Introducing the Being Human lens

A new way of seeing who we are and the world we live in

Many of us use figurative lenses to view the world. Like a political lens that views the world in terms of left and right. Or an economic lens that views the world in relation to finance, trade and market forces. Or a feminist lens that views the world in terms of patriarchy and dominance. But unlike these, the Being Human lens helps enlarge our vision. The point is not the lens itself, rather we see through the lens to examine the cultural stories forming and shaping our humanity today. But it is more than an exercise in analysis. The lens also helps us to see that there is a more compelling vision of what it is to be human available to us all. 

At the centre of the Being Human lens is that focal point question: what does it mean to be human? Christianity is a deep revelation about how all of reality, including we ourselves as human beings, exist in God. But it is more than a revelation. It is an invitation to the new humanity found in Jesus, an invitation to truly good and beautiful significance, connection, presence and participation. 

  1. Significance – you matter. To be human is to search for significance and meaning in our contested culture. Through this aspect of the lens, we can explore the source of our significance, looking at what it means to know and be known and how this impacts our understanding of identity, dignity and equality. 
  2. Connection – we matter to each other. To be human is to crave connection in a world of self-centredness and fear and anxiety. Through the connection aspect, we can explore our desire to love and be loved, looking at relationships, justice and peace. 
  3. Presence – it matters that you are here, now. Every human being is called to be present to each other and to the world. This aspect helps us understand how the importance of bodies, the places we inhabit, and the time we are living in shape us as human beings. 
  4. Participation – the difference we make matters. To be human is to make a difference, to leave a legacy, to have an impact. Here we examine how power and freedom in Jesus leads us to fulfill our purpose.  

The Being Human lens is designed to help us explore the fullness of what it means to be human. To understand what Jesus was offering when He declared, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

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