Monday, December 12, 2005

NBB Theology: Humanity

So, we're all caught up now on the series, right? I've left off at the transition from how scripture describes God to how it describes us: humanity. That's right, scripture tells us about, well, us as well as about God. In fact, as much as we learn about ourselves from school, we learn the most important things about us from the Bible.

Scripture tells us that we were created in God's image. This is certainly something we don't learn in public schools today. A vital truth, this one, that demonstrates how absolutely special and valuable we are. Without this knowledge, we'd be doomed to making up our own value, as nature (being, you know, unconscious and impersonal) can't give us any value of our own. (Note: regardless of your position in the creation/evolution/ID debate, scripture is still very clear that we are created in His image, and deemed valuable by God - even if the mechanism is in doubt, which I'm not going to address here.)

The Bible also tell us that we have both body and soul. Why is this important? Namely because it means we have free will to choose either good or evil. Without a soul, naturalistic determinism is in place, which means we have no control over our thoughts, desires or actions. Without a soul we cannot be held morally accountable for our actions, be they good or bad.

Scripture also informs us that mankind (in the persons of Adam and Eve) were created holy and righteous. Creation of humanity was declared to be very good. This state, though, as we've learned did not last. Adam and Eve violated God's law, thus abrogating their righteousness and holiness. They used the free will available via their souls to choose against God. Ever since, all humans save one of course) have made similar choices to sin. The Bible goes on to tell us that this sin (aka disobeying God, or violating His commandments) does two things: it separates us from God, and brings death and suffering.

We learn many important things about humanity from other places, but these most vital things we learn from scripture. We were created with body and soul, in God's holy and righteous image. Yet we chose (and still choose!) to rebel against God, thereby reaping death and suffering. We accumulate a debt that God's justice demands be repaid. And there's one more thing the Bible tells us regarding this: we cannot pay that debt on our own.

So where do we go from here? Sin separates us from God, condemning us to death. We cannot repay God for our rebellion, which suggests life is futile; there is no point in living if we cannot ever "earn" eternity. But thanks to God's love and mercy there is no need for us to repay God our debt. To that I'll proceed in the next few posts.

God bless!

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