4,8,9 Matthew 16:18 Salvation is an unconditional gift based on the work of another. If your decision made the difference between Heaven and Hell compared to another person who didn’t choose Christ, you could boast. The scripture says no flesh will be able to boast or glory. He works the willing and the doing inside of His people All to His glory. Do I or anyone else understand how it works? No, but the scriptures do not teach “free will” or a will that God has not complete control over. He promised to save His people. How could God fulfill His promise if he wasn’t in complete control John 6:37 says The Father gives a certain number of people to Jesus by His sovereign will according to purpose and they will be guaranteed salvation and preserved by Jesus …Chosen by the Father, Redeemed by the Son and regenerated by The Spirit
            John 6:39

            The reason some don’t believe “ this theological determinism” is because they don’t like it when in actuality knowing God is in complete control and His will won’t be thwarted; should be a comfort. He promises to save His people and He fulfills all His promises


              1. It boils down to …is the Gospel that saves that makes the difference by the work or effort of man or by the Sovereign Grace of God
                2 Corinthians 4:6
                Because it is God who said, “Out of darkness Light shall shine,” the One who shone in our hearts to give the illumina- tion of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Isa. 42:6, 7, 16

                When God shines the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ into the heart of a person will he believe? He now has knowledge Will that knowledge include any glory for man?
                John 17:3 knowing is everlasting life
                The Truth sets free ..salvation is a complete gift and the believer will not be judged for his salvation because it was secured by Christ. No one can lay another foundation. God is responsible from regeneration to preservation to final glory John 3:3-8 and John 6:37-44,65


        2. God not willing that any should perish is the ones He promised to save Matthew 1:21 They are the children of Promise, The unconditional Elect which are reckoned for a “seed” Romans 9 The spiritual seed of Christ The ones over time that God is giving to Jesus that can’t be lost God is not willing that “any” of these perish Job 23:13 God does all His desires Isaiah 46:10 God does not desire every individual in history to be saved because he accomplished all his desire and no one can resist His desire Roman 9:19 The scriptures speak to the TRUTH and are not disjointed because of man’s sense of reasoning given in the fall “you will be like God” knowing good and evil” They didn’t trust God’s Word “dying you shall die”then and unless systematic now they aren’t trusting it now. If God desires all individuals to be saved and he doesn’t save them, He can’t fulfill his promise to save His people Matthew 1:21 That is impossible!


          1. He will have mercy on whom He wills and hardens whom He wills Romans 9:18 Who can resist His (decreed) will God wants to show His wrath and make His power known enduring with much long suffering vessels fitted out (by Him) for destruction Romans 9:22 in order to make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy which He prepared for glory whom He called not only us of Jews but also of nations Romans 9:23-24 See Revelation 7:9 it explains “ All men” (no distinction)that He desired to save from every nation even tribes and peoples and languages. God fulfilled His promise of saving His people and fulfilled His desire to save “all men” (not every individual without exception)because He accomplishes all that He desires Jib 23:13 Isaiah 46:10 What ever God decreed from before the foundation of world He accomplishes.


              1. You say “ok” to God will have mercy on whom he wills and promises to save the unconditional elect, the children of promise the ones given to Jesus by the father that can’t be lost because it is the father’s will then publish your latest this morning in accordance with Leighton Flowers “The Potters Promise” God loves everyone so much that He died for them … but yet Romans 9 says God hated Esau unconditionally before he had done anything good or bad
                You should tell people they are lost because they don’t believe in your God but the world doesn’t care what God you believe in as long as you use the term Jesus, Cross, Love or God


                  1. How can you tell me to be at peace with my faith when you think I’m lost? Is that a platitude? Me being at peace doesn’t save me and shows your lack of love.
                    Why will the dead hear ? Jesus answered that because the Son makes alive as the Father makes alive
                    That is an action only performed by them. The dead cannot hear unless acted upon I will leave you with this Please be systematic with scripture and start with God and scripture not with natural man’s sense of reason which comes out of the gate flawed until regenerated. I use scripture you just throw things out hoping they will stick


                    1. I used to be content with shaking the dust off me feet since I know God promised to save His people but it grieves me more lately because of family and friends I’m at peace but I grieve for others which are many and most
                      You should only line out scripture in a systematic manner If you go back on our exchanges you will notice everything I write down is in accordance with scriptures supporting each other and making clear by them working together and the only reason I started the blog was to put forth scripture that glorifies God’s sovereign will and Grace and unconditional election which is not the norm and is neglected
                      If Jesus died fir die all then there was no guarantee anyone would be saved because there is no guarantee anyone would be saved if left up to true “free will” of man that God can’t interfere with I don’t see that in the Bible Many say Adam and Eve could have done otherwise, not that they didn’t do according to their desires, but they could have done no other because it was God’s decreed will to glorify himself in Jesus Christ God promises to save His people.
                      That promise could not be fulfilled if man’s Will was sovereign and unable to be interfered with. Natural man doesn’t hear the Gospel and can’t see the kingdom which is supported by John 3:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 2:14
                      It says he needs to given the spirit to understand but he doesn’t ask for it because he thinks the cross is foolishness. The dead hear his voice because He makes them alive That is the only way they come and since the Father gives a certain number of people to Christ that won’t be lost, then Jesus only died die them


                    2. At this time, I think it wise to let you search for truth as I do.
                      I am thankful for your discussions but when I bring up verses or passages that are in tension with your view, you revert to a very familiar set of verses.
                      I think it is obvious that you are convinced of your opinion and that further discussion would only frustrate you or I or both of us.
                      As I mentioned earlier, be at peace with your faith.


                    3. You haven’t answered in a scriptural manner John 6:65 you left that hanging when I showed “It” could not be the gospel, for example, and others I can’t recall immediately I have logically put together scriptures that interpret themselves but I haven’t seen that from you God is not willing that any should perish” I answered that in light of scriptures It is impossible for Christ to pay for everyone’s sin and still some end up in hell ..God is omniscient He knows who he died for and the scripture says he does all he desires, but yet you interpret he desired “all men” to be saved as every single individual but yet every individual is not saved how can he desire then say he does all his desire and then it not be fulfilled I answered that and you said nothing.


            1. Romans 9:20

              Nay, rather, O man, who are you, the one answering back to God? Shall the thing formed say to the One forming it, Why did You make me like this? Isa. 29:16


      1. In that context, that belief in the True Gospel is the fruit of God giving new life from above (John 3:3-8) What does Romans 3:11 John 3:8 Matthew 11:27 and Romans 9:11, 15, 16 and John 6:37 -43 John 6:44 John 6:65 John 10:26 John 1:12-13 (particularly verse 13) Romans 10:1-4 tell us?


        1. I’m not sure your point is giving me the multiple verses.
          As an example John 3:8 doesnt address regeneration before faith, but that the source of the Spirit is mysterious.
          I simply asked earlier why John states that faith is prior to eternal life, which conflicts with your position.


          1. John actually doesn’t state that faith is prior to eternal life John 5:24 does not say the one believing (is given) eternal life … It says “has eternal life”
            Belief is the fruit of regeneration as we agreed The point of scriptures was to point out God’s unconditional choice

            John 5:24 KJ3
            Truly, truly, I say to you, The one who hears My Word, and believing the One having sent Me, has everlasting life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.


            1. John 5:24 gives a cause and effect statement.
              The hearing one and the believing one has eternal life, (as a result of hearing and believing.)

              Consider a few verses later

              “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
              John 5:25 ESV

              The “dead” hear. Not… The “regenerated” hear.

              Also, those who hear will live, not are already regenerated.


              1. Yes , The dead will hear. He doesn’t have to reiterate what he just said in verse 24. He is just saying the dead will hear It takes the spirit to hear The natural man can’t hear he doesn’t have the spirit We have to be systematic The Father makes alive and The Son makes alive John 5:21 He will give them ears to hear Natural man cannot hear He doesn’t have the spirit We have to be systematic.


                  1. The natural man is spiritually dead because he lost the spirit in the Garden of Eden He has a nature without antennas for the truth He has the spirit of disobedience He is not able to discern which means he is not able to believe spiritual things which means he is unable to believe the Gospel which means he won’t come to Christ. It takes the reception of the spirit to see and enter the kingdom of God which is given by the sovereign will of God “ the spirit goes where it desires” John 3:3-8 regenerates giving the knowledge of Christ and His Gospel 2 Corinthians 4:6 The knowledge that wasn’t delivered by the serpent’s lie “ you will be like God” knowing good and evil”John 3:3-8
                    1 Corinthians 2:14

                    But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


    1. A number of times john states the prerequisite for eternal life is believing.
      As an example…
      Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
      John 5:24
      Are you saying the opposite? That God regenerates the sinner in order to believe the good news?


      1. (I’m saying the same) believing or the Bible is saying believing the truth is a sovereign gift of God to whom he chooses to have mercy Romans 3&9
        Belief is the fruit of God’s spirit going where it desires upon regeneration.


            1. Understood. Does the apostle state this suppression of truth is absolute? That man, in suppression of the truth, does not recognize his sin, and could admit he is doing wrong. Not that he has the power to change, but an ability to admit his errors, sins, wrongdoings….


  2. Your blog is perplexing when it comes to trying to figure out what will be posted and what won’t. It seems when I try to give more detail, it doesn’t post.


      1. My experience about why some comments do not come through is they end being caught as spam.
        I have noticed that really long comments are considered ‘spam’. I have had many show up like that.
        If the comment has a outside link it will sometimes be considered spam.


  3. Yes just did Natural man is unable to respond since he is a dead God will have mercy on whom he wills and hardens whom he wills Natural man needs to be regenerated by God John 3:3-8 says God’s spirit goes where it Sovereignly wills John 6:65 says you are unable to come to God unless it is given by God the father and All that the father gives will come to Jesus and he won’t lose any one the father gives and will raise it up


  4. Just listened… Natural man is unable to respond God has mercy on whom he wills and hardens whom he wills Natural man needs to be regenerated which according to John 3:3-8 is at the sovereign will of God since God’s blows where it desires


  5. Luke 18:19 says only God is good (100%)

    Matthew 7:17-18 An evil tree can’t produce good fruit (100%)

    Romans 3:10-12 none good, none seek the true God, none understand (100%)

    1 Corinthians 2:14 natural man is spiritually dead (100%)

    I’m sure there are more verses but why would you need more?

    Is there 1%-2% left that is not depraved?

    Maybe natural man’s unregenerate definition of “Total”means he thinks too highly of himself and not according to scripture?


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