Grappling with the different models
I've noticed through my journey from cultural christian to fundamentalist to liberal, that faith groups develop models in an attempt to understand such weighty theological concepts as those being discussed in this thread. For example, in regards to the question of infant salvation, some denominations went with having all newborns baptized into the church. Southern Baptists, on the other hand, rejected that practice and came up with the "age of accountability" model.
The trouble with most models is I can never make them fit every single instance.
As an example, I have really grown to appreciate the idea of sin being understood as a human "missing the mark." However I am not at all comfortable with saying that Hitler simply "missed the mark." How do we understand sin and its relationship to evil? I think alot of Christians see them as being one and the same, but are they in fact two different things? If so, what it their relationship to each other?
Regarding the idea of "total depravity," there is something very wrong about a little girl performing a solo in church and singing "...that saved a wretch like me." And so I reject total depravity. But even if it was the model that best represented the human situation, I have observed the negative effects that such a teaching seems to have on those that hear it. Self-destructive behavior is often a consequence of a low self-image. How much better to hear the message that we humans, created only slightly lower than the heavenly beings, can get it right. Is not that the message that Jesus proclaimed?
Last edited by Jamie McDaniel; 03-04-2006 at 01:47 PM.
Reason: slight revision