Evangelical Humanism Essay

1805 words - 8 pages

Evangelical HumanismEvangelical theology is unaware of the extent to which it has accepted humanistic theses.©1999 by James A. Fowler. All rights reserved.You are free to download this article provided it remains intact without alteration.You are also free to transmit this article and quote this articleprovided that proper citation of authorship is included.HomeArticlesMiscellaneous ArticlesEvangelical HumanismThe tragedy of the Western churches today is the extent to which humanistic philosophy has been accomodated into evangelical theology. As a starting point we will attempt a brief definition of both "evangelicalism" and "humanism."Evangelicalism is a theological movement. The name ...view middle of the document...

Humanism is a presuppositional pattern of thinking that postulates the potentiality of man for self-realization, self-actualization and self-generation. It involves a human-potential premise that man has the inherent resource to be the cause of his own effects, to chart his own course, to run his own show, to do his own thing, to solve his own problems, and to be the master of his own fate.The fallacy of humanism lies in the fact that man does not have the potential or the inherent resource to generate and activate his own effects. Man is not a creator! God is the Creator of all things, and man is a creature, specifically designed by the Creator-God to function only by spiritual dependency. Man is not just an animal that functions by repetitive instinctual behavior patterns which God designed in the soul, but neither is man a god who originates action in and of himself. Only the Creator-God is independent, autonomous, self-existent, self-generative and self-sufficient, and He did not create little human gods to operate in the same way as rivals or competitors. God created creatures known as "human beings" or "mankind" who were designed to function only by spiritual and behavioral dependency upon God, the presence of the Spirit of God operating within the spirit of man allowing the invisible character of God to be made visible in man's behavior to the glory of God.Although man is a spiritually and behaviorally dependent creature, this does not relegate him to being but the object of determinism. God entrusted man with freedom of choice, the volitional capability of personal receptivity. Man is a choosing creature who is responsible to live by the consequences of his choices of spiritual and behavioral dependency.It is particularly the fallacy of human independency that lies at the root of all forms of humanistic thought. To understand the origin of this delusion one must understand some spiritual history.Satan made an uncaused choice to pursue the lie of independent-self, saying "I will be like the Most High God (Isaiah 14:14). In so doing he became the fixated liar, the "father of lies" (John 8:44), the polarized opposite of God. He became the "god of this world" (II Corinthians 4:4), whereby he originates all that is devoid of God's character by means of a reverse polarity. Satan then attempted to propagate the "lie of independent self" (the fallacy of human independency and deified humanity) upon mankind. Man fell for the same lie (Genesis 3), but did not become fixated in evil with no opportunity of redemption, as Satan is, for man's was a caused choice. Man was deceived by the Temptor, lied to, and God graciously ushered him out of the Garden of Eden so that he would not partake of the tree of life and have a perpetual representation of his sinful state.Sin is generated by Satan. "The one who practices sin is of the devil" (I John 3:8). Sin is not a result of an alleged self-actuating resource in man that posits man as a "first-cause" of...

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