How bad am I?
If it is true that in the core of our being we are good, then judgment from God, rather than some sort of shaping discipline, would be more in line with a good God’s character. As much as we might want to believe this, the Bible doesn’t let us. It teaches us that sin is like a cancer in the heart. It spreads out until every part is infected. This is what Augustine argued against Pelagius, Luther against Erasmus, and Calvin’s followers against Arminius. Their answer to the question, how bad are we? is simply this: We are corrupt through and through.
In Genesis we have a description of the condition of man – black and bleak. Against this backdrop, we find that the grace of God shines all the brighter.