Friday, September 2, 2011

The Human Condition - or I'm a Hipster and I Know It.

It's unfortunate that these days I seem to be almost entirely unable to find stimulating intellectual discussions. Now I understand that saying such is not only arrogant but also offensive to a majority of the people I converse with on a daily basis; even so, I don't think it is untrue or that many of them would disagree. Talk about nothing often fills my days and nights. It's quite silly when I think about it. However this concept kept coming up over and over and over. It was this subject of the human experience. Well (insert something bad or good here) is all part of being human. We know that X is part of the human condition. Now I have come to expect such talk from non-Christians, they come from a different set of presuppositions and a different understanding of the world. Yet it is Christians who are spouting off this nonsense.

Now before you all get on me for being harsh, insensitive, or just a jerk allow me to explain. Most of the comments I am talking about stem from that old adage, "to err is human." Let me be frank here. No. To err is not human. It is not human to make mistakes. It is not human to screw up. It is not human to fail. It is in losing our humanity that these things happen. Do I have your attention? Good. You see the problem with the idea "to err is human" it must be universally true for all humanity. Now before you jump in and say Matt everyone makes mistakes! Let me remind you of the one man, one Human, that never made a mistake. never erred. Jesus.

Unless we have a very weak Christology every statement we make about all of humanity we must also make about Christ when concerning what it is to be essentially human. Something that is part of the human condition, say a body, can be said of Christ. Jesus did have a body. Go figure he was fully human. So then we must ask did Jesus sin? No. So being sinful isn't essentially part of the human condition. Making mistakes isn't essentially part of the human condition. Failing isn't essentially part of the human condition. Jesus never failed. Some might look to the cross as a failure. A great guru died nailed to some Roman lumber, but if that was the plan from before the foundation of the world can we really say he failed? Let's be real people.

So what about this less than human bit. The adage should read "to err is less than human." The essential nature of man is to be image bearers of God. The one man, Jesus Christ, did this perfectly, he was the True man, as it were. Now if we are to reflect God, be His image in this world, then whenever we deviate from, or obscure that image, by erring, making mistakes, failing, we in a very real sense, become less human. Put another way our essential nature is marred by our fallen nature. I'm not so mean as to say there is nothing called grace in the omnibenevolent God of scripture, I am merely pointing out that, "to err is less than human," or as Peter put it "Men, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction."

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. - The Apostle Paul