experience as Father, Son, and Spirit, in eternally self-giving, loving communion, and freely enters into loving relationship to and with creation, particularly those who bear the divine image.
In the current climate, it will therefore be helpful to pursue understanding of being human from the biblical narrative and then to emphasize certain doctrinal and ethical considerations for evangelical theology from the heart of the Christian story.
the human IMAGO DEI through creation, exodus and new creation
The Christian story of God's gracious relationship with human beings is only understandable within the context of God's personal relation to creation as a whole. The biblical text, in all its richness and variety, "narrates" the grand story of creation's relation to God: good, fallen, reconciled, and eschatologically being restored to its final consummation as creation.3 The scriptural bookends of Genesis and Revelation describe the story's beginning and end (as a new beginning) in terms of God's presence with created reality. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth'' and dwelt with his human image-bearers in a garden. The glorious finale of creation in John's revelation recapitulates this theme: ''Then I saw 'a new heaven and a new earth''' such that once again "the dwelling of God is with human beings, and he will live with them,'' this time in a holy city instead of a garden (Rev. 21:1-22:5).
As participants in the biblical narrative, our experience of the present and expectations of the future can only be understood from the resources of the past - the memories, symbols, and metaphors embedded in the original story of God with his4 people Israel. They become entry points into and ways of understanding the lived narrative of divine-human history. Both the Old and New Testaments are profoundly shaped by Israel's memory of creation, exodus, and new creation/restoration, particularly pertaining to human beings and their unique place in that creation as the image-bearers of God.
Israel used known symbols and images to narrate an understanding of their identity as Yahweh's people over against the myths and ideologies of the surrounding cultures. In a number of Ancient Near East (ANE) traditions, the act of creation is construed as the building of the deity's temple-palace. Essential to its completion was to construct and then to place an image of the god in that setting. First, the image would be formed to depict attributes and function of the deity. Next, a ritual would be performed to
"enliven" the image, opening its eyes, ears, and mouth and enabling its limbs. Most importantly, the spirit of the deity was invoked to indwell the image in order for it to function in the deity's image, at which point the "enlivened'' image was installed in the temple, dependent upon human "sustenance."
Genesis tells a creation narrative of divine-human relation and image-bearing but, in radical contrast to prevailing worldviews, turns the story on its head, completely reversing the pagan order of reality.5 Humankind does not make a temple-palace for God; God makes all of creation his own temple-palace (Isa. 66:1a) and then makes a "garden" for human flourishing. Human beings do not make the divine image; God makes them in the divine image ("Let us make human beings in our image, according to our likeness ... So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them''; Gen. 1:26-27). They do not "open" God's eyes, ears, etc., enlivening or providing for him; instead, he fills them with his breath, giving them life and ongoing sustenance. All human beings, in their embodied maleness and femaleness, are living "pictograms'' of Yahweh by his life-giving Spirit, and as such, are subordinate to him as vice-regents to his creation. Divine and human integrity are maintained, such that each maintains an authentic "in itselfness'' in relation.
At the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, sin enters as the image-bearers deny Yahweh as creation's ultimate source of wisdom. Failing to live in authenticity to who they are in subordination to whose they are, they usurp God's prerogatives by trusting in their own capacities to perceive and fashion ''reality'' from a distorted perspective. The resulting falsehood and alienation leads to death and dissolution. Creation suffers as a consequence (Gen. 3:17-18; Rom. 8:20-23), and the temple-palace and the image-bearers both fall into ruin.
Israel's founding moment of salvation/exodus from Egypt as a new people is depicted as a new creation. Israel stands in the darkness before the sea, the fiery pillar brings light, and wind drives back the waters and causes dry land to appear (Exod. 14:19-31; Gen. 1:2-9). These images portray the exodus as a recapitulation of creation (Exod. 14:19-21). Just as Yahweh ''rested'' in the great pavilion of his cosmos-temple-palace (Ps. 93), so now he once again ''tabernacles'' with saved/restored humanity, dwelling among them in the glory-cloud over the tabernacle. Ultimately they are brought to a new land where they can flourish in right relation with God, other humans, and the non-human creation. Here ''Israel'' is established and called Yahweh's ''firstborn son.'' Yahweh recreates a people for his
Name, to bear his image as a holy nation-kingdom of priests (Exod. 19:6). In submitting to Torah, Israel accepts its subordinate status as image-bearer, living out the proper correspondence of humanity in relation to God, others, and the creation.
Truth is again exchanged for a lie, however. Rejecting Yahweh for an idol and divine wisdom for human folly, Israel denies its identity in particular and humanity's in general as true imago Dei. Under the "idolater's curse,'' Israel bears the image of the blind and deaf gods she worships; she has eyes but will not see, ears but will not hear, and staggers naked (Pss. 115, 135; Isa. 6:9-10). Most devastating is the departure of Yahweh's Presence from the temple (Ezek. 10), anticipating Israel's own departure from the sanctuary-land. With the destruction of the false image-bearers, the land falls into chaotic lifelessness and wasteland (Isa. 6:11-12).
Despite the faithlessness of Israel, Yahweh remains faithful to himself and his way of being in loving relation. Hence, as the prophets speak of desolation, they also use the language of new creation to speak of Israel's promised exodus from Babylonian exile. Yahweh will redeem a new humanity as image-bearers; new life will be raised up through the divine Word and the breath of the indwelling Spirit (Isa. 32:15; 44:3; 59:21; Ezek. 37:5-6, 14). In another great reversal of salvation/new creation, God will bring life, health, and wholeness to his people and their land. The blind will see, the lame will walk, the deaf will hear, stone hearts will become ''flesh,'' and the dead will live again (Isa. 35:5-6; 32:15; 45:8, 17; 46:13; 51:3; Ezek. 36:35; Joel 2:3), fully clothed in garments of righteousness, at rest in a restored sanctuary-land (Ps. 132:9,16, 18; Isa. 23:18; 52:1; 61:10; Zech. 3:3-5; 14:14). Though the remnant returns, full restoration is yet to come. Remnant Israel awaits God's Spirit-filled image-bearer, the divinely ''anointed one,'' to finally restore "true Israel'' (Isa. 61). The "new Adam/ new humanity'' motif in Daniel 7 extends the eschatological vision of restoration to include not only Israel but all humanity and the cosmos.
As the New Testament describes the fulfillment of Israel's hopes using creation/exodus/new creation motifs, their full meanings are all reordered to Jesus of Nazareth, the human Son of God (Matt. 24:37; Rom. 5:12-18; 2 Cor. 5; 2 Pet. 3:6-7). Jesus Christ, the new ''Adam,'' the firstborn of a newly created humanity, ushers in Israel's new exodus/new creation return from final exile (John 1:1, 4,14; Rom. 5:12-18; 1 Cor. 15:21-22, 45-49; Luke 1:54-55, 2:4-11; Matt. 1:1-17; Col. 1:15,18).
Jesus' baptism and temptation recapitulate Israel's exodus experience of being declared God's ''Son'' who passes through the waters and faces temptation in the desert. This time, however, Yahweh's Spirit-filled Son remains faithful as divine image-bearer. Having relinquished his divine prerogative in order to live out a truly human life in daily obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus does only what he sees the Father doing, thus accurately reflecting the divine image (John 5:15-23; 11:38; 14:8-11; Col. 1:15; 2 Cor. 4:4; Heb. 1:4). Bearing the authority of the Lord of creation (Mark 4:14; Matt. 8:27), he preaches the coming of this long-awaited new exodus/new creation and does "signs and wonders'' and "mighty deeds'' that deliberately echo exodus and creation (Deut. 3:24, 4:34; Ps. 65:6; 107:24).
As God's new ''Israel,'' Jesus keeps the new law of self-giving love (Mark 9:33-10:45). He shows them how to walk in Yahweh's ways "along paths they do not know'' - the way of free and loving obedience through the empowering Spirit of God, reflecting the self-giving character of God through cruciform servanthood (Isa. 42:16; Mark 8:14-10:52). As the sinless representative of true human being made sin on our behalf, Jesus offers to the Father the first-fruits of a redeemed creation with his own life. In the ongoing reality of his resurrected human existence as the eternal Son, our humanity is hidden with his humanity in God. From his place of exaltation at the right hand of the Father, Jesus gives the promised Spirit to all whose lives are ''crucified'' and submitted to him as Lord, who share in his perfect imago Dei (Acts 2:14-36). Completely qualified as one of us to be the High Priest of the new creation, he leads us to our final, resurrected destiny as true humans in complete Sabbath rest - as sisters and brothers of the New Adam, sons and daughters born into the image of their Father and Creator (Heb. 1-4).
Thus we are ''born'' of the life-breathing Spirit who stamps the new law on our hearts, marking us as God's dearly loved children with the full privilege of our inheritance - to be truly human in relation to God and all things, imitators of the self-giving God. Already we live by the Spirit in the Kingdom: not yet is the Kingdom fully come, nor is our eschatological hope consummated in full. The Holy Spirit is conforming us to the "likeness of the Son'' (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18), restoring us to a new self that is ''being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator'' (Col. 3:10). Eschatologically oriented and empowered by the Spirit, we are ''transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another'' in Christ (2 Cor. 3:18), having his same mind (Phil. 2:1-18), already positioned with him in the heavenlies yet still participating in God's restoration of the kingdom of heaven on earth (Eph. 1:18-23; 2:6; Matt. 4:23-6:10).
This eschatological restoration of the image of God is both individual and communal for God's people who belong to Christ and are joined to the fellowship of the triune God through the Spirit. We are both the new temple, the locus of God's Presence, and the royal priesthood in service to God (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20; 1 Pet. 2:4-5, 9). As new creatures who together share in the cruciform image of Jesus Christ, we are empowered by the Spirit of Christ and uniquely gifted in love to participate as co-heirs in both suffering and glory (Rom. 8:17). Joined to Christ and to one another as his Body, we are equally re-created, privileged, and empowered as ''children of Abraham'' to live as image-bearers for one another (Gal. 3:28; 1 Cor. 12-14).
Since creation's fate is inextricably linked to the authenticity of the image-bearer, all creation groans as it awaits our final restoration (Rom. 8:14-35). The climax of the Christian story is not the abandonment of creation but its restoration as the new dwelling of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb with God's people (Rev. 21-22). As thoroughly eschatological people, from conception through new creation, we are (in Christ) what we are becoming (by the Spirit) and will someday be - fully restored human persons. This vision has nothing to do with simply ''going to heaven'' as immortal souls. Rather, it has everything to do with being embodied persons whose existence is reconstituted in every way - ''spiritually embodied'' and relationally restored - to flourish in the life to come as renewed image-bearers in the presence of the triune God. In short, it is becoming who we really are.
The biblical witness to the Christian story, telling us that what and who we are, and are becoming, has everything to do with the tri-personal God to whom we belong (Eph. 1:3). Human ''being'' and identity are grounded in the reality of the triune communion of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Bearing the image of God who is ''being-in-relation,'' we too are constituted as distinct beings in essential relationality with God and others. Furthermore, the particular human life of Jesus Christ mediates the promise of our final restored humanity as the Spirit transforms us into his likeness.
Evangelicals and orthodox fellow travelers worldwide are retrieving and articulating this essential understanding of human being. These include Ray Anderson, Kevin Vanhoozer, Colin Gunton, C. Stephen Evans, Stanley Hauerwas, Edwin Hui (Xu Zhi-Wei) and Miroslav Volf, among others.6 In the process, some common assumptions are being challenged and fresh affirmations are being restated in a positive, biblical light. In light of these studies, four essential theological affirmations can be made about human being in the trinitarian Christian story.
First, to be a human being is to be freely loved into being. That is, we are called into created existence by the triune God who exists as a communion of love and thus does not need human fellowship to be in loving relation. Thus, the divine choice to create human beings for personal fellowship is a free act of love, pleasure, and will (Eph. 1:5). We are called into being as gift, not necessity, as beloved ones whose meaning and destiny are given through, and contingent upon, our relation to God.
Second, Genesis speaks of our being made from the ''stuff of creation,'' so that being human means to exist bodily within a given time and space. At the same time, human beings were created to be in relation to God and other human beings. That is, we are created in God's image for fellowship with God, and created male and female to be in relation to one another. Thus, to be human is essentially to be a ''who'' (a personal, intellectual, moral agent) called forth into existence as a unique, embodied ''what'' (a biological entity).
Christian history is full of attempts to understand the human person as body, mind, and soul, or body, soul, and spirit, embedding both reason and soul in the definition of humanity in the image of God. The Christian story narrated through Scripture, however, provides a view of human being as ''embodied souls''/''ensouled bodies'' without division. This means that sexually distinct embodiment, lived as gendered experience, is critical to a balanced Christian theology of human personhood.7 The doctrines of creation, incarnation, and resurrection, especially grounded in the narrative context of creation/exodus/new creation, hold created human embodiment in highest regard as essential to image-bearing -which is always both individual and corporate.
Historically, a variety of forces has undermined this biblical view of humanity. For example, the Augustinian trajectory that runs through evangelical theology has not always affirmed human beings as ''very good'' creatures. For centuries the church treated the physical world as ''bad'' (the enemies we fight being ''the world, the flesh, and the devil," all bound to sinful humanity and its ruin of the good creation) and human sexuality/embodiment as a curse, a source of depravity from which humans await eternal release. At the other end of the spectrum, post-Enlightenment modernity has also served to undermine a holistic understanding of human personhood in relation in favor of a robust individualism with a bifurcation of human being and personhood. Influenced by such modernity, evangelical pietism in the West has emphasized salvation as an individual reality, while forgetting its corporate dimension. In this individualistic, disembodied view of being human, salvation means getting individual souls into heaven rather than celebrating the resurrection of male and female human beings as new creations who together form an eschatological people for and with God.
It is as embodied persons, however, that we have self-consciousness, presence, identity, particularity, sexuality, communication, relation, and action. This basic understanding of being human, central to the biblical witness, is ultimately affirmed in the creaturely, personal, truly human incarnation and resurrection of the Son of God in Jesus of Nazareth, whose raised, and thus ongoing, humanity guarantees the restoration of fallen humankind. This disallows the evangelical tendency to devalue human embodiment and the creation. For just such reasons Paul stresses a "spiritually embodied'' view of restored humanity in Jesus Christ, based on Jesus' own life and resurrection (1 Cor. 15). Jesus' life and ongoing High Priesthood further disallow any view of human being in individualistic terms. To be truly human is to be in submission and obedience to God, exercised in the context of community life, for the flourishing of human and non-human creation. It is to be in relation not only with but for the other as triune image-bearers, in conformity to the cruciform life of Jesus, Yahweh's true child.
Third, the historical reality of our human existence is that we still live in fallenness, resulting in death. With the exception of one particular human being, Jesus Christ, no human has ever been free from the consequential bondage of sin, and thus free to be truly human - to be for another without condition. John Calvin describes the human condition as incurvatus in se, turned in on ourselves in our brokenness rather than outwardly toward God and others. Moreover, our naturally birthed fallen human existence is currently limited by death. The one exception, however, changes everything: Jesus of Nazareth, who lived a truly human life in proper relation and obedience to God without sin, who died nevertheless and was subsequently resurrected by God as the "firstborn from among the dead,'' Lord over the "children of the resurrection'' (Col. 1:18; Luke 20:36). Thus, in a mysterious way, human embodiment is de-limited and reconstituted by the resurrected, embodied human Son of God.
This leads to the fourth and final affirmation: To be a human being/ person is to be future-oriented. In the New Testament, to be in the image of God is realized corporately in the fellowship of believers as they bear the image of Christ through the agency of the Holy Spirit. This is expressed in a life of love for God, neighbors, and the rest of creation. Paul emphasizes that the renewal of God's image in the Body of Christ is a dynamic and ongoing process of transformation (2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:23, 24). In this process, being human is powerfully linked with becoming human, so that the endpoint of our renewed image is yet to be reached. Thus, the image of God belongs to time and eternity; it is a dynamic of being and becoming, both of which are held in Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:49; 1 John 3:2-3).
Our human identity is eternally grounded in the Son, who continues to be the new Adam at the right hand of the Father, functioning as our High Priest until he comes to bring all things in heaven and earth together when the times will have reached their fulfillment (Eph. 1:9-10). As the perfect image of God, Christ has made it possible for humanity to be renewed and conformed to his image (Rom. 8:29). Since ''both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family'' (Heb. 2:11), we ''become'' who we are - holy people - in conformity to him by the power of the Holy Spirit. All that Jesus did and does establishes our identity and vocation as image-bearers of Christ through the indwelling Spirit of God. This means that the future also determines human life in this present age. The character, values, and ethics of the future Kingdom of God are to be lived out ''on earth as it is in heaven,'' even as we await the new creation in its fully restored expression (Matt. 6:10; Rom. 8:19-25).
Truly Christian theology is inextricably linked to doxology and ethics. God's revelation to the world as a personal God compels human morality to be personal in lived response, or practical correspondence, to that revelation. To be truly human in Jesus Christ is to live in a particular way with a particular orientation (the ''mind of Christ'' by the Spirit) toward God, other human beings, and creation as Spirit-filled image-bearers of the triune God. It is to be a particular, eschatologically determined people, living out the reality of the future in the present, empowered to live into the full potential of being human in Christ.
Given this ontological and ethical particularity, Christian (and specifically evangelical) theology is called to address numerous challenges regarding justice and care for the disenfranchised (Amos, Micah, Isaiah); reconciliation regarding race, ethnicity, nationality, and gender (Gal. 3:26-29); eradication of poverty and poor health (Malachi); provision of basic resources for nurture, family, and home (Ps. 68:5-6); and more. This also includes theological clarity regarding diverse issues such as the God-world relation, Christology (challenging views of the Incarnation which fail to take Jesus' humanity or divinity seriously), bioethics (issues of human personhood surrounding assisted reproductive technologies, human cloning, stem cells, the human genome project, abortion, and euthanasia), sexuality and gender, creation care, and cultural/racial contextualization of the Christian story (decentralizing Western categories), to name a few. Entire chapters in this volume are devoted to some of these concerns.
Of key importance are the voices of egalitarian evangelicals or Christian feminists, and evangelicals from Latin America, Africa, and Asia,8 whose unique insights and fresh articulations are critical among the predominantly white male, Euro-North American voices which have shaped evangelical theology over the past two centuries.9 One of the great contributions of women in theology in the past century has been the reemphasis on relationality and community as constitutive of human being and lived experience in the image of God. Likewise, contributions from Latin America, Africa, and Asia are forcing evangelical theology to rethink its Western individualistic, consumerist orientation toward human life, relationships, and creation as a whole, calling for justice as an eschatological reality in the present determined by the future.10
Creation care and bioethics cannot be given sustained reflection in this volume, but they are nevertheless of critical concern for evangelical theology. As the flourishing of creation is contingent on the flourishing of the divine image-bearer, creation care is a necessary extension of reconstituted human being and personhood.11 God both named and called human beings to be responsible overseers of creation (Gen. 1:26; 5:1-2) and gave adam the privilege of participating in creation through naming all other living creatures. With naming comes recognition and responsibility, exercising ''dominion'' so that all creation flourishes for God's pleasure and glory. Dominion reordered to the cruciform image of Christ exercises ''power on behalf of all things'' rather than ''power over all things'' (e.g., consumerist domination of resources and people).
Debates in bioethics abound, beginning with discussions about what constitutes human being at the atomistic level, describing the ''mind'' and ''soul'' in chemical and biological terms. As evolutionary biology and genetics, cognitive sciences and the various neurosciences have brought both human body and mind under scientific investigation, the result is that nearly all of the human capacities once attributed to the soul are considered by certain disciplines to be functions of the brain, which raises a whole host of questions and rigorous debate.12 Certain evangelicals argue against physical reductionism and traditional body-soul dualisms in favor of ''nonreductive physicalism,'' a view that understands the ''soul'' to be a functional capacity of the complex physical human organism, rather than a separate spiritual essence inhabiting a human body.13 This not only challenges traditional dualisms but raises questions beyond present human being to the intermediate state - how do humans exist as humans after death and prior to their final bodily resurrection?14
Another critical challenge for North American evangelical theology is the need to address the tendency among certain evangelicals to conflate the gospel with a nationalistic ideology that enhances the flourishing of a few at the expense of multiple ''others.'' As happens so often in history, a ''local'' narrative can subvert the meta-narrative of the universal Christian story of God's grace for the whole world. Though it is not unique, the current divine/earthly ''kingdom confusion'' in the U.S.A. has enormous ramifications for human personhood and eschatological hope worldwide.15
A joyful theological event is occurring in the church throughout the world, crossing denominational, confessional, traditional, ethnic, racial, and cultural lines: the affirmation that being human, human being, is concomitantly individual and communal ''being in relation'' based on a robust Trinitarian understanding of God. For evangelical theology, it is causing a helpful shift in the understanding of salvation as essentially bound up with God's restoration of all things. While salvation is singularly personal through the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is not primarily about getting a personal pass into heaven. Rather, it is about being reconstituted individually and corporately as an image-bearing people of the Holy Spirit who live the life of the future in the present, becoming who they are as they await their home in the consummation of a new heaven and earth.
In the Christian story, human being means that our lives are not our own. Our humanity is given being and purpose in belonging to an ''other.'' That ''other'' is first and foremost the triune God to whom we belong and in whom our identity and being are grounded, who is wholly for us in Jesus Christ and the life-giving Holy Spirit. We become as we live for ''others,'' celebrating the sexual, racial, ethnic, cultural, historical distinctions that make us unique in the Kingdom of God without prizing any one over the other, and so reflecting the image, character, and power of the self-giving God in whom we live and move and have our being.
At the center of God's relational self-revelation is what it means to be truly human. Here we meet Jesus Christ, miraculously conceived by the Spirit of God in the womb of a young Galilean woman, born and raised into a particular Jewish family, culture, and history. He lived this fully human life, however, without disobedience to the One who called his life into existence as God for and among us. Thus, to know Jesus as the Son of God is to discover both what God is like and what it means to be a real, unobstructed, perfectly human being - a true bearer of the divine image. God has chosen to speak this narrative into existence and to be its primary Subject for the sake of the world. In so doing, the triune God has chosen in Jesus Christ to be for ever determined by this story, just as our existence as children of the resurrection for ever is determined by our resurrected High Priest and exalted Lord.
The Christian story belongs to every cultural/social/traditional expression of the church and is in fact the organizing meta-narrative which each local community inhabits and rearticulates as the ground of its own narrative. As evangelical theology continues to develop in cultural diversity as well as trans-denominational and trans-confessional unity, the ''good news'' for human beings remains: in and through Jesus Christ and by the work of the transforming Holy Spirit, we will receive our inheritance in Christ - already to be and finally to become who and what we really are - truly human - to the praise of God's glory.
Anderson, Ray S. On Being Human: Essays in Theological Anthropology. Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982. Brown, Warren S., Nancey C. Murphy, and H. Newton Malony (eds.). Whatever Happened to the Soul: Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1998. Cooper, John. Body, Soul and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the
Monism-Dualism Debate. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1989. Grenz, Stanley J. The Social God and the Relational Self. Louisville, KY:
Westminster John Knox, 2001. Gunton, Colin E. Christ and Creation. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992. Hui, Edwin. At the Beginning of Life: Dilemmas in Theological Bioethics. Downers
Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002. McClay, Wilfred M. The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America. Chapel
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1994. Price, Daniel J. Karl Barth's Anthropology in Light of Modern Thought. Grand Rapids,
MI: Eerdmans, 2002. Torrance, Alan J. Persons in Communion: Trinitarian Description and Human
Participation. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1996. Volf, Miroslav. Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity,
Otherness, and Reconciliation. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1996. Yu, Carver T. Being and Relation: A Theological Critique of Western Dualism and
Individualism. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1987. Zizioulas, John. Being as Communion. Contemporary Greek Theologians 4. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Press, 1985.
1. Bette-Jane Crigger, "At the Center," Hastings Center Report 22 (January/ February 1992), inside front cover and p. 17, cited by Edwin Hui, At the Beginning of Life: Dilemmas in Theological Bioethics (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002), p. 16.
3. Stan Grenz and Kevin Vanhoozer discuss this embeddedness in narrative as basic to Christian interpretation and articulation of the gospel in essays found in John G. Stackhouse Jr. (ed.), Evangelical Futures: A Conversation on Theological Method (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000).
4. The use of male language for Yahweh, the triune God, follows God's personal language and action in the Christian narrative. The only authentic "maleness" in the triune communion, however, is the male humanity of Jesus Christ, the resurrected Son.
5. For an excellent synopsis of this narrative construction, see Rikk Watts, "The New Exodus/New Creational Restoration of the Image of God,'' in John G. Stackhouse, Jr. (ed.), What Does it Mean to be Saved? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2002), pp. 15-41. I am grateful to Watts's influence in this section of the chapter.
6. Since Karl Barth's reemphasis of this patristic understanding of the Trinity, the last century has been replete with Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic theologies that interact with Barth, the early fathers, and contemporary rearticulations. See, e.g., Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics 3/2, ed. G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, i960); T. F. Torrance, The Trinitarian Faith (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988); Alan J. Torrance, Persons in Communion: Trinitarian Description and Human Participation (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1996); Colin Gunton, The Triune Creator (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998); John Zizioulas, Being as Communion (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Press, 1985); W. Norris Clarke, S. J., ''To Be Is to Be Substance-in-Relation,'' in Paul A. Boggaard and Gordon Treash (eds.), Metaphysics as Foundation (New York: State University of New York Press, 1993), pp. 164-81; Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life (New York: HarperCollins, 1991); Gary Deddo, Karl Barth's Theology of Relations, Trinitarian, Christological and Human (Washington, DC: P. Lang, 1999); Miroslav Volf, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, i998); Ray Anderson, On Being Human (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, i982). For a general survey of this theological reassertion in the twentieth century, see Stan Grenz, The Social God and the Relational Self (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 200i).
7. See chapter ii for a full discussion of human sexuality and gender as an essential aspect of lived human personhood.
8. For a particularly insightful theological and scientific critique on individualistic concepts of ''being-in-itself'' from a non-Western perspective, see Carver Yu, Being and Relation: A Theological Critique of Western Dualism and Individualism (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1987). See also Georg Vicedom (ed.), Christ and the Younger Churches: Theological Contributions from Asia, Africa and Latin America (London: SPCK, 1972); John Mbiti,
Concepts of God in Africa (London: 1970); Kwame Bediako, Theology and Identity: The Impact of Culture upon Christian Thought in the Second Century and Modern Africa (Oxford, Regnum, 1992).
9. Alister E. McGrath advocates committed evangelical engagement with the whole of Christian tradition without being ''mastered'' by any prior voice(s). There is specific encouragement of non-Western evangelicals to engage their own historical religious and philosophical traditions and categories without being bound by those of Western Christendom (''Engaging the Great Tradition: Evangelical Theology and the Role of Tradition,'' in Stackhouse [ed.], Evangelical Futures, pp. 139-58).
10. Evangelical commitment to these issues can be found historically in the nineteenth century, particularly in regard to slavery reform and children's/ women's reform. In the twentieth century, strong articulation is prominent from the 1974 International Symposium on the Lausanne Covenant onward. See, e.g., C. Rene Padilla, ''Spiritual Conflict,'' and Athol Gill, ''Christian Social Responsibility,'' in C. Rene Padilla (ed.), The New Face of Evangelicalism: An International Symposium on the Lausanne Covenant (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1976), pp. 205-22, and pp. 87-102, respectively.
11. See, e.g., Steven Bouma-Prediger, For the Beauty of the Earth - A Christian Vision for Creation Care (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001); Joseph Sittler, Evocations of Grace - Writings on Ecology, Theology and Ethics, ed. Steven Bouma-Prediger and Peter Bakken (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000); Rolston Holmes, III, Conserving Natural Value (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994); Jurgen Moltmann, Creating a Just Future: The Politics of Peace and the Ethics of Creation in a Threatened World (Philadelphia, PA: Trinity Press International, 1989).
12. See Malcolm Jeeves (ed.), From Cells to Souls - and Beyond: Changing Portraits of Human Nature (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004).
13. Nancey Murphy explains that '' 'Physicalism' signals our agreement with the scientists and philosophers who hold that it is not necessary to postulate a second metaphysical entity, the soul or mind, to account for human capacities and distinctiveness. 'Nonreductive' indicates our rejection of contemporary philosophical views that say that the person is 'nothing but' a body.'' See ''Human Nature: Historical, Scientific, and Religious Issues,'' in Warren Brown, Nancey Murphy, and H. Newton Moloney (eds.), Whatever Happened to the Soul? (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 1998), pp. 1-29, especially pp. 1-2. In Whatever Happened to the Soul?, Brown, Murphy, and Moloney assert that a biological statement made about human being refers to ''exactly the same entity'' as does a theological statement about the spiritual nature of persons.
14. At the center of this debate is John Cooper, who challenges Nancey Murphy, Joel Green, Kevin Corcoran, and others with his view of ''holistic dualism.'' See Body, Soul and Life Everlasting: Biblical Anthropology and the Monism-Dualism Debate (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1989).
15. A sobering examination of a similar moment in German/world history can be found in Eberhard Busch, Karl Barth and the Pietists (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004).
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