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THEO 3102/HSVC 3102 - Theology & Human Sexuality - 1/14/16
Transcript of THEO 3102/HSVC 3102 - Theology & Human Sexuality - 1/14/16
-How do we typically use the words nature & natural? What is nature/natural? What does it mean for something to have a nature?
-What is human nature? How is it unique & distinct from other "natures"?
-Answers will depend on larger philosophical questions: What is reality (
)? What is the relationship between our understandings & judgments & reality (
)? What is the relationship between our specific languages/thoughtforms/images & reality (
philosophy of culture
Nature in Ancient Greek Philosophy
What is Nature?
From Aristotle to Modern Science
-Aristotle wrote on everything from metaphysics, to logic, to zoology, to rhetoric; his metaphysics & logic, though, dominated everything. He thought that knowledge was universal, necessary, & eternal (see his
-Modern science, however, is inductive. It does not deliver universal, necessary, & eternal knowledge but instead useful, probable, & provisional hypotheses.
-One achievement of modern science is that it shows us that nature does not follow unchangeable completely uniform laws in a mechanical way. God's creation
orderly & intelligible.
Sin, Revelation, & Culture Relativize Nature
-Sin is "unnatural" (Rom 1).
-The inclusion of the gentiles in God's saving work is "unnatural" (Rom 11.16-24).
-Culture is unnatural; the word comes from the Latin
; it is agricultural in nature. Culture is human cultivation of nature.
THEO 3102/HSVC 3102 - Theology & Human Sexuality - 1/19/16
Classifying & Ordering Human Knowledge
-Theology (revelation, explanations, &
-Philosophy (explanations & prescriptions)
>History, Politics, Law, Economics
-Anthropology and Sociology (explanations)
From Didacus Valades (1579),
Presocratics (before Socrates)-were the first philosophers (lovers of wisdom); they sought to "get to the bottom of things." What is reality? Heraclitus, for instance, said that all reality was change.
Plato-distinguished between the unchanging & perfect forms, which were real (
) & the changing world.
Aristotle-"located" the forms
His 4 causes (
) provided a way of getting at what a thing was, the material cause was its raw material, the efficient cause was its maker, its formal cause was its distinct arrangement or shape (its intelligibility), & its final cause was its purpose.
πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει
"Everything changes, nothing remains still."
δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης
"You could not step twice into the same river."
Heraclitus, in Plato's
Jesus & the Man Born Blind - John 9
more complex relations in being
The Image of God
& the Created Nature of Human Persons
-So we know we are created in God's image (Gen 1.26-31), to be transformed to reflect the fullness of that image, Jesus Christ, in greater & greater degrees (Rom 8.29; 2 Cor 2-5; Col 1). We even participate in the divine nature through the processes God is working in us (2 Pet 1.4)!
-But we are created too, and the divine nature we participate in through our adoption & redemption is not ours naturally but super naturally.
-What then, is our created nature?