Presentation on theme: "WHAT IS TO BE HUMAN?. 1.What is humanity? 2.Made in the image of God? 3.Humanity & Sin. 4.Summary of Mind-Body Views. 5.History of Humanity in 6 summarizing."— Presentation transcript:
WHAT IS TO BE HUMAN?
1.What is humanity? 2.Made in the image of God? 3.Humanity & Sin. 4.Summary of Mind-Body Views. 5.History of Humanity in 6 summarizing words 6.Humanity & Culture. 7.Concluding Thought. Overview of Lecture for Humanity & Sin:
1. What is humanity? “What a freak, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a marvel! Judge of all things and imbecile earthworm; possessor of the truth, and sink of uncertainty and error; glory and rubbish of the universe.” ~ Blaise Pascal, Selections from the Thoughts, tran Arthur H. Beatte (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1965), 68.
1. What is Humanity? “Man is but a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed. The whole universe need not arm itself to crush him; a vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him. But even though the universe should crush him, man would still be nobler than what kills him since he knows that he dies, and the advantage that the universe has over him, the universe knows nothing of it.” ~ Blaise Pascal, Selections from the Thoughts, tran Arthur H. Beatte (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1965), 30.
What is Humanity? “The essential paradox here-the greatness and the misery of humankind-flows out of two important truths. God created humans as the apex of his creation; our chief end, in the words of the Westminster Catechism, is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. But each human being is fallen, is in rebellion against the God who created him and loves him.” ~ Ronald Nash, Worldviews in Conflict, 48.
2. What does it mean to be made in the image of God? 1.Image = content 2.Image = dominion; 3.Image = community; 4.Image = representation; 5.Image = holism. Personality Responsibilities Relationships
Image includes Dignity to the Human Body: Matter is good and reflects God’s glory (Gen. 1:31; Psalm 19:1; 1 Tim. 4:4) Both male and female (which entails bodies) are in God’s image (Gen. 1:27) Killing a body is wrong because it is included in God’s image (Gen. 9:6) Resurrection of the body reveals that it is part of the whole person made in God’s image (1 Thess. 4). ~ Geisler, Systematic Theology: God & Creation, 2:452.
3. Humanity and Sin: “Christianity simply will not make sense to people who fail to understand and appreciate the Christian doctrine of sin. Every human being lives in a condition of sin and alien from his or her Creator. Each has sinned and fallen short of God’s standard (Rom. 3:23). As John Stott counsels, sin ‘is not a convenient invention of parsons [cleric] to keep them in their job; it is a fact of human experience.’
Consider the following: “The sin which separates us from God and enslaves us ‘is more than an unfortunate outward act of habit is a deep-seated inward corruption. In fact, the sins we commit are merely outward and visible manifestations of this inward and invisible malady, the symptoms of a moral disease …. Because sin is an inward corruption of human e we are in bondage. It is not so much certain acts or habits which enslave us, but rather the evil infection from which these spring.’” John Stott, Basic Christianity, 75-6 cf. Nash, Worldviews in Conflict, 48
Original State MAN IS CRUEL ALWAYS CRUELBECAME CRUEL CREATED CRUEL CHANGED BY SOMEONE ELSE CHANGED HIMSELF GOD IS EVIL GODSATAN FREE WILL GOD IS EVILMAN IS NOT RESPONSIBLE X X
A 5-fold definition of Sin: Sin is a transgression of the law of God: The Greek word parabasis means “overstepping, transgression.” God gave the Mosaic law to heighten man’s understanding of His standard and the seriousness of transgressing that standard (Rom. 4:15). Thereafter, when God said, “You shall not bear false witness,” a lie was seen to be what it is: an overstepping or transgression of the law of God (Rom. 2:23; 5:14; Gal. 3:19).
5-Fold Definition of Sin: Sin is a failure to conform to the standard of God. The Greek word hamartia means “miss the mark,” “every departure from the way of righteousness.” Thus, it means that all people have missed the mark of God’s standard and continue to fall short of that standard (Rom. 3:23). This involves both sins of commission as well as omission. Failure to do what is right is also sin (Rom. 14:23).
5-Fold Definition of Sin: Sin is a principle within man. Sin is not only an act but also a principle that dwells in man. Paul refers to the struggle with the sin principle within (Rom. 7:14, 17–25); all people have this sin nature (Gal. 3:22). Hebrews 3:13 refers to it “as the power that deceives men and leads them to destruction.” Jesus also refers to sin as a “condition or characteristic quality” (John 9:41; 15:24; 19:11).
5-Fold Definition of Sin: Sin is rebellion against God. Another Greek word for sin is anomia, which means “lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) and can be described as a “frame of mind.” It denotes lawless deeds (Titus 2:14) and is a sign of the last days, meaning “without law or restraint” (Matt. 24:12).
5-Fold Definition of Sin: Sin is wrongful acts toward God and man. Romans 1:18 refers to “ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” Ungodliness refers to man’s failure to obey God and keep the commandments related to Him (Exod. 20:1–11); unrighteousness is seen in man’s failure to live righteously toward his fellow man (Exod. 20:12– 17). ~ Paul Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1997), 310.
SYNOPTIC CHART ON HARMARTIOLOGY: TERMS TO CONSIDER State at Birth Ability Guilt “In Adam” Rom. 5:12 PELAGIANISM Innocent Can obey God None Not At All (We sin like Adam) WESLEYAN/ ARMINIANISM Depraved Can Cooperate With God Potential Propensity (Or Seminally) MODERATE/ PRINCETONIAN CALVINISM Totally Depraved (Extensively) Can Cooperate with God Legally and/or Naturally Legally and/or Seminally Adapted from Norman Geisler’s Systematic Theology: Sin/Salvation (Minneapolis: Bethany, 2004), 3:145. DUTCH CALVINISM Totally Depraved (Intensively) Can’t Cooperate with God Naturally and/or Legally Seminally and/or Legally
TERMS TO CONSIDER What is inherited from Adam Deaths Occurred What is Imputed Image of God Effect of Grace PELAGIANISM Bad Example Spiritual & Eternal (meant to physically die) One’s own sin Retained None. WESLEYAN/ ARMINIANISM Propensity to sin; physical death. Physical; Eternal; Spiritual One’s own Sin & Adam’s Sin Effaced Two-Fold: Prevenient Grace; Sufficient for All MODERATE & PRINCETONIAN CALVINISM Propensity to Sin; Physical death Physical; Eternal; Spiritual One’s Own Sin & Adam’s Sin Image of God is totally effaced Irresistible (some, but not all M.C. say only on willing) ~ Adapted from Norman Geisler’s Systematic Theology: Sin/Salvation (Minneapolis: Bethany, 2004), 3:145. DUTCH CALVINISM Necessity to Sin; Physical Death. Physical; Eternal; Spiritual One’s Own Sin & Adam’s Sin Image of God in man is Erased Irresistible on the unwilling. Synoptic Chart on Hamartiology
4. Mind-Body Problem… “I only want a brain!”
ViewPrimary Proponent Soul/BodyIllustration (Soul/body as..) Explanation MaterialismThomas Hobbes Body onlyAs dream to brain Only body exists; mind is nothing but a manifestation of matter. Epiphenom enalism Pierre- Jean Georges Cabanis Soul is a by- product of body. As shadow to a tree Body causes mind; mind is only a sign (not a cause) of matter. IdealismGeorge Berkeley Soul onlyAs mind to mirage Only mind (soul) exists; body is merely illusion. Monism: Double – Aspect Benedict Spinoza Two aspects of the same thing As inner to outer Mind (soul) and body are two sides of the same substance.
Dualism (Dichotomy) PlatoTwo different but parallel realities As railroad to tracks Soul and body never interact; they only exist simultaneously. Interactionism Rene Descartes Two substances mutually interacting As two boxers Mind and body interact with each other Occasionalism/ Recollectionism AugustineTwo substances coordinated by God As memory to reminder God causes ideas in the mind on the occasion of sensory perception Pre- Established Harmony Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Two different, synchronized substances As two clocks Mind and body are synchronized by God. Hylomorphism Thomas Aquinas Soul animates body As ideas to words Mind and body are a holistic unity.
5. History of Humanity: Summarized Creation Fall Redeemed Glorified Rejection Damnation
6. 5 Shifts: Humanity & Contemporary Western Culture Shift 1: From Knowledge to Faith. –For example, after 9/11 Oprah urged people to seek God, “whatever he, she, it, or they mean to you.” What is important is that “we all seek our own truth with renewed vigor.”
What does the following statement communicate? “We ought to be believers who integrate faith and learning.” Insights gained from physics to literary theory is related to learning while biblical assertions deal with “faith.”
5 Shifts: Humanity & Contemporary Western Culture While biblical evangelicals reject pluralism, there is a tendency to view biblical Christianity as a matter of faith and not knowledge. Once again … how do we define faith? If we denote faith as merely as a decision of the will to believe, not factual in nature nor subject to rational evaluation, then we may be suggesting that the content of salvation (and our worldview) is devoid of fact and knowledge. See, we are fostering a culture in which Christian ideas are not viewed even among us as factual items of knowledge.
Consider the following quote: “ Faith is the reliance upon that which you have reason to believe is true and trustworthy.” ~ J. P. Moreland
2 nd Shift: From Human Flourishing to Satisfaction of Desire: How do you define happiness? One dictionary definition is that happiness is “a sense of pleasurable satisfaction.”
2 nd Shift: From Human Flourishing to Satisfaction of Desire: Consider this statement by Moreland: “If happiness is having an internal feeling of fun or pleasurable satisfaction and if it is our main goal, where will people place their focus each day? It will be on them, and the result will be a culture of self-absorbed narcissists who cannot live for something bigger than they are.” ~ J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 95.
2 nd Shift: From Human Flourishing to Satisfaction of Desire: Here is Moreland’s definition: “The good life is the life of ideal human functioning according to the nature that God himself gave us.” J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 94.
3rd Shift: From Duty and Virtue to Minimalist Ethics: What do we mean by minimalist ethics? “One may morally act in any way one chooses so long as one does not do harm to others.” J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 96.
3rd Shift: From Duty and Virtue to Minimalist Ethics: Minimalist ethics is evident by upholding the following four values: 1.The transcendence of the individual over the community; 2.The importance of tolerating all moral viewpoints; 3.The independence, self-sufficiency of the individual as the highest human good; 4.The voluntary, informed consent contract as the model of human relationships. J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 96.
Consider the following quote: “If duty and virtue of are of central concern to the moral life, then there must be moral knowledge available to know what duties and virtues are correct and how one can become a righteous, virtuous person…. Knowledge of duty and virtue is no longer seen as a possibility, and the impact of the shift to minimalist ethics is disastrous.” ~ J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 96.
4 th Shift: From Classic Freedom to Contemporary Freedom: “Classically, freedom meant the power to do what one ought to do. Thus, one is free to play the piano if one has the skills, training, and knowledge necessary to play it. Similarly, one is free in life if one has the power to live the way one ought to live. Sexual freedom in this context means the power to live a chaste, holy life and to engage skillfully in sexual activity in the way in which we were designed by God-in heterosexual marital union.” J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 99.
4 th Shift: From Classic Freedom to Contemporary Freedom: “Classic freedom is liberating, indeed, but a necessary condition of such freedom is the availability of the relevant sort of knowledge. Absent such knowledge, freedom has come to be understood as the right to do what one wants to do. Sexual freedom in this context means the right to satisfy one’s desire in any way one wishes, with the possible exception of not harming others.” J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 99.
5 th Shift: From Classic Tolerance to Contemporary Tolerance: Classical sense of tolerance: While moral views are either true or false, right or wrong, one may still respect one’s opponent as a person, give one the freedom to make a case for that view, and personally believe that view. In other words, we tolerate persons, not ideas. J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 103.
5 th Shift: From Classic Tolerance to Contemporary Tolerance: Contemporary Tolerance: One should not even judge one’s views. Moral Relativism “holds that everyone ought to act in accordance with the agent’s own society’s code(or, perhaps, with the agent’s own personal code). What is right for one society is necessarily right for another society.” J.P. Moreland, Kingdom Triangle, 100.
What’s wrong with Relativism? 1.It is irrational and false. 2.Suffers from the Reformer’s Dilemma (e.g., Gandhi; Martin Luther King; Jesus Christ). 3.Some acts are wrong regardless of social conventions( e.g., torturing babies). 4.There is no way to morally blame one society in certain cases (e.g., Jewish Holocaust by Nazi Germany). 5.It is unlivable.
7. Concluding Thought: “Can an individual or a society live with a complete disregard for a moral and spiritual center & not suffer from the wounds of wickedness?” ~ Ravi Zacharias, Deliver us from Evil.