Theism (as a worldview) clearly teaches that we are not good; that you and I are capable of heinous acts, and play dumb before God as if we didn’t know what we were doing. No one is truly good, no one – no Christian nor atheist is truly good. The difference is that the Christian (if true to his worldview) will admit this presence of evil within himself; the atheist will not (if he is consistent with his worldview.)
In 1960, Israeli undercover agents orchestrated the daring kidnapping of one of the worst of the Holocaust masterminds, Adolf Eichmann. After capturing him in his South American hideout, they transported him to Israel to stand trial. There, prosecutors called a string of former concentration camp prisoners as witnesses. One was a small haggard man name Yehiel Dinur, who had miraculously escaped death in Auschwitz. On his day to testify, Dinur entered the courtroom and stared at the man in the bulletproof glass booth – the man who had murdered Dinur’s friends, personally executed a number of Jews, and presided over the slaughter of millions more. As the eyes of the two men met – victim and murderous tyrant – the courtroom fell silent, filled with the tension of the confrontation. But no one was prepared for what happened next. Yehiel Dinur began to shout and sob, collapsing to the floor. Was he overcome by hatred…by the horrifying memories…by the evil incarnate in Eichmann’s face? No. As he later explained in a riveting “60 Minutes” interview, it was because Eichmann was not the demonic personification of evil Dinur had expected. Rather, he was an ordinary man, just like anyone else. And in that instant, Dinur came to the stunning realization that sin and evil are the human condition. “I was afraid about myself,” Dinur said. “I saw that I am capable to do this…exactly like he… Eichmann is in all of us” (Colson, Body).” There’s an Eichmann in all of us. And life becomes an Auschwitz in a world without God.
But the good news is that in Theism, we “cosmic orphans” to borrow a phrase, can come home to life and meaning and hope because God hangs on to fallen creation and works to salvage it (badness and all) in the person of Christ. Evil has not made us worthless, but only lost and ruined. Yet, God has refused to scrap us. In Jesus, He hangs on to his original fallen creation and begins to work to salvage it. “God doesn’t make junk and He will not junk what He has made (Wolters).” To the theist, life is worth something, valued, and highly treasured.