Is Man’s Nature Fixed? Part 2

Post Author: Bill Pratt

Constrained or Unconstrained Vision?  Which is it?

In my view, the more biblically sound vision must be the constrained – for one simple reason: original sin.

The Bible teaches that every human being is born with a sinful nature, that we are not born with a clean moral slate, as the unconstrained vision claims.  The first human, Adam, sinned, and his sin has passed down to all of us.  “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12).

King David lamented, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5).

The apostle Paul ended any debate about the sinful nature of man when he said, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Rom. 3:10) and “there is no one who does good, not even one” (3:12).

Even after a person receives Christ, they will still struggle with sin until they die.  It is only after death, when a person is glorified (their salvation is completed and they are free from the desire to sin), that the unconstrained vision holds.  The unconstrained vision, then, can only be actualized in heaven, the place where man finally acts only for the good.

While we live on this earth, Christians recognize the sin that penetrates every man’s heart, and we are thus deeply skeptical of the intellectual and moral potential of human beings.  The ability of fallen human beings to reason their way to moral solutions for all mankind is impossible, under the Christian view.

Even though Christians recognize that man’s nature is sinful, we still fight for the good, to the best of our abilities.  We are still commanded to make this world the best it can be.  There is no sense of giving up, but there is a sense of realism, that man-made political solutions will never deliver the utopia that the unconstrained vision sees as a real possibility.

  • In this world, we are certainly constrained, as your post, and the sum of human history atest.

    But is this world the main event, or only the prologue?

    I think it likely that all history from Gen 1 to Rev 22 is development: the story of God’s creation of man in His own image. At the end, it is complete.
    The perhaps the real story begins. We characters in Act 1 have not seen the full script, just the part we need to fulfil our part.

    I’m eager to see the rest.

  • Bill Pratt

    As am I. Thanks for the comment.