Calvinism’s doctrine of Total Inability suggests that all people are born as “spiritual corpses,” morally unable to see, hear, understand and repent even in response to God’s own inspired truth. But this seems contradictory to what some leading Calvinists teach regarding the impact Satan has in our world.
For example, in an article titled, “Satan’s Ten Strategies Against You,” Calvinistic Pastor, John Piper, mentions this about the the great deceiver, Satan:
“1) He blinds the minds of unbelievers.
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). So he not only speaks what is false. He hides what is true. He keeps us from seeing the treasure of the gospel. He lets us see facts, even proofs, but not preciousness.
2) Satan plucks the word of God out of people’s hearts and chokes faith.
Jesus told the parable of the four soils in Mark 4:1–9. In it, the seed of the word of God is sown, and some falls on the path and birds quickly take it away. He explains in verse 15, “Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which was sown in them.” Satan snatches the word because he hates faith which the word produces (Romans 10:17).
Paul expresses his concern for the faith of the Thessalonians like this: “I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain” (1 Thessalonians 3:5). Paul knew that Satan’s design is to choke off the faith of people who have heard the word of God.”
Does this effort of Satan strike anyone as being completely unnecessary if the claims of Calvinism are true regarding man’s Total Inability from birth?
If we are born completely unable to see, hear, understand or respond willingly to the word of God, as the doctrine of Total Inability suggests, wouldn’t Satan’s work to blind people and snatch away the word be completely unnecessary and redundant?
Imagine visiting your local cemetery and discovering they hired a person to put blind folds and ear plugs on the corpses lest they respond willingly to the sights and sounds around the graveyard. Would this strike you as peculiar?
If you asked the cemetery’s director of operations why such an employee was hired and he sarcastically and confidently said, “Well, there are means to accomplish the ends. How do you think we keep corpses from responding to the sights and sounds around the graveyard except by means?” How would you reply?
Wouldn’t you ask, “But, sir, why are the means of blindfolds and ear plugs necessary given their corpse like condition?”
If he were to reply by rolling his eyes in disgust and saying, “You obviously know nothing about running a cemetery! How dare you question our methods. If you were more intelligent or insightful you would know the answer to this question already, so move along.” How then would you reply?
Would you conclude he was mentally unfit to do his job? Would you try and reason with him further? What is the appropriate response to something that appears to be blatantly contradictory and absurd?