Re: Social problems and evolution

Dick Fischer (
Sun, 01 Mar 1998 13:27:52 -0600

Russell wrote:

>2. Image. It seems to me that we cannot understand Christ's restoration of
>the image of God in men and women unless we realize that the need for
>restoration arose when Adam and Eve, having been given that image, sinned
>and therefore broke that image. I like the "relation" idea that has been
>suggested (as I mentioned in an earlier post), provided we understand that
>"image" is not equivalent to relation, but that the relations we have--to
>God, to Creation, to each other--are made _possible_ because we possess
>that image.

>3. Genesis 1 and 2 and pre-Adamic image bearers. If Christ restores the
>broken image (Paul) and, also according to Paul, Christ restores what Adam
>broke, then what happens to the theory that there were pre-Adamic image
>bearers? Also, is it correct (as Glen maintains) that Dick Fischer's theory
>divides the human race in two? I admit I'm probably guilty of not studying
>the claims re pre-Adamites carefully enough.

I agree that we do seem to misunderstand what is meant by the phrase
"image of God." We want to believe that we, His creations, are somehow
reflective of the Creator, that we possess to a small degree god-like
qualities. Yet we read: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither
are your ways my ways, saith the Lord" (Isa. 55:8). Also, wanting to be
like God was Satan's problem. I think a less grandiose translation is
in order.

The native Americans in the Southwest built totem poles as objects of
worship. They knew the totems were not gods, but they desired having
something they could see, that was tangible. An "image" is a likeness
or representation of something. 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, a representation of Baal. They knew the alters were not
Baal, but served as a medium of sorts by which they could worship a god
they could not see.

In Genesis 1:27, Adam represented God, having been "created in His own
image." Yes, the King James translators rendered the hebrew 'adam as
"man," but read Genesis 5:1-3. From the parallels I think we can see
that the man in Gen. 1:27 was the father of Seth in Gen. 5.

This status was passed through the godly line of Seth. 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). Fallen man has no claim to
God's image, in my estimation, unless he receives it through redemption.

Therefore, we should not expect to see "image bearers" before Adam
who appeared around 7000 BC. It was Adam's responsibility to bring
the heathen into accountability, not to people the planet. Adam, in
my humble opinion, was the first man of the covenant, an ambassador
for God, not the first of our species.

Dick Fischer