In the Image

Keith B Miller (
Fri, 31 May 1996 11:52:41 -0500


Thanks for your post and for joining the ASA listserve. I just want to
respond briefly to your comment below.

Belief in evolution meant, for me, that Christ's death CANNOT be
interpreted as a
>juridical transaction with a vengeful God, i.e., I no longer believe in the
>"substitionary atonement" theory. This was a drastic change, but seemed a
>logical consequence of the fact that there was no literal First Man in
>a Garden. Rather, the "Fall" and "Redemption" are to be understood in less
>literal, more psychological, and more spiritual terms.

I also fully accept the evolutionary origin of humanity (as do many on this
list) but did not come to the same theological conclusion as you. While I
believe tha account of the "Fall" is communicated in figurative and
metaphorical language, it is none-the-less true. We are truly fallen
beings who knew God but failed to worship Him as God, and through
disobedience corrupted our relationship with God, with other human beings,
and with creation itself. Our _positions_ as images of God was currupted.
Christ's substitutionary atonement paid the consequences for our
disobedience. Christ is the manifestation of God in the flesh and we now
are called to be conformed to His image.

Secondly, the evolutionary origin of humanity does not negate the
possibility of an historical Adam. I do not hold to the view of many on
this list that the appearance of God's image bearer should be recognizable
on the basis of physical or anthropological evidence. However, I believe
that God may have selected one individual to whom He would reveal Himself.
This is not unlike God's action throughout history in which He chose
specific individuals with whom to establish a special relationship.
Abraham was chosen to become the seed of God's chosen people, not because
of any unique characteristics or abilities.

Welcome again to the discussion.

In Christ:


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506