Hyperbole Taken Literally


None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.

Romans 3:10-12

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”

Romans 1:17

There’s a particular religious strain, one I most often see in the Reformed camp but not only there, that takes general Scriptural descriptions, maximizes their meaning, and applies them without balance in the strictest possible way. The first verse cited above, for example, is often used (with others, like Isaiah “all our righteous acts are as filthy rags”) to build a case for an extreme form of total depravity. But it’s clear just reading the rest of Romans that not all men are evil all the time and that men can really…

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