But Isn’t Man Depraved?

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’ve lately been looking at the apologetic method known as presuppositionalism. Tonight, I’d like to get somewhat into doctrinal waters and deal with the objection from some that fallen man is incapable of knowing the truth about God.

Now there are extremes here as some have said that it is impossible for fallen man to reach right conclusions. This seems like a stretch however as in the Old Testament, we are told that the wisdom of Solomon was even greater than the pagan kings, implying that those pagan kings were pretty wise. As we have shown, pagans were held accountable for moral laws they ought to have known they were violating.

What about saying that fallen man can be right about other things, but that he can never be right about God? This would also seem to be problematic. For instance, many of us would agree with a number of statements made about God by Greek philosophers. The word “omnipotent” does not show up in the Bible, but we do not hesitate to use it to describe God seeing as we believe He is all-powerful and that has also been because of philosophical thinking in light of Scriptural revelation. Of course, the philosophers made a lot of mistakes, but considering all they had was reason and no Scripture, they did quite well.

We could also ask about fallen angels. Does the devil know that God exists? Does he know that God is triune? Does he know that God is omnipotent and omniscient? If any of these is yes, it would seem to be that we have a problem seeing as if anyone is fallen in all of creation, then it would certainly be the devil.

I am highly aware that presuppositional writers do state that they admit that fallen man can know things, but the question to ask is why is the cut-off line so arbitrary? Why suddenly stop it at God? If a lost person says “I do not know which God is the true God yet, but I know that whichever God created things, he has to be extremely smart and extremely powerful.” While we would say that he did not go far enough in what he said, we would not think that the unbeliever who said this was wrong.

Am I denying that man is fallen? Certainly not. One can be a Calvinist (Not saying I am, and I’m not saying I’m not) and still not be a presuppositionalist. In fact, many critiques of presuppositionalism have come from within the Calvinist camp. It is my contention that the fallenness of man will relate more to the will than to the intellect. Having a pure will would not necessitate being a super genius. The will is that which will effect how the intellect is used and we all know how good we are at reasoning to conclusions we want or don’t want to be true.

We are not forced to say that man’s intellect is so fallen that it cannot grasp the truth, even about God. Now how that fallenness is taken care of, be it in a Calvinistic or Arminian sense, I leave up to the reader to decide. At this point, I just want to say that I do not see the claim about fallen man having much weight.


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