Yesterday, I introduced this series on depression, Christians, and medicine. Today I promised to discuss my presuppositions. Obviously this discussion will not be exhaustive—especially because there are probably presuppositions that I am not even aware of. But here is what I do know…
We are whole people, that have been wholly effected by the Fall, but will be totally redeemed, through the gospel (with it’s ripple effects)—which is absolutely sufficient, though God still uses means to make the gospel shine.
Now let’s unpack that.
We are whole people
We are bio-psycho-social-spiritual beings. That means we are physical beings—and our physical bodies has an impact on our pscyho-social-spiritual selves. We are also complex rational beings made in the image of God. Our minds (cognition) impact our bio-social-spiritual selves. But we are also people in a community and this also impacts the whole of our person. And perhaps more important or what unites all of these is that we are spiritual beings.
Whenever something is out of whack it usually does not touch only one particular area. Even something like cancer does not ravage only the biological aspect of a person. It also has an impact on attitude, societal relations, and relationship with God to name a few.
That have been wholly effected by the Fall
There is not one part of our being that has not been touched by the Fall. It has impacted our minds, our hearts, our relationships, our bodies, our societies. Everything. Of course nothing is as bad as it possible could be. God’s common grace keeps the world from being as wicked, broken, and destructed as it could be. Nevertheless, every person has been wholly touched by the Fall.
But will be totally redeemed
Of course Christ has already begun the process of redeeming. And people can live in redemption in a significant way. Nor is this pleading for universalism. Not every person impacted by the Fall will be redeemed. But those whom God is redeeming will ultimately be redeemed—their whole persons wholly redeemed. Not only will people be redeemed but society will be redeemed. This means that regardless of where we stand on this issue of depression and medicine we should unite in hope that someday Christ will obliterate this brokenness.
Through the gospel (with its ripple effects)
I say “with its ripple effects” for a reason. Redemptive medicine is a ripple effect. So is gospel community. So is biblical counsel. The gospel transforms everything. The gospel is what enables us to live in redemption in a significant way in the here and now. At the end of the day the gospel and all of its ripple effects is the cure for depression. Whether that cure comes through medicine, counseling, or final healing in the New Jerusalem. Christ purchased all of it.
Which is absolutely sufficient
Jesus does not need the help of science to redeem people. Jesus does not need help from the regenerate or the unregenerate world to accomplish his purposes. He can work through them. He can use them to accomplish His purpose. If the sufficiency of Christ ever is called into question, that is the moment when we need to pause and rethink our conclusions. Acts 17 is still true—God does not NEED us to accomplish His purpose.
But God still uses means to make the gospel shine
Passive theology which refuses to accept means is more akin to Stoicism or Hyper-Calvinism than biblical theology. God does not NEED us to accomplish His purpose but quite often we are the means that He chooses to use to accomplish what He is doing.
He used a small group of followers to change the world. There is no getting around the biblical fact that a fisherman named Peter, a former murderer named Paul, and a couple of loud-mouths named James and John were used by God to transform the world. God uses means to make the gospel shine. And he can use whatever means he wants to.
This is my presupposition: We are whole people, that have been wholly effected by the Fall, but will be totally redeemed, through the gospel (with it’s ripple effects)—which is absolutely sufficient, though God still uses means to make the gospel shine. Question it if you must. But know this is where I am coming from as we take our next steps…