Lesson 3 – Anthropology: Who is man?
What is evil? Why is there evil in the world?
This question is often used by the world to challenge Christians.
Primary Doctrine – Theology and Anthropology. Who is God and who is man? These are the two basic foundations for a person’s and a culture’s worldview.
Culture’s view of who is man and who is God along with what truth is forms the foundation of the cultures worldview.
Galatians 5:16-17 – Two elements in conflict:
- The desires of our sinful nature
- The desires of the Spirit
The Pernicious Lie: The lie that man is basically good and that his greatest need is to self-actualize and get in touch with his inner desires.
The Biblical view of man – who is man?
- His essence
- His moral state
- His need
The “states” or “modes” of man
State 1 – Innocent: a product of creation made in the image of God. [Gen. 1:27]
State 2 – Fallen: corrupted by original sin. [Rom. 5:12; Gen. 6:5]
Man, himself, cannot change himself back to innocent.
Adjectives to describe the old man (fallen man):
Evil, dead, blind, deaf, lost, rebellious, without hope, haters of God, desperately wicked, children of the devil
If fallen man dies in State 2 the he changes to State 2a – Hell [Rev. 20:15; Heb. 9:27]
State 3 – Redeemed: results of redemption, the new man. [Rev. 5:9]
Adjective to describe the new man (redeemed):
Redeemed, saints, priests, called out ones, the people of God , a holy nation, children of God, sons of God, beloved, wear white robes, born from above
But redeemed man carries forward both the image of God and their sinful nature.
R. C. Sproul said, “We have a heart hostile toward God . . . we have a bias in the mind against God . . . our sin is a barrier to the pursuit of God.”
Paul describes the cosmic battle within himself in Romans 7:15-25.
Our responsibility is to fight the battle within our self. [Rom. 6:12 and Rom. 8:5-14]
When the redeemed man dies he changes to State 3a – Glorified [1 Cor. 15:42-44]
The Biblical View of Man
- His essence – made in the image of God; dualistic: both flesh and spirit
- His moral state – a fallen nature
- His need – redemption
Implications of Naturalistic Philosophy (Evolutionary Theory)
- No free will
- No life after death
- No ultimate meaning in life
Naturalistic Philosophy’s source of truth – science – examining the stuff in the box to try to find the answers to big question, the universals.
Anthropological “Monism” – man is just material, no spiritual dimension. Man is a cosmic accident.
The world’s view of man is greatly influenced by Abraham Maslow and his “hierarchy of needs.” He states that man’s ultimate objection is “Self-actualization” – doing what we want to do.
Maslow said, “As far as I know we just don’t have any intrinsic instinct for evil.”
Is that true? Does that match reality, the world around us?
If evil is not inherent in human nature the where does it come from? How then do you even define evil?
Maslow points to our need to follow our instincts and our inner desires.
What is the truth? God has not called us to follow our inner desires. [Rom. 8:13 & Col. 3:5-10]
What is the enemy of self-actualization? It is a suppression of one’s inner desire. The obstacles are due to the truth of God.
The opposing truth claims of who is man, God’s verses the world’s.
- Man, though created perfect, rebelled against God and is now fallen, his heart is desperately wicked
- Man needs divine grace, regeneration, and redemption
The world says:
- Goo-man, a product of mindless purposeless forces
- Man is basically good
- Man must save himself through self-oriented pursuits
The Cosmic Battle – Imago Deo verses Imago Goo
The obvious question is where does evil come?
300 years ago Jean-Jacques Rousseau stated that man is good and the chains of evil are due to Christianity.
Our culture’s anthropology basic assumption:
- Man, by nature, is good
- Mental health and happiness comes through self-actualization and getting in touch with one’s real “good” inner-self
- Social institutions are responsible for man’s evil actions
Theodore Dalrymple said, “The world says for you to be good just be true to yourself. Really, what you need to do is lose yourself.
Believers! See to it that no one takes you captive. [Col. 2:8]
The Pernicious lie – it is all about me! The ultimate selfishness.
Next Week – Lesson 4 Theology: Who is God?