Arminian and Calvinist compared
The Arminian and Calvinist views on Total Depravity start out with similar points. The theory of Total Depravity forms the 'T' in the Calvinist five summary points TULIP, and the T in the Arminian five summary points of FACTS. It is one area where there is some crossover within the two theories.
Both Calvinists and Arminians believe that due to the fall of man, all people are born in sin and under the sentence of divine condemnation. Sin impacts and corrupts every aspect of being, flesh, mind, inclination, heart, motives, etc. Man, of his own nature and volition, is not willing to seek God, return to God, or reform himself, rather he is inclined to turn away from God. Man cannot even think or do good in and of himself. Man cannot of his own merit, work, or thoughts achieve salvation for himself. Man cannot even, of himself, believe the gospel. God must take the initiative in salvation.
Summary of Arminian Theology
Outline of Arminian FACTS
Summary of Calvinist TULIP
Both Calvinists and Arminians hold that God must initiate salvation by overcoming man's nature in some fashion by His grace, such as conviction by the Holy Spirit or opening man's eyes, etc. (Arminians hold that this grace is given to all men, Calvinists only to specially chosen elect, in their differing views of election and atonement.)
The Calvinist theory of Total Depravity does differ in one crucial way, by adding that the particular grace needed to overcome man's sin must be regeneration by the Holy Spirit, the man must be 'born-again' and 'quickened' prior to the man being able to be saved. The Canons of Dort summarized this in this way:
Therefore all men are conceived in sin, and are by nature children of
wrath, incapable of saving good, prone to evil, dead in sin, and in
bondage thereto; and without the regenerating grace of the Holy
Spirit, they are neither able nor willing to return to God, to reform
the depravity of their nature, or to dispose themselves to reformation.
Calvinist view of necessary regeneration
Calvinist view of necessary quickening
The Lutheran view does not use the term 'Total Depravity' but rather 'bondage of the will.' The sinner's will is viewed as fallen, and hence in bondage to sin. The sinner is unable to come to God without the grace of God. Man no longer has any remnant of the divine image he was created in. Man is taught as having a complete lack of freedom in spiritual matters and unable to spiritually grasp so as to believe or trust what is heard or learned. In this teaching, faith itself must be bestowed by the Holy Spirit.
Lutheran view of conversion