Science in Christian Perspective



A Personal Integration of Scientific and Biblical Perspectives
Part 9

The Significance of Being Human

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305

From: JASA 31 (March 1979): 37-42.

Nowhere is the issue of integration between science and Christian faith more critical than in those areas where scientific knowledge affects and influences human values. In subsequent installments we shall be considering many such areas, in each case trying to emphasize the inputs from science and the inputs from biblical theology, with the effort to arrive at an integration that is faithful to both disciplines. Such areas include discussions of human sexuality, crime and punishment, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, new beginnings of life, genetic engineering, and energy and the environment. The identity of man will come increasingly under challenge as scientific advances show more and more ways in which the attributes and personality of human beings can be influenced by chemical, psychological and sociological influences. The push to deliver man from the effects of sin without recognition of the full relational dimensions of the reality of sin threatens to he successful, but only at the expense of the ultimate dehumanization of man.

One of the difficulties in even speaking about such issues is the common lack of an in-depth understanding of what it means to be "human." We frequently take this understanding for granted, but such an attitude is quickly shown to be superficial, and the gaining of this understanding represents a basic problem in the integration of Christian thought into the real world.

The question of what it means to be "human" is usually coupled with the actual meaning of describing human beings in terms of "body," "soul," and "spirit." What do these terms really mean, not just in an abstract philosophical or theological sense, and not even in the operational sense in which they play their accustomed rules in Christian language, but also in a pragmatic and existential sense? And how do they relate to each other? Can these terms he defined with sufficient clarity and precision, taking into account the full gamut of scientific and theological insights, to he useful in guiding considerations of human value?

It is the purpose of this installment to address itself directly to this fundamental question. The answers we give will determine to a surprisingly wide extent our attitude toward the many issues enumerated above.

How We Are Put Together

In Chapter 7 of The Human Quest1 I have considered at some length what kind of perspective we derive by taking a look at the scientific description of the structure of the world. A brief review of this discussion is essential for our concerns in the present installment. Because of limitations of space, however, I will not attempt to be exhaustive, but will simply try to summarize some of the principal conclusions derived from such a consideration of the structure of the world.

There is a scientifically describable structure to the world, as this structure extends from the pimary source of energy to human society. This structure takes the form of a hierarchy of parts and wholes, of sub-systems and systems. There are three main qualitative breakthroughs in this hierarchy: they occur at (a) the transition from non-matter to matter, (b) the transition from non-living to living, and (c) the transition from non-human to human. To view the activity of God as primarily related to these three breakthroughs rather than as essential and functional for the entire structure is to opt for a God-of-the-Gaps.

This continuing series of articles is based an courses given at Stanford University, Fuller Theological Seminary, Regent College, and Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. Previous articles were published as follows. 1. "Science Isn't Everything," March (1976), pp. 33-37. 2. "Science Isn't Nothing," June (1976), pp. 82-87. 3. "The Philosophy and Practice of Science," September (1976), pp. 127-132. 4, "Pseudo-Science and Pseudo-Theology. (A) Cult and Occult," March (1977), pp. 22-28. 5. "PseudoScience and Pseudo-Theology. (B) Scientific Theology," September (1977), pp. 124-129. 6. "Pseudo-Science and PseudoTheology. (C) Cosmic Consciousness," December (1977), pp. 165-174. 7. "Man Conic of Age?" June (1978), pp. 81-87. 8. "Ethical Guidelines," September (1978), pp. 134-141.

In general the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The whole has properties which are not exhibited by the parts. These properties are not added to the parts, but arise from the specific patterned interaction in which the parts are dynamically arranged. In some eases this patterned interaction is unique (e.g., there is only one possible geometry for the stable water molecule), but in others the specific patterned interaction essential for the existence of the new property of the whole is not unique but is for any particular individual case scientifically describable only as the consequence of a random (chance) distribution (e.g., the specific arrangement in DNA). It should he noted that any conveyance of information (as, for example, in DNA) must he the consequence of a random distribution of parts rather than of one specific determined distribution.

There appears to be no a priori reason to argue, as is often done, that qualitative changes cannot be the consequence of continuous quantitative changes. The argument ignores the hierarchical structure of the world and the possibility for new properties to be the consequence of a new degree of hierarchical complexity. As the qualitative transformation of liquid water into gaseous steam occurs at lOOfl C upon continuous addition of heat to a container of water, and as the enzymatic properties of proteins are a consequence of spatial conformations of linear chains of amino acids continuously arrived at,2 so

Hierarchical organization in biological systems thus is characterized by an exquisite array of delicately and intricately interlocked order, steadily increasing in level and complexity and thereby giving rise neogcnetically to emergent properties.2

Qualitatively unique properties can be considered to be emergent whenever the specific patterned interaction in the hierarchical structure is appropriate.

There is no such thing as "life;" there are only living creatures. To "he alive" is not to "have life." "Being alive" is a property of a living creature. While not the property of many of the actual parts making up the whole (the atoms and molecules), "being alive" is a property of the whole when these parts interact in the appropriate dynamic pattern. Something does not become alive, therefore, by having life added to the nonliving thing. Something becomes alive when its parts are ordered in the appropriate dynamic interaction to exhibit being alive as one of its properties. If the question is asked, therefore, "What must he added to non-living matter in order to make it living matter?" the answer is not that some essence of life must he added, but that the non-living matter must be brought into that dynamic patterned interaction appropriate for being alive. There appears then to he no a priori reason why scientists cannot make living matter from non-living matter in the laboratory. Their success or failure has no necessary theological significance. In no ease will they truly "create" life, for they (living creatures) are needed to bring another living creature into being. Whether or not it is possible for scientists to make living matter out of non-living matter because of the difficulties involved, or whether or not living matter could have arisen from a set of possibly unlikely natural processes from non-living matter in the past are quite different questions, which cannot he answered without more information.
The question arises, therefore, whether it is at least not possible to conceive of being human" as a property of the total human being, just as "being alive" is a property of the total living creature. In such a case, to be human seems to mean to have the proper structure of dynamic patterned interactions to manifest the property of "being human,' not to possess some extraneous substance called "humanness" (or soul or spirit). It is the purpose of this installment to argue that it is this view of "being human" and of "body, soul and spirit" that is consistent both with scientific understanding and with the biblical revelation concerning these questions. It therefore follows that, at least in principle, if a scientist were to assemble non-living matter in exactly the same way that it is assembled in a living human being, he would then have produced a genuine living human being, a person for whom Christ died.

There is no such thing as "life"; there are only living creatures. To be alive is not to "have life." "Being alive" is a property of a living creature.

Being Human

If the question, "What do you mean by human?" is asked on the spur of the moment to a variety of people, the answer generally offered implies that to he human means to exhibit those attributes which we commonly associate uniquely with Horno sapiens, as well as those attributes characteristic also of the other animals. To he human means most obviously then to "look human" and to he capable of self-consciousness, making responsible abstract choices, verbalization, desire and quest for knowledge, God-consciousness, etc. This most commonly encountered definition of "human" deals, therefore, with what might he called the social dimension of humanity: a creature is judged to "be human" if it looks and acts like others previously judged to "he human." If this were the only definition of "human," however, we would have to conclude that a creature not demonstrably exhibiting these characteristics must be judged to be non-human. Is a newborn baby human? Not by this definition alone. A fetus before birth? One in an irreversible coma? The severely senile? One afflicted with severe brain damage? By this definition, all of these would have to he classified as non-human. Such a judgment does not do justice to our deeper instincts for the meaning of "human."

What is the essential characteristic that any creature must have in order to be called "human"? A minimum definition involves only a biological criterion for humanness: a human being is one with a DNA code characteristic of Homo sapiens. If any creature has such a genetic structure, then it must he judged to he at least biologically human. No matter how human-appearing any other creature might appear to be, without this genetic structure, it must be judged nonhuman.

Finally we must consider biblical criteria of what it means to "he human." A human being is one who is made in the image of God, capable of fellowship and personal relationship to God. While we must not overlook this criterion because of its profound inputs into the nature of humanity, we must also recognize that it does not provide its with direct tangible guides to deciding whether or not a particular "unknown" creature should he judged "human" in the sense of being able to claim all the rights and prerogatives that go with that title.
Other criteria that might he invoked to judge whether or not a creature is human should also be considered. Is it necessary to be born of a woman to he judged human? Is it necessary to have fetal development in the uterus of a woman to be judged human? Is it necessary to have come into being as the result of the union of a sperm with an ovum to be judged human? The answer to all such criteria must be no. Although they may describe the normal or expected way in which human beings come into existence according to our previous experience, they do not provide the same kind of basic criteria as those discussed above.

We see, then, that there are three criteria for assigning the designation "human": (1) a minimum criterion, a biological criterion, presence of "human" DNA; (2) an ordinary criterion, a social criterion, appearance and action like other "humans"; (3) a transcendent criterion, a spiritual criterion, made in the image of God and capable of fellowship and personal relationship with Him. In the normal course of development, an individual is biologically human before he is socially human, and socially human before he is spiritually human. The distinction human/not-human occurs only at the biological level. Otherwise distinctions are only between exhibiting some of the characteristics of "humanness" and exhibiting more or less of these traits.

If a scientist were to assemble non-living matter in exactly the same way that it is assembled in a living human being, he would then have produced a genuine living human being, a person for whom Christ died.
To be human is a process of becoming. To be fully and completely human can be said to be true of only one person in the history of the world-of Jesus Christ Himself. All other men and women have fallen short of this complete humanity, although they have exhibited in some degrees aspects of this humanity, and depending on their own relationship with God have come into greater or less conformity with true humanity. The process of development from biological, to social, to spiritual to full humanity is God's purpose for His children. We can say, therefore, that we are all wholly human (i.e., biologically we all share the same mini-mum criterion), and also that we are never fully human in this life (i.e., reach the full expression of spiritual humanity). In every such sentence, it is essential to understand in detail the way in which the word "human" is being used.

To speak in this way of a person being biologically, socially and spiritually human should not he used to trichotomize the person into three separate identities. These are functional terms to be used in describing aspects of the one total person, who is biologically, socially and spiritually human. A person cannot be spiritually human without being biologically human, but being biologically human does not demand that he demonstrate spiritually human characteristics.

Human Value

At every stage along the way the human being is valuable. His value does not derive from his utilitarian role in society, but is intrinsic. Man is not valuable because other men give him that value; if that were true they could also take that value away. He is not valuable because he is the current end-product of biological and cultural evolution-he is valuable because God gives him that value. His life is something unique. Even when his human characteristics are purely chemical and biological, he has the potentiality for the psychological, social and theological human attributes. Even when these attributes are only psychological and social, he has the potentiality of receiving the grace of God and being completed as a fully human being. Therefore, although there is 00 point at which we can say, "This is human and protected, and this is nonhuman and unprotected," there is also no point at which we can say, "This has intrinsic value, and this has none." What we are confronted with is a continuous progress of life, all valuable, unique and to be honored.

Body, Soul and Spirit

Much of the above discussion of the meaning of "human" could be repeated from a different perspective involving the concepts of "body, soul, and spirit." Because these terms are so heavily invested with theological meaning, it is essential that we consider their relevance as criteria of humanness. Many of our problems with issues of human valises might be made easier if we could consider a creature as being human in a psychological and social sense when it possesses a soul, and not human when it doesn't possess a soul (or spiritgeneral agreement on the significance and relationship of these two terms does not exist among Christians). Then we might be in a situation where we could more easily make such judgments as yes/no, right/ wrong, and then/not now.

The problem, however, is not different from the problem of defining what it means to "be human," As the term "human" can be fully expounded only by realizing inputs of content from several different levels, so the terms, "body, soul and spirit" can be seen to be level-oriented words. When we speak about the human person, the terms, "body, soul and spirit" are tied together with the unity of the person in such a way that they do not discontinuously come into being with the passage of time as a living creature develops. Rather they are all aspects of the whole living person, aspects which develop together and manifest themselves in ever more mature and complete ways as God brings that living creature to physical, psychological and theological maturity.

Part of our difficulty here as evangelical and orthodox Christians is that the framework of the theology that we have been exposed to has to a considerable extent taken a quite different point of view. And this is certainly true not only of Protestants, but of our Roman Catholic brethren even more. A particularly strong statement characterizes this tradition in the words of Stanley Jaki,

I also have to tell you that few things can shock me more than when I am told by fellow Roman Catholic theologians, mostly younger ones, that we should not he concerned with the defense of dualism. It is outmoded, they say, and we can very well do without it. Well, I asked one of these whether he would still exist after his body had been duly cremated and his ashes scattered into the nearby river? Then and only then did he realize the obvious, namely that Christian existence is inconceivable without the acceptance of dualism.3

Jaki in the Roman Catholic tradition defends dualism, the distinct existence of body and soul (in this tradition, distinctions between soul and spirit are not drawn in the same way.) Many evangelical Protestants have defended the biblical basis for a three-fold view of man, basing their case on.

May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Thess, 5:23)
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

The distinguished Christian pastor and teacher Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote in Teaching the Word of Truth,

There are three parts of man, called body, soul and spirit. The body is the only part you can see. It is the part that has the five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch . . . . Animals have bodies as we do, with all these five senses. We also have a soul-the part of us that feels, loves and hates. Animals have this too . . . . But man also has a spirit-the part of him that knows about God. Animals do not have a spirit-they do not know about God.4

I think that the meaning of what Barnhonse is here trying to convey in very simple language is not so far from our own argument; he does, however, leave the way open to confusion by speaking about bodies, souls and spirits as parts that human beings have. He is perceptive, however, in recognizing that what the Bible speaks about as "soul" is also applicable to animals as well as human beings.

It has been frequently assumed by many that when the Bible speaks about body, soul and spirit, it is making reference to three different entities, if not substances, whose existence can he independent of one another. This assumption, and popular tradition based on it, lead to the semantic expressions: "I have a body. I have a soul. I have a spirit." This simple use of language provides a fundamental basis for misunderstanding. For if 1 have a body, a soul and a spirit, who am I? The paradigm for resolving this difficulty has already been set by our previous discussion of "life" vs "being alive." There we saw the basic conceptual error in saying, "I have life." Life is not something a person has; alive is something a living person is. Similarly, "body, soul and spirit" are not things that persons have; they are what persons are. I am a body-soul-spirit. We must hyphenate and combine these three words since they describe differentiable aspects of a single whole human being, not different substances, things or parts that such a human being possesses. To speak of a body, soul or spirit must not he done in such a way as to tricotomize a person into three separate entities. The person is the "I" and the "I" is a body-soul-spirit, i.e., a whole living functioning human being.

The terms, "body, soul and spirit" refer in a direct way to the three criteria for humanity discussed in the previous section. The biological criterion for humanity relates to the concept of "body." The psychological and social criterion for humanity relates to the concept of "soul." The spiritual criterion for humanity relates to the concept of "spirit."

If I have a body, a soul and a spirit, who am I? Body, soul and spirit are not things that persons have; they are what persons are.

"Soul" and "Spirit" in the Bible

Strong's Concordance to the King James Version indicates that the word "soul" or "souls" appears 58 times in the New Testament, in every ease as the translation of the Creek word psuche. The word "spirit" or "spirits" appears at least 285 times in the New Testament, in every case as the translation of pnetsma, except for the two cases in KJV (Matt. 14:26 and Mark 6:49) where it is the translation of phantasmna, which subsequent translations have more properly rendered "ghost" in English. For a feeling for the total depth of significance and meaning associated with psuche and prseuma in the Creek, particularly as these terms are used in the New Testament revelation, we refer to Alexander Souter's Lexicon to the Creek New Testament.5

Souter gives three basic definitions for pxuche: (1) Life, without any psychological content. (2) An individual, or as a strong personal pronoun. (3) Desire, In comments, Souter points out that "psnche generally refers to appetite and desire: it is as a rule a translation of the Hebrew nephesh, one of the words for the 'breath-soul,' the personal soul." Finally Souter comments, "The general use of the word in the Bible is in the sense of whatever is felt to belong most essentially to man's life, when his bodily life has come to be regarded as a secondary thing. It comes near the modern conception of self." Thus it appears appropriate in view of the biblical usage to treat the concept of "soul" as a functional one, describing particular attributes of the human being, rather than as a substantive one, describing some substance to be distinguished from the body, as in "I have a body and a soul."

Sooter provides an extensive discussion of the word pntusna, with the following basic definitions: (1) Wind.
(2) Breath, what distinguishes a living from a dead body, the life principle. (3) "The breath was often in early times identified with the life or soul itself. Hebrew employed three words for the breath-soul, nephesh, ruach, neshamah, of which the first and second are the most important, indicating respectively the personal soul and the invading spirit." The Hebrew ruach, for which the Greek Old Testament uses pneuma, indicates "supernatural influences acting on man from without; the normal breath-soul . . . directly derived from the wind at the bidding of God; the resultant psychical life .... Normal human nature was regarded as animated by the same divine mach to which its highest inspiration is due." It is evident that a sharp distinction is not always drawn between psuche and pneuma; in fact Souter remarks, "In Paul, psuche and pneurna are hardly to be distinguished." In his overall evaluation of the significance of pneuma, Souter says, "In the New Testament pneuma refers nearly always to supernatural influences. Sometimes it is employed of the higher nature in man, and is hardly to be distinguished from the result of the influence of the divine pneuma. Sometimes it denotes a normal element in human nature. But the Christian is essentially the product of the divine pneuma, which is mediated to us by the Messiah." The analysis once again supports a functional interpretation of the term "spirit," describing particular attributes of the human being in relation to God, rather than a substantive one, describing some substance to he distinguished from body and soul, as in "I have a body, a soul and a spirit."

This excursion into biblical exegesis may be summarized as follows in the context of our present discussion. We need to make a distinction between the ontological use of these words and their functional use, i.e., between the use of the words "body, soul and spirit" as descriptive of actual self-existing entities, and the use of these words to describe attributes and properties of a whole living human being. A consideration of biblical usage indicates that a functional use of these terms fulfills the purpose of that revelation in a fairly complete and responsible way. By the "body," the Bible speaks about the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the human being. By the "soul," the Bible speaks about the life, the emotional, mental aspects of man, which we might call his psychological and social aspects. By the "spirit," the Bible speaks about the ability of the human being made in the image of God to be in relationship with God, to be responsible before Him, to be guilty of sin, and to he in need of a Savior.

The biblical terms of body, soul and spirit do not indicate qualities that come into being full-grown at various specific times, but rather qualities which develop and progress to maturity as the human being grows under the hand of God.

The most primitive stage, as well as normally the first chronological state, of humanness is the physical, chemical or biological: the body. The next stage is the psychological and social aspects of humanness: the soul. The completely human being is one who is at one with God in Christ Jesus and is being made like Him: the spiritual aspects of man are involved.

Just as the definitions of "human" had no sharp discontinuities but rather exhibited a progression from one aspect to the next with increasing physical, psychological and spiritual maturity, so also the biblical terms of body, soul and spirit do not indicate qualities that come into being full-grown at various specific times, but rather qualities which develop and progress to maturity as the human being grows under the hand of God.
There appears to be a growing awareness of this perspective among Christians today, particularly those with a broad view informed by inputs from many different sources, including both science and theology. Professor Sir Norman Anderson, the author of such a wide variety of Christian books as Moraiity, Law and Grace,6 Christianity and Comparative Religion ,7 and Christianity: the Witness of History,8 has recently come to grips with these issues in Issues of Life and Death.9 He writes,

But it seems to me that a very strong case can be made for insisting that man is, in fact, a psychosomatic unify, in which the physical and non-physical are complementary aspects rather than separable elements or parts. This is why the day of resurrection is viewed in terms of the dead being raised to life not as disembodied spirits but in what St. Paul terms "spiritual bodies."

Dr. James Keir Howard, Principal Medical Officer in the Health Department of the City of Liverpool, with graduate degrees in both medicine and theology, has considered in some length the appropriate way in which the soul should he interpreted to maintain scientific and biblical integrity. He concludes,

If our argument thus far has carried any weight it will be apparent that the concept of "soul" as some immaterial and immortal part of man should be abandoned. The data provided by psychology on the one hand and religion on the other, although approaching the problem from widely differing standpoints, both point to the inescapable conclusion that man is an indivisible entity.10

Dr. B. F. B. Gardner, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist in Durham and a minister in the United Free Church of Scotland, writes,

I find it impossible to believe that the soul is present in she early embryo-that is if "soul" is to have any real content. Perhaps we have been on the wrong track. Do we have a soul? James Barr notes: "The soul is not an entity with a separate nature from the flesh and possessing or capable of a life on its own. Rather it is the life animating she flesh. Soul and flesh do not therefore go separate ways, but the flesh expresses outwardly the life or soul. . , . Man does not have a soul, he is a soul. 11

Correlation with Resurrection

Clearly the biblical view of man as body-soul-spirit is intimately related to the biblical teaching of the resurrection. Christians look forward to the promise of a new body-soul-spirit that will be raised up with a continuity with the earthly body-soul-spirit-a continuity resting upon the complete dependence of a person's identity on God, and yet with major qualitative differences. Sometimes in popular speech the words "soul" or "spirit" are used to indicate the "identity" of an individual which is maintained in continuity from the

Immortality is not some intrinsic property of human "soul" or "spirit," but is instead a future acquisition of Christians by the grace of God.

mortal body, soul and spirit of this life to the immortal body, soul, and spirit of the next. When treated as functional descriptives, then "soul" and "spirit" are attributes of the whole human being; when that whole human being dies, therefore, these attributes of "soul" and "spirit" cease to exist in time. In the resurrection God raises up new "bodies, souls and spirits" according to I Corinthians 15. But when treated as synonymous with individual identity, the terms "soul" and "spirit" serve a quite different purpose. When "soul" or "spirit" is taken to mean individual "identity," there is meaning in speaking of an "immortal soul," for this "identity,' resting wholly on God, if by its very nature "immortal," i.e., dependent only on God and not on man. Confusion is rampant, however, if the words "soul" or "spirit" are used interchangeably and without reference to mean both the attributes of a living human being and the individual identity of that human being. Attributes are changing continuously throughout life from conception to resurrection; identity is constant in the mind of God.
Dr. Murray Harris, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, has carried out a careful study of the relationship between resurrection and immortality.12 He emphasizes the New Testament view of immortality as participation in the eternal life of God, and of resurrection as the transformation of whole persons-not the reanimation of corpses-in spite of death. Immortality is not some intrinsic property of human "soul" or "spirit" but is instead a future acquisition of Christians by the grace of God.

In much popular western thought, the soul is simply one part of man, distinguishable from his body not only in thought but also in reality. As a result, "the immortality of the soul" implies nothing more than the persistence beyond death of that aspect of man which may be called the soul. The New Testament, however, with its basically monistic anthropology, promises the transformation of the whole person, not the survival of a disembodied ego. Immortality is not assignable to only a part of man.

Harris has provided a valuable summary of four major ways in which the biblical teaching on immortality differs from the Platonic:

1. It is the whole person who gains immortality, not the soul or spirit that inherently possesses immortality.
2. Immortality is gained by the resurrection transformation, not by birth, and therefore is a future gift of God, not a present inalienable characteristic of human nature.
3. The destiny of the Christian is somatic immortality, not disembodied or purely spiritual immortality,
4. Possession of immortality is dependent on relationship to the Second Adam, not the first Adam, It results from union with Christ, not from being a mortal.

The Problems of the Interim Period

Even if all of the preceding discussion has been favorably accepted, one problem still inevitably remains. What shall we say about the interim period between death and the resurrection? If we accept the fact that man as a body-soul-spirit dies, and that his identity is preserved by the God who made and knows him, to be restored in the transformation of the resurrection into a spiritual body-soul-spirit, still we are confronted with the unanswered question of how and in what form that identity is preserved until being embodied at the resurrection.

Sir Norman Anderson gathers together four common responses to this question. The first is that the disembodied spirits of the deceased are alive, conscious and with Christ if the human being were a Christian; Anderson is unhappy with this commonly held view and questions whether the commonly advanced biblical data to support it are conclusive. A second view is that believers who have died are alive but are asleep in Christ, and will not experience conscious life until the resurrection. The third response he finds suggested by C. S. Lewis,

A composer conceives a concerto with fully orchestral score, but initially commits it to paper only in terms of a piece of piano music. This is played and becomes well known, but the paper on which he wrote it is not duplicated and is eventually destroyed. Then, after an interval, the composer writes out the full score which he always had in mind. This is far more wonderful than the original, but unmistakably the same piece. What, then, could be said about the concerto in the interval between the notation for the piano and its transcription in the full orchestral score-except that it was certainly "alive," but not emhndied.13

Finally, Anderson advances a fourth view which he himself favors, namely that death brings its out of space-time into eternity, so that "those who die in Christ are immediately with him, in their resurrection bodies, at the Advent-which, while still future to those of us who still live in time, is to them already a present reality." Perhaps all but the first of these represent acceptable attempts to make a bridge between what is known and what cannot be known, although the third and fourth have the strongest appeal to me.


A human being is a pncurnopsychosomatc unity. Inputs from both scientific and biblical sources support this view. A human being is bodily, soulful and spiritual in terms of the potentiality for the expression of these attributes. These words express respectively the normal criteria for humanity: the biological criterion of genotype, the social criterion of behavior, and the spiritual criterion of relationship with God.

To be human is a process. The possession of a human genotype assures that an individual will be wholly human; to become fully human requires the process of bodily development, social maturation, and divine sanctification. All life involving the hmnao genotype is human life. Value decisions are called for when one form of human life comes into conflict with another form of human life. Some of these conflicts will he the basis for discussions in future installments.

The human being does not have life; the living human being is alive. The human being does not have a body, a soul, and a spirit; the human being is a body-soul-spirit, that unique living creature made in the image of Cud, redeemed by the blood of Christ, and destined in Christ (for as many as receive him in faith) The human being is a pneumopsychoto be raised again to living experience as a whole somatic unity. To be human is a process. person. Immortality as an intrinsic property of humanity is a heritage from Greek Platonism; in biblical context immortality is a future gift of God to be bestowed upon those whom he will raise in Christ at the resurrection.


1R. H. Bube, The Human Quest, Word Books, Waco, Texas (1971)
2H. H. Pattee, ed., Hierarchy Theory, George Braziller, N.Y. (1973)
3S. L. Jaki, "Brain, Mind and Computers," Journal ASA 24, 12 (1972)
4D. G. Barnhouse, Teaching the Word of Truth, Revelation Book Service, Philadelphia (1940)
5A. Souter, A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, Oxford (1915)
6J. N. D. Anderson, Morality, Law and Grace, InterVarsity, Downers Grove, Illinois (1972)
7J. N. D. Anderson, Christianity and Comparative Religion, Tyndale, London (1970)
8 N. D. Anderson, Christiantiy: the Witness of History, Tyndale, London (1969)
9N. Anderson, Issues of Life and Death, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1977)
10 K. Howard, "The Concept of the Soul in Psychology and Religion," Journal ASA 24, 147 (1972)
11 F. R. Gardner, Abortion: the Personal Dilemma, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids (1972)
12M. Harris, "Resurrection and Immortality: Eight Theses," Themelios, Vol. 1, No. 2, 50 (1976)
13G. S. Lewis, Transposition and other Addressee, Geoffrey Bles, London (1949); cited by N. Anderson, Reference 9, p. 33