Here’s my attempt:
Many in America feel they are victims. Victims of poverty. Victims of divorce. Victims of abuse. Victims of disease. In other words, their problems stem from something that happened to them. In seeking to solve their problem, they inevitably turn inward. That is, they seek the inner strength to overcome their problem. Well, that’s exactly opposite of the gospel. The Bible teaches that we are sinners through and through. It’s what comes out of the man that defiles him. We need something outside of us to save us. That’s what Jesus did, “God made Him, who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Here’s how Al Mohler said it:
“Most Americans believe that their major problem is something that has happened to them, and that their solution is to be found within. In other words, they believe that they have an alien problem that is to be resolved with an inner solution. What the gospel says, however, is that we have an inner problem that demands an alien solution–a righteousness that is not our own” (Albert Mohler, “Preaching with the Culture in View” from Preaching the Cross (Wheaton: Crossway, 2007), 81).