A Question I Was Asked:



How Do You Feel About This Explanation of God and Man?







It is comforting that our God takes careful account of the final burial place/resting place of every single person who has ever lived (Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 10:29; 1 Corinthians 15:21-24,35-38,42-44; Revelation 20:12-13). He goes on caring even after our physical deaths because He is primarily concerned for our future existences...

The Question:

I read the theologian James Fowler quite a lot. He expresses things a little differently to you and is far less clear than you. In one of his question answers, he has defined people and their relationship to God in the following way and I would like you to comment on it:

Human beings are derivative creatures designed to live in the space/time context of planet earth. Human beings are choosing creatures, having "freedom of choice," but not "free will" (as only God has). Incapable of generating character or activity ek autos (out of himself), the human being was intended to derive character expression ek Theos (out of God). The only alternative was to derive sinful, selfish character from the Evil One, ek diabolos.

Human beings are not divine beings or spirit beings. Humanum is defined by spiritual function (spirit), psychological function (soul), and physiological function (body). A human being is not an "independent self" with inherent or intrinsic spiritual function or the capability of character generation. As a choosing creature, man derives all character from a spirit-source: God or Satan. The choice of deriving character from God via "the receptivity of His activity" is called "faith." Man is a finite creature. He is not infinite as the Divine Being. He does not transcend space and time as do spirit-beings. Human beings are limited within the context of space and time. They are unilocative and uni-temporal (capable of being present in only one place at one time).

What do you think of these comments?


UK Apologetics Reply:

I too generally admire James Fowler though I do not necessarily support every single statement he has made.

I think the statement you quoted is just about the ultimate truth about Mankind as he really is. In fact, I rather like the way that James has expressed it.

We are certainly derivative creatures and would have no life apart from God, who created us. He takes full ownership of us, even to the degree that, when our earthly lives are concluded, He recalls our souls to Heaven to keep them 'in store' for the future (Ecclesiastes 12:7). He obviously also takes careful account of the final burial place/resting place of every single person who has ever lived (Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 10:29; 1 Corinthians 15:21-24,35-38,42-44; Revelation 20:12-13). He goes on caring even after our physical deaths because He is primarily concerned for our future existences.

Through our consciences, through the witness of Creation and through whatever light is available in other religions, He also witnesses to us, but - much more powerfully and specifically - He witnesses to us through Christianity, the doctrines of which contain all the main and essential ingredients which men and women most need to know regarding self, sin, the purpose of life, God Himself and salvation.

It is true that - ultimately - we derive any character traits we may develop either from influences coming from Satan, or from God Himself. That is ultimately true, although the way that James has expressed it, it looks a little black or white and I think it is often a little more subtle than that. Whilst it is true that Mankind currently exists in a state of spiritual 'falleness,' if one looks at human civilisation as a whole, one may see the influences of both good and evil; one may see what is ultimately divine influence, as well as evil and malevolent influence, with the only way to salvation - through none other than Jesus Christ - mostly left somewhat confused and clouded, except to those whom our Lord is calling into His Kingdom.

Robin A. Brace. December 1st, 2012.



UK APOLOGETICS HOME