What does it mean to be human? See Jesus.

Jun 29, 2018 by

Book review by Owen Strachan, The Gospel Coalition.

This is a momentous age in many senses, not least of them the modern era’s grappling with the meaning and nature of humanity. Fifty years ago, Nietzsche’s fevered vision of a godless age went mainstream, remaking public life and leading to a day when it’s fashionable, even au courant, to be an atheist. The doctrine of humanity came next. Over the last 40 years, Western society has re-envisioned its conception of the human person. For millennia, humanity was understood in light of God; mankind was made in the image of God, and thus the human race had certain duties before God. We shouldn’t romanticize the past; many people had no saving knowledge of God. But they also had limited awareness of an ability to rework either theology proper or theological man.

All this has changed. We in the West no longer base our thinking and moving and being itself in God, so we no longer adhere to a stable, fixed understanding of humanity. People aren’t made from any mold, formed out of any vision, designed with any telos. They may have a body, but it tells them nothing about ontology and purpose. It’s instead a canvas, a vehicle for the expression of self (or any desire that one should choose). The resulting worldview on offer today is a kind of secularist paganism—the only true thing, it seems, is me, and by extension my strongest instincts, my most authentic longings. (I make the case for this view of modern anthropology at some length in my forthcoming Reenchanting Humanity: Biblical Anthropology for the 21st Century.)

How welcome, then, is Marc Cortez’s recent book, ReSourcing Theological Anthropology: A Constructive Account of Humanity in the Light of Christ. A theology professor at Wheaton College, Cortez is a gifted thinker and a fluent writer, adept at drawing the reader into terrifically dense discussions on high-level matters.

Read here

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