Daniel L. Migliore observes that humans are paradoxical:
“We human beings are a mystery to ourselves. We are rational and irrational, civilized and savage, capable of deep friendship and murderous hostility, free and in bondage, the pinnacle of creation and its greatest danger. We are Rembrandt and Hitler, Mozart and Stalin, Antigone and Lady Macbeth, Ruth and Jezebel” (Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology [2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004], p. 139).
How many worldviews can adequately account for that? Christians account for it with the Fall in Genesis 3 and by tracing harmatiological trajectories all the way through to the consummation in Revelation 21–22. The Fall is an essential component of the Bible’s storyline; without it we’d have a hard time making sense out of reality.
The Fall, however, is only part of the frame of reference necessary for making sense out of reality. That frame of reference is supplied by the Bible’s storyline. For a thoughtful presentation of that storyline, see chapters 5–6 in D. A. Carson, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), pp. 193–314.
See also chapters 2–3 in D. A. Carson, Christ and Culture Revisited (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, forthcoming [Spring 2008]).