The "basically good" view
Here are some important questions posed by the "basically good" camp:
- If God is creator, and God is good, how can he have created what is evil?
- If God proclaimed creation to be "very good in every way", how can we be evil?
- If God created us in his image, and he is good and holy, how can we (in his image) be evil?
The "totally depraved" view
Here are some important questions posed by the "totally depraved" camp at the opposite end of the spectrum:
- If we are basically good, then why do we need to be "born again" or take part in a new creation?
- If we are basically good, why have so many people done so many things that are not good?
- If we are basically good, then why does the Bible insist in a number of places that we have serious problems -- to say the least -- with sin, wickedness, and deceit?
Finding the truth
A wise man (my son Stephen) once said, "Truth does not equal the average of opinions." Just because there are opposite views, it does not necessarily follow that a reasonable person should hold a view that is the average of the two. Though it is typical to find that each side considers things important that the other side does not account for.
So I find myself curious to hear more of the debate, and wondered: Do any of you all have an opinion on the topic? What are the key things on which you build that view? My current thoughts are based on the nature of good and evil (which would be a topic for some other post), but I'm keen to find out about other perspectives.