The Doctrine Of Human Depravity by A.W. Pink

The Doctrine Of Human Depravity
Joseph J. Adrian

In the chapter "It's Enormity," A.W. Pink laments two great weaknesses in the theology of the 20th century: "It's teaching concerning God and it's teaching concerning fallen man." Man has sunk much lower due to his fallen nature than many realize - "Sin is infinitely more vile in its nature than any of us realize." The Devil is the author of sin. Sin has brought its devastating effects upon man. "It has completely ruined his nature and brought him under the curse of God." Sin is an infinite evil, for sin is committed against an infinite and glorious being.

All forms of Atheism are rooted in sin. One can verbally and intellectually deny God's existence. A Practical Atheist does not need to deny God with their lips but they deny him by the way in which they live, they live as if God does not exist. There is no acknowledgment of God's rights over His Creation, "Man would be Lord of Himself . . . sin is really a denial of our creaturehood, and in consequence, a rejection of the rights of the Creator." Pink observes that some do not like to be labeled "Practical Atheists," they think that does not rightly apply to them because they are persuaded that Creation clearly evidences a Creator. The casting off of God's right to rule them, and the refusal to submit to His authority, is a species of Atheism. "It is the unquestionable prerogative of the Most High to have dominion over His creatures." What high-handed arrogance, for lowly man, to strip Almighty God of His rights.

As Christ represents "His Spiritual Seed," Adam (the father of the human race)represented the physical seed. Adam acted as the head of the human race. If Adam had remained obedient to God, then his obedience would have been reckoned to all his physical seed. The reverse is what actually transpired, "If the head failed and fell, then all his members fell in and with him." W.E. Best has this great insight regarding Adam's probation (from his book God Forgives Sinners): "Adam's trial was ordained of God because probation is an essential part of self-determination."

What a person believes regarding man's depravity is a good indication of their doctrinal soundness or lack thereof. "The doctrine of Total Depravity is a very humbling one. It is not that man needs propping up, nor that he is merely ignorant . . . but rather that he is undone, lost, spiritually dead."

Many go astray here; they think man's condition is better than it is, but in reality, it is far worse. The only remedy for man's desperate condition is by God's saving power through the sacrificial offering of His Son. This is the only way the power of reigning sin can be broken, freeing man from his bondage to sin and Satan. The only way to escape God's coming wrath and judgment is by repenting and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. None of man's Psychology or Philosophy can address man's depraved condition and deliver him from his sad estate.

The Doctrine of Human Depravity was never a book in Pink's lifetime. It was taken from a series of articles in The Studies in the Scriptures from the 1940s. It is a valuable work on this important Biblical teaching.