Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be…

Here’s a quote from one of the most influential books I’ve ever read,  Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin by Cornelius Plantinga.  Ever time I pick it up my mind is challenged, my heart is stirred, and my hope soars.  I cannot recommend it enough…

“Human life is not the way it’s supposed to be. And so…the world’s great thinkers often diagnose the human predicament and prescribe various remedies for it. They diagnose oppression and prescribe justice. They diagnose the conformism of bad faith and prescribe the freedom of authentic choice. A few look at the world, fall into a depression, and put their prescription pad away.”

“Christians think that the usual diagnoses and prescriptions catch part of the truth, but that they do not get to the bottom of it. The real human predicament, as Scripture reveals, is that inexplicably, irrationally, we all keep living our lives against what’s good for us. In what can only be called the mystery of iniquity, human beings from the time of Adam and Eve (and, before them, a certain number of angelic beings) have so often chosen to live against God, against each other, and against God’s world. We live even against ourselves.”

“Near the beginning of our history, we human beings broke the harmony of paradise and began to live against our ultimate good. We once had a choice. We now have a near-compulsion—at least, that’s what we have without the grace of God to set us free. Over the centuries we humans have ironed in this near-compulsion, with the result that each new generation enters a world that has long ago lost its Eden, a world that is now half-ruined by the billions of bad choices and millions of old habits congealed into thousands of cultures across all the ages. In this world even saints discover, in exasperation, that whenever they want to do right “evil lies close at hand” (Romans 7:21). We are conceived and born in sin. This is a way of stating the doctrine of original sin, that is, that the corruption and guilt of our first parents have run right down the generations, tainting us all.” ~ Cornelius Plantinga, Not the Way It's Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin

Praise God for the remedy found in the Gospel of Christ…

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  ~ Ephesians 2:1-10