Date of Award

1983

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

George H. Akers

Second Advisor

Norman Miles

Third Advisor

Werner K. Vyhmeister

Abstract

Problem

A reliable understanding of the nature of man is essential for the formulation of the theoretical framework and for the actual practice of religious education. The purpose of this dissertation is to make an in-depth study of the biblical concept of man and to elaborate on some of its most significant implications for Christian religious instruction.

Method

The study is divided into two major sections. The first one (chs. 2-4) analyzes the biblical concept of man from three different perspectives; man as he was initially created by God; man in his present condition as a sinner; and man as redeemed in Christ. The second section (ch. 5) deals with the implications of the biblical concept of man to Christian religious instruction. The methodology has four general aspects: exegesis, to establish what a scriptural passage says; interpretation, to determine what a passage means; elaboration, to integrate the various passages into a cohesive whole; and implications, to clarify the relationship that exists between man's present condition as a sinner, the redemption God provided in Christ, and the task of Christian religious instruction.

Results

As a being created in God's image, original man was holy, righteous and good. He lived in perfect spiritual union with God, had no inclination toward evil, and was willing and able to always do only what is true, right and loving. Man sinned when he endeavored to transcend his dependent creatureliness and attempted to be like God. As a result, all humans are born into a state of lostness, spiritually destitute, and totally incapable of righting the wrongs introduced by sin. Thanks to the redemption God provided in Christ, those who accept the Gospel in repentance and faith are reconciled to God and will be restored to sinless perfection at the second advent.

Conclusion

Since man can be restored to the initial state of righteousness only through Christ's redemptive work, it was concluded that the basic objective for Christian religious instruction must be to help the learner establish and maintain an enlightened, meaningful and growing faith-relationship with Christ as his personal Saviour and only source of saving righteousness.

Subject Area

Theological anthropology, Man (Christian theology).

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Share

COinS