If one begins to consider the Christian system as a total system, one must begin with the infinite-personal triune God who is there, and who was communicating and loving before anything else was. If one begins to consider how sinful man can return to fellowship with God, one must begin with Christ, His person and work. But if one begins to consider the differences between Christianity and rationalistic philosophy’s answers, one must begin by understanding that man and history are now abnormal. It is not that philosophy and Christianity deal with completely different questions, but that historic Christianity and rationalistic philosophy differ in their answers — including the important point as to whether man and history are now normal or abnormal. They also differ in that rationalistic thinking starts with only the knowledge finite man can glean for himself.
Christianity says man is now abnormal — he is separated from his Creator, who is his only sufficient reference point — not by a metaphysical limitation, but by true moral guilt. As a result, he is now also separated from his fellowmen, and from himself. Therefore, when he is involved in cruelty, he is not being true to what he was initially created to be. Cruelty is a symptom of abnormality and a result of a moral, historic, space-time Fall.
What does a historic space-time Fall involve? It means that there was a period before man fell; that if you had been there, you could have seen Adam before he fell; that at the point when he revolted against God by making a free choice to disobey God’s commandment, there was a tick of the clock. Take away the first three chapters of Genesis, and you cannot maintain a true Christian position nor give Christianity’s answers.
Thoughts developed and/or taken from the works of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Trilogy – The God Who Is There