To Be Human is To Be Chosen: Theological Anthropology in a Reformed Key

Dogmatic Joy

“To be determined by God’s election is really the final mystery of every human life.”

–Karl Barth

“What is your life?”

–James 4:14

One of the preeminent questions which confronts every thinking person is this: As a human being, what am I really? At bottom, what am I before anything else? What is my most basic essence?

The Christian tradition answers such questions variously. Any orthodox theological anthropology notes that we human beings are “created,” “good,” “in the Image of God,” “contingent,” “finite,” “embodied,” and yes, “sinful.” For the Christian, these are all indispensable words to describe the nature of human beings. But which is the foremost? Personally, I can only answer the question this way: before anything else—more than anything else—I am chosen.

This declarative statement may take some aback. Is not “createdness” the most basic attribute of the human being, just as “Creator” is the most…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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