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.

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Economy already Stimualted - Sales rose in January

    There are signs that the economy is already stabilizing before the Stimulus Package gets signed by the President. January Retail Sales Post biggest Increase in 14 months. Is this a glimmer of hope?

    BBandT Capital Markets Retail Analyst, Andy Wolf says that in addition to increase of retail sales, gasoline, cars and car parts sales have also rebounded in the month of January.
    The Super Markets, Dollar Stores, Mass Merchandisers and Big Buck Discounters are doing the best so far.

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009

    Will a big-government, trillion dollar spending stimulus package raise the economy to a higher level of growth, or will it make it worse-off than it is today?

    The "Read the Stimulus" website is an online tool designed to shine some light on the Congressional Prokfest.

    Is spending money the solution to our problems?

    Transition policy experts talk about President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan -- why it's necessary and how it will work:

    Dan Mitchell has a video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity explaining the folly of Barack Obama’s stimulus plan:

    In Summary:
    Government cannot create jobs. It can only shift jobs from one part of the economy to the other.
    Government can spend only what it has taxed or borrowed away from the public, it creates no new demand but merely redirects it. And getting money from Uncle Sam doesn't necessarily give anyone the incentive to work more, produce more or earn more income.

    According to analysts, only 5 percent of the $819 billion measure will go towards highway, mass transit, and rail projects:

    Stimulus, Illustrated Part I

    Stimulus, Illustrated - Part II

    South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on the new “savior-based economy”:

    January 28th, 2009 - The House passed the $819 billion economic stimulus bill with no Republican support. The measure passed 244 to 188, with 11 Democrats and 177 Republicans voting against it. Only 12% of the bill has any actual stimulus value, and it comes too slowly to help. The rest is filled mostly with historical Democratic spending priorities for government like family planning, education spending, and poverty programs, which should have been handled through normal appropriations and not emergency economic stimulus spending, which it clearly is not.

    February 9th, 2009 - The Stimulus cloture invoked a 61-36 vote, advancing toward passage in the Senate. Only three Republicans voted with Democratic majority: Senators Collins, Snowe and Spector joined the 58-member Democratic caucus to invoke cloture.

    On February 13, 2009 at 2:24 p.m., the bill was passed by the House with 246 Yeas and 183 Nays. No Republicans in the House voted for the bill. At 10:48 p.m., the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 60-38, with all Democrats and Independents voting for the bill along with three Republicans.
    The 1,071 page Conference Report with final handwritten provisions was made available to the public late Friday. Very few, if any, lawmakers read the final version before their vote was cast.

    Hidden Provisions added that would not provide job creation or economic growth:

    • $650 million for digital television converter box coupons
    • $300 million for electric quasi-golf carts (NY Post)
    • $1 billion for Amtrak, which hasn't been profitable in half a century (WSJ)
    • $400 million for global warming research by NASA scientists (Real Clear Politics)
    • $2.2 billion for carbon capture research
    • $75 million for smoking cessation programs (MichelleMalkin)
    • $335 million for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (WashingtonTimes)
    • $20 billion to hasten depreciation and write-off for equipment
    • $209 million for work on deferred maintenance at Agricultural Research Service facilities
    • $245 million for maintaining and modernizing the IT system of the Farm Service Agency
    • $1 billion for "Periodic Censuses and Programs"
    • $140 million for "climate data modeling"
    • $600 million to buy and lease government plug-in and alternative fuel vehicles
    • $1.2 billion in grants to states for youth summer jobs programs and other activities
    • $600 million for "preparations" for socialized medicine (Bloomberg, FoxNews video)
    • $6 billion for energy efficiency projects on government buildings
    • $4.4 billion allocation for "smart" technologies, which includes power monitors ("smart meters")
    • $8 billion to construct high-speed rail lines (Associated Press)

    Other Sources regarding the stmulus package proposal:

    'Atlas Shrugged': From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years (Steve Moore - WSJ)

    The Job-Destroying Stimulus Bill (The Club for Growth)

    Monday, February 9, 2009

    Buyers' Remorse?

    One of the mothers who lost her son on the U.S.S. Cole, gave an interview on Fox News.
    She declined the White House Invitation to meet with Obama. (She also, voted for him and says in the interview that she made a mistake in doing so). The President is planning to release the Cole bombing mastermind Al-Nashiri, Killing 17 American sailors.

    Thursday, February 5, 2009

    Harry Reid: Paying income tax in America is Voluntary

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid maintains that paying income tax is voluntary in the U.S.
    He's obviously playing with words. But then again... he is a politician.
    Exit Question: Is our tax system really a voluntary system or does the IRS rely on "voluntary compliance"?

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Obama's Campaign Promise: To be ethical and transparent

    President Obama is losing credibility on his campaign promise to the American people: To have the most ethical, open and transparent Administration ever...
    He needs to stop offering high-level positions to individuals whom the American people do not trust.

    Here you have Obama's cabinet picks controversies:

    New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson
    Secretary of Commerce nominee, Bill Richardson was forced to withdraw his name from the position due to an ongoing investigation into a company that has done business with his state.

    Timothy Geithner
    He admitted that he had failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in federal self-employment taxes while working for the International Monetary Fund despite having signed paperwork acknowledging the obligation. The President and Senate Democrats dismissed this wrong-doing by calling it a "few little hiccups" and an "honest mistake" and gave him the job of Treasury Secretary.

    Nancy Killefer
    She failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, withdrew her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government.

    Tom Daschle
    He was nominated to be Obama's secretary of health and human services. The New York Times and Senator DeMint called for him to withdraw due to failure to report income.
    He was then forced to withdraw after losing the NYT support.