Through Eyes of Faith – 5

Chapter 5 in Psychology Through the Eyes of Faith is titled “Biblical Images of Human Nature.” The central question is “What is our essential nature?” [p. 26]. Myers and Jeeves offer a brief but helpful account of how many early church leaders (e.g, Origen) and later church figures (e.g., Calvin) were influenced by Platonic thought, particularly with respect to an “immortal soul separable from the body” [p. 27].

Myers and Jeeves want to reflect on what Scripture says about human nature. Old Testament messages include recognizing the place of humanity as “the majestic summit of God’s creative activity” [p. 29]. They discuss the Hebrew word nephesh – the meaning of which would have been understood as the entire being. New Testament messages also convey a unity in the word psyche, a self, a person (from Frank Stagg).  A key clarification here is that Christianity teaches not the immortality of the soul but “resurrection to eternal life as an ’embodied spirit'” [p. 31].

Here’s their final thought:

The rich fabric of the total picture given to us in Scripture brings to mind the similarly rich complexity of the total picture of human nature given to us through the scientific endeavor today. Both emphasize the complexity of human nature, the need to understand and study it from many diverse aspects or perspectives, and the need to recognize that human nature is a unity – a unity now in this present life and, by the grace of God, a unity in the life to come. [p. 33]

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