Re: What identifies a human? (DNA? Artifacts? ....)

Dick Fischer (
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 14:26:50 -0600

Bill Hamilton wrote:

>It could be claimed that Genesis 2:7 teaches that God did something in the
>spiritual realm to change the man he had made from just a product of an
>evolutionary process He had set in place earlier to a spiritual being.

There can be little question that the "man" created in Gen. 2:7 is Adam
persona, not evolved "mankind." And if so, then he was not a product of
an evolutionary process just as you suggest.

>If this is accepted, then the only test of whether a creature is human is a
>spiritual question and beyond our capabilities as humans. That being the
>case I am inclined to give Glenn's hominids the benefit of the doubt and
>accept them as men carrying the image and likeness of God.

It is clear that Adam had the "image and likeness." It is unspoken as
regards early man. In earlier posts I've expressed what I feel is a common
misunderstanding as to what it means to be in God's "image." I understand
this to mean that Adam was a representative. Early men were unaccountable
to God and thus not in the image.

In Leviticus 26:1, the children of Israel were told to make "no idols nor
graven image." Idols themselves can become objects of worship, obscuring
the one true God who accepts worship directly. "The image of Baal"
(II Kings 3:2) was an object of pagan worship, being a representation of
that false deity.

In Genesis 1:27, Adam represented God, having been "created in His own
image." This status was passed through the godly line of Seth (Gen. 5:3).
Noah and his generations were God's chosen people, and thus were "in the
image" (Gen. 9:6). This status as representatives of God was conferred
upon the Israelites through the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 17:1-8).

Apparently, those outside the nation of Israel were outside the realm of
accountability. This can be inferred from Matthew 23:15, "Woe unto you
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make
one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of
hell than yourselves."

When one outside the Jewish faith was brought to the knowledge of God, he
became accountable. Because of false teaching, he was condemned. This
unique status for Israel as God's chosen people was rescinded, or at least
modified, at the cross. Christ was appointed by God as His representative.
The second Adam, Christ, was in the "image of God" (II Cor. 4:4) just as
the first Adam, and the mantle was passed to the followers of Christ.

In I Corinthians 11:7, Paul's instructions were not to unregenerate men,
but to the redeemed of the church at Corinth. According to Paul, they
were in "the image and glory of God." They received this authority as
believers in Christ, "who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn
of every creature" (Col. 1:15). IMHO fallen man has no claim to God's
image unless he receives it through redemption.

Our claim to being in His image is on the righteousness of Christ, not by
any birth right, lest any man should boast. "For my thoughts are not your
thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord" (Isa. 55:8).

Dick Fischer