Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Religious Education, PhD
George H. Akers
Werner K. Vyhmeister
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.
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.
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.
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.
Theological anthropology, Man (Christian theology).
Ott, Helmut, "The Biblical Concept of Man and its Implications for Christian Religious Instruction" (1983). Dissertations. 615.
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