Mar 23

Christ City Course | What is a Human?

News by Dr. Iain Provan

Christ City Church is partnering with Dr. Iain Provan, Retired Professor of Biblical Studies at Regent College and Founder of the Cuckoos Consultancy, to host a 4-week course called “What is a Human?” 

Here is some background on the course from Iain: 


Throughout the history of the Christian Church there have been moments of significant theological crisis. At all such moments considerable numbers of churchgoers, firmly embedded in their cultural contexts and comfortable with their “norms” of thought and practice, have displayed a disturbing propensity simply to “go with the prevailing culture.” They have done so either because they have failed to understand how seriously their culture stands at odds with orthodox Christian faith, or because they don’t care. In my judgment the Church today finds itself in the midst of another crisis. But the pressing question now is not “Who is Jesus?” (as it was in the fourth century), or “How can we be saved?” (as it was in the sixteenth). The pressing question is, “What is a human being?” 


In many communities that claim the name “Christian,” even among people who would be able to provide the right answers to the “Who is Jesus?” and “How can we be saved?” questions, we find no clarity when it comes to the question of humanness. In fact, it seems that many church members are currently deeply compromised in their understanding of what a properly Christian view of the human person is, and what this means. Their views on “anthropology”—which is the technical term for this area of theology—derive (in part or even substantially), not from Christian Scripture, but from other sources. And these ideas represent dangerous “cuckoos” in our Christian nest.


The European cuckoo does not raise its own young, but instead sneaks into another bird’s nest and deposits an egg that looks very much like the host’s eggs. The host goes on to raise the cuckoo chick believing that it is one of its own. Unfortunately the cuckoo is, from the moment of birth, an assassin. It goes around systematically pushing any other eggs or chicks out of the nest.  It grows as a consequence to two or three times the size of the original chicks. In all of this the cuckoo is a superb master of misdirection.  Unbiblical anthropological ideas are like cuckoo chicks in the Christian nest. They have been smuggled into it by birds whose natural habitat is elsewhere. They are foreign bodies in our nest, and they are a threat to the survival of the family…  They can “misdirect” us to our doom, such that the Church is no longer really the Church.


I have founded The Cuckoos Consultancy first, then, to help people who are serious about following Jesus Christ to understand how they should, as faithful Christians, answer the question, “What is a human being?,” and to comprehend what it means for how they live. My second purpose is to help equip these serious Christians to recognize the non-Christian roots of the powerful, competing ideas of “the human” that they encounter every day both in contemporary society and (unfortunately) in contemporary churches, and to have the courage to reject them. For especially when these unbiblical ideas are already embedded within a Christian community, they do damage to Christian faith and life.


Christ City Church is partnering with The Cuckoos Consultancy to host a 4-week course to answer the question, what is a human being?

Date: April 18 – May 9

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 P.M.

Location: 5887 Prince Edward Street

Cost: $20* (Cost includes the course plus a $20 subsidy for a pre-order of Iain’s upcoming book Cuckoos in our Nest: Truth and Lies about Being Human available in Fall 2023)

Structure: There will be a 45-minute talk followed by 45 minutes of Q&A with Dr. Provan. 


  1. What is a Human Being, and How Do We Know?
  1. What is a Human Being?  Biblical Fundamentals.
  1. What is a Human Being?  Implications.
  1.  What is a Human Being? Cuckoos in our Nest.

To learn more about Dr. Iain Provan and The Cuckoos Consultancy visit    

*We don’t want money to be a reason you can’t attend the course. If it is, please email