Friday, June 5, 2009

The Truth Project: Anthropology

In the study of Anthropology, Del makes the Calvinist emphasis error of saying that man is "evil," and opposing it to the humanist idea that man is basically good. This is another instance where the "us versus them" mindset makes talking to concerned, but not convinced people just that much harder. No one likes to think of himself as "evil," and yet we all know that we've got our problems. If we mute the hyperbole to something like "basically self-interested," I think we have something we can all relate to. I also think it might help point out the reason many of us professed Christians carry some "logs in our own eyes." People to whom we talk will recognize the conflict between our self-interest and our need to operate within society and maintain meaningful relationships. Del notes that "fallen man" still carries the image of God, so I think what I am talking about is tempering the rhetoric and making it more accessable both for those who do not share our faith and for us within the faith in relating the ideas to our own lives. I really did like Del's point that "redeemed man," one who has chosen to follow Christ, still carries the "sin nature" in the same way that "fallen man" still carries the image of God. There are some "Holiness" perceptions which say that the Spirit should wipe away the "old man" so that we no longer have the desire to sin, but I think it is dangerous to count on it. That may say more about me than it does about the doctrine, but I'd say that the "new man" is more about a new direction than about a new nature. My biggest problem with the "tour," though, was what looks to me like a complete misrepresentation of Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs," in which Del indicates that Maslow claims that "self actualization" is what is most important to man. It is easy to see how Del could make this egregious error, since the term "hierarchy" is used and that indicates the most important at the top. On the other hand, Del is using the same foundational image for the whole series, in which the most important perception is the basis for the rest. Maslow clearly indicates that the "lower" needs must be met before "higher" needs are considered. I think the "us and them" outlook has betrayed Del into the failure to see value in any perceptions that are not based on scripture. As to scripture and self-actualization, isn't the point of "losing ourselves in order to find ourselves" that we find our greatest "self-actualization" in conforming to God?I guess my main objection here is that Del's presentation fails to give us the basis for dealing with secular humanism and enlightened self interest as really viable foundations for human interaction.

In His Love,

1 comment:

  1. I think he was trying to point out that, in spite of the fact that these other needs must be met first, how strange it is that self-actualization has become the ultimate goal of humanity. We don't need to look deeper and deeper within ourselves, we'll never find the answer. Instead we need to lose ourselves.