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An Introduction to Theological Anthropology: Humans, Both Creaturely and Divine

ISBN: 9781493424085
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Theological anthropology is a topic of perennial interest among evangelical theologians and other scholars of religion. Although numerous introductions are available, the vast majority presuppose a nonbiblical worldview and require a familiarity with philosophy and theology. This volume fills a gap in the literature by offering a thorough introduction to the topic written from an evangelical perspective. It introduces foundational sources of knowledge on human persons from the scriptural narrative and church history while drawing from contemporary evangelical models.

Motived by ancient and Reformed reflections on human nature, Joshua Farris walks the reader through some of the most important issues in traditional approaches to anthropology, such as sexuality, posthumanism, and the image of God. He addresses fundamental questions like, What does it mean to be human? Who am I? and Why do I exist? He also considers the creaturely and divine nature of humans, the body-soul relationship, and the beatific vision. Farris concludes that humans are souls and bodies and are designed to experience the presence of God. They are appropriately understood in their creaturely context as divine image bearers, yet their goal is union with God.

Resource Experts
  • Offers an evangelical perspective on theological anthropology
  • Considers the creaturely and divine nature of humans
  • Discusses issues including sexuality, posthumanism, and the image of God
  • Foreword by Marc Cortez
  • Preface: Humans--Creaturely and Divine
  • Introduction: Where Do We Begin? Humans, Prolegomena, and Method
  • Chapter 1: What Am I? Creaturely and Redemptive Identity
  • Chapter 2: What Am I and Where Did I Originate? Are We Apes, Humans, or Gods?
  • Chapter 3: What Am I in Relation to God? The Image as Creaturely and Divine
  • Chapter 4: What Does It Mean to Be Free? Freedom: Creaturely and Divine
  • Chapter 5: Who Am I at Birth? Original Sin and Creaturely Failure
  • Chapter 6: Who Am I in Christ? Humanity Revealed: Humans, Descended and Ascended
  • Chapter 7: Who Are We in Culture? Creaturely and Divine Work, Race, and Disability
  • Chapter 8: Who Are We as Male and Female? Humans as Gendered and Sexual
  • Chapter 9: Why Am I Here? Creaturely Living, Dying, and the In-Between
  • Chapter 10: Why Do I Exist? Creaturely Process and Divine Destiny
  • Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here?
  • Appendix: Philosophy and Theology in Anthropology: A Review of Recent Literature

Top Highlights

“My thesis has been that the imago Dei displays human identity in creaturely and divine ways” (Page 89)

“Traditionally, some sort of dualism has been the default position of the church” (Page 2)

“the whole human narrative is characterized by divine gift giving” (Page 11)

“Humans have a unique kind of dignity in the world in virtue of their representative function in the covenants. Genesis 9:6, still continuous with the creational covenantal context of the image, is one explicit instance that bears out this notion that humans are dignified beings.” (Page 82)

“Our bodies are even more important in that they are fundamental to so much that we participate in in this life. Our bodies are a fundamental part of our narrative identity.” (Page 45)

An authentic tour de force, this book is your one-stop resource for theological anthropology, for students and professors alike. Farris demonstrates the fecundity of a broad evangelical Reformed tradition--in constant dialogue with the broader Christian tradition--for a wide array of topics related to the nature of humanity. He articulates a comprehensive anthropology adequately grounded in a doctrine of creation, yet without neglecting either Christology or eschatology.

- Adonis Vidu, professor of theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

What's a theologian, whose speciality is God, doing making claims about the nature of humanity? Isn't Reformed theology, with its doctrine of total depravity, itself a crime against humanity? Farris's book responds to these and other contemporary questions, arguing that humans will be able to answer the big questions about meaning, identity, and destiny only insofar as they can position themselves in relation to God and to the story of God's relationship to humanity attested in Scripture. To an age poised between modern confidence in science that reduces humanity to its materiality and postmodern suspicion of fixed forms that throws open the Pandora's box of human plasticity, Farris calls for a reconsideration of the biblical narrative and a retrieval of the way the church has traditionally interpreted it. While not shirking the contemporary challenges--their name is Legion--Farris here lets Jesus Christ, the God-man and light of the world, illumine what it means to be human.

- Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Farris offers an eminently analytical account of theological anthropology that will appeal to readers from a variety of Christian denominational backgrounds. Don't be fooled by the textbook appearance: this volume contains plenty of incisive engagements with both historic and contemporary perspectives that both esteem and plague the human condition. This is a kaleidoscopic theology and philosophy in ten jam-packed chapters.

- Paul Allen, academic dean and professor of theology, Corpus Christi College

The Logos edition of An Introduction to Theological Anthropology equips you for better study with cutting-edge functionality and features. Whether you are performing Bible word studies, preparing a sermon, or researching and writing a paper, Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use your digital library effectively and efficiently by searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly. Additionally, important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and other resources in your library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Joshua R. Farris (PhD, University of Bristol) is assistant professor of theology at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas. He is currently a Henry Fellow at the Carl F. H. Henry Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for The Creation Project (Spring 2019). Farris is also the author of The Soul of Theological Anthropology and the coeditor of several volumes, including Being Saved: Explorations in Human Salvation, New England Dogmatics: A Systematic Collection of Questions and Answers in Divinity by Maltby Gelston, Christian Physicalism?, and The Routledge Companion to Theological Anthropology.


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