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Are We REALLY Totally Depraved?


total-depravity2Grab the kindling wood and bring your lighters! If you continue reading this post, you may feel the urge to use them!

At least that is what I anticipate with this post on Total Depravity.

Before you light the fire, you should know up front that this post is simply me letting you in on the discussions that take place inside my head!  I’m asking you to consider some of the questions I ask myself while I think out loud about what Total Depravity means.

To start off, let’s define terms:

The Western Protestant church views T.D. this way:   Total depravity is the fallen state of human beings as a result of Adam original sin. The doctrine of total depravity asserts that people are, as a result of the fall, not inclined or even able to love God wholly with heart, mind, and strength, but rather are inclined by nature to serve their own will and desires and to reject the rule of God.

“The immediate concomitant of the first sin was the total depravity of human nature. The contagion of his sin at once spread through the entire man, leaving no part of his nature untouched, but vitiating every power and faculty of body and soul.” Louis Berkhof

This means that the fundamental nature of mankind was changed on that day. Whatever Adam’s human nature was before his sin, it became something different after the fall.  As a result, Read the rest of this entry

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A Bible Every Christian Should Own: The Orthodox Study Bible


The $5,000.00 worth of bible study and reference books on my library shelf gives my condition away to most people.  But since you can’t see them, let me state the problem:  I love Bible reference books!  Recently, I added a not-so-well-known study bible to my collection that I think every follower of Christ would benefit from having:  The Orthodox Study Bible.

Here’s Why I Like It:

The Study Notes are taken from the Church Fathers of the early church.

If your library is similar to mine, most of your books have The Reformation as a central reference point.  Believe it or not, there is 1500 years of church history prior to this.  Most of our study bibles and reference works do not take much of that history into account.  I find it incredibly enriching to read a passage of scripture and see how the Fathers understood the passage.  This book allows me to do that without going to another book.  That is great!  The Orthodox Study Bible accomplishes this by giving specific attention to the biblical interpretation of the fathers of the ancient and undivided Church, and to the consensus of the Seven ecumenical or Church-wide Councils of Christendom, held from the 4th to the 8th centuries.  This alone makes the book well worth the $30-40 you will spend on it.

The Notes and Commentary Emphasise the Major Themes of the Faith.

The Trinity, The Incarnation, the Church, and God’s call to His people to live righteous and holy lives in Christ.  It sticks to these key areas and what it does, it does well.

The Old Testament is based on the Septuagint.

This is the only Old Testament I own that is!  I am a big advocate of reading the Bible in different translations because of the clarity it brings.  I have been rewarded by the time I have spent reading out of this one.  I think you will be too.  It does have the books that the Protestant Church rejects.  I am actually glad it does.  The early church accepted them as scripture, The Catholic and Orthodox churches continue to accept them.  We reject them, primarily because Martin Luther decided to eliminate them.  I know the arguments for this, but I still think they are worth reading.  This is the only Bible I own that also has the Apocrypha in it.  The New Testament is the New King James.

It Includes Rich Devotional Material.

I don’t come from a liturgical background and so I am unfamiliar with many of its aspects.  Over the years, I have grown to appreciate it more.  This book includes the Orthodox Lectionary, morning and evening prayers and a host of devotional material.  Again, I have been enriched utilizing them

The Orthodox Study Bible is unique, there is no other Bible like this in existence.  It is historical, helping modern followers of Christ connect with our brothers and sisters of the ancient past.  On top of all this, the Bible is very, very well done.   For these and other reasons, this is a great book to add to your library. It is well worth the money. If you are hesitant, do what I did:  check it out from your local library for free.  I was sold from the moment I held it in my hand!