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  • Writer's pictureKrista Bontrager

God's Vision for REAL Human Flourishing

The phrase “human flourishing” has become a weird buzz word that encompasses the idea of "whatever makes me happy." But true human flourishing can only come when we follow the Creator’s design for how humanity is supposed to work. Monique and Krista did a deep dive on what we call our "Creation Identity," things that are objectively true for all humans in all times in all places.




 

In order to understand human flourishing, we must start at the beginning and look at our Creation Identity:


Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”


Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 


Genesis 2:15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.


Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 


Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 


Key Themes:

  • Common Humanity: Made in God’s image

  • Distinct Beings: Created male and female; charged to be fruitful and multiply


Purpose: 

  1. Created to exercise dominion over the creation; appointed (by God) as governors to rule & reign over creation (also see Rev 5: 9-10, 20:4-6, 22:4-5)

  2. Created to worship; our work can be a form of worship

  3. Created to work; work is not part of the curse!


Threats to Human Flourishing:

  • Dominion: Colonization or exercising excessive power or abuse over someone/people group

  • Worship: If we are not focusing our worship on God, we will worship something else, such as self, celebrities, money, etc

  • Work: Opting out of work (NOT about people who CAN’T work due to disability); paying people not to work


Image of God & Human Dignity:

  • There is no ground for human dignity without the image of God!

  • This means human dignity is intrinsic to every person, NOT based on extrinsic factors, such as functionality, location, socioeconomic status, sex, skin color, etc

  • Where do pets/animals factor in? We are seeing in our culture that people are elevating/”humanizing” animals, while dehumanizing people. Leads to a lot of confusion for Christians!


Adam and Eve as the First Humans:

  • Within Adam, was all of the potential for all of the ethnic diversity we see today (Acts 17:26)

  • We all have the same first two parents in Adam & Eve; in other words, there is only ONE human race

  • We have common human longings…to be loved, to be accepted


Male and Female Distinction:

  • Many threats to our Creation Identity occur regularly in this area of our culture, such as transgender ideology, affirming peoples’ confusion, drag queen story hour, men in women’s locker rooms & sports, etc


Marriage, Families, & Children:

  • God’s design is for one man and one woman, marriage for life, and procreation

  • Threats: Rampant divorce, redefining marriage, hook-up culture, rampant porn use, opting-out of marriage culture, abortion on demand, permanently opting out of having kids, pursuing careers or pets instead of having kids, removal of parental rights


The Great Commission: The development of spiritual children is important! However, this should not be pitted against having physical children.


Genesis 3: This is where the threats come from: SIN! This is NOT part of God’s original, perfect design, but sin entered the world as a result of the fall of humankind.


Conclusion: If we want to help people, we need to tether it to God’s vision of REAL human flourishing!


 

Resources:


Krista's podcast on teaching kids the value of work:



Books:


Krista's 2-part series on the Dignity of the Developmentally Disabled:






Discussion with Dr. Fazale Rana regarding creation and racism:




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Tonight's show is brought to you by the Center for Biblical Unity, Theology Mom podcast, Family 210 Clothing, and Impact 360!


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