What is Total Depravity?

Total depravity means “that every sinner is totally destitute of that love to God which is the fundamental requirement of the law (Deut. 6:4f; Matt. 22:37); that he is supremely given to a preference of himself to God (2 Tim. 3:2-4); that he has an aversion to God which on occasion becomes active enmity to him (Rom. 8:7); that his every faculty is disordered and corrupted (Eph. 4:18); that he has no thought, feeling, or deed of which God can fully approve (Rom. 7:18); and that he has entered upon a line of constant progress in depravity from which he can in no wise turn away in his own strength (Rom. 7:18).”

– Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), 191-192.

No Human Will is Free

“Of the unregenerate it is said that Satan is working in them or energizing them (Eph. 2:2), while of the regenerate it is said that God is energizing them ‘both to will and to do of his good pleasure’ (Phil. 2:13). These two passages account for the whole of humanity and therefore determine the truth – important indeed – that no human will, in the absolute sense, is free.”

– Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Volume II (Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1971), 195.

photo: marc falardeau