Mad World – Total Depravity pt. 2

How often have you read the news and wondered, perhaps aloud:  “Has the world gone insane!?”  The answer to that questions is Yes…Yes we have.  

As we continue our focus on the biblical doctrine of “Total Depravity,” let’s consider how deeply this depravity runs.  Our sinfulness prevents us from naturally thinking, feeling, knowing and loving in a way that corresponds to the big obvious truths of reality.  Exhibit A:  The existence of God.

John Calvin comments that “we cannot but open our eyes without being compelled to behold God in a thousand different ways.”  Everywhere and at all times, all of created reality declares the existence and glory of the Creator.  Yet according to Paul in Romans 1, we naturally suppress the obvious truth of God’s existence and glory.  Further, we exchange the truth about God for a lie, multiple lies, anything and everything but the worship of the true God.  Calvin says that our hearts are idol factories.

When truth so fundamental as the existence of God is suppressed in the soul, insanity results.  We worship the creature rather than the Creator.  One example of this insanity in our culture is the fact that killing  endangered animals will cost you money while killing unborn human children provides a paycheck for many doctors.  While millions of defenseless people are unrecognized as human beings, or at least humans whose lives are worth preserving, efforts are underway to give human rights to rivers and trees.  Such thinking lacks sense.  It is literally debased, removed from the only proper foundation for human thought and ethics:  knowledge of and submission to the true and living God.

The next time you read something head-scratching or heartbreaking in the news, remember that such stories make sense in a fallen world.  Let them remind you of our desperate need for Christ who is the Wisdom of God.


  1. timbloedow January 24, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Appreciate it, Rut. Re. the word insanity, I tend to shy away from using it because although I think it’s true the way you use it, I think it can also be used – and has been? – to try to absolve people of personal responsibility. That’s of course how insanity is used in our corrupt court systems. “Not guilty by reason of insanity” !!!

  2. Rut Etheridge III January 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Thanks, Tim! You’re absolutely right. This insanity is not an innocent one. Calvin’s expression “voluntary slaves”, cf. a previous entry, is so helpful in describing our
    situation with sin.

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