Here is a blurb on "total depravity" from Dr. John Barber, a strong and active supporter to missions in Italy.
His insight reminds us of the importance of this doctrine in missions. Without an understanding of the depravity of man our efforts in missions are feeble, to say the least. We will fail to understand our condition before God prior to receiving saving grace; the result is we will be arrogant and proud, things completely contrary to the Spirit and character of Christ. We will also preach a false gospel telling people their situation is not nearly as bad as it actually is before; this is often noticed by those who preach 'prosperity gospel' and things of that nature. The emphasis is always on man rather than on God. Preaching the gospel in this way makes the gospel more into a self-help type message, the idea of using God to meet your needs or make your life better, some call this "your best life now"...
Dr. John Barbers comments on the subject:
"Total Depravity. Its loss from public consciousness is the reason why in government the word 'Islamicist' is forbidden; in education, why 'every child's a winner'; why in diplomacy, known terrorists are 'released from Guantanamo'; why in society, adultery is a 'moral failing'; why in psychology, alcoholism and drug addiction is a 'disease'; why in parenting, spanking is 'violence'; why in marriage, matrimony between a man and a woman only is 'homophobia'; why in international relations, no nation can be permitted to be 'exceptional'; and why, unless American churches regain their voice on man's true spiritual condition, American culture will be lost."