Table of Contents
Part I: Man in Adam and in Christ
THIS Paper, on the basis of the evidence available, the following
points are important:
1 of 2
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
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
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.
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
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
Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights
Previous Chapter Next