Are Infants “by Nature” Children of Wrath?

During a speech some time back before the American Humanist Association, television mogul Ted Turner leveled a blast at Christianity for its alleged doctrine that infants are born in sin. The fact is, though this teaching is popular with certain denominational groups, it is unknown to the Bible. However, a few biblical passages are perverted in a futile attempt to ... read more »

Rationalizing Human Behavior

Are human beings responsible for their personal conduct? Some contend they are not. Others, though claiming that people are morally responsible for their actions, teach ideas that are inconsistent with personal accountability. Evolutionary Dogma The theory of evolution alleges that human beings are descended from brute beasts, hence supposedly have derived violent inclinations from an animal ancestry. Clarence Darrow, the ... read more »

Ephesians 2:3 – By Nature Children of Wrath

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul describes unregenerate people as being "by nature children of wrath." Calvinists appeal to this passage for proof of the doctrine of hereditary total depravity. They feel the passage is affirming that humans are "by birth children of wrath." Baptist writer B.H. Carroll contended that this passage "knocks the bottom out of the thought ... read more »

Original Sin and a Misapplied Passage

The doctrine of original sin-the notion that one is born into this world hereditarily totally depraved-is widely believed in the religious world. For example, the Augsburg Confession of Faith (1530), Lutheranism's creed, asserted: [A]ll men, born according to nature, are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without confidence towards God and with concupiscence, and that this ... read more »

A Response to a Lutheran Pastor

In a past issue of The Christian News (5/20/96, p. 20), a paper published by a gentleman who is affiliated with the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church, Keith Schweitzer, Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church of Burkburnett, Texas, castigated churches of Christ because of their rejection of the dogma of "original sin." The particular object of the "pastor's" hostility was ... read more »

An Analysis of the “Salvation Army”

Street corner bands, trucks collecting repairable items, red kettles, ringing bells at Christmas time, and soup lines are well-known marks of the internationally publicized Salvation Army. This is an organization that is hailed as a paragon of virtue by most religious people. The Salvation Army is widely acclaimed for its charitable thrust. It operates hostels for homeless men and women, ... read more »

The Holy Spirit “Illumination” Theory: A Critical Review

There is a doctrine, quite common in the denominational community, that is making its presence increasingly felt among the people of God. It is the notion that the Christian has the promise of a direct "illumination of the Holy Spirit" in interpreting the text of the Bible. The theory suggests that the Scriptures, as they presently stand, are incapable of ... read more »

The Land Where God Is Not

They meant it as a hateful insult. It turns out to be a thrilling truth. During the personal ministry of Jesus, as the leaders of the Jewish community (e.g., the Pharisees and the scribes) became increasingly perceptive as to the nature of the Lord's teaching, they concocted various malicious rumors in their attempts to negate his gracious influence. Some charged ... read more »

Evolution and the Doctrine of Original Sin

The July/August issue of Archaeology magazine is devoted to the propagation of the theory of evolution. The front cover features an ape face with the accompanying caption: "In Search of Human Origins." The article seeks to convey the impression that within the last half-century new fossil evidence has buttressed the notion that humans derive their existence from lower, ape-like creatures. ... read more »

John Calvin and Grace

One of the most influential religious figures of the last millennium was John Calvin of Switzerland. Calvin was born in 1509. At the age of fourteen, he went to Paris to study the classics. He was so austere that his fellow students nicknamed him "The Accusative Case." In 1529, he commenced the study of civil law. Presently, though, Calvin became ... read more »