Skip to main content

Theological Anthropology

It might be argued that Berkouwer’s concentration on man’s relation to God is no more than the adoption of a particular religious theory of man rather than dealing with the real man.
Berkouwer insists that, from the standpoint of Christian faith, the situation is quite the reverse.
He insists that we are not dealing with “an abstract idea of man, but with actual man” (Man: The Image of God, p. 13, emphasis original).
From the standpoint of faith, it is the view of man in relation to God, and not the view of man as rational, free or personal, which deals with the actual man, who stands outlined in the searching light of the revelation of God” (p. 30).
Emphasizing “the indissoluble Biblical relation between knowledge of man and knowledge of self” , Berkouwer writes,”The Jew did not have a better understanding because he was able to judge the heathen. In the sphere of abstract morality this could possibly be said, but this is not Biblical morality - O man, who judgest others! … We can hardly say that the pharisee had an accurate ‘knowledge’ of man when he pointed to the sins (the real sins) of publicans and sinners. This judgment, which separated knowledge of man from self-knowledge, was as nothing in God’s eyes” (Man: The Image of God, p. 27, emphasis original).
True knowledge of ‘man’ involves growing in self-knowledge. Such knowledge of ourselves comes through knowledge of God. In making this point, Berkouwer cites favourably the words of Calvin: “man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God and come down from from  such contemplation to look into himself”  (Man: The Image of God, pp. 20-21, citing Calvin, Institutes, One, I, 2).

Popular posts from this blog

Before the creation, there is the Creator .... (Genesis 1:1-12:9)

Genesis 1:1-2:3
Before the creation, there is the Creator.
* He is the chief focus of attention in the Bible’s first chapter. Wherever we look in Genesis 1, we see the word, God. This is about Him. Genesis 1 speaks about us. It tells us where we have come from. We have come from God. He is our Creator. Take away God, and our life has no meaning, no purpose, no direction.
* Move on from the Bible’s first chapter. Read the rest of Genesis, the rest of the Old Testament,the rest of the Bible. What do you find? The Bible is a Book about God. It’s not only a Book about God. It’s a Book that has been given to us by God. It’s His Word.
* What about our faith and our life? Our faith comes to us from God. Our life has been given to us by God. We are to put our faith in God. We are to live our life for God.
* “God said, Let there be light, and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). The light of God’s love and holiness. “He created us in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Created by God - lov…

How are we to pray?

2 Chronicles 7:12-22
The gathering together of God’s people - “I ... have chosen this place for Myself” (2 Chronicles 7:12). Note also 2 Chronicles 7:15-16 - “... this place... this temple.”
The key verse is 2 Chronicles 7:14. Taking this verse together with Acts 1:12-14, we may say, ‘This is the kind of prayer that leads to Pentecost.’
What we have here is humility, prayer, longing for God and repentance.
We must ask, ‘How are we to pray?’
* We are to pray with humility. Remember the parable of the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18:9-14).
* We are to pray with longing for God. Prayer is more than just words. There is to be intensity and persistence. The parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8): She kept on praying until she received an answer. We are to “cry out to God day and night” (Luke 18:7).
* We are to pray with repentance. Our words are to be backed up by our life.
When God hears this kind of prayer, arising from our hearts and lives as well as our lips, He sa…

Lord, help us not to keep You at a distance.

Lord, help us not to keep You at a distance. Help us to get closer to You. So many of our problems come from this: We’re too far away from You. Even when we’re keeping you at a distance, help us to know that You still love us. Help us to know that You’ll never stop loving us.