Depravity

By this we mean, on the one hand, the lack of original righteousness or of holy affection toward God and, on the other hand, the corruption of the moral nature or bias toward evil. That such depravity exists has been abundantly shown, both from Scripture and from reason, in our consideration of the universality of sin.

Salvation is twofold: deliverance from the evil (the penalty and the power of sin and the accomplishment of the good) likeness to God and realization of the true idea of humanity. It includes all these for the race as well as for the individual removal of the barriers that keep men from each other and the perfecting of society in communion with God. In other words, it is the kingdom of God on earth. It was the nature of man, when he first came from the hand of God, to fear, love, and trust God above all things. This tendency toward God has been lost; sin has altered and corrupted man?s innermost nature. In place of this bent toward God there is a fearful bent toward evil. Depravity is both negative (absence of love and of moral likeness to God) and positive (presence of manifold tendencies to evil.) Two questions only need detain us:

1. Depravity partial or total?

The Scriptures represent human nature as totally depraved. The phrase ?total depravity,? however, is liable to misinterpretation and should not be used without explanation. By the total depravity of universal humanity we mean:

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