As I talk with unbelievers from time to time, I’m often taken aback by how most of them outright deny any notion of mankind’s sinful condition. Of course I don’t expect unbelievers to affirm biblical truth, but even some unbelievers are capable of realizing that there is something inherently wrong with the human race. What seems obvious to us as Christians is certainly not obvious to the world. How one views the condition of mankind is essential to one’s worldview.
Right now as I’m writing this, the major news organizations are focusing on a horrific crime in Arizona which a number of people have been killed in a mass shooting, one of whom was a judge. A member of Congress is among the wounded. How do we interpret today’s events? If human beings are inherently good as many unbelievers assert, then why do these things happen? Everyone condemns what happened, but that’s where the agreement ends. When we get into the causes of such evil behavior, differences in our respective worldviews begin to emerge.
This week Al Mohler posted an article about the importance of having a Christian worldview. The doctrines of original sin and the total depravity of mankind are essential to how we as Christians interpret the world around us. It most definitely affects how we look at nature and within ourselves as human beings. Too often we embrace a biblical anthropology on Sunday but act like Pelagians the rest of the week. In order to accommodate the world, we refrain from being consistent in our convictions.
It’s certainly not popular to openly profess that mankind is dead in sin, inherently corrupt, and bent toward evil. Perhaps this reason this brings a hostile rebuke from the world (especially our modern culture) is that the simple fact that people don’t want to be confronted with their sin. And at the same time, they don’t want to be confronted with the holiness of God. Their reactions are consistent with Paul’s description of mankind in Rom. 3:10-18 which puts to bed any notion of the natural man being “good” in any way such that we don’t even seek after God (v. 11). Instead, we run from Him and go our own ways.
As this month goes on, I want to blog more about this topic of having a biblical anthropology. The church as a whole seems to have forgotten this essential truth, especially within Evangelical circles. This is, after all, the starting point when discussing the Gospel. Until we apprehend our own sinful condition, we cannot apprehend the person and work of Christ. God came to earth and assumed flesh in order to bring salvation to the unjust. Let’s start there.