What is Man?
by T. Austin-Sparks

Appendix

"Natural Man" and "Old Man"

A distinction has been made by a certain writer between the "Natural Man" and the "Old Man". It is said that the "Old Man" is totally depraved, without 'a single feature that is of God', but that the "Natural Man" bears traces of that which is of God, eg. 'natural affection, kindness, and often a great measure of truth and uprightness in dealing with his fellows'. This distinction or division of man is the basis of the contention between the humanist and the 'total depravity'-ist. Our point in what has been written here is that, while the soul is not necessarily evil as a part of man's being, there are two things about it which put it altogether outside of the humanistic realm of self-salvation or merit before God:

(1) It is under the rule of "vanity" (Rom 8:20) and the great "cannot" of 1 Corinthians 2:14.

(2) The soul is the point in man which, through its complicity with them, has become allied to the evil powers; and only when man's spirit is quickened and renewed does he really know how terrible that alliance is.


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