Here’s Francis Schaeffer, with a searching passage from his book, True Spirituality. It’s a great call to stop and look at things, all around us, as they really are. Schaeffer invites us to really see what the consequences of the Fall of humanity (recorded in Genesis chapter 3) are, within us, between us, and all around us. He writes:
For ourselves and for those who come into contact with us, nothing is more imperative than consciously to consider what our attitude should be to life as it in reality is. I would put this basically that our view of what salvation means is by us is usually considered in too small a framework. Thus we ourselves are poorer in intellectual comprehension and in the framework for our lives, in the light of reality as it is – and we are then also poorer in helping our generation.
To understand the breadth of salvation, we must realize that all is abnormal now. It is not what originally was, and it is not what it was meant to be. The abnormalities touch all of life.
First, we individually are each one separated from ourselves. The striking part of this is our coming physical death when the body will be separated from our spiritual portion. But also in the present we are each one separated from ourselves psychologically…There are degrees, but this present psychological separation is true of each of us.
Beyond ourselves individually, each person is separated from others. We can think of (and feel) all the personal and sociological separations that exist between all people. This is true in the terrible cruelty to refugees, but it is also true in the separation between the closest of families and friends.
And Man is separated from nature. And also nature is not at peace with nature.
In short, abnormality stretches out on every side. It is possible to argue strenuously for the historicity of Genesis 3, and yet not to view life in the reality of the resulting abnormality. This is not just a theological statement to be maintained as theology; rather, we are to understand this all-reaching abnormality and live in the comprehension of what the present situation truly is.
I could not stand this world if this comprehension was not present. In this world a person can only be complacent if he or she is young enough, has money enough, is well enough, and at the same time lacks compassion for those about him. As soon as we face reality, the obscenity of the present situation strikes us in the face.