The Biggest Problem with Being Human (or, Let’s Talk about Sin)

From my New Testament professor David Watson (who is now a big cheese) at United Theological Seminary: “…for this battle in which we find ourselves (with evil), the church complacent and the church complicit will not do. We need the church militant.”

David F. Watson

When I was a grad student, I taught world religions in a community college. The way I approached the topic was to say that each major religion offers a particular diagnosis of the greatest problem with the human condition. Likewise, each religion provides a solution to this problem. For example, take the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, which can be roughly rendered as follows:

Life is suffering.

The cause of suffering is desire.

The overcoming of suffering is through the overcoming of desire.

The overcoming of desire is through the Eightfold Path.

(If you want to know what the Eightfold Path is, that’s why God made the internet.)

The problem here is suffering, and its cause is desire, or craving. But there is a way of living called the Eightfold Path by in which we can overcome our desires. Thus we can overcome our suffering.

Christianity has a different diagnosis…

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