The problem with the human race is not that we have just a few bad apples in our midst. Writers in the field known as abnormal psychology work hard to distinguish the abnormal from the normal among us. One of the dangers in studying the topic, sometimes called the “intern syndrome,” is that students start to see themselves in every diagnosis. “There is almost no one who has not harbored secret doubts about his or her normality,” a recent textbook says. But writers in Scripture say that when it comes to the most important form of pathology, we are all in the same diagnostic category: “All we like sheep have gone astray….” From a spiritual perspective, our “secret doubts about our normality” have something important to tell us. As Neil Plantinga puts it, “In a biblical view of the world, sin is a familiar, even predictable part of life, but it is not normal. And the fact that ‘everybody does it’ doesn’t make it normal.”
From the time of Adam in the Garden of Eden, sin and hiding have been as inevitable as death and taxes. Some people are pretty good at hiding. But the weirdness is still there. Get close enough to anyone, and you will see it. Everybody’s normal till you get to know them.
Ortberg, J. (2009). Everybody’s normal till you get to know them. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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