Republicans view human nature as being selfish and sinful and places hope for the transformation of culture through restraining our sinful behavior by the use of laws and punishment. Democrats see human nature as basically good and loving and transformation of culture is the result of social programs, public education, and government services (page 107; Radical Reformission).
This issue of human nature is worth pondering because the answer we arrive at will determine how we treat those around us. Being Christian people if we see people as selfish and sinful we will demand that people follow God’s law and to shape up. On the other hand if we, as Christians, see people as loving and good then what we will want to do is guide them to Jesus (though we will emphasize Jesus' love and ignore His call to repentance) so they can know Who to follow.
Here is my simple answer to the question: our nature is neither good nor bad, but we become whatever we have been trained to be. I don’t buy the doctrines of the “sinful nature” and “total depravity.” One reason is because I don’t think that is what the Bible teaches (though I know many people believe it does). A second reason is it has not been my experience. I know too many “Christians” who have done terrible things and I know too many non-Christians who have done some wonderful things.
Ultimately it comes down to choices. Each one of us decides how we are going to live. These decisions are based on what we have been taught and believe. If our nature is neither good nor bad how should we respond to people? By presenting them with a choice. That is what Jesus did. “Come follow me,” he would say and people would either choose to follow or remain behind. Sure there is teaching and loving which goes along with this, but doing those things simply provides people with enough evidence to make a choice. Our choices determine our character and our character defines the essence of who we are.