Creationism and Psychology - RR131A1

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Creationism and Psychology
Course: Course - Human Nature in its First Estate
Subject: Subject:Psychology
Lesson#: 1
Length: 0:39:04
TapeCode: RR131A1
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Human Nature in its First Estate Part I.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission


Our scripture is Genesis ...

Our scripture is Genesis 1:26-28, creationism and psychology. Genesis 1:26-28. We begin this morning a period of studies on the biblical doctrine of man. What is man?

Genesis 1:26-28

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky,over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Humanistic psychology gives up the doctrine of man which is radically at odds with scripture, for this reason: because today’s {?} psychologies are so prevalent. [00:01:54]

A doctrine of salvation has been undermined

A doctrine of salvation has been undermined. Unless we have a biblical doctrine of man and his nature a biblical psychology, we cannot have a biblical doctrine of salvation. The word psychology comes in two words, psyche and logos which means the word or the doctrine concerning the soul. For about two or more centuries, from the time of John Lox of Sicily[?] within protestantism and for a {?} in roman society, a past psychology has prevailed. And because of this past psychology there has been a progressive undermining of the vitality of the faith.

For this reason, even though many earnest and devout men plead the doctrine of regeneration, somehow those who are reborn are {?}. They did not grow up into mature manhood. It is a those people who are living in a famine stricken country and the expectant mothers who are deprived of the necessary food that their children were born seriously affected by the malnutrition of their mothers. Unhappily today the most popular type of book with the clergy in in the area of pastoral psychology. One of the most successful book clubs is the pastoral psychology book club which simply is modern psychology, [list of unintelligible names], every variety imaginable re-interpreted for the clergy! As a result the clergy today are heavily influenced by the {?} psychology with devastating results. With a steady rosen[?] of the biblical doctrine of man and of salvation. As a result it is important to study the biblical doctrine or else we will soon be led astray. Now as we analyse the biblical doctrine, the first thing that appears is that Genesis 1 tells us that man was a creature of God created on the sixth day of creation. Thus man was not a product of evolution or an emergent out of chaos or an animal past. Man is the direct and immediate work of God, this means that man has a short, and a well known history. [00:05:18]

Not a long and an unknown past

Not a long and an unknown past. This is {?} documented with Bibles, here we’ve got the authentic divinely inspired documentation of man’s history and nature. The evidence of what man is is there, this makes all the difference in the world. Man is not the great unknown a great question mark, the problem is of course that he is too well known; you perhaps have heard the story about the two and a fire, one telling one of the bar girls that his wife didn’t understand him and the other one remarked “my problem is she knows me and understands me too well!”.

Well, man’s problems is precisely the same thing! God understands and knows them totally and he made that knowledge known to us in scripture. Man doesn’t like that thought pattern, he doesn’t like the {?} God places on him, he doesn’t like being told that he’s a sinner... so he rejects that knowledge. And second scriptures tell us that creation is according to a pattern. [00:06:43]

God did it. There was a pattern and a strict creation out of that pattern. Man’s nature is thus not an evolving changing fact, but a strict reality. Of course what John Paul Sartre the existentialist philosopher has said “ really sums up what the modern age believes. Croucher[?] says that man has being but not {?}, but if man is. But what he is is unknown! Because man will define what he is as he develops. He will himself create his own nature, in other words, man will be his own maker. All he has, his being, faithless foremost, and man will make himself in his own image. [00:07:46]

Very clearly according to scripture, man’s nature is

Very clearly according to scripture, man’s nature is not an open question but a given fact from God. Then next and of central importance in all that you’re going to be saying in the next few months is this: Man was created in Genesis not as a child, Adam was not born a baby, but a mature man. This is a fact of central importance. Man was created into maturity. As a result, the key command is not child psychology, or animal psychology, evolution sights that man must be understood in terms of the child, the child in terms of an animal ancestry, and the animal ancestry as an emergent out of chaos! As a result there is a “progressive integration downward into the void” to use Van Til’s phrasing.

Man understood in terms of the child and of a primitive past. Bill {?} on the envy and the {?} said and I quote “What we may accept is the principle that the child is an authentic embodiment of the earliest {?} over, most specific, truest to nature depository of natural behavior is {?} psychology.” unquote.


When we believe that to any degree, when you have any

When we believe that to any degree, when you have any element of that influence upon you, your whole perspective of both your child and yourself is going to be different. And this is why our parents, the parents of our generation were more mature, very often and capable of receiving responsibilities at an earlier age, because they were not as extensively influenced by evolutionary psychology. And this is why children who are now growing up in a christian school environment, come to maturity more readily than some us did[?]. An evolutionary psychology does leave you a warped view on man. An evolutionary psychology looks backward to primitive man and his primitive past with brain {?}. Biblical psychology looks to a mature creation, Adam, and to a God given declared purpose ahead for mankind. [00:11:00]

If man evolved ...

If man evolved into the animal past explains it, if man was created by God then man can only be explained by God. Our problem today therefore in psychology is not that man is full of instincts and {?} from a primitive past an animal past, but that man is in revolt against maturity. He was created in maturity, the basic fact in man’s being is a requirement written into his soul that he be a mature man! And man is in revolt against maturity. This in fact is {?} the overall total of our study the reversal of man’s maturity and and {?} the answer to that is Jesus Christ.[00:12:06]

A mature creation therefore is basic for any biblical

A mature creation therefore is basic for any biblical understanding of man. To this we must then add that man was created a mature being in terms of God’s sovereign purpose, so that the meaning of our life transcends us. No man can ever be understood in terms of himself. We were created by God for his purpose and we have a destiny in terms of his calling so that man can never be understood in terms of himself, but always and only by reference to God. Ever humanistic psychology therefore destroys the meaning of man because it tries to understand man not in terms of God, not even in terms of man, but in terms of a child and an animal.

And existentialism goes even further it denies meaning it says even further it denies meaning it says simply that man is, and he is what he chooses to be. But the bible says that man was born defined already by God. He was born into a defined and established world under God. The very freedom of man is the condition of God’s creation and his true destination and is not of man’s nature. Every hair on our head is numbered. Not a sparrow falls but God knows and he sees it. Man as Jesus[?] said was created in the image of God. {?} Van Til has written very powerfully on the meaning of being created in the image of God, and I quote “ he is therefore like God, in everything in which a creature can be like God. He is like God in which he too has a personality. This is what we mean when we speak of the image of God in a wider or more general sense. Then when we wish to emphasize the fact that man resembles God especially in the splendor of his moral attributes we say that when man was created he had true knowledge through righteousness and he holds his doctrine as faith upon the fact that in the new testament we are told that Christ came to restore us to true knowledge, righteousness and holiness. [00:15:04]

These {?} the image of God in the narrowest sense. These two cannot be completely separated from one another. It would really be impossible to think of man as an {?} only with the image of God in the wider sense. Every act of man would from the first have to be a moral act, an active choice for or against God. Hence, man would even in every active knowledge manifest prudent righteousness and true holiness.

And after emphasizing that was like God and in the nature of the case had to be like God, we must press the point that man must always be different from God. Man was created in God’s image, this means that some of God’s attributes are incommunicable. Man can never in any sense outgrow his creaturehood. This puts a definite connotation into the expression that man is like God. He is like God to be {?} always on a creaturely scale. [00:16:12]

He can never be like God in God’s adiety and unifility

He can never be like God in God’s adiety and unifility, infinite, ascendnity[?], and unity. So that weak[?] in the church has imbedded into the heart of it’s confessions that doctrine of the incomprehensibility of of God. God {?} the knowledge of absolutely conflict of interest. Such knowledge is too wonderful for man, we cannot attain unto it. Man was not created with comprehensive knowledge, man was finite in ascendnity with originally no burden to him, neither could man ever expect his {?} to see comprehensive knowledge in the future. We cannot expect to have comprehensive knowledge even in heaven! It is true that much will be be revealed to us that is now a mystery to us, that in the nature of the case God cannot reveal to us that which as creatures we cannot comprehend. We would have to God ourselves in order to understand God in the depths of his being. As a result, because man has been created in God’s image, sin is not natural. Sin is the deformation of man, it is a cancer, it is a sickness unto death which has infected man. As a result sin represents although the condition of the fallen man something which has been heated[?] which is in a sense unnatural. [00:18:09]

So that while we speak of the fallen man as the natural

So that while we speak of the fallen man as the natural man, as against the supernatural man, who is a redeemed man in a very real sense we should say that sin is unnatural. With man, who was created into perfect knowledge, and his destiny is hell or salvation. Moreover man was created to exercise dominion and to rule the earth. This is man’s calling and it is basic to man’s nature. Psalm 8:6 says “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hand. Thou hast put all things under his feet.” There is no psychology that can be proved, apart from this understanding of man’s calling to dominion. But today of course we have instead of a recognition of this calling, an attempt by men to escape from responsibility, to escape from work! To have dominion without the strains that are a part of dominion. Then again we are told in verse 27 “male and female created he them” the sexual character of man is not an evolutionary product, but a part of the purpose of God. As a result man’s sexual nature is subject to God’s law. Perversions thus are not merely evolutionary remains, as modern psychology told, there are the sexes to be denied to their differences, they are God given, God created, and for the purpose of glorifying God. [00:20:19]

Again, our sex[?] tells us be fruitful, multiply, fill

Again, our sex[?] tells us be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Whenever there is a hostility to fertility, it is suicidal and it must be ended with an arrow[?]. In every age where men have talked about over population- and they have before; they were talking about it in Plato and Aristotle’s days and it was the frame of the fall of Greece. Whenever men began to talk about too many people, they are paving the way for their destruction. It represents a suicidal element in man. For children are the aspects of man’s dominion. Moreover another aspect of that dominion is dominion over every living thing. Over the animal world. Man is thus created with a relationship towards animals established as normative with healthy psychology. [00:21:30]

It’s not an accident that people enjoy animals, that

It’s not an accident that people enjoy animals, that they enjoy having sex.... Man was created to have a vast given relationship towards the world around him, towards animals creation. The world of animals is not to be treated ruthlessly and destructively. We are to realize that our animals are created, the wild to the domestic, in terms of God’s purpose. And {?} exercises dominion over the earth must have respect for God’s purpose. The ruthless destruction of wild animals and the abuse of domestic animals is contrary to God’s purpose. Our relationship with the animal world is not one of warfare, but one of dominion. Wild and domestic in terms of God’s purpose. Finally we must say in terms of this text that man was created to live in a perfect world, in a good world, very good God commanded. To kill and to feed it, man was formed out of the substance of the dust of the ground we are told in Genesis 2:7. Man is therefore earthbound, psychological and physically, dust thou art and unto dust thou returnest. [00:23:01]

Man is tied to the earth and his psychology is such

Man is tied to the earth and his psychology is such that his delight should be in this earth, in subduing it, in developing it under God, the earth is man’s home and his place for contentment, and it is his treasure to develop. Man was created thus for maturity and for dominion. Man may fail to keep his responsibilities but he can never escape them, thus basic to any true psychology is the understanding of this fact. If creationism is at all weakened, the doctrine of salvation is weakened. Thus it is that in evangelical circles today, because there is a pervasive compromise there is a progressive weakening and instruction of the doctrine of salvation. Creation and salvation are different sides of the same coin.

God has created man, God alone can redeem him. If we tamper with the doctrine of creation we have proportionally weakened the doctrine of salvation. Thus in our understanding of both the doctrine of man and the doctrine of salvation we must begin with a class, if God in the beginning, created man by his fathomed word on the sixth day of creation brought him into being. Our history is sure, it is well known, it is fully declared in scripture. [00:25:35]

Let us pray. Almighty God our Heavenly Father, teach us to know ourselves by thy word, to know that thou art our Creator and our only Redeemer, that our salvation in it’s every aspect, our every hope of redeeming, our every step is only in Thee and from Thee and unto Thee. Because our Father chose to walk, therefore in our sin we may see God’s face. In our sin know that we are known by the call to serve Thee and call to show forth thy law. Our Lord and our God how great Thou art and how great in Thy purpose for us. And we praise Thee in Jesus name, Amen.

Are there any questions now first of all in respect to our lesson? Yes?

[audience member speaks]

[audience member is unintelligible]

[Rushdoony] No.... what was that one word- it was the one word I missed.

[audience member speaks again]

[Rushdoony] No, no, earlier.

[audience member speaks again]

[Rushdoony] Well, there absolutely is such a thing as regeneration---

[audience member speaks again]

[Rushdoony] Yes. Right. No, we cannot have a doctrine of regeneration if we do not have a doctrine of creation by God. So that in order to understand doctrine of regeneration of rebirth, of conversion, we first have to understand the doctrine of creation. And we are indeed created in God’s image which means according to his nature, not a physical image.

[short pause]


[audience member speaks]

[audience member is unintelligible]

[Rushdoony] Well, lets stop a second and go back. Animals DO sin, and [chuckling] I know that our dogs, you can always tell when he’s going to do something wrong because he puts his ears down and he has a guilty air about him when he goes about doing something he’s not told to do. Then so that the whole creation is fallen including animals. They’re sinners too and they’ve been affected by the fall. Then true, Adam was created mature, and we are born as babies and developed. However the basic nature that is in us is not one of immaturity, but of one of maturity! The idea of child psychology was totally unknown until a couple of centuries ago. And until that time there was no such thing as the kind of child we have today. But a modern child is a creation of the modern age! [00:30:16]

I’ve mentioned before that children were taught to

I’ve mentioned before that children were taught to read by their mothers in the puritan era between the ages of two and four, they began the study of Greek and Hebrew -if they were outstanding students- at about five or six, and mastered it in those years. I’ve mentioned the fact that admiral {?} at the age of fifty-nine was a fifty year Navy roughead. He went into the navy as a cabin boy at nine, that it was not uncommon for outstanding young men to be captain by 18 and 20. The reason was there was no such thing as child psychology and the child was assumed to be mature, and you can find extensive evidence of this. As a matter of fact if you go back to Montain, who was a humanist! You find that Montian-- [recording glitched]

--preferably the child {?} extends to a higher and higher age level with each passing year. As a result, as one outstanding scholar who’s written a book on the changing nature of man, has said “what we think of as a child was non-existent about two or three centuries ago. He is a modern product.” [00:31:56]

[short pause] Yes?...

[short pause] Yes?

[audience member speaks] The use of our? Yes, “let us make man in OUR image.” Very clearly what we have here is a reference to the trinity. It is definitely “our” in the plural. It is ironic that recent translations deliberately averting that and they’re translating the newest translation “I will make man in My image”. The first translations to do this as least had the decency to footnote it and say “The Hebrew has the plural, but it is just a plurality in the Godhead. In other words, very definitely. The triune God here is declaring is to be made in our image after our likeness, and the likeness that is referred to there is the likeness of God, that he is a personality and knowledge, righteousness, holiness, wisdom, and so on.

There are some who have said that if there is a reference to a physical image, it means to the image of the second person of the trinity meaning Jesus Christ, which is a possibility. But the primary meaning is very clearly to God as a personality to his nation.

[short pause] Yes?

[audience member speaks]

[audience member is unintelligible]

Yes, the word psychology is an old one and like the word anthropology was once an aspect of theology the doctrine of God. If you want to have a good psychology book in terms of a Christian perspective, a great classic is Thomas Boston’s “The Fourfold Estate of Man”. I shall be touching on that book in a few weeks, and quoting from it. Thomas Boston “The Fourfold Estate of Man” it was reprinted a few years ago and is available in a reprint. But the Fourfold Estate’s of Man is the state of innocence before the fall, the state of depravity, the state of grace, and the state of glory. And he deals with the psychology of man in each of these fourfold estates. HE was one of the great theologians of the church of Scotland. [00:35:17]

His is not the only work in psychology, there are many

His is not the only work in psychology, there are many other things, but his is a great classic. Any other questions?

[short pause] Yes?
  [audience member speaks] [audience member is unintelligible]

[Rushdoony] Yes, and if you go back to the colonial era you’ll find it was very common for girls who were not yet in their teens, when there was a no parent or a mother, to take over and do everything in the family. This routine and no one thought it was unusual for a girl of that age to do such a thing.


[audience member speaks] [audience member is unintelligible]

Yes... Any other questions? Yes?

[audience member speaks] [audience member is unintelligible]

You’re right, very good point. They gathered around the age of ninety something, wasn’t it? Just this past week.

Well, if they’re are no further questions then I would like to call your attention to a momentous bit of news in the papers just this last week. The girls at San Diego state college apparently have been influenced by the liberation movement, and so they have liberated the men’s restroom at one of the San Diego state colleges and are planning to liberate all restrooms. At a time when the world is falling apart it’s interesting to see that people are giving attention to such momentous activities: the liberation of restrooms. [00:38:18]

Well, with that I think our time is over

Well, with that I think our time is over. Let’s bow our heads for the benediction. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you guide and protect you this day and always, Amen.

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