Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lesson 3 Notes – Anthropology: Who is man?

I. Introduction – The Problem of Evil and who is Man?

What is evil? Why is there evil in the world?" This is one of the most fundamental and important questions that every person asks.

  • Christians have answers to these questions.
  • When the same questions are given back to the world – answers come back empty.
  • Here are some examples of the worlds interpretation of evil:
    - Some people chose not to talk about it – ignore it.
    - Doing something bad and feeling good about it.
    - A child going to bed hungry.
    - It’s something natural to our nature.
    - It’s what appears not to be good to other people.

  • Everyone acknowledges that evil exists

  • Some people say it’s necessary

  • The devil has made evil look exciting

A - Primary Doctrine – Laying down the foundation of Anthropology

  • The knowledge of Man and God

  • Who is Man? Who is God?

  • The answers to these two questions form the foundation of every one's worldview.

The nature of Man:

  • Self awareness

  • Deep search for meaning and purpose

  • Sensitive to moral concerns

  • Hungry for relationships

  • Capable of doing evil

B. The cosmic battle within

  • The battle within – Galatians 5:16-17

  • Our sinful nature is in constant conflict with God's Spirit – Romans 7:15-25, Romans 6:12, Romans 8:5-14.

    The battle over Anthropology >> Truth (reality) vs. Lie (Illusion)

    “The Pernicious Lie” >> The lie which says things will be better if we do it our way instead of God's way. That we can get a better deal if we follow our own wisdom and desires than if we live life the way God said it should be lived.

    The Biblical view of man:
    His essence >> made in the image of God
    His Moral state >> dualistic
    His Need >> Redemption

II. Man’s Essence
Cataclysmic events have caused various states of man

A. States of man

  • Mode 1: Innocent >> Result of creation (Genesis 1:27)
    - God created man in the image of God

  • Mode 2: Fallen >> Adam and Eve decided they could get a better deal on their own than doing things God's way (Romans 5:12, Genesis 6:5)
    Hell – If man transitions over to the “death” state at this point, then the state he will go to is “Hell” (Revelation 20:15, Hebrew 9:27)

Descriptions of man in a fallen state: Evil, Dead, Blind, Deaf, Lost, Rebellious, Without hope, Haters of God, Desperately wicked, Children of the devil

  • Mode 3: Redeemed >> Revelation 5:9
    Glorified – We will be raised in a new spiritual body >> we call it “being glorified” (1 Corinthians 15:42)

Descriptions of the new man: The redeemed, Saints, Priests, Called-out ones, People of God, A holy nation, Children of God, Sons of God, Beloved, Born from above

B. Dualistic or Monistic – Both flesh and spirit or purely material?

  • Man still bears the “Image of God” in the fallen state

  • We still carry and bear our sinful nature in our redeemed state

  • We must live by the Spirit of God to avoid living in our sinful nature

  • As believers, we are wrestling with this issue >> to live with our sinful nature (Romans 7:15, 18-20)

  • his does not absolve us from responsibility

C. Naturalistic Philosophy Implications – No gods or purposive forces

  • Corliss Lamont: Nothing exists out of the box

  • Natural Man >> material beast

  • We are “cause & effect machines” in the box Implications: No purpose beyond himself; No foundation for ethics; No Free will; No life after death; No ultimate meaning in life >> Dr. William Provine

  • Paul Kurtz – The humanist alternative: “If man is a product of evolution, one species among others, in a universe without purpose, then man’s option is to live for himself.”
    Science >> looking for the answer in the box.

  • Haeckel’s Embryos – Fabricated drawings to present evidence for evolution.

  • Ingrid Newkirk (co-founder of PETA) –
animal rights activist: "A rat, is a pig is dog, is a boy”

  • Should we be more concerned about insects? - Activist, Pentti Linkola of the Finnish Green Party says he has more sympathy for threatened insect species than for children dying of hunger in Africa."

  • Clarence Darrow >> The purpose of Man – to wiggle in life: “The purpose of man is like the the purpose of the pollywog -- to wiggle along as far as he can without dying; or, to hang to life until death takes him.”

  • Should we be surprised by how so many people are checking out of life?

  • The leading cause of women showing up in the ER >> Suicide (for men in the UK, it’s second).
  • III. Man’s Moral State and Man’s Needs

    A. Abraham Maslow – Hierarchy of Needs

    • Man’s ultimate objective is:
      a. Self Actualization
      b. Getting in touch with your inner nature
      c. Do what your inner desires want you to do
      d. Follow your desires

    • What a Pernicious lie!!!

    B. Basically Good or sinful

    • Depravity of Man

    • Man’s propensity for evil

    • Children are both the promise and the threat of the future.
      The self-proclaimed “BTK killer” He confessed in 2005 to serial killing

    C. Carl Rogers: Influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.

    • His quote: “I do not find that evil is inherent in human nature”

    D. Scriptural Truth

    • Put to death your earthly nature – Romans 8:13, Colossians 3:5-10

    • If you live according to the sinful nature – you will die.

    • Our inner desires will lead us to death.

    • Self actualizing humanity is dangerous

    • IMAGO DEO vs. IMAGO Goo

    • RC Sproul's Comments (video)

    IV. If evil is not inherent in man, then where does evil come from?

    A. Abraham Maslow – “Sick people are made by a sick culture…”

    • Christianity restricts and suppresses self-actualization

    • Christians are the problem

    • The one we serve is the problem

    B. Carl Rogers – “…experience leads me to believe that it is cultural influences which are the major factor in our evil behaviors.”

    • If man is instinctively good, and it doesn’t come from human nature, then where does evil come from?

    • They don’t have the answers

    • They don’t even have the ethical language

    C. Social Institutions and authority structures are blamed for man’s evil actions

    • We currently live in a culture of blame

    • Victim mentality – If I am basically good, then anything bad that happens to me must be caused by someone or something outside of me. I will always find someone or something to blame for my troubles or situation.

    • That is why today we see in our culture so many social and political activists

    • This provides basis for understanding the battleground over social Institutions today

    V. Why should “evil” bother someone with a secular worldview?

    The question of evil is more difficult for them than us.

    • It’s survival of the fittest world

    • We are products of the “dog-eat-dog” world

    • The mighty are responsible of destroying the weak

    Social institutions are the bad guys for the secular world >> oppression with authority is the cause of evil.

    Recommended reading >> Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that makes the underclass
    By Theodore Dalrymple.

    • Doing what you like is not always a virtue.

    • "You don't need to find yourself. You need to lose yourself. You need to have something which transcends yourself, in order to make your life meaningful." - Theodore Dalrymple Video

    We are the problem."
    Evil, to put it plainly, comes from you and me - not from "civilization," "society," or the "chains and shackles of religion." Man made the unfortunate choice to violate his proper relationship with God - not because the devil forced him to do so, but because he freely elected, under the influence of temptation, to follow an analogous course of self-deification.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment