Calvinism-Total Hereditary Depravity (Three)

It is written:

Job 14:4-Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!


Job 15:14-“What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?

It is argued that these passages teach the notion of total hereditary depravity. Is this the case?

Not at all.

First of all, notice that the language of both of these passages is highly poetic in nature. Poetic language must be interpreted as such. In fact, the fact that this poetic language is not to be interpreted literally is shown by the context of these passages.

As one author has written:

“”Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?” Job xiv: 14. “What is man that he should be clean, and he that is born of woman, that he should be righteous?” Job xv: 14. These are bold examples of Scripture hyperbole, as are also the several passages to which our attention has been called in this section; but to put this beyond dispute, just read the verse immediately following the last quoted. “Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are unclean in his sight.” And again: “Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly.” Job iv: 18. Now, if these passages are to be taken in their unfigurative signification, the angels are fools, and the heavens unclean! And, as out of an unclean thing a clean thing can never come, it follows that a clean thing has never come out of heaven; nay, the very heavens and the angels are totally depraved. Thus is proved the total depravity of the heavens, and of angels, by precisely the same rules of interpretation by which the clergy attempt to prove hereditary total depravity!” (Aylett Raines, A Refutation Of Hereditary Total Depravity Or The Chief Cornerstone Of Calvinistic And Arminian Sectarianism Removed, 44-45 (Kindle Edition); Paris, KY)

The context of both of these statements demands a figurative interpretation.

Second, Job is discussing the uncleanness of humanity, not the reason for humanity’s uncleanness.

Job 14:16-17-For now You number my steps, But do not watch over my sin. 17  My transgression is sealed up in a bag, And You cover my iniquity.

What is in focus in the section is mankind which chooses to sin. He is not talking about humanity being wicked from birth.

These passages do not teach total depravity.

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