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Human Being – Being Human

A Theological Anthropology in Biblical, Historical, and Ecumenical Perspective


Billy Kristanto

The ecumenical dialogues within Christianity mostly concentrate on the issues of justification, the Church, and the Holy Spirit. An ecumenical theological anthropology can rarely be found. The book presents the classical topics in theological anthropology from the Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox perspectives. The plurality or sometimes even the apparent tensions among theological traditions are shown to be within the limits of God’s word alone.

"In this fascinating book, Kristanto shares his thoughts on biblical notions, his vast explorations in the history of theology, and his analysis of today´s intellectual challenges. Bringing these all together in one highly readable work, Kristanto manages to demonstrate perfectly the relevance of the biblical concept of the human being for the Church and society."

Herman Selderhuis

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4 What Is Sin?


In the language of the theology of creation, the Book of Genesis describes the fall as the reversal of God’s given order of creation. It is interesting that Genesis avoids to use the term devil but consistently applies the creation-theological term serpent (as one of the lower creatures). The serpent tempted the woman, the woman the husband, and both the man and his wife avoided the presence of God in the garden. The serpent tried to create a distorted portrayal of God when he said, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1). The original human freedom given by God was twisted into a picture of narrow-minded religion. What is at stake is human understanding of the truly revealed God’s portrayal. Now, man has become like God and abandoned his creatureliness. Bonhoeffer writes,

… the Fall really makes a creator, the sicut deus man, out of the creature, the imago dei man. Above all, there is for the time being no more right to address the sicut deus man in his creatureliness. There is no possibility of recognizing him in his creatureliness, just because he really is like God. … Man’s being sicut deus in fact includes his not wanting to be a creature.497

Being created after the image of God, the first humans could have been meditated upon their original freedom given by God while staying in the true knowledge of God.

Nevertheless, Eve chose to let...

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