Dialogues regarding human constitution have provided a variety of views on what is comprised within the person as the imago dei; however, many models begin with metaphysics to establish the parameters. Such an approach lends itself toward the imposition of the metaphysic upon Scripture, rather than deducing the metaphysic from Scripture. Instead, a biblical theological anthropology will be developed by analyzing the creation of mankind (Gen. 1:26-2:25), the Shema (Deut. 6:4-5), and the use of the Shema in Mark’s Gospel. This analysis will be aided through the use of Frame’s triperspectival model. This paper will argue that mankind as image should be understood as comprising material, immaterial, and relational aspects and such a view has a direct impact on the manner of formation within the life of the believer. The outline will proceed as follows:
1. Overview of Frame’s triperspectival method for systematic theology.
2. Exegesis of the Creation account, highlighting the material, immaterial, and relational natures of mankind and correlating those respective elements to Frame’s method.
3. Analysis of the Shema (Deut. 6:4-5, as well as New testmaent uses) and its correlation to both the creation account and Frame’s method.
4. Suggestions for the impact of a triperspectival anthropology for spiritual formation in the church.
The contribution this paper will make is an encouragement away from dichotomist/trichotomist views of the human constitution, toward a more holistic view of spiritual formation.