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Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII



Part I: Man in Adam and in Christ



     TO SUMMARIZE THIS Paper, on the basis of the evidence available, the following points are important:

        1. The Fall of man was both real and down. It was real and absolute, rather than relative, in the sense that all men have been equally affected; and it was down in the sense that it was not merely a relapse into some lower stage of development, supposedly normal to some postulated protoman. It was a totally new and disastrous condition that made every man an enemy to himself, his fellows, the natural order, and God.
        2. The testimony of history and the findings of modern research in all those branches of science which are concerned with human behaviour demonstrate the fact of the Fall. Unless such a Fall is assumed human behaviour is unaccountable.
        3. The Fall affected the whole of man including his mind, thus making him intellectually incapable now of discovering the truth about himself, in spite of the evidence -- unless he accepts what is revealed.
        4. It is culture alone that preserves within secular society some measure of the creative potential in man. It does this by restraining evil, rather than by liberating some supposed innate moral goodness that might have survived the Fall.
        5. Some men respond to these cultural restraints more than others and as a consequence they appear in a better light. What governs this response is partly genetic and partly circumstantial. From the social point of view such response appears in the light of goodness, but from the moral point of view both kinds of people stand in the same judgment, as fundamentally sinful in the sight of God. In this sense God is no respecter of persons.
        6. Because of these things, rather than defining "cultured behaviour," as "learned behaviour," it should be defined more basically as "learned restraint." Men do good because their natural bent to do evil

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has been sufficiently channelled that the creative drive finds expression constructively. In this way, therefore, culture appears not merely as a good thing in itself, but as a very necessary thing for a fallen race, because it converts what would otherwise be a totally chaotic world into one with a sufficiently ordered and stable constitution so that the grace of God can work in the heart of man. We may say that without some measure of order, communication would be greatly hindered, and the Church of God could scarcely operate as the channel of grace. Civilization is thus good in so far as it provides this ordered framework, but it is evil in so far as it also arms man's propensity for wickedness more effectively. So it appears that it is never wholly evil, nor ever wholly good. When the law of God is written within the heart and is an effective control, culture is still required to provide the setting for the expression of man's creative ability.

     Such, then, seems to be the picture of man's true nature, a picture far more in accord with the Christian view based on Scripture than the scientific view based on a persuasive theory of evolutionary optimism.
     In the light of this depressing picture of man's true nature how shall we look at it? God in Christ has made provision to deal with it, not by any process of mere reformation but by an act of re-creation whereby the spirit of man is reborn (John 3:3), his mind is renewed (Romans 12:2), and his mortal body revitalized (Romans 8:11). Herein is the redemption of the whole man -- his salvation.

    Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
     And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. . . .
     For he hath made him to be sin on our behalf, he who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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