Adam’s Legacy Part One

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

Through the years Romans 5:12-21 has often been abused to promote the false doctrine of Total Hereditary Depravity, the taproot of John Calvin’s noxious T.U.L.I.P. It teaches that Adam’s disobedience in the Garden so deformed him spiritually he was totally incapable of thinking or doing anything but sin. This corrupt, evil nature is then transmitted through human DNA and makes every child conceived—from Cain onward—a totally depraved sinner, guilty of Adam’s sin and hopelessly condemned to hell by God before the baby draws his first breath on his birth day.

Of all the heinous, boldfaced lies Satan has told throughout human history, this has to rank near the top.

Without leaving the beginning of Genesis, consider these reasons why this is false teaching about Adam’s spiritual legacy:

Then the Lord said in His heart, ‘I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done’” (Genesis 8:21). God plainly says the imagination/mind of humanity’s heart is evil from our youth, not our birth.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” (Genesis 6:5-6). According to the genealogies in Genesis, there were about 2,000 years between Adam and Noah. Because of this, the New King James translators begin the verse with “then”, an adverb of time; other translators use “and”. If Total Hereditary Depravity is true, the condition God saw in Noah’s day had been true since the days of Adam (or about 2,000 years), and was nothing new. This raises several troubling questions about God:

  • Why did it take Him two millennia to notice this ongoing, ever-present human condition?

  • How did the universal flood solve anything? (It did not change human nature. According to Calvinism, all humans born after the flood were just as spiritually depraved as those born prior to it. The flood solved nothing.)

  • Why did God command Noah and his sons after the flood to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1)? (If human procreation automatically generates totally depraved sinners, and thus fills the earth with evil and unrighteousness, why would God issue a command which would immediately return humanity back to the exact same moral and spiritual state prior to the flood?)

How were totally depraved sinners (i.e., Adam and Eve) capable of having a son who was righteous (i.e., Abel—Matthew 23:35; Hebrews 11:4) and a son who was wicked (i.e., Cain—1 John 3:12)?

Here are a few of the many ways to demonstrate that the doctrine of Total Hereditary Depravity is wrong.

   Send article as PDF   

Author: jchowning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *