Mind Renewal in a Mindless Age, Part 2Romans 12:1-2Theme: The Christian doctrine of man.This week’s lessons teach us what it means to be made in God’s image. LessonLast week I introduced the Christian doctrines of God and revelation as the biblical response to the world’s way of thinking. The Christian doctrine of God is the Bible’s answer to three of the four “isms” we studied: secularism, humanism, relativism, and materialism. The only one I did not write about explicitly was humanism, and I come to the answer to that “ism” now. The answer to humanism is the Christian doctrine of man.
Humanism is the philosophy to which human beings inevitably come if they are secularists. Secularism means eliminating God or anything else that may be transcendent from the universe and focusing instead only on what we can see and measure now. But when God is eliminated in this process, man himself is left as the pinnacle of creation, and he becomes the inadequate and unworthy core for everything.
This seems to elevate man, but in practice it does exactly the opposite. In effect, it deifies man, but this deification always debases man in the end, turning him into an animal or even less than an animal. Moreover, it causes him to manipulate, ignore, disparage, wound, hate, abuse, and even murder other people. Study Questions
What are the four “isms” that define the world’s way of thinking? Briefly define each.
How does humanism debase man?
What is Christianity’s response to humanism?
ReflectionHumanism places man at the apex of all things. Human goodness and happiness are the measure for truth. How do you see the philosophy of humanism around you? Think of articles you read in magazines and newspapers, advice you receive from friends, lessons taught in school, and sayings like “Follow your heart” and “Love makes the world go ’round.” Can you uncover humanistic thinking in any of these things? What is a Christian response to these examples of humanism?