Tag Archives: anthropology

Finding yourself

“You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it… Give up yourself, and you will find your real self.”

C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity (San Fransisco: Harper, 2001), 226.

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Can you live without Twitter or Facebook?

I have long been a fan of Andrew Denton, ever since he was ‘Andrew the Boy Genius’ on the Uncle Doug Mulray breakfast radio show on Triple M in the 80’s (I know, right?!) He has always been a thoughtful comic, and the Tv he has produced has reflected that.

I’ve often wondered how a creative mind like his works, and so it was with interest that I read this piece he has written about his perspective on participating in Twitter and Facebook. He writes:

So why did I choose not to opt in? Partly a weird – even to me – Unabomber-type suspicion of leaving too many electronic footprints (ridiculous, I realise, in an age where the PRISM program knows both my thoughts). Partly because I am not, by nature, a social creature (hello ”unsubscribe”).
But mostly because … I. Just. Don’t. Want.The. Noise.
I believe in daydreaming; for me, the most fertile creative state. The simple act of allowing your brain to freewheel can lead to connections and solutions previously hidden in plain sight. In our second-screen lives, daydreaming barely rates a mention. But it should be on the curriculum of every school and university and encouraged in every workplace.

To daydream properly you have to actively seek silence. For most of us, that takes a real force of will. Think of your life right now.

Is your phone’s face the last thing you see before sleep? Your first friend in the morning? You may be interested to know that every message ping you get, your brain gives you a tiny squirt of dopamine as a reward – exactly the same as it gives gamblers when they bet on 23 black. The cumulative effect, as Chinese scientists have recently discovered, is that the brains of internet addicts come to resemble those of drug and gambling addicts.

It’s part of a longer article from the SMH.

It’s worth hearing as part of the conversation on who we really are as human beings, and what part social media is playing in that identity.


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A thought on being human

Contrary to our prevailing culture, a biblical anthropology tells us that people are more than the sum of their appetites.

Christ, the true image of God, died to condemn and pay for those appetites within us that don’t have glorifying God as their end. He then gives us his Spirit to help us crucify those appetites within us.

The fact that ‘self-control’ is a fruit of the Spirit working in us demonstrates that our ‘self’ transcends whatever desires and instincts we have.

So, to be authentically human is to be conformed to Christ; not to ‘go with my gut’, but to ‘put off the old and put on the new.’

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The Trinity, the disabled, and the image of God

“To be created in God’s image is to be called persons in communion…

Human ‘being’ is the result of our being said by someone else, namely, God. In this case, to be is to be mentioned.

The ethical implications of this view are apparent. Even those not mentioned by us – the infirm in nursing homes and hospitals, the unborn, those who are deemed ‘nothing’ by society, even the dead – are nevertheless somebody because they have been mentioned by God. God has called them into existence, and he will have the last word at the final resurrection. Neither their ability to reason nor to will, but God’s covenantal speech, is the source of their personhood.”

Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2011) [kindle edition], loc. 9663 of 25524.

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