Published on June 22, 2023 by Eugene Ho

Mentor, 2019 | 432 pages

A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance 

by Kirsten Birkett 


About the Author

Dr. Owen Strachan is Provost and Research Professor of Theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He earned his Ph.D from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, his M.Div from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his AB from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. 



Chapter 1: Image
Chapter 2: Depravity
Chapter 3: Work
Chapter 4: Sexuality
Chapter 5: Race and Ethnicity
Chapter 6: Technology
Chapter 7: Justice
Chapter 8: Contingency
Chapter 9: Christ 


General Summary

A survey of the current Western secular worldview and an analysis of it as neopagan religion. 



In our “skeptical, secularist era” we need “to see humanity afresh” and restore confidence in the biblical doctrine of humanity which is not only true but good for us. The question of our age is does a human have an appointed identity, or do we make our own identity?


Chapter 1: Image

In 1966 Time magazine asked, “Is God dead?” Now the question is “Is man dead?” We are no longer seen as the creation of God, but an accidental animal with no telos, no ethics, here to create our own realities. “The theological vision of the human race … has dissipated.” The “highbrow crowd” are atheist while others “traffic in a strange and often nonlogical range of beliefs,” but most agree we should be free to express our own self–conception, with self–determination and self–authenticity. I create my own meaning.

Christians believe to know ourselves we must know the will of God for his creation. We are the apex of his creation, in his image, no accident. We are to rule the whole earth – we have “great responsibility and explosive potential.” We are a “testament to the reality of divinity” and not like other animals.

Creation belongs to God and is not God. Evolution ironically created a “kind of pantheism” and requires more faith than biblical Christianity. Within it “hope has no logical basis, neither does positivity, love, nor confidence in anything.” Yet people still live as if they have meaning, because we are image-bearers and so cannot help it. Secularists “cheat,” espousing meaninglessness but embracing meaning.

God made and breathed life into Adam. We “have a mind so that we may know the Lord.” Man alone is an embodied soul. There is no “tension or ranking” between body and soul. We are dependent on the creator; our nature is theocentric; we are covenantal.

We are created in God’s image. Views on “image” include substantive (eg rationality), relational, representative (ruling the earth), and others. The best view is “ontological reality that leads into function.” Image does not reduce to intelligence and is not inhibited by physical deficiency, and is not lost in the fall. We represent God whether we believe or feel like it or not. We, therefore, rule, subdue and multiply, and have rationality and relationship. We are made for obedient worship. The true image is Christ, who took on flesh “to give embodied worship to God.” Worship is “the end of humanity.” This is the basis of meaningful and joyful existence. 

“If you do not start with God, you will never comprehend man.” Our soul is us; we are spiritual and embodied. “We must present our bodies to God as acceptable worship (Rom 12:1), worship that takes place every second of every day for the believer.” We “will exist eternally in either heaven or hell,” and we in Christ are under attack from sinful desires (1 Pet 2:11). The stakes are high. . . .

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Mentor, 2019 | 432 pages

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