A Terrible Indictment of Human Nature

I came across this quote listening to the audiobook of Basic Christianity by John Stott, which you can download for free here until the end of the month. Stott is talking about the development of liberal theology in the early 20th century, in which the biblical concepts of original sin and total depravity were replaced by a belief that men are fundamentally good. Rather than being sinful in our very nature, we are merely corrupted by things external to us; we are victims rather than criminals. But this does not jive with reality. Consider Stott:

Much that we take for granted in a civilized society is based upon the assumption of human sin. Nearly all legislation has grown up because human beings cannot be trusted to settle their own disputes with justice and without self-interest. A promise is not enough; we need a contract. Doors are not enough; we have to lock and bolt them. The payment of fares is not enough; tickets have to be issued, inspected and collected. Law and order are not enough; we need the police to enforce them. All this is due to man’s sin. We cannot trust each other. We need protection against one another. It is a terrible indictment of human nature.

Thanks be to God who, in Christ, has delivered me from this body of death! He has given me a new heart and a renewed mind. He has placed within me the Holy Spirit, by whose power I am delivered from slavery to my own sinful nature into the happy bondage of righteousness!

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