"Remember, real theology takes the real fall really seriously. If you have a defective understanding of the depravity of man then it is easier to believe that man can, by acts of his unaided obedience and will, both seek after God and do that which pleases Him. The Bible flatly and emphatically denies this."
-Tony Hayling (Source)
Believe what God says about man's sinfulness, and you'll find you desperately need a cross, and a gracious God who sends His Son to die upon it, and then raises Him from the dead. Orthodox theology begins to leave the building when we stop taking seriously what God says about our sin and His holiness.
Brian McLaren has recently written a book in which he describes the fall as "a coming-of age story” which gives us “the first stage of ascent as human beings progress from the life of hunter-gatherers to the life of agriculturalists and beyond.” Well, that's a different sort of twist than Moses (or God) ever had in mind, I'm sure. This would explain McLaren's complete abandonment of any belief in the Gospel of grace. There's no need for grace if the fall was a step "up." McLaren declares that the orthodox answers aren't satisfying or sufficient, and then he offers us this as a better alternative?
On a more encouraging note, you may find Bob Gonzales' new book, Where Sin Abounds, to be refreshing. Gonzales uses a series of exegetical cameos to trace the spread of sin in the book of Genesis. You can read a review of the book here.
Friends, let us take the real fall really seriously, and let us cling to the cross as we sense the effect of that fall on our own hearts and minds.
Romans 5:20-21 The