Re: [asa] Introducing Sin (once again)

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Wed Oct 07 2009 - 15:07:21 EDT

Hi Keith,

I'm glad you raise this point of defining "human" as it's really critical at two levels;

First, it should be obvious that some traits we consider fundamental to our identity as "human" - and I'm thinking here particularly of language and all the physiologial, neurological, psychological, and social adaptations required in its development - simply don't allow of a clear _scientific_ delineation of the sort I think many people are hoping to discover.

Second, it needs to be acknowledged (as you do) that we are making reference to _scientific_ delineations here. Even with such delineations we are still no closer to answering the theological question as to the fundamental essence of humanity.

I don't know that I have anything more to add on the subject except to express my thanks for such concise expression of a fundamental issue which, in the discussion so far, remains by-and-large unaddressed.

PS. I like that you take "image of God" in relational terms as that, in my view, constitutes the primary theological message of the Genesis 2 story.


Keith Miller wrote:
> The question is whether it is appropriate to define "human" in
> biological terms, sociological terms, or something else.
> From a biblical perspective I think that the proper context is the
> meaning of the "image of God." I do not think that this has anything to
> do with biology, sociology, or even psychology. I understand the "image
> of God" as fundamentally relational. It has to do with our relationship
> to God, to one another, and to the rest of creation. It is these
> relationships with which the Bible is concerned, and it is these
> relationships that are damaged in the story of Adam and Eve's disobedience.
> Now it is entirely consistent with all scientific evidence to argue that
> God was revealed to a single pair of individuals to whom the "image" was
> imparted (who were first placed consciously in relationship to God.)
> This is not a position that I think is demanded of the text, nor one
> that I currently hold. However, it can be held without doing any
> violence to the scientific evidence. In this case there would be a
> first "human" in the theological sense.
> I really think that this is fundamentally a theological questions not a
> scientific one. That which makes us in the image of God is not
> something accessible to science - again, it is relational.
> Keith

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Received on Wed Oct 7 15:08:18 2009

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