Sunday Walk 50 – Good At Heart?

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10, King James Bible 1769

When I was a teenager my family and I watched the 1959 film The Diary of Anne Frank in our living room. Anne died in a Nazi concentration camp, but she left behind a diary of the events that occurred while her family was in hiding. A memorable part of the movie was when she expressed her belief that people were good at heart.

George Barna of the Cultural Research Center wrote recently that one of the top 10 most seductive unbiblical ideas embraced by Americans is ‘the idea that people are “basically good”’. That suggests that the memorable part of the movie about Anne Frank was seductively unbiblical.

The reason the idea that we are good at heart is wrong is because it is sentimental. It is a false form of consolation, because it looks for goodness in the wrong place. Rather than acknowledging that God is good, it claims that somewhere deep down inside of us we are.

To a society that rejects Jesus, we mythologize the Kingdom of God rather than preach it. To a society that blatantly intimidates with sexual addiction, we downplay the need for repentance. Alisa Childers wrote that one of the five signs that one’s church was becoming progressive is “[t]he heart of the gospel message shifts from sin and redemption to social justice”.

I’m still trying to figure this out. You are welcome to tell me what you think about people being good at heart.


I am grateful to Michael Wilson for presenting George Barna’s research and to Bruce Cooper for pointing out Alisa Childers’ criticism of progressive Christianity.

Final thought: After David impregnated Bathsheba, had her husband Uriah killed to avoid scandal, and was called out for it by Nathan (2 Samuel 11-12), he didn’t think much of his heart. He wanted God to create in him a clean one (Psalm 51).


Weekly Bible Reading:  Joshua (Audio), Judges (Audio), Ruth (Audio)
Commentary: David Pawson, Joshua, Part 2 of 2, Judges and Ruth, Part 1 of 2, Unlocking the Bible

View From the Top
View From the Top

Sunday Walk 47

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

Mark 16:9 King James Bible 1769

I found the following oratorio by Kathie Lee Gifford and Nicole C. Mullen on the The Marshall Report. It is about Hagar, Ruth, and David and then wondrously about Mary Magdalene (John 20:1-18). They all experienced crises. God saw them and answered them. He sees us as well.

Kathie Lee Gifford & Nicole C. Mullen, The God Who Sees

Weekly Bible Reading: Leviticus (Audio: King James Version read by Alexander Scourby) Numbers (Audio: King James Version read by Alexander Scourby)
Commentary: David Pawson, Leviticus, Part 2 of 2, Numbers, Part 1 of 2, Unlocking the Bible

Red Blossoms
Red Blossoms