(Part 3 of 4. See Part 1 and Part 2)

Christians should hold to “and” more than “or”. These ideas stretch in tension together rather than fighting in conflict.

In fact, the Bible appears to confirm “and” theology.

Humans are capable of so much more than we think.

Fearfully and wonderfully made in the womb by the creator (Psalm 139:14).

Made very good and in the image of God (Genesis 1).

Given dominion and creative power over the world (Genesis 1).

Outside of scripture, the achievements of mankind are remarkable. Individually and collectively, the cultures, cities, technologies, and art created by humans cannot be labeled less than incredible.

Humans are so much more unable and weak than we tend to acknowledge.  

There are none who seek righteousness (Romans 3).

Our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

The Bible teaches that humanity is abundantly sinful and disgraced. We are unable to save ourselves or please God through our own efforts. Grace is necessary.

Outside of scripture, humanity has abundantly demonstrated its inability. The wars, genocide, destructive greed and debilitating pride ravage our world.

But, humans are incredible creatures that God has filled with potential. Our creative power, the ability to gain and refine skills all flow from the incredible mind and body God has gifted us with. Research continues to explore and substantiate how amazing humans are and how little of our true potential we are realizing.

The problem arises when we affirm the optimism of humanity so strongly that we think it can overcome the pessimism. Or, when our pessimism overcomes our optimism about human potential.