The Human Condition

In the last blog we discussed the Christian propensity to ignore legitimate questions about their faith.  One reason some do this is because they believe our entire being (including our intellect) has been so corrupted by the fall that we cannot by our own efforts find God.  After all, Jeremiah tell us we are “deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9) and in a couple of verses we are told that God’s ways are beyond our understanding (Job 36:26 and Isaiah 55:9).  Therefore, we must just believe what the Bible tells us even if our intellect raises questions about it.

The problem with this approach is that it does not address how we know what the Bible teaches us about God.  If we are so corrupted by the fall, then our intellect is unable to properly interpret the Bible and give us an accurate representation of what God is like.  As Budziszewski says in his book about natural law, such a view of humanity and of the fall shoots itself in the foot. [1]

While the Bible details the limits inherent in human existence, it also teaches we have enormous potential.  Genesis 1:26-27 tells us we are made in God’s image.  If God is as awesome as the Bible teaches and we share even a little of that nature, then we certainly can accomplish great things.  God gave us control over this earth (Genesis 1:28-30).  At times this world seems to control us but God would not have given us control if we were not capable of that task.  The Bible, in discussing the people of Babel, says that there is nothing we cannot do if we work together (Genesis 11:4-6).  The technological and cultural advances of our civilization are a testament to the validity of God’s assessment of our abilities.  The book of Psalms states we are made with just a little bit of God lacking in us (Psalms 8:4-5). [2]

Our theology must be based upon what the entire Bible says, not just a few selected passages.  The message of Christianity is that we have a sin problem and need help to overcome it but included in that message is that we also have enormous potential.  Nowhere does the Bible state our sinful nature prevents us from knowing the truth.  Paul, in Romans 1:18, tells us we must allow our wickedness to suppress that ability.

God made us rational creatures and we should use what God has given us to learn more about him.


[1]   J. Budziszewski, Written on the Heart (Downers Grove, IL:  InterVarsity Press, 1997), p. 111.

[2]   Ravi Zacharias,  Can Man Live without God?  (Dallas:  Word Publishing, 1994), p. 141.

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