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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII



Part VIII: The Two Species of Homo Sapiens

Chapter 3

The Two Species of Homo Sapiens

     THE PARALLELS BETWEEN the organization of a group of cells in an animal body and that of a group of men forming a society are numerous enough to have attracted the attention of philosophers for a long time. Herbert Spencer was one of them, but he gave the idea an unfortunate twist when he extended this analogy between society and organism by emphasizing the fact that in any organism individual cells were important only for the function they served. This had the effect of encouraging a view of society which increasingly attached importance to the functions which the individual could perform rather than his value as a whole person. Various evil political theories sprang from this unhappy emphasis. The result is that the view has fallen into disfavour. Ashley Montagu has summed up the situation: (51) "The organismal conception of society is today very generally discarded; yet while the notion of society as an organism may be difficult to justify, a strong case can be made out for the organism as a form of society."
     In spite of the abuse of the concept for political ends both in Italy under Mussolini and in Germany under Hitler, there is much to commend it as a generative idea. The anthropologist, George P. Murdock,
(52) worked it out in considerable detail in some intriguing ways, from the organization of matter to the organization of men. Auguste Comte held that the human race could be viewed as a kind of whole animal. J. B. S. Haldane, referring to this, wrote: (53)

     If the cooperation of some thousands of millions of cells in our brain can produce our consciousness, the idea becomes vastly more plausible that the cooperation of humanity . . . may generate what Comte calls a "Great Being."

51. Montagu, Ashley, ref.35, p.34.
52. Murdock, George P., "The Molecular Structure of Society," Science, vol.114, 1951, p.484.
53 Haldane, J. B. S., ref.19, p.113.

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     And Thomas Hobbes in his political treatise, Leviathan, took the position that every man was so identified with every other man simply by reason of his membership in the human race that he automatically became responsible for the actions of all other members. (54) He called this synthetic beast Leviathan because of its giant size and because it was essentially evilly disposed. He shared the opinion of many modern writers that it is only the constraints of civilization that preserve this giant from devouring itself.
     Eric Sauer, transposing the concept from politics to theology, put it this way:

     The sum total of all natural men forms an enormous racially articulated organism, and each individual through his very birth is inescapably a member thereof. He is "in Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:22).
     Humanity is not simply a numerical total of many distinct individual persons, but one single colossal body which, according to its origin and nature in a myriad, manifold and differentiated branches, sets forth its first father, Adam.

     Scripture tells us that when Adam sinned, he infected his descendants with a spiritual disease which has plagued the whole species. Some members of the species, as a result of circumstance, turn out to exhibit the disease more actively and more virulently than others. It is very largely a matter of opportunity, and every man is capable of the same virulence, as George Fox some years ago put it: (56)

     It is not a case of the world being a checkered place of good and evil. The interrelation of the self-wills of men forms an evil reality whose existence seems to be something more than the sum of the specific evils that constitute it.
     It is the mystery of iniquity and it has made the whole world a dark world of sin and death.

     In another Doorway Paper we have explored this sad fact in some detail and drawn together some of the evidence that the apparent goodness of man is, indeed, apparent only, (57) and hinged not upon an inner purity inherent in human nature but rather upon lack of opportunity for the individual to express his true self without fear of being found out or punished.
     The truth is that "the world" lieth in the wicked one, its spirit is evil, it appears to be ready to welcome the truth about its own character, but rejects it with violence when confronted with it. It hates the light

54. Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan, Blackwell, Oxford, no date, p.112.
55. Sauer, Eric, The Dawn of World Redemption, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 1953, p.57.
56. Fox, George, The Great Mystery, p.91.
57. See "The Fall Was Down", Part I in Man in Adam and in Christ, vol.3 in The Doorway Papers Series.

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and prefers darkness. It says, "Away with Him" when faced with moral perfection. It is fundamentally hostile to goodness and purity, and the motivations of even the noblest actions would surprise all but the few who are capable of them. There are none that are truly righteous, only some who are for one fortuitous reason or another less unrighteous. In times of war or other crises, the real nature of man rises to the surface and society reveals what it has been all along. The nations in Scripture are likened to wild beasts, creatures that crush and rend and prey upon each other -- the bear, the lion, the eagle.
     Nor is the aggressiveness of man rooted in animal behaviour: it is peculiarly human. The savagery of man is worse than anything to be found in Nature. It is unfair to the rest of creation to call it beastly, for it is not paralleled among the beasts. Man professes to love truth and integrity, kindness and pity. And in a sense he does, but not when it challenges his own selfish nature. He lives by a double standard and is angrily aware of the fact when rightly accused of being inconsistent. His judgment of right and wrong can be keen and sharp, so that juries can come to sound and proper decisions, and most men are easily capable of displaying a genuine and valid "righteous indignation" over wrongs done by others. Yet the same individuals may entirely fail to see the wrongness of their own actions or attitudes, or will excuse them with anger and violence if they are pointed out.
(58) Natural man finds it easier to hate than to love, to destroy than to create, to blame than to praise, to remember a wrong than to forgive one, to be selfish than to be generous, to condemn than to pity. The innocence, purity, and idealism of childhood is exchanged for the sinfulness and cynicism of adulthood, unfailingly. Individual history is always downhill by nature. All of history bears out that something is wrong with man. To say that it is merely that we have not yet "let the ape and the tiger die" in ourselves (to use a poet's phrase), is to deceive ourselves inexcusably, for we know that animals below man do not behave with the cruelty, the deliberate meanness, the intentional violence that man constantly displays towards his fellow men, towards animals, and even towards things. On occasion man may be capable of a heroism that seems almost angelic, and on some other occasion of indescribable savagery and inhuman cruelty that can only be described as demonic.
     In their unstressed moments of reflection men may suppose

58. One of the evidences of the profound change effected in human nature when a man is redeemed by the grace of God is to be observed when he is justly condemned for some evil act. It is seen in the behaviour of David when faced by the prophet Nathan. David at once admitted his fault with complete sincerity; and he was at once forgiven by the Lord (2 Samuel 12:13).

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themselves to have advanced into a gentility that places them beyond such awful things. But let the opportunity for theft without danger of being caught be presented in a time of community disaster and suddenly they are seized by an overpowering temptation to take advantage of such a situation. Men who would not steal a pencil from a stranger at other times, loot and laugh. Children, these seemingly most innocent of all human beings, when placed on an island and unrestrained, are depicted as consenting to unbelievable cruelty in that remarkable exploration of human nature, Lord of the Flies.(59) This is not only fiction this is potential history. It is the truth, given opportunity. Such is the appalling nature of Homo sapiens as he now is, a fallen creature.
     But there is another part of this same human race whose motivations have been re-oriented, whose nature has been re-created, the roots of whose behavioir have been radically changed: a people who no longer fear the light, who love the truth, who acknowledge their need of salvation, who seek purity, who thirst after righteousness, who long to be pure and holy, and who hate themselves when they are violent or unjust. A new spirit dwells in them, a holy spirit replaces an unholy spirit at the very root of their being. They may fail constantly to reach the heights of moral purity that they set for themselves, but they no longer excuse it to themselves. Rather they cry out as Paul did, "Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me. . . ?"
(60) They do not justify themselves, though they may still be all too defensive against the criticisms of others, and the more so as the criticism is just. But they no longer hate the light or prefer the darkness. They hate the dark that remains in their souls and long for the light. They are a new kind of species; in short, a "converted species." They are, in fact, the redeemed of God, the born-again, the people in whom the image of God has been re-created as it once was in Adam.
     These two segments of the human race are at opposite poles, they are basically in antithesis. They dwell together because they are both members of the Family of man. They are one Genus, to use the zoological term. But something has happened to cause them to separate into two Species within that Genus, and this separation is at a far deeper and more fundamental level than mere genetics.
     The division is the result of a spiritual transformation that really does constitute a new creation -- nothing less, in fact, than a rebirth. It is not a symbolic rebirth, like that achieved by ritual in some pagan religions of antiquity and even of today. It is a fundamental change in

59. Golding, W. J., Lord of the Flies, Faber, London, 1954.
60. Romans 7:24

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human nature, so great a change that it amounts to a genuine form of speciation. Once this change has occurred, there is no going back. We indeed remain in the world, but we are no longer of the world. The world continues to love its own, but this newly created species of man the world will and does "hate" (John 15:19). Nor can we ever really escape this, except in so far as we betray our true identity by conduct inappropriate to it, at which point the world may merely change its hatred into despising, which is far worse.
     Meanwhile this newly created species is in some ways (though not all ways) a kind of recovery of the original species which was represented by Adam and Eve before disobedience brought disaster to themselves and all their descendants. This disaster was the first conversion, transferring true humanity into something other than its original form. A second conversion recovers for all who experience it their true humanity with some of its original potential. To be reborn is thus to recover "manhood." Hallesby put it this way:
(61) "If I had to tell you in one short sentence why I became a Christian, I think that in order to be as simple and clear as possible, I should say that I did it to become a man."
     It is apparent, therefore, that while Adam and Eve remained unfallen there existed in the world a species of Homo sapiens which differed from the species which we now identify as Homo sapiens. The present species was sinned into being. The original species was created. It follows from this, therefore, that after the Fall, only those who are redeemed recover their identity as members of the originally created species Homo sapiens. There are now, in fact, two distinct species of man, and presumably therefore, two separate psychic unities. Every human being belongs to one or other of these two species. He cannot belong to both.
     Scripture equates the status of being redeemed with belonging to a different body which has a new Head, the Second Adam, who is Christ. The one species is therefore composed of all who are "in Adam," and the other of all who are "in Christ."
     The giant self -- the species of man in Adam -- is afflicted as a consequence of the Fall with a disease which affects every cell in the body. In his remarkable little book Man in the Midst, John Taylor observed:

     Man is a single organism in which we are all (by natural birth) involved. Fallen humanity is "the body of sin" of which Adam is the head, an organism that is still growing and branching, working out through history the innate disobedience which leads on to self-destruction.

61. Hallesby, O, Why I am a Christian, Inter-Varsity, London, 1953, p.44.
62. Taylor, John, Man in the Midst, Highway Press, London, 1955, p.64.

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     In view of what has been said about the nature of group mind for any species, it is not surprising that when man in Adam acts as a crowd the individual to some extent loses his identity and often is caught up by a spirit true to the nature of the species in Adam in such a way as to behave quite contrary to the habits of his own personal life. Such crowd behaviour can be terrifying, and in retrospect it may amaze the individual who has been part of it, to find that he was capable of acting in ways so contrary to himself. Those who have witnessed riots have remarked upon the frightening aspect of the roar of unified voices bent on evil. Crowds become vicious in ways totally foreign to the behaviour of the individuals who make up the crowd.
     The reason that crowds are capable of such atrocities, as history shows they are, even though they are often composed largely of otherwise law-abiding, orderly, and decent citizens, is that these same "law-abiding, orderly, and decent citizens" are really no different from the rabble of a mob, except that they have by circumstances of life lived under greater restraints and more ideal directives of conduct so that these restraints and ideals have become internalized sufficiently to carry them over the normal challenges that meet them in the ordinary course of each day. But remove these restraints by the breakdown of social order and submerge these ideals by a common surrender to a less worthy ideal, and the true nature of human nature emerges as quickly and as frighteningly as it does in the rabble of the uncultured. "There is no difference," Paul says.
(63) Scripture is realistic in its assessment of human nature. The world is not.
     Even the gentlest of men may become murderously destructive in a group. Afterwards, such individuals may sort themselves out and wonder in amazement at what "got into them." The truth is that nothing got "in." It is not what gets in, but what comes out, that reveals the truth about human nature in Adam (Mark 7:20-23). This nature responds to the prompting of the species-specific psyche when the aggregate of individuals who carry it reaches a large enough number. Even Tolstoy, acute student of human nature though he was, could not understand why men in masses are able to commit crimes of which they would never be guilty when acting as individuals.

63. H. J. Eysenck has argued forcefully that extroverts are more likely to be criminal in behaviour because they are less successful than introverts in internalizing the constraints to good behaviour which society imposes on the maturing individual. Thus, when these restraints are weakened, antisocial or criminal behaviour is likely to find expression more readily among extrovert types. See "Biological Basis of Criminal Behavior," Nature, Aug. 29, 1964, pp 952, 953.
64. Tolstoy, Leo, quoted by Kenneth Walker, Meaning and Purpose, Pelican Books, England, 1951, p.158, from the Epilogue of his "War and Peace."

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     While the history of this "sinned-into-being" species unfolds with sorry consequences both for itself and the rest of the created order, the other species, a redeemed and re-created body, is being formed supernaturally by God in Christ as a counter-measure. As natural birth initiates us into the first species, so a supernatural birth takes us out of that species and transfers us into the second species. And these two species, whose origin is therefore different and whose destiny according to Scripture is different, coexist side by side as distinct and separate as any other two species. They cannot unite successfully, even though mistakenly they may attempt to do so. The one is "of this world," and the other is "not of this world" (John 15:19), having been specifically chosen out of it. Although like the rabbit and the hare they may often look alike and on the physical plane share essentially the same life processes and habitat, and although they may dwell in comparative harmony with one another, any attempt to break down their specificity at a basic level will inevitably result in rejection -- just as a body rejects cells which are foreign to it (unless, of course, artificially doctored). The difference between the two species is quite fundamental.
     George Romanes observed that in the animal world each different species reacts differently in its environment, due to the kind of life it possesses. As a result of observing the kind of conduct that characterizes the men and women who claim to have committed themselves to Christ, he concluded that they possess a different kind of life.
     I believe it is not merely that the child of God has spiritual interests which are not shared by the sons of men so that there is an insufficient common ground at a kind of social level, but rather that we are actually dealing with two real entities which support two incompatible giant selves that in the final analysis are at enmity one with the other. By analogy, each individual child of God with his personal consciousness belongs as a cell within an aggregate of cells -- a Body of which Christ is the Head. This Body is articulated. It is not a random collection of cells, but a deliberately chosen one, so elected as to form at any moment a viable Body. This Body as a psychic unity is a habitation for God in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. And as its Head, He directs its life and completes its organic wholeness even as it completes His (Ephesians 1:23). At any one moment in history I believe it is complete, in the world. Like the human body, every cell that has been chosen as a member of it is perhaps at once replaced when it dies, in order to preserve the unity of the Body. In the early Church, it may be this was

65. Romanes, George: quoted by Merlin Grant Smith, "Scholarly Witnesses and a Few Observations," in The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe, edited by J. C. Monsma, Putnam, New York, 1958, p.148.

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an infant Body; perhaps today the Body is nearing the end of its appointed span in the purposes of God. But it has a real existence to which each of us in Christ is contributing for good (or for ill, unhappily), whether we are immediately aware of it or not. For none of us lives unto himself. At the same time, the Body of Adam is perhaps also maturing and approaching its destined end.
     The reality of the distinction between these two species is nowhere clearer than in Paul's letters. When, for example, he warns "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers . . ." (2 Corinthians 6:14) he is undoubtedly referring back to an injunction in Deuteronomy against ploughing with an ox and an ass (Deuteronomy 22:10). Some poorer farmers were disobeying this injunction in the Middle East until quite recently, having only one of each animal and finding it necessary to use both in order to plough the hard baked earth. But it is a well recognized fact that this practice is almost certain to ruin both animals, for their gait is so entirely different. The important thing is that they are two species. Any kind of teaming up that calls for a close working relationship where spiritual matters are involved and where a certain measure of community of spirit is essential for successful cooperation seems to be in Paul's mind here, for he accentuates the incongruity of attempting to harness light with darkness and righteousness with unrighteousness. Although it is customary and quite proper to view this injunction as an admonition against the marrying of believers with unbelievers, I think it very probably has a wider application involving any kind of teamwork where spiritual issues are primarily concerned.
     There is a sense in which the spiritual issues are the primary ones in every undertaking, but clearly one must compromise to some extent, otherwise one would have, as Paul says, "to go out of the world altogether" (1 Corinthians 5:10). Moreover, it is sometimes difficult even for a mature Christian to know whether a man's "spirituality" is real or not, for we live in what is even yet an essentially Christian environment in many respects. But the veneer of Christian culture is shallow indeed and peels off all too easily in times of stress to reveal the raw material of human nature underneath. When this happens there may come a parting of the ways, which proves to be a distressing experience for both members of the original partnership.
     Three things seem to be bound fundamentally with the continuance of any species. Without them, the species cannot survive. All members must associate themselves with their own kind; there must be some system of communication between members of the species; and there must be a continual replacement with new members to maintain

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its numbers at a viable level. In that species of Homo sapiens which is a new creation in Christ Jesus, these same three powerful urges characterize every healthy member. There will be a desire for association for fellowship, enjoyment in talking about experiences with the Lord, and a concern for the bringing of new members into the family. In the simplest possible terms, any child of God whose Christian life is in a normal state of health will seek fellowship with other Christians, will enjoy talking with them about the things of God, and will be concerned about the matter of personal evangelism. These three will bear a sure testimony to the reality of their membership "in Christ," and a total absence of them is a sure sign of their membership "in Adam."
     So we have to learn to accept this important fact, that we who have been chosen to be members of the blameless family of God, because for some inscrutable reason He decided to choose us, are members of a fundamentally different species. It is inescapable. It is in no sense because we were more worthy or less sinful at heart. It is of the same lump that one vessel is made into honour and another to dishonour (Romans 9:21). The basic stuff of saint and sinner alike is the same. But the mere fact of rebirth has effected a new speciation that neither behaviour nor preference can ever really change. We may quickly find where our true fellow-ship belongs, or we may seek to enjoy the best of both worlds. But the latter course will only lead to strangeness in both camps and satisfaction nowhere at all. We must recognize the new "fact" of life and come out, not with pride nor in judgment, but as the simple consequence of a candid recognition of our actual identity as belonging to a new species of Homo sapiens, the Body of the Last Adam.
     As to the reality of this fellowship of the saints as a true Body, an organic unity with its own psychic or spiritual identity, the New Testament is full of references. That this newly formed giant self is a unity composed of an enormous number of individual cells, each with its specified function to perform, is clear from such statements as the following.
     We are called to form one body,
(66) each individual as a cell having its appointed role to play, (67) and our membership is not merely a spiritual one but includes our bodies also. (68) Being a great host of cells, we are yet one body, (69) though we do not, for all that, lose our identity as individuals. (70) Together we constitute in some genuine way a very real

66. Colossians 3:15
67. Romans 12:4, 5; I Corinthians 12:12, 18; Ephesians 4:25
68. 1 Corinthians 6:15
69. I Corinthians 10:17
70. 1 Corinthians 12:27

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"body," for we are members not merely of His spirit but of His very flesh and bones. (71) How could the Scriptures have been more specific?
     Nor is there any question of special privilege due to race or colour of each cell, for Jew and Gentile believer can with equal propriety become cells in this single new Body.
(72) These cells each take their place because their function within the whole has already been stamped upon them and each supplies an essential element, (73) so that when the organization is complete and the framing is finished, (74) a dwelling place for God in Christ has once again been fashioned and the Word becomes flesh once more. This is God's building, (75) a spiritual house (76) which with its Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, makes one perfect man. (77) As the Head, He becomes the saviour of the Body (78) while the Body in some mystical but real way becomes His own completion. (79) The children of God, these newly created cells of living tissue, are not "little Christs," but part of a single Lord, bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh: so much a part of Himself that though now and then our faith fails and we deny Him, yet He cannot deny us; for we are "Himself," and He cannot deny Himself. (80) These two confront one another as light confronts darkness.
     Members recognize one another; the world knows its own, the Christian recognizes his brother. In the child of God this capacity for recognition seems to be acquired by some kind of divinely implanted instinct very shortly after rebirth. In some individuals it is highly refined, and in others for some reason less so. Even "the world" recognizes this new creation as not of itself, and though sometimes envying the form of its life, nevertheless feels ill at ease in its presence or condemned by it. Yet the two species can work together in harmony m many ways for the common good. The biggest hindrance to such harmony will surely be found when members of either species pretend to be what they are not: when the man of the world pretends to be a Christian, or the Christian tries to identify with the world.
     So here we have to face a fundamental fact of life which the child of God cannot by any means evade. I have again and again in my life as a

71. Ephesians 5:30
72. Ephesians 2:15, 16, 3:6
73. Ephesians 4:16
74. Ephesians 2:19-22
75. Corinthians 3:9
76. Peter 2:5
77. Ephesians 4:12, 13
78. Ephesians 5:23.
79. Ephesians 1:23; Colossians 1:18, 24
80. 2 Timothy 2:13 

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Christian become wearied of the Lord's people, as they must have wearied of me. I have thought how apt it is that we should be called a "peculiar" people (1 Peter 2:9)! I have sought to engage the world once again for friendship and comfort. But it cannot work, for we are now no longer "of this world," whether we seek to be of the world or not. We belong to a different species in the most fundamental sense of the term, for it is in the spiritual sense of the term that we so belong. It is a duty, a necessity, and a privilege to identify ourselves with the new Body of which we are now a member. Not to do so may seem like a sudden liberation, but in the end it is to suffer a kind of death. John Taylor put it so effectively this way: "I am in relationships, or I am nothing at all." (81) 

81. Taylor, John, ref.62, p.21.

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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