In survey after survey, most Americans say that mankind is basically good. It is hard to square this view with the picture of man presented in the Bible. In the Bible we see that man is born in slavery to sin as a result of Adam’s original sin. Yet, many within the church today are far more likely to see man as basically good instead of totally depraved.
Back in 2001, R.C. Sproul wrote about this in an article for Modern Reformation magazine entitled “The Pelagian Captivity of the Church“. In the article Sproul says:
At the time of the Reformation, all the reformers agreed on one point: the moral inability of fallen human beings to incline themselves to the things of God; that all people, in order to be saved, are totally dependent, not ninety-nine percent, but one hundred percent dependent upon the monergistic work of regeneration in order to come to faith, and that faith itself is a gift of God. It’s not that we are offered salvation and that we will be born again if we choose to believe. But we can’t even believe until God in his grace and in his mercy first changes the disposition of our souls through his sovereign work of regeneration. In other words, what the reformers all agreed with was, unless a man is born again, he can’t even see the kingdom of God, let alone enter it. Like Jesus says in the sixth chapter of John, “No man can come to me unless it is given to him of the Father” — that the necessary condition for anybody’s faith and anybody’s salvation is regeneration.
Jesus’ words in John 3 and John 6 are still as offensive today as they were in the first century. As a result, fallen man keeps leaning on his own understanding instead of resting in the glorious truths presented in the Bible.
So, is man basically good? Most emphatically, no he is not! Only God is good. Soli Deo gloria, to God alone be the glory.