Systematic Theology Module 3: Anthropology (Doctrine of Man)

Course Introduction:

The scope of this third module is to explore what the Bible teaches about man. And what we learn from Scripture about God leads us to a right understanding of man. Men are tireless in their pursuit of understanding themselves. Their origin, their makeup, their identity, their purpose, and destiny, and so on. But true knowledge of man is not found within himself. It is discovered in what God reveals in Scripture. So if you wish to gain a deeper understanding of man, these lectures aim to benefit you. The lectures in this third module, on the Doctrine of Man, are introductory, not exhaustive, and they are intended to furnish you with a foundation that you can build upon in your further studies.

Below, you’ll find the overall structure for this series of 7 modules, across the whole spectrum of Systematic Theology.

Prolegomena (Doctrine of First Principles)
Theology Proper (Doctrine of God)
Anthropology (Doctrine of Man) - This Module
Christology (Doctrine of Christ)
Soteriology (Doctrine of Salvation)
Ecclesiology (Doctrine of the Church)
Eschatology (Doctrine of Last Things)

Please review the details of the course materials in the PDF link below.

Module 3 - Lesson 1 - Introduction

We’re given an historic account, taken from the Highlands of Scotland. This is the northern section of the nation of Scotland. There was a godly Presbyterian minister there, and he had hired a Highland maid to serve in the kitchen of the manse, where the minister lived with his family. And they assembled for worship on that first day when the kitchen maid had come to work for them, and in family worship, he asked her the question, “How many commandments are there?” And she was unable to give him a clear answer. And upon further investigation, he discovered that she knew very little about the truth of God’s Word. And so he sought to explain that to her. And in his parting counsel, he encouraged her to pray every day these words: “Oh Lord, show me myself.”

Module 3 - Lesson 2 - The Nature of Man

Most people own at least one mirror. You’ll find them in lots of places, both in public and private. You often see them over a sink, enabling people to better comb their hair, straighten their shirt, or brush their teeth. But you also find them in many other places. Sometimes, women even carry them in their purses. Mirrors allow you to see yourself, and many people like looking at themselves.

Module 3 - Lesson 3 - Man as the Image of God

What if I were to ask you the question, What makes a rock different from a fruit tree? Well, you might think to yourself, Well, a rock is something that doesn’t move - it’s hard, it stays the same, whereas, a fruit tree grows. You see it come up out of the ground, it grows to maturity, it has leaves, it drops those leaves in the winter, and then eventually, after a few years, it begins to bear fruit, and so on. Well, true enough. Well then, what makes the difference between a tree and a fly - like a housefly. What makes the difference between those?

Module 3 - Lesson 4 - The Freedom of Man's Will

Let me begin with a question: Why do we do what we do? Now, I’m speaking broadly. In all the various situations and circumstances of life, the little things and the big things, what prompts us to do the things we do? Well that is a far more difficult question than we sometimes realize. Why? Well, because there are many complex factors—various layers of motivations within us that influence our decisions. It is true that circumstances outside of us, including other people, may impact us. But in the end, we decide to do what we do.

Module 3 - Lesson 5 - The Nature of Sin

God has given to us his holy law, and that law works its way, by way of application, into the deepest crevices of man’s being. And what we learn in the Bible is that the smallest infraction, the failure to do one thing that the law requires, or a failure in violating even the least of what God’s law forbids results in catastrophic implica- tions. Sinners are justly, equitably, and fairly condemned for the least sin. God’s standard is high, demanding of all of his creatures. And we have a sense of the weight then, and the significance of what sin is.