Anthropology

A Biblical Teleological Argument for Identity, Sex, and Sexuality, Part 1

Abstract

Matthew Vines and others supporting the LGBTQ perspective have argued for a Moral Permissive View on sexual orientation. The argument has been two-tiered: (1) that the more traditional Moral Prohibitive View is based on six Scriptures that are ultimately not relevant to the present discussion, and (2) that in the absence of Biblical data for or against healthy homosexual relationships, Christians should choose the more inclusive, affirming approach rather than condemn such relationships.

In order to advance the discussion beyond the stalemate of these two models, and in order to apply a solidly Biblical hermeneutic, this paper proposes a third approach: The Inherent Design Model. This third model considers God’s particular design for identity, sex, and sexuality in Genesis 1 and 2, Jesus’ affirmation of that model in Matthew 19, Paul’s recognition in 1 Corinthians 7 that the design offers only one inherent alternative (celibacy), and his explanation in Romans 1 of other alternatives as violating God’s design. The Inherent Design Model concludes that LGBTQ applications violate God’s design, and the model contextualizes the ethical implications so that believers can respond in a way that honors all people (including LGBTQ), and can demonstrate the love of Christ while not compromising Biblical truth.

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A Christian psychology, pedagogy, and anthropology

"In 1893 Lemkes writes a letter to Abraham Kuyper, requesting that Dr. Kuyper take up the challenge of writing a study of Christian psychology, particularly with the purpose of articulating a Christian anthropology (or doctrine of the human person) as it relates to questions of pedagogy, or educational method and philosophy." - Acton

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“The liberal tradition has some serious philosophical weaknesses, especially in anthropology. It has also contributed to the development of political and religious liberty.”

“We can be tempted to use terms to make a splash or win an argument at the expense of complexity. You see this today with everyone condemning or praising liberalism. The term has become so vague that it increasingly means 'stuff I don’t like' to some and 'progress and freedom' to others.” - Acton

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Basics of Christian Anthropology (part 1 of 2)

“O Soulo Mio”: The Term נפש (Nephesh) and Its Significance for the Doctrine of Man

The Hebrew word נפש (nephesh) is important for the Old Testament (and biblical) doctrine of man. The term appears over 750 times in the OT and is translated in the Authorized Version most frequently as “soul,” “life,” “person,” “creature,” or “-self.” It is found in all OT genres (narrative, poetry, prophecy, etc.) and may have either a literal or metaphorical sense.

Old Testament Usage

A nephesh can be living or dead. It can be counted as an individual entity or distinguished from other individual entities. A human being or an animal may be distinguished as a nephesh. When predicated of humans, a nephesh can think, feel, desire, act, and sin. One commonly finds a plea for the deliverance of one’s nephesh from danger or death in the Psalms. Keeping these observations regarding the syntactic and semotactic environment of nephesh in view is essential for establishing a proper semantic value for nephesh and for developing a proper OT anthropology.

The word nephesh is predicated of human beings in primarily two ways. Less commonly, the term refers to the animating principle of a physical entity, that is, “breath” (Gen. 35:19; 1 Kings 17:21; Job 41:13) or the existential quality or state of “life” (Gen. 9:4; 19:17; Lev. 17:11; Deut. 9:23; 1 Sam. 20:1).

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