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Anthropology Paper

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Anthropology

"The doctrine of humanity."

Important because:

1. Relationship to other major doctrines.

a. Highest of God's creation and we learn more about God from humanity than any other creation, "in God's image and likeness." Copy resembles original.

b. Teaches about Christ since he was human, to understand Christ one must understand humanity. Humanity teaches about Jesus and human nature of Jesus teaches about what humanity can and should be.

c. Without humanity, no incarnation, atonement, regeneration, justification, or church.

d. View of humans determines many others, much care since we are studying ourselves.

2. Biblical revelation and humans coverge.

a. Theology treats something that everyone admits exists.

b. Good place to start a conversation with an unbeliever, but may not end here. Human concerned with who we are, what is happening, and where we are going.

c. Paul Tillich, method of correlation: answering/apologetic theology (rather than telling). All of life in reality and culture is used as starting point to get to God: art, literature, movies, politics, philosophy, etc. Asks, what is important? And then answers appropriately with "God." Answer of God is given in terms that people understand and language they know.

d. Begin with questions and problems people have and preach/work from there.

3. Humanity receives much attention already in most disciplines.

a. Psychology, sociology, business, medicine, political science, anthropology, ethics.

4. Present crisis regarding humanity's self-understanding, "What is a human being?"

a. Youth discovering who they are.

b. Loss of historical roots, history is lost field of knowledge, regarded as impractical or irrelevant.

c. Traumatic occurrences in national life: assassinations, terrorism, wars, possible nuclear holocaust. What is humanity doing?

5. It affects how we minister.

a. Understanding of humans and our destiny determines our actions. Primarily physical (comfort), rational (intellect), emotional (feelings), sexual, spiritual.

Images of Humanity

1. Machine - what you are able to do (employer rents employee's labor), keep functioning effectively, people valued according to what they can do, ("junk calls" to elderly or shut ins), things, means to ends not ends in selves.

2. Animal - member of animal kingdom, no qualitative difference only degree, behavioral psychology (Pavlov's dogs, people can be conditioned too).

3. Sexual Being - Sigmund Freud, entire theory of personality is sexuality (id - amoral part, ego - conscious component / public, superego - censor that controls drives and emotions); all human behavior is understood as modification and direction of plastic sexual energy. Most is sold with sex, assumes most dominant aspect of humanity.

4. Economic Being - food, clothing, and housing most significant, these bring satisfaction and destiny. Slavery (masters own all the wealth) to Feudalism (lord-serf relationship) to Capitalism (ruling class owns production and hires working class to labor) to Liberal Capitalism (private ownership but government imposes limitations on owners to make bargaining position of laborers easier) to Communism (no private ownership, all state and economic gap disappear and conflict between them, 'from each according to ability, to each according to need'). Brought about by material and economic forces.

5. Pawn of the Universe - at mercy of forces beyond our control. Not even influence on them, superpowers, weather, other people. Bertrand Russel, Jean-Paul Sartre (Gris), Albert Camus (Sisyphus).

6. Free Being - ability to choose, human will as essence of personality. Freedom from restraint is biggest issue, allows you to realize full self through expression. Government is to ensure stable place for this freedom to be exercised. Must choose, must be self-determining, attempts not to do so are improper, can't blame upbringing or social conditioning, just excuses. Taking other's free choices is wrong too. Children choose to do whatever, adults choose to abort, adulterate, etc.

7. Social Being - member of society, known best through relationships, shaped by society and social encounters with family, friends, etc.

None are complete in themselves.

Christian View of Humanity

Compatible with all our experiences.

1. Creature of God

2. Image of God - intrinsic to humans, not human without it.

3. Result of conscious purposeful act, not chance

4. Eternal

5. Physical

6. Unified

Origin of Humanity

Not just that we are here, or when, but why.

"An all wise and good God created the human race to love and serve him, and to enjoy a relationship with him."

1. Natural Evolution - result of random combinations / chance, survival of fittest.

2. Fiat Creationism - God by direct act created instantaneously, no process at all, each done by God. Ignores or challenges scientific data.

3. Theistic Evolution - God created first organisms and they grew, but God also intervened supernaturally along the way to help. God created first human utilizing existing creature, created human soul and infused it in a primate; spiritual from God and physical from evolution. Allows all scientific data.

4. Progressive Creationism - God created from nothing several times along the way, but subspecies also evolved. First horse by God but others evolved. "yom"/day is broader than a literal day. Humans made directly, not from an animal.

The Age of Humanity

1. Not important

2. Tool

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