Re: After Fundamentalism (was Destructive criticism of Christian apologists (was Denigrating...

Stephen Jones (
Wed, 03 Jun 1998 06:35:58 +0800


On Fri, 29 May 1998 19:47:29 -0400, Jim Bell wrote:

JB>Stephen Jones quotes Carl Henry:

SJ>Be that as it may, it is the ethico-religious fact about man which
>marks him off most conspicuously from the animals. Only an age
>secular in spirit could concentrate its interest in Homo on
>morphological structure seeking to understand man's origin and
>nature by focusing solely on prehuman and sub-human forms, then
>naming man for the brute, and finding his imago at last among the
>beasts. From the Hebrew-Christian viewpoint this course, by which
>man in a scientific age makes bestiality self-respecting, is but another
>chapter in his sophisticated revolt against God. If the cleft between
>Christianity and science is to be repaired, the theology of revelation
>will not ascribe to nature and nature's God any course disputed by the
>assured results of science, nor will science find man's dignity, and its
>own renown also, in anything inferior to thinking the Creator's
>thoughts after Him."

SJ>Wow. Is this from a letter that Henry sent to Glenn?

Maybe it's to all of us? Following Darwin, evolutionists have thought that
if they can show that man was derived from non-human predecessors,
then it follows that man is nothing more than a sophisticated animal.

Strangely enough, many creationists have bought this line, and try to
deny it by finding some unique characteristics in man that distance
him from the animals, and then assming that those characteristics must
be what constitutes the image of God.

But what the Bible says is that *the whole man* (and woman), was
made in the image and likeness of God (Gn 1:26,27; 5:1; 9:6). What
makes man (ie. Homo sapiens) qualitatively different from the animals is
that God has uniquely declared Him to be His image-bearer.

This can only be known if God tells us that it is so. This is not to say that
man is not unique, even on scientific criteria. But science could never
derive that man is in the image of God, purely by studying man. That's why
we need Special Revelation!

There is an interesting analogy to God's chosing Israel to be His people.
Israel was not the unique people of God because of any special quality
they possesed. Comparative Religion studies, usually following a theistic
naturalistic paradigm, find many similarities between Israel and other
religions, and conclude that all religions are valid. This seems analogous to
Glenn finding that all hominids and even apes must have the image of
God. But what made Israel uniquely different was that God *declared*
by Special Revelation Israel to be His people:

"The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you
were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.
But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your
forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from
the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt." (Dt 7:7-8) .

I do not claim that this analogy is perfect (Homo sapiens does have unique
qualities that set him apart from all other animals), but the basic underlying
principle that it is what God declares by Special Revelation that makes the
decisive difference, is the same in both cases.



"Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented."
--- Dr. William Provine, Professor of History and Biology, Cornell University.

Stephen E (Steve) Jones ,--_|\
3 Hawker Avenue / Oz \
Warwick 6024 ->*_,--\_/ Phone +61 8 9448 7439
Perth, West Australia v "Test everything." (1Thess 5:21)