Monday, February 4, 2008

Total Depravity

Isn't it interesting how God works. Especially when He wants to make sure we understand something very important. Something about who He is and how He works in this world. Something that deepens our trust in Him and our worship of Him. That is the way I feel about the last several weeks.
Just before the holidays, Teri and I enjoyed the privilege of time with the Johnstons. I consider it a privilege because it just doesn’t happen as often as my heart desires. So when it does, I am always thankful and it is always good. Tom and I were having small talk when he mentions the WWII series called Band of Brothers. He had mentioned this to me before and I had heard he and Andy (a mutual friend) talk about it as well. Tom had purchased the DVD set and he let me borrow it to watch during the holidays. As it turns out, both Teri and I were hooked after having watched the opening episode. I admit that it makes for an odd date night, but it had captured our attention and we were both engaged with the emotion of such a powerful story.
About this same time, I was on a business trip and asked a gentleman sitting next to me about the very large book he as intently reading. This is odd for a couple of reasons. One is that I do not usually initiate conversation with strangers on an airplane. Now, admittedly, I routinely depart the plane wishing I had, but it rarely motivates me enough to do it the next time. For some reason, this time I overcame my social inhibitions. It was a brief conversation as he explained the general idea of a book with a very strange title – What is the What, by David Eggers. The second reason this encounter was unusual is because I am not usually drawn to books greater than 2 inches in height, especially those outside my normal genre of reading. Yet again, I was compelled to take up and read and was immediately drawn into the story.
The third and final piece of the story involves my winter session class at DTS. The class was a theology class studying humanity and sin. Within only a few hours of class lecture, I began to see the connection. The movie series, the book, and the class all had a central message – the depravity of man apart from God. I am convinced God desires for me to understand this truth. It seems that only when we understand the depth of our helpless and hopeless state of depravity – only then can we truly appreciate the miraculous redemption we have through faith in Jesus Christ. Only when we understand the corruption of humanity can we understand the depths to which God stooped to rescue those whom He loves. The depravity of man is the palate God uses to paint the redemptive story in the most surprising brilliant color.
In the posts that follow, you will see my reflections of what I believe God has inspired and how it has impacted my life and my theology. The series of encounters as I have described them seem to have a purposful design and I pray I learn all He has intended.

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