Basic to all man’s knowledge is his understanding of his own nature. Over thirty years ago I took an intensive summer-session history course at California State University, Northridge. At the first class the first words out of the professor’s mouth was the question, “Is man basically good or bad?” I was sitting directly in front of him, so he pointed at me and said, “What do you think?” Needless to say, my Calvinism became the focus of that discussion and most of the succeeding ones. I had a different view of man; therefore, I was odd man out in every discussion.
Anthropology is the study of man, and in Christianity man is understood in moral terms. Scripture presents the old, or natural, man in Adam and the new, or born-again, man in Jesus Christ. All men are seen in moral terms under one of these heads, or legal representatives.
All men are born into Adam’s morally fallen humanity and have him as their head and receive their inheritance of sin, death, and the curse from him (Rom. 5:12–14). Scripture, however, also reveals to us a second, or “last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), Jesus Christ. Because of His sacrifice in our stead, our sin is forgiven, our death penalty removed, and we are, by an “abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness,” empowered to “reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).
Secular anthropology will not recognize the significance of either Adam or Christ, but, because it operates in God’s world, it must work in terms of the divide they represent. Adamic man is humanistic man, seeking still to “be as gods” (Gen. 3:5). The humanist sees natural man not as fallen and in need of restoration, but as normative. In ignoring the “last Adam,” the humanistic anthropologist has no choice but to look to natural man. The humanist must put lipstick on the pig that natural man is. Often, he does this by blaming religion (mostly Christianity) for spoiling man’s natural innocence with talk of guilt and moral reckoning. Freud even tried to co-opt Christianity by reassigning guilt as a scientific and not a religious concern.
Because modern anthropology presents natural man as normative, it venerates primitive man and castigates Western civilization for imposing its moral perspective. Modern anthropology reverences native religion, culture, and folklore no matter how silly or even perverse, because it has contempt for not only real Christian faith, but even the remnants of its manifestation in the culture. It starts with the myth of primitive man and so sees him as our true forefather. Columbus is now held in contempt, and the 500th anniversary of his arrival in the New World passed in 1992 with hardly a notice. Modern anthropology sees the cannibals of the Caribbean, the sodomites of Central America, and the bloody practices of human sacrifice as the more noble because they are said to represent the culture of indigenous (natural) man without the imposition of Christian morality. They refuse to make moral judgments on any culture but ours. Indigenous man is held up as noble and wise despite evidence to the contrary. Modern anthropology is, in reality, worshiping natural man.
Modern secular anthropology is anti-Christian by definition. Its humanism makes it reject the other humanity, and the new man in Jesus Christ, and is thus anti-Christ as well. They have, by embracing natural man, rejected his Messiah and said, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).