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Theology Final- Anthropology
all the anthro
Bible Studies
Undergraduate 3

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1.What is anthropology? Definition?
2.What has happened in this area in the past century?
-there has been a steady rise in interest in studying humanity/personhood
3. How can anthropology be seen in Philosophy?
-Kant & epistemology
• (turn to the subject)
o Kant--debate between empiricists and rationalists prompts Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) to highlight differences between the kinds of statements, judgments, or propositions that guide the discussion of truth.
o Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that is concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. How humanity attains it and processes it.
o Existentialism is a philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience (within an indifferent universe)
 regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one's acts.
4.What are some “perceived threats” to our humanity?
1. Technological---Can technology depersonalizes us? Social media; virtual relationships; Eharmony.
2. Bio-technological ---reproductive technology; cloning; DNA research: Are we just a bundle of DNA?
3. Social ---questions of race; immigration; male/female equality; sexuality (marriage)
5.What are some “basic approaches to Anthropology?”
1. Idealistic – Greek/Plato; Divine spark of life is what makes us special… Often these are dualistic and suggest that we’d be better off without our bodies… they teach about immortal souls, but deny the resurrection. So we aren’t in God’s image, we are eternal souls…
• Places higher importance on the ideals of the mind in comparison to things perceived through senses. Has gnostic undertones.
2. Materialistic – Scientism/Atheism. We are just composed of material stuff – all the mental, emotional, and spiritual qualities of humanity can be said to emerge from our material structure.
• The advent of neurological research (the branch of medical science that studies the nerves and the nervous system) can point to this: that emergent properties such as consciousness simply arise from electrical and chemical reactions in our brains.
• Here we aren’t in God’s image either – because there is no Creator – we are just an accidental sequence of arranged atoms.
6.What are the errors within idealism and materialism?
- not just that these two options are one-sided, they also ONLY consider a single of aspect of our humanity, which is not just an important thing (to consider both our materiality and our spirituality) , but an ultimate thing (gen 1:27 “created also in the image of God)
- Our spirituality or our materiality can be considered autonomously (independently) from God as Creator… and because of that, they are best called idolatry. (If we focus on a single one????) (Can view specifically…body and soul…but neither can be views independently from God.)
7. What’s the importance of getting our understanding of anthropology “being made in God’s image” (both spirit and body) right?
- it affects all sorts of other things:
1. view of God/world;
2. view of Jesus Christ;
3. view of sin/salvation;
4. church; last things.
8.So How are we “absolutely dependent” on God and “relatively independent” in our existence?
- Dependent: we are Created ex nihilo (out of nothing) which makes us totally dependent on God.
- Independent: within our “created persons “–
• Within our dependence we do not to have absolute independence, but a sort of relatively in our independence within our distinct existence.
• “To be a person means to make decisions, to set goals, to move in the direction of those goals. It means to possess freedom – at least in the sense of begin able to make one’s own choices.” (Hoekema, 5)
- “it’s a mystery”
- Everything we do is within the will/sovereignty of God. It’s the pie…the BIG PIE is God’s sovereignty the little pie is our will.
9. How is the created dependence and relative independence in our nature, of being a person, held in tension?
- Example: Original Sin – the entrance of sin is an unfathomable mystery. Humanity was able to fall into sin because they are persons – able to think and act, yet we remain creatures, dependent on God, such that even the powers with which we sinned are God-given.
Are there any communicable attributes that showcase decision-making?
- Hoekema (pgs. 7-8) discusses: Redemption, Sanctification, Perseverance, the Image of God… all as places where “created persons” must be held in tension.
10.The “image of God” reality plays a important role in our “feeling of importance” as a human being.
- the image of God addresses our existential concern for significance.
- The doctrine of the image of God addresses our social concerns for human dignity.
• It adheres that regardless of human capability… humans have a unique and inherent value as creatures made in the image of God (Pyne).
11.What are some primary OT passages for the image of God?
- Genesis 1:26-27 – let “us”; image & likeness; male & female; let them rule; be fruitful and multiply.
- Genesis 5:1-3 – v. 1. likeness not image; then Adam fathers a son in his image; image passed on; image connected with being a son/daughter.
- Genesis 9:6 – image is the basis for dignity & the command not to murder (because it would be an offense against the “image of God.)
what's the summary?
–Image & Likeness are equated
–Both Adam & Eve are God’s image
–The image is passed down and universal
12. What are some primary NT passages for the image of God?
- James 3:9 – image is basis for ethical treatment of others… to curse the image is to curse the one in whose image we are made + Genesis 9:6
- –2 Cor. 4:4 – Christ is the image of God + Genesis 1:26-27
- –Col 1:15 – Christ is the image, the firstborn + Genesis 5:1-3 – v. 1
what's the summary?
–The image is still the basis for ethics in the NT
–The image is still there, even after the fall
•Defaced, but not erased
13. What is the notion (understanding) of (the word) “image” in reference to being “in the image of God?”
1. We do not bear or have God’s image but are God’s image. (in the sense that we reflect it)
• It is essential to what it means to be human. (Hoekema, 66)
2. To Mirror God – As a mirror reflects an object, reflect God as his image.
3. To Represent God – As delegates represents their leader, so we represent God as as his image.
• We are the mirror of God’s image on earth…we represent it on earth.
14. What are some common views on the meaning of image?
1. Structural: Image as Rational/Moral Ability
2. Structural/Functional: Image as Relationship
3.Functional: Image as Dominion
is the “Structural View” (view #1)
- Image as Ability
- The image of God is some characteristic or quality within human beings; it is part of who we are.
- This is the dominant view in church history
16.What method did they use to identify that we, out of creation, at in the image of God?
- Method: Compare humans to animals
• –Difference = the image of God in man
- Result: they discovered that being in the Image of God =means that we have “Rational & Moral Ability.”
• Rational Ability----this is the ability to reason, to think logically, to exhibit intelligence
• Moral Ability this is the ability to live and act in conformity to God’s moral nature…we need his moral nature in order to make moral decisions.
Conclusion: After the Fall
- Both rational ability & moral capacity are retained but in badly damaged form.
17.What are the pros and cons of Image as Ability?
- Pros:
• Rightly locates the image of God as something inherent in humans; as part of who we are
- Cons:
• Bible never associates reason or intellect with image of God
• Arbitrary: why not creativity, self-awareness, or love of beauty
• Neglects the body as a part of the image of God
• Dehumanizes people born with severe mental disabilities
18. What is Structural view #2?
- Image as Relationship
• Genesis 1:26-27
• “us” of v26 stresses divine community in creation
• “male and female” of v27 stresses importance of human community to God’s creative purpose
- So image is:
• Not something inherent in us…
• Image = relationship, it is humans in relationship with other humans.
- Image present in all humans b/c all can live in relationship. But most perfectly expressed in:
• Marriage
• The Church
- A person can only be said to be “in the image of God” when he or she is living in right relationship with other humans.
19. What are the pros and cons of Image as Relationship?
- Pros:
• Rightly emphasizes importance of human relationships.
- Cons:
• Only an inference from Genesis 1:26-27
• Never answers what it is about us that enables us to live in relationships
• An effect of the image, not the image itself
• Dehumanizes individuals
20. What is Structural view #3?
- Image as Dominion
• Genesis 1:26-28
• Mankind was created to rule over the earth as God’s kingdom representatives.
• –This job description directly follows man’s creation in the image of God.
- So image is:
• Not something inherent in us…
• Image = our function, our task of exercising dominion
• So we are “like God” or in His “image” because we share a common task with Him: ruling.
• Only humans fulfilling this task can be said to be “in His image.”
21. What are the pros and cons of Image as Domain?
- Pros:
• Rightly stresses the connection between our nature and our task.
- Cons:
• Nowhere directly supported in the text
• Never answers what it is about us that enables us to fulfill this task of ruling
• An effect of the image, not the image itself
• Dehumanizes unbelievers
22. The summary of the three Structural image views.
- Each view seems to attribute something in texts discussing the image to be the entire content of the image itself
- Thus Hoekema writes:
- The image of God in man must therefore be seen as involving both the structure of man (his gifts, capacities, and endowments) and the functioning of man (his actions, his relationships to God and others, and the way he uses his gifts). (73)
23. What are the “image effects of the fall?”
- The whole story of sin in Scripture bears witness to the fact that something of the image was lost.
- How did the fall affect the image?
1. Sin severely damaged our physical bodies; we experience sickness, disability, and death.
2. Sin severely damaged our moral nature; without God’s help we no longer have the ability to reflect His glory through righteous lives.
3. Sin severely damaged our relationships; our relationships to God and others are marred by sin.
- Yet, all humans still possess the image of God:
• Genesis 9:6 & James 3:9
• Mankind still in the image after the fall
• No discrimination made between believers & unbelievers
- So, the image has been defaced, not erased.
- But how can the image be restored?
24. How can the image of God be restored to fallen mankind?
- Restoration in HOPE
- Restoration begins with the gospel – 2 Cor 4:6
• Light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God
- Believers are a “new creation” – 2 Cor 5:17
• We are being renewed according to the pattern of God’s original creation
- Thus, the image of God in us is in the process of being restored.
24. How can the image of God be restored to fallen mankind?
- Restoration in HOPE
- Restoration begins with the gospel – 2 Cor 4:6
• Light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God
- Believers are a “new creation” – 2 Cor 5:17
• We are being renewed according to the pattern of God’s original creation
- Thus, the image of God in us is in the process of being restored.
25. How does the process of restoration of the image work?
- Present Progressive Restoration of the Image:
• 2 Cor 3:18
 Our moral capacity is being renewed as we are transformed into the character of Christ.
• Holy Spirit is agent of this renewal:
 Gal 5:16
 Producing righteous actions in us
 Phil 2:13
 Producing righteous desires in us
- Future Complete Renewal
• Renewed resurrected body (1 Cor 15:49)
• Perfected moral capacity (Heb 8:11)
26. The Image Summary in Anthropology:
- The image = our mirroring and reflecting of God in both who we are (structural) and what we do (functional).
• It includes our bodies and our souls..
- This is the basis for our dominion/rationality/morality/relationality & dignity.
- The fall drastically damaged the image, yet that image is still present at least as potential in all human beings.
- Restoration of the image comes through belief in the gospel and occurs both progressively now and completely after death.
27. What are the image implications of “being in the image of God?”
- #1 Truth:
• Image is universal, so all humans have innate dignity & thus right to life.
- Practical Implications:
• Abortion & Bioethics
• Mentally &/or physically handicapped
 Image is not limited to mental capacities, groupings, or functions
 So, image is present even here
 So, inherent right to life
- #2 Truth:
• Image includes the human body.
- Practical Implications:
• Gnostic Tendencies & Body-image
• Resist any notion that the my body is less important than my soul.
• Care for our bodies since they bear the image of God.
28. Let’s talk about the “human constitution of the body.”
- We are sustained by the animating breath of God
• Genesis 2:7
• –Genesis 6:17; 7:15 (spirit will not abide in NET)
• –Genesis 6:3 (spirit will not abide in NET)
• –Psalm 104:29-30
• –Job 33:4; 34:14-15
• –Ezekiel 37
Main point: The body is fragile.
29. What are two major views of the human constitution of the body?
1. Monism
• Definition: All things are of one essence; there is only one kind of thing.
• Materialistic Monism: Everything is material.
 Non-Reductive Physicalism: All causality is physical, but functional properties can’t be reduced to physical ones. The person is a physical organism whose complex functioning gives rise to higher capacities – “immaterial.”
1. Atheistic = everything is material
2. Christian = Non-Reductive Physicalism
 Person is a physically complex organism.
 Complex functions give rise to “higher” capacities such as morality and spirituality.
 After body dies, higher capacities cease – no more existence.
 After death you persist in the “mind of God”.
 Held by some recent Christian theologians.
 Critique: seems unable to adequately handle death & resurrection
• Idealistic Monism: Everything is immaterial.
 The body is merely a perception, but it is not “real.”
 Christian Science and New Age philosophies are good examples.
 Critique: Seems to utterly deny the reality of the body, a reality we can’t escape.
2. Dualism
• Definition: All things are of two essences; there are two kinds of things – material bodies & immaterial souls.
 Radical Dualism: “real you” = soul
 People are both material and immaterial.
 The parts are distinct, yet not overlapping.
 During this life, soul has an “earthsuit.”
 The soul is freed at death.
 This is the traditional Gnostic understanding (more recently – Heaven’s Gate cult).
 Critique: Marginalizes the body, and unable to speak biblically about it.
 Holistic Dualism: “real you” = separable material and immaterial parts functioning in unity.
 The parts are distinct, yet overlapping.
 The soul and body can’t be separated in life.
 The soul temporarily separates at death.
 This is the traditional Christian understanding.
 Conclusion: The body is “me”, but not the whole “me.”
30. What does abortion and stem cell research have to do with the “human constitution of the body?”
- Abortion
• What would an idealistic monist say?
• What about a holistic dualist?
• Why does theology make a difference on this issue?
- Stem Cell Research
• In some stem cell research, aborted fetuses and non-implanted embryos are used.
• Where does life begin? What would a non-reductive physicalist say?
• Do the possible medical benefits outweigh any other considerations?
(These are questions to answer after understanding the terms)
31. Explain the Human Constitution The Body.
- The body should not be denied (as if it is not real) – the body is fragile.
- The body should not be denigrated and dehumanized – the body is me, but not whole me.
- The body should be treated with dignity – the body is valuable.
(Robert Pyne)
32. Explain the Human Constitution The Soul.
- OT: nephesh (Hebrew word for soul)
• Genesis 9:5; Exodus 12:4; Deut. 11:13
• The word can mean “life,” “person,” “emotional center,” or it can refer to the immaterial part of man.
- NT: psyche (greek)
• 1 Thess 5:23; Heb 4:12; Rom 13:1
• The New Testament word has the same broad usage as the Old Testament word.
33. Explain the Human Constitution The Spirit.
- OT: ruach
• Ex 10:13; Gen 6:17; Num 27:18; Judges 9:23; Ps 51:12
• The word can mean “wind,” “breath of life,” “Holy Spirit”, “demon”, “emotional center”, or it can refer to the immaterial part of man.
- NT: pneuma
• Jn 3:8a; Mt 26:41 (cf. 27:50); Mk 1:23
• The Greek word is very similar in usage to the Hebrew word ruach.
34. Explain the Human Constitution The Soul.
- OT: lav/lavav
- NT: kardia
- “The heart is the source, or spring, of motives; the seat of the passions; the center of the thought processes; the spring of conscience.”
(Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Theology)
- How many parts do we have?
• Trichotomy = three parts
• Dichotomy = two parts
• Monism = one part
- Most evangelicals hold to either trichotomy or dichotomy.
35. What is the trichotomy of the soul?
1. Trichotomy
• Man is composed of a body, a spirit, and a soul
• 1 Thess 5:23/Heb 4:12
• Spirit immaterial portion
• Soul = emotions and intellect
• Body = body
• At regeneration, man receives an entirely new spirit (2 Cor 5:17).
• This new spirit wars with the “flesh,” contained within the body and soul
2. Challenge to Trichotomy
• Passages where they flip-flop: i.e. Ps. 143:3-8
 David’s enemies pursued his “soul” (Ps. 143:3)
 Because of this his “spirit” was overwhelmed (Ps. 143:4)
 His “soul” longed for God’s deliverance (Ps. 143:6)
 Wanting an answer his “spirit” was failing and he feared death (Ps. 143:7)
 But with confidence David lifted his “soul” to God (Ps. 143:7)
• Conclusion: It doesn’t make sense to make hard and fast distinctions between “soul” and “spirit” from the way Scripture describes them.
36. What is the dichotomy of the soul?
- Man consists of two parts, immaterial and material.
- “Soul,” “Spirit,” and “Heart” express different aspects of the same thing.
- At regeneration, no part of man is completely replaced.
- The Spirit instead exerts a new influence on the person, creating gradual change.
 The body is a significant part of man's composition.
 Dualism is preferable biblically to monism.
 Man's immaterial part is probably of one substance – dichotomy – rather than two - trichotomy.
 Beyond material and immaterial we can’t divide ourselves into parts.
 Sin is not restricted to a “part” of me.
 No “part” of me is wholly righteous and good.
- Expectations for sanctification/counseling
 Rules out models where spirit/heart are wholly purified or replaced at conversion
 Sanctification is not just “getting used” to what’s already changed… it’s real change
 Makes sanctification more than perspectival
 There will be real times of failure and disappointment in the Christian life… not sustained victory or perfection\
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