Is Paul's teaching of human depravity too pessimistic?
What about that nice guy down the street who always supports community causes, or that kind co-worker who has more integrity than many professing Christians we've met?
Robert Mounce gives one possible explanation...
"Paul's portrayal of the unrighteous person may seem overly pessimistic to many contemporaries. After all, do we not all know certain individuals who live rather exemplary lives apart from Christ? Certainly they do not fit the description just laid out. Although it may be true that many of our acquaintances are not as outwardly wicked as the litany would suggest, we must remember that they are also benefactors of a civilization deeply influenced by a pervasive Judeo-Christian ethic. Take away the beneficent influence of Christian social ethics and their social behavior would be considerably different." (Romans, Broadman & Holman, 1995, p. 110)