While it is not intrinsically evil or bad, I grow weary of all of the theologies that are qualified with adjectives. For example, there is Liberation, Reformed, Evangelical, Arminian, Feminist, Black, and dozens more. To some extent, I get it—each adjective is meant to focus on God, truth, and the application of that truth from a specific and unique perspective. It might be more accurate to say of some adjectives that the focus is more on calling attention to the unique history, experiences, and perspectives of a specific group of people as it relates to God, the Bible, and the Christian life. Yet, I still grow weary. I sometimes wish it were possible to simply have “theology.” That is it. That is all. Yet, I am not naive. I suppose that adjectives will not disappear until the eschaton. How long, oh Lord, how long?
I subscribe to The Worldview Bulletin. It is one of the most thoughtful treatments of various issues in our society from both a biblical and philosophical perspective. Recently, Dr. Gould wrote the following about human nature in an attempt to show that it is a root issue that underlies so many other surface issues (branches and leaves): In our disenchanted world, there is no place for essences. Anything goes—and, of course, anything follows from such a falsehood. As a result, as Willard notes, culture has become characterized by “rage.” This is truer today than it was when Willard wrote in 2002: “[The idea that human beings do not have a nature] becomes a part of the unchecked political and moral rage against identity that characterizes modern life.” And, “This is a rage predicated upon the idea that identity restricts freedom.” If we have essences that determine our ends/purposes/teleology, then there are limits to what I can do and what I ought to do, and such limits are an anathema to a culture (including, rather unfortunately, a Christian culture) that prizes individual freedom above all else.
No wonder that there is a massive push to label so many different identities (e.g., gender) as nothing more than a social construct. If they are nothing more than social constructs, then they can be deconstructed. Every person is a tabula rasa (i.e., blank slate), totally free to write anything they desire upon their canvas. While this syncs well with secular humanism, it is probably a message that only vibes with those who are affluent, having the resources necessary to make of themselves anything that they want. Then there is Christianity. Human beings are created in the image of God, as male or female, and are designed to know God, make Him known, and fulfill an already pre-determined telos—to glorify God in all one does.
The Christian rejects Jean-Paul Sartre’s: existence precedes essence.