Being Human: The Nature of Spiritual Experience, By Ranald Macaulay and Jerram Barrs

Being Human

The Nature of Spiritual Experience

by Ranald Macaulay and Jerram Barrs

Being Human
  • Length: 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: July 20, 1998
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 1502
  • ISBN: 9780830815029

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Who is right about what it means to be human?

The Greeks envisioned an ideal humanity. Their ethereal sculptures depict a transcendent, spiritual model. But today many scientists view human beings as mere machines. And some believe we will be able to make machines with human-like intelligence in the near future.

The biblical view of humanity is different from both of these. For the writers of Scripture, to be human is to be in the image of God. Guided by this view, Ranald Macaulay and Jerram Barrs discuss the nature of spiritual experience. As the pursuit of true spirituality takes us away from sinfulness, it moves us closer to what God intended us to be. When we are truly spiritual, we are fully human.

Macauley and Barrs begin by stressing the centrality of Christ. Then they distinguish between self and the sinfulness of self, argue for using our minds in spiritual matters, and illuminate the many ways God guides us. Their chapter on the family discusses the vexed issue of authority. And they conclude with a look at the evidence, judgment, hope, joy and reward of faith.

In short, this book, now back in print due to ongoing demand, presents an integrated model for what human beings really are.


1. In the Likeness of God
2. The Biblical Framework and Two Alternatives
3. The Centrality of Christ
4. Active Obedience
5. The Holy Spirit and the Self: Sovereignty and Responsibility
6. Affirming the Self and Denying the Self
7. The Mind
8. Guidance
9. The Family
10. The Believer's Judgment




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Ranald Macaulay

Ranald Macaulay (MA, Cambridge University) is principal of the Cambridge Centre for Apologetics, an educational program of Christian Heritage. Formerly he worked with L'Abri Fellowship in England.

Barrs (M.Div., Covenant Seminary) heads the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.