In spite of the multiplication of academic disciplines in the twentieth century that focus on the biological, social, psychological, and evolutionary understanding of the human creature, these modern approaches provide a very limited perspective from which the human person can understand the human condition. The sixteenth-century Reformers recognized that it was not enough for human beings to study themselves. That provided too limited a horizon. They could not stand outside themselves to gain the necessary perspective from which they could comprehend the totality of their being and existence. Because we are creatures, what it means to be fully human simply lies beyond the grasp of the human mind. Creatures cannot, by the very definition of what it means to be a creature, comprehend and understand everything about their Creator, and because their relationship with their Creator stands at the heart of their existence, they cannot grasp everything about themselves. Lacking the ability to step outside of themselves, human beings take on a sense of self-exalted importance or find themselves struggling with a sense of insignificance and helplessness within the universe.
Kolb, Robert; Arand, Charles P. (2008-02-01). Genius of Luther’s Theology, The: A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church (p. 24). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Believers themselves have not chosen the Christian position because they were wiser than others. What they have they have by grace alone. But this fact does not mean that they must accept the problematics of fallen man as right or even as probably or possibly right. For the essence of the idea of Scripture is that it alone is the criterion of truth. The standards by which the fallen man judges himself are false standards. That is the most important point in his case. Fallen man cannot by his own adopted criteria make a true analysis of his own condition. The remedies that he employs for his own salvation are the wrong remedies just because the diagnosis that he has made of his own disease is made by the wrong criterion. A medical doctor is able to prescribe the right medicine for a patient just because he, rather than the patient himself, has given the correct diagnosis of the patient’s disease. In an infinitely deeper sense only Christ, the great physician, can diagnose the disease of men.
Cornelius Van Til, A Christian Theory of Knowledge. (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1969).