I’m reading the book “Grace for All”, a collection of essays defending arminianism against Calvinism. In the first essay, Roger Olson defends arminianism against the charge that it doesn’t have a negative enough view of humanity. Olson argues that arminianism sees mankind as depraved, almost like such a view is a badge of honor. On p 8 he quotes Arminius: “In this state, the Free Will of man towards the True Good is not only wounded, maimed, infirm, bent, and … weakened; but it is also … imprisoned, destroyed, and lost: And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no power whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace.”. Olson then quotes Arminius as saying that due to the fall, man in the state of nature is “altogether dead in sin.”
That’s an extremely negative view of humanity. It seems really unnatural to me. When I look at my unbelieving neighbors, I don’t think of them as depraved. Does Christianity require embracing such an outlook?