Being Human

humanity-dieselsc-comThis post could be classified as theology because I support the thesis with scripture, but it is also supported by psychology which I know very little about. Also based on the title, being human has the potential to effect everything. Though I think being a real, whole person, will immediately effect all forms of human contact. That is if being a whole person means you recognize others as whole people,  as opposed to sub-human people.

I recently wrote on the trinity. I recognize trinity as something essential in all of nature. The concept of the parts making up one whole. So in human anatomy, biology, psychology, (again no expert) there are three parts of what males up the person. Though many secular studies only attribute two; mind and body. A third might often be the human conscious. But according to the bible, man is composed of three parts. Mind, Body, Spirit or soul. I prefer spirit. It is very important for us to believe that man is spirit as well as body and mind because God himself, being spirit, made man in his likeness. Though we aught also to presume that mind and body represent some aspect of Gods own likeness because our whole being was created after the image of God.

When I live in a recognition of what I have just explained I find myself pursuing, in my daily life, things that fulfill men not just physically; sports, food, drink, sleep, sex, emotional connections with others. But I also look for way to stretch my imagination, my intellect, my ability to reason, and learn knew things. My mind is hungry for this sort of activity. That is the two parts that are most readily realized by most. But then there is a third hunger for something spiritual. My faith, though it is based on all parts of what it means to be a person; logic and reason, as well as an emotional-physical belief in a God who Loved me, and spoke to me, and gave his word and his own flesh for me. This God draws me to recognize that I am also hungry for what is spiritual though not removed from the rest of -being human.

This answer the human quest for meaning, and fulfillment. That its primarily found when I know what it means to really be human and I know where to get it. And this revelation is exactly that. It is not my creation, it does not belong to someone else who i stole it from, it is revealed by God through his living word. The bible.

So before the bible gets around to communicating the gospel, as we know it, with the central figure of Christ the incarnate God of the whole bible. Before all of that, its message is, “this is what it means to be a person,” not a Christian, not a Jew, not a chosen one, not any of the badges we hold to today. It just tells us what it means to be a real whole person who may find fulfillment in his many tasks. It also reminds us why we are unfulfilled. This happens as early as the third chapter.aexpulsion

This happens because the whole man fell. Not just mans spirit, his mind, or his physical body. But the whole man made a conscious choice to begin a way of life for all other men. That mankind would now seek to know the right knowledge of good and evil without the revelations of God, or the perspective of God. If there is a true dichotomy that exists today it is not between spirit in physical. Because both fell. But the true dichotomy is that man without God has a limited perspective, and man with God has a limitless perspective. Revelation can be gained by relationship with God.

Man and his wholeness has a better relationship with God when he understands Gods wholeness. The more we understand God he reveals about each area of our lives. The nothing is to be set apart as secular, or sacred. Just as in creation everything made by a holy God was good.

So this gets me on to the whole point. When we get that about ourselves, and we get it about other people, than relationships with family and strangers will be more natural, supernatural, and intellectual.  Sometimes people are immediately turned off by a religious or spiritual fanatic. To much relation as a spiritual guru wont actual work for everything. Likewise, to much nerdy intellectualism will rub some people the wrong way and not be effect with everyone, and believe it or not to much touchy-feely, flower power, free hugs, and free everything might seem like your trying to hard to some people, some may be touched but still walk away unchallenged. Just saying, too much of one thing is not seeing people as people. People being composed of mind, body, spirit. Sometimes we need to be perceptive and sense the need people have for something intellectual, something tangible, or something spiritual. And maybe in the course of a conversation your able to bring all of this together. That might actually help people see that being Christian, is really about being human, in the sense of Genesis one and two.

This is a new kind of Evangelism. At least new in the sense that I have not read of it in a book or heard it said. Though a look at my library and you can see the type of people that have influenced my thinking have helped me to see that there is something such as a whole person. I think the most influential would be Francis Schaeffer.

Some say the best way to do ‘evangelism’ is to just begin by loving people. I think there is a lot to that, but there are two parts to loving people. The ‘loving’ part and the ‘people’ part. This whole post has been about the people part. What it means to be a person. So maybe to end with this idea of loving, we can remember that in order to really show love to a person you need to know what a person is.

The final implication here for seeing people as whole people. Not merely seeing their spiritual potential or their secular potential. But seeing all of mans potential for glorifying God and setting the highest example for humanity of what it means to be a person. This should happen on all levels.

The video posted below is a great reminder of these implications of wholeness.

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Categories: Anthropology, Bible, Ethics, Genesis, Philosophy, psychology, Spiritual, Supernatural, Theology, Worldview | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Being Human

  1. Reblogged this on Don't Forget the Eyeliner and commented:
    I like when you said ” before the bible gets around to communication the gospel, as we know it, with the central figure of Christ the incarnate God of the whole bible. Before all of that, its message is, “this is what it means to be a person,” not a Christian, not a Jew, not a chosen one, not any of the badges we hold to today. It just tells us what it means to be a real whole person who may find fulfillment in his many tasks. It also reminds us why we are unfulfilled.”

  2. This made me think about discussions on the nature of man in the student union during college. College was the last time most of us thought about such things. Since then, life has moved us forward at a pace that precludes philosophy. I especially liked your statement that “…man w/o God has a limited perspective, and man w/ God has a limitless perspective.” That captures for me countless arguments about the existence of God.

    • Glad this inspires. Also, is interesting at least to me how philosophy never stops. We all do it even I’d we are sitting around talking about Hume, Descartes, Locke, or Kierkegard. Is always there. Our definitions of man will shape everyday decisions.

  3. George Fyfe-Taylor (Thoughts for Thought Blog)

    Brilliant post. A very insightful reflection on the true biblical meaning of what it means to be human. Areas of our humanity are certainly overlooked, or similarly some areas are only ever highlighted, and this happens in the secular environment as well as the church. Even though brief, this post manages to confront this issue very well, and delivers a holistic approach in defining what it is to be human. Your quote, ‘in order to really show love to a person, you need to know what a person is,’ is a very profound thought, which needs careful consideration by us all.
    I think it’s really important for us as Christians to understand our doctrine of creation to understand what it means to be human, and also to help us understand what it truly means to be redeemed. After all God has redeemed us to become what He intended us to be originally. So when we fully understand what it means to be human our understanding of salvation becomes much deeper and more profound. Also love for others will only truly flourish with this understanding of humanity.
    Thanks again for your post Jesse, it has certainly stirred some thought. Keep up the interesting posts!

  4. George Fyfe-Taylor (Thoughts for Thought Blog)

    Sorry I was meant to say this at the end: *Also, love for others will only truly flourish when we have a fuller understanding of what it means to be human.

  5. Pingback: Pluaralism & Sexual Orientations: A Moral Roller Coaster Ride | Bible on Tap

  6. Pingback: Church History: Recovering Kingdom Heritage | Bible on Tap

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