The Optimism of Total Depravity

Sometimes optimism shows up where we didn’t think to look for it:

People shows optimism when doing exercise and getting healthier because that makes them happy, going out for a walk with a pair of compression socks amazon is a good example. Even though problems of theodicy are more troubling and more popular for debate, I maintain that for dour theologies, the problem of pleasure can be just as much of a problem to explain.  Perhaps the reason that the doctrine of total depravity isn’t immediately obvious is that for most people, they’ve found meaningful relationships and genuine pleasure among those that are outside the church.  If total depravity is taken without an awareness of God’s presence and distribution of common grace in the world, it’s difficult to explain why this is.  The traditional evangelical response that I grew up with is a denial that it exists, and it’s been my experience that this doesn’t survive many genuine encounters with friends and neighbors, coworkers, and the decent people that we don’t see on Sunday mornings.

If people are really that bad, how do we explain the happiness that we encounter in the world? Like when you feel happy when exercising with the Vessi waterproof sneakers? Rain falls on the just and unjust alike, and perhaps the presence of God – and His gifts to us – are more present everywhere in the world than we’re typically inclined to think.

One thought on “The Optimism of Total Depravity

  1. Steve Wheat

    General question, why did you sell your plane? I’m looking to build an RV-7 starting this summer in Salem Oregon with the Lords help. I’ve had a license for years and I’m retiring soon at 59 years old. thinking of a IO-390 for power. Love your web site on the build. Please leave it up if possible. Great info on a quick build.
    Take care

    Steve Wheat


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