Category Archive: Theology – Anthropology

July 3, 2013

The Primacy of the Intellect?

Category: Philosophy,Theology - Anthropology :: Link :: Print

One can never think that he is getting into a deeper level of interpretation when he gets at the instincts of man than when he deals with the intellect of man.  There are, from the Christian point of view, no higher and lower levels of existence…. The ineffable, the inexpressible, the “groanings which cannot be uttered” are not any more valuable in the sight of God than the self-consciously expressed praise of God.

Christian psychology does not place the intellect ahead of any other aspect of man’s personality in the sense that one should be more truly human than another.  Man is equally prophet, priest and king.  All that Reformed theology has meant by emphasizing the priority of the intellect is that it is only through intellectual interpretation that we can communicate with one another about the meaning of reality — Cornelius Van Til, Psychology of Religion, 49, 67.

Posted by John Barach @ 1:21 pm | Discuss (0)
May 9, 2013

Ascension vs. Chain of Being

Category: Theology,Theology - Anthropology,Theology - Christology :: Link :: Print

That Psalm 8, followed by Hebrews 2, speaks of a transition from being “lower than the angels” to being exalted over them sounds the death knell for the “chain of being” view held by so many throughout history.  In this view, God is at the top of the chain, with angels — as spiritual beings or pure intelligences — below him, human beings — who are a blend, both spiritual and material — lower still, the beasts beneath them, and so on.  Though there might be the possibility that man might rise in glory, the angels too would be continually rising above them, so that the order of the chain never changes. But if man, created “lower than the angels,” is then exalted over them, the chain is no longer static, with each creature in the place “rationally” assigned to it.  Furthermore, if man can be exalted over the angels, the idea that matter is inherently lower than spirit must also give way, since Jesus is fully human, with a human body, and yet is exalted over the angels” — “The Glory of the Son of Man: An Exposition of Psalm 8,” The Glory of Kings: A Festschrift in Honor of James B. Jordan, 17n49.

Posted by John Barach @ 1:54 pm | Discuss (0)