Friday, June 12, 2015

Understanding Human Nature Using the Chalcedonian Formula

Today we will briefly discuss an understanding of human nature from a Chalcedonian, paradoxical, biblical point of view. Quickly, we may say that every human being has (1) a wholly Christian personality as well as a wholly Olympian personality, (2) without separating the two, (3) without mixing the two, and (4) keeping them rightly ordered.

1. We each have a wholly Christian personality as well as a wholly Olympian one.
It was not so from the beginning. When Yahweh created Adam and Eve, they each had only a Christian personality. That’s when we as human beings enjoyed our brightest moments of conviviality with Yahweh, one another, and the rest of creation. Not a care in the world!

Once Adam and Eve ruptured their relationship with Yahweh, they completely lost the Christian personality with which they were each created. Instead, they got Olympian personalities structured, as all such personalities are, in terms of the six false Olympian gods. These Olympian gods then dominated human society and culture even as humans, with their Olympian personalities, devoted themselves to those same abusive gods. How odd.

It pained Yahweh to see us devoting ourselves to false yet destructive gods of power. He hated to see us abandon his freedom for their domination and our domination of others, his truth for their lies and illusions, his love for their self-centered indifference, and life in him for death at their feet.

In response, he called and liberated Abraham and his descendants from complete domination by them. He called Moses and, through him, liberated his people Israel from their minions in Egypt. He then instructed his people how to live as such. He did not replace their Olympian personalities with Christian ones but he did discipline their otherwise Olympian society, culture, and personalities with his words.

With the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we humans became what we now are: wholly Christian, as he is, but still wholly Olympian, as he never was but we were.

2. We humans are both wholly Christian and wholly Olympian without separation.
We emphasize our Christian personality in denial of our Olympian one when we think of ourselves as Christian only, sinless, basically good, or right with Jesus by nature rather than by grace alone.

We emphasize Olympian personalities in denial of Christian ones when we think of ourselves or others as Olympian only, incorrigible, beyond redemption, or basically evil.

3. We humans are both wholly Christian and wholly Olympian without mixture.
We mistakenly mix the two when we think of ourselves as having only one personality and that one a mixture of Christian and Olympian elements. Some people might be more Christian than others, some more Olympia but, when we mix the two, we think of everyone as some combination of both.

4. We need to keep our wholly Christian and wholly Olympian personalities in the right order.
With the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, our wholly Olympian personality was doomed to destruction. It has no future. Any expression of it in this age will not survive the judgment of God’s fiery love to be any part of his new age.

With the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our wholly Christian personality became our present future and future present. It already is all we will be. Any expression of it in this age has eternal significance.

When we keep Christian and Olympian personalities in their right order, we seek each day to strengthen our present witness to Jesus and to weaken our present subservience to the gods. We embrace the coming age which is already present even as we reject the present age which is already passing.

Copyright © 2015 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved.