Wednesday with Wesley: On Original Sin and Total Depravity

This post has been updated since it was originally posted on November 18 ,2009

John Wesley (1703-1791) was an Arminian theologian and Anglican preacher credited with founding the Methodist movement.

In Wesley’s days (as in ours) the term Arminian was considered an “ambiguous term” and “something very bad”. In Wesley’s treatise What is an Arminian, he lists 5 errors that the Arminians are accused of holding. These are: Continue reading

All Dead, Mostly Dead, or Not Dead?

Miracle Max and the Man in Black

In the movie the Princess Bride, as the story unfolds, we find ourselves confronted with a dire situation. Our hero, The Man in Black, is dead and our damsel in distress, Buttercup, is being forced to marry someone she does not love. Indigo brings our hero to Miracle Max to see if there is any chance he can help.

Indigo: He’s dead. He cant’ talk.

Max: Oh, look who knows so much. Well it just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. … Mostly dead is slightly alive.

Theologians, like Miracle Max, have also come up with 3 general categories for describing the nature of man and his ability to initiate a relationship with God. These states are “Not Dead”, “Mostly Dead”, and “All Dead”. Like Max theologians find that there is a big difference between these stages of being dead.

When we probe the nature of man we generally want to understand how to answer the following questions: Continue reading