Defense of a Biblical Anthropology

In the confessions of Israel, the heavens and the earth are the work of a personal God named Yahweh who purposefully created a home for mankind to represent him as his image and do the work of caring for creation. Modernism and Postmodernism have distorted this concept to the point that it has become inconceivable. The age of enlightenment reduced grand metaphysical systems to philosophies that were limited to the methods of natural sciences. Human knowledge was reduced to the methods of empiricism and rationalism. The failure of this epistemology both rationally and empirically resulted in Postmodernism, which simplified to the extreme can be defined as “incredulity toward metanarratives” (Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition, 1979, xxiv). This incredulity was a product of the progress which it presupposed. But the fundamentals of the enlightenment were in no sense diminished. This trajectory is followed by Charles Taylor, who describes secularism as movement from a society in which it was impossible not to believe in God to one in which for many, who are not simply depraved, there can be no faith in God or the transcendent (A Secular Age, 3). The result has been tragic for society because there is no sense of the realities of being human.

As reported in The Economist (February 25, 2012), a session on cetaceans at AAAS proposed that the concept of persons should be extended to another species. Humans are fundamentally reduced to one kind of biological being among others. Values are purely individual; Woke is the guarantee of rights to special interest groups with no tolerance for difference of opinion. This can only be a formula for escalating conflict. These distortions actually prove what C. S. Lewis observed as a fundamental evidence of the divine: a conviction of humans that there is right and wrong, further that they know what is right (Mere Christianity, 3-7). This paper proposes to demonstrate the critical importance of Christians being categorically clear in knowing a biblical anthropology and the ways in which it is subtly undermined by both the continuity of rationalistic modernism and the irrational elements of postmodernism. Persons are a reality that can only be defined by the theological truth revealed by the transcendent. The Christian vocation is to be the image, being renewed in mind, persons created to be in accordance with God in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:24). Biblical truth is the only antidote to a failed anthropology.

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