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Donovan L. Graham says, in the book I’m reading (Teaching Redemptively) in order to be considered a trustworthy and legitimate teacher in the near future:

“It’s extremely important to realize that while sin distorted the creation, it did not destroy it or turn it into something evil. Sin neither abolishes nor becomes identified with creation. Sin is of a different order. It lives as a parasite on creation, able to exist only as an agent that twists what is good. Satan, a renegade, has no legitimate kingdom and lives under God’s rule. The only thing he has to work with is God’s good creation, and his so-called kingdom could not even exist without creation. Therefore, we must see that prostitution and promiscuity do not make sex bad. They can only exist as a distortion of human sexuality, God’s good creation. Hatred is only a distortion of the human emotion of love, another of God’s good creations. Every sinful, distorted image embodies a good image created by God. A hurtful relationship is still a relationship, a godless school is still a school, a corrupt government is still a government, idol worship is still worship. Thus sin must not be seen as something that has an existence of its own. If it did not attach itself to the good of God’s creation, it could not exist.”

And so I’m left thinking about how we are not inherently good, like so many naively believe.  No.  But, neither are we altogether wired up for evil, like we sometimes mistakenly assume.  We are made to be good; we are called good by the Creator before we fall.  It is just that we have been turned away from that goodness towards evil, sin, and shame.  And, though provided with a Savior and called righteous even when we are not, we are still diseased by the heaviness of that shame.

Sin cannot create.  It is handicapped and unable to produce ex nihilo.  It can only twist and ruin things that already are.  Things that, at their core, are good.