While I would agree that the doctrines of grace are axiomatic to biblical interpretation, I am curious as to the best articulation of Total Depravity. Total Depravity expresses the reality that all areas of life are tainted by sin. Since the Fall of Adam, natural man is entirely influenced by sin. This depravity is expressed in different degrees for different individuals. Thus the murderer and the mystic are both totally depraved, yet their depravity may exist in varying degrees of depth. The question is, Does total depravity posit that no unbeliever will demonstrate a 'seeking' of God? (though never to find him outside of Christ). Does it argue that the works, thoughts, and art of the natural man are worthless in aiding us to know God? For example, can a pagan paint a picture that is 'God-reflecting'? Can an agnostic express philosophical truth clearly enough that it actually helps Christians to better understand God? Can a musician who knows nothing of Christ's at
The lamp-posts are poetical...the lamp-post really has the whole poetry of man, for no other creature can lift a flame so high and guard it so well. --G K Chesterton, London Times July 24, 1909.