Re: Ape talk

George Murphy (
Mon, 02 Mar 1998 09:39:25 -0500

Charles Cairns wrote:
> Hello Russell,
> I wrote in part:
> >> What is the image of God, and how do you know that those who...
> >>
> >> >...buried their dead, carried out crude
> >> >surgergies, and all the rest...
> >>
> >> ...did not possess that image?
> And you wrote in part in reply:
> >The image of God is not identified by, nor does it consist of, some bundle
> >of behaviors, such as burying the dead, etc. It was given to Adam and Eve
> >and their descendants. Paul said that Christ restores that image in his
> >people. So, if you want identification, consider that it is something which
> >requires restoration by Christ. Not tool-making, not building of huts, not
> >burying the dead, but rather sin is that which requires redemption.
> I guess I should probably bail out here, Russ. I was hoping to strike up a
> thread on the image of God, but I see you are restricting its presence to
> Adam and Eve and their decendents. I don't believe Adam and Eve were real,
> except as spiritual metaphors, and therefore I would expect we'd define the
> image of God quite differently. Those folks who posessed "bundles" of human
> behavior also possessed, I believe, that image, and were accountable for
> general revelation insofar as they were able, just as was every other
> culture that was deprived of the message of Christ.

Let me suggest again that an understanding of the image of God
is not best gotten at by talking about Adam & Eve (even if they were
historical figures, we know virtually nothing about them) or the
restoration of the image through Christ (true as that is). Rather, we
should begin with belief that Christ IS the image of God - not only the
pre-incarnate 2d Person of the Trinity ("unfleshed logos") but the
_incarnate_ Word, Jesus of Nazareth. That is the one to whom we have to
look to see not only who restores genuine humanity but what genuine
humanity IS.

George L. Murphy