From the chapter “The Maniac” in Orthodoxy we find this statement by G.K. Chesterton:

Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved. (p. 11)

There is a lot of truth in this statement. While we may debate the finer points of the doctrine of original sin, the historicity of Adam and Eve, and how it is that the “sin-nature” is passed along from one generation to another, we cannot deny that humans, at their core, are fractured, broken, and more often than not simply evil.

Yes, we have our better moments, but even those seem all too tainted. In the dark, alone, reflecting upon our thoughts and actions, the most honest of us admit that there is something wrong, there is something sinister. There is something that needs to be fixed, redeemed, renewed, and reborn.

While there are many theologians who want to speak of the goodness of humanity and who remind us that we are made in the imago dei, we ought to remember that when we read the Book of Genesis and the Epistle to the Romans something has gone wrong. The Apostle Paul writes that we exchanged this glory of God for idolatry. We went from God’s image-bearers in creation to worshiping the very creation we were to care for on God’s behalf. So yes, we are made in God’s image, but Chesterton is right–there is nothing more obvious and easy to prove than the fact that we don’t look anything like the original model.