What is Christian Anthropology?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Anthropology is the study of humanity. Christian Anthropology is the study of humanity from a Christian / biblical perspective. It is primarily focused on the nature of humanity - how the immateria...

July 01 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini James R
If we take scripture at face value and don't mix it in with ancient Greek philosophy, we arrive at a very different view of what it is to be a human. Unfortunately, our world view has been intertwined with the material/immaterial duality of Greek thinking such that we read it in to the bible wherever it speaks of what constitutes man.

In Genesis, God takes the lifeless form of Adam and breathes life into it. That breath is not described as an eternal, immaterial component of Adam, nor can we read such into our being created in God's image. He was made a nephesh, or soul. So, a living person is a soul. The devil's tactic to ensnare Eve was to convince her to become like God and believe that she would not die if she ate the fruit. 1 Tim 6 is very clear that God alone has immortality and it is his to bestow on faithful people.

We all die, but, in Christ, we have the opportunity to live again and forever. To believe something of us lives on after we die is to deny the clear teaching of the NT, especially Jesus and Paul. 

Our relating to God has been called 'spirit' but again, too often the Greek mindset of higher order spirit confined in a lower order body is transposed over many verses, which are then misunderstood (2 Cor 5 for example above is a description of the person with the Holy Spirit indwelling - a new creation). We relate to God because we have that unique connection from Adam's day unlike any other creation of God, but we still die like all the animals. Only feeding from the Tree of Life sustained Adam and Eve, until they sinned and were banished.

I hope you can see that our Christian anthropology colours much of what we understand about the bible, and God's eternal purpose in man and the world. Greek-influenced view - man is 2 parts that separate at death. Biblical and Hebrew view - man is a whole entity who dies once and then is resurrected to judgement, and eternal life or death forever.

August 02 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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