“The Biblical faith began by asking ‘what is man?’ and then hammered out an answer which may best be described as one of realistic hope. It declares that man can do better.”
On October 4, 1964 Rabbi Olan raised the question of human nature. Are we, as a species, fated to constant failures (“sin”) and the negative consequences of those failures? Some religious traditions believe that humans are totally helpless to solve our self-made problems. Only God can do that. Olan’s view of Biblical faith is pessimistic but not skeptical. Yes, people do sin against God and each other frequently, but we can learn to do better. Humans are not totally helpless. Experiece is a great teacher. And God is more than just a dispenser of forgiveness.
“The business of living is to master our weaknesses and advance our virtues. It is hard to do it alone – there is a God ever present who will help.”
This is a word for people who are feeling overwhelmed by their personal failings and by the brokenness of the world. Don’t let these matters immobilize you. All is not lost. We can learn to do better, with God’s help.