Part VIII: The Two Species of Homo
The Two Species of Homo Sapiens
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,
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.
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52. Murdock, George P., "The Molecular Structure of Society,"
Science, vol.114, 1951, p.484.
53 Haldane, J. B. S., ref.19, p.113.
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: (55)
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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: (62)
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,
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."
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. (65)
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
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