Made in the Image of God, but man fundamentally changed

heaven and earth

Dear hijas,

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1.1).

All things came into being by Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being (John 1:3).

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16).

We’ve been speaking to the question of the moral necessity, the second area of philosophical and religious thought. Specifically, in our last post, we found that the question of man’s cruelty to his fellow-man was not answered completely. We said that the personal answer of man being created in the image of God gives meaning and an absolute standard for man in terms of right and wrong because they are based on God’s character. We found that man is still cruel. We discovered though that man wasn’t made this way, but fundamentally changed himself. The question before us now, is how this happened.

The Judeo-Christian answer to the question of the moral necessity and man’s cruelty starts from Gen. 1:1 quoted above. The infinite-personal God of the universe created all else, including man, both male and female. Both man and woman and all of God’s created order was created perfect without sin; cruelty, jealousy, hatred, death, disease, corruption, any and all evil of any sort. At the end of God’s six-day creative work, He pronounced it ‘very good’. It was whole, complete, without flaw, just as the designer wanted it to be. So what happened?

Schaeffer puts it this way:

There was a space-time, historic change in man. There is a discontinuity and not a continuity in man. Man, made in the image of God and not programmed, turned by choice from his proper integration point at a certain time in history. When he did this, man became something that he previously was not, and the dilemma of man becomes a true moral problem rather than a metaphysical one. Man, at a certain point of history, changed himself, and hence stands, in his cruelty, in discontinuity with what he was, and we have a true moral situation: morals suddenly exist. Everything hangs upon the fact that man is abnormal now, in contrast to what he originally was (Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL, 1984).

This historic, space-time change in man is referred to as the Fall (see Gen. 3). Man fell from his original created perfection and is not what he once was. This abnormality explains man’s cruelty, his jealousy and hatred for others of his kind. It explains why man made in the image of God doesn’t mean that God is a bad God. It explains why man can be both noble and cruel at the same time.

So man is now abnormal from what he once was still means that he is abnormal still yet today, right? Man is not just metaphysically finite, but truly morally guilty. Can man get back to that state from where this turn happened? Is there a solution to take man back to where he once was before he became abnormal?

It is here, as Schaeffer describes, “that the substitutionary, propitiatory death of Christ is needed and fits in…we need a solution for our true moral guilt before the absolutely good God who is there.” That solution is Christ’s death and resurrection on our behalf.

Vaya con Dios mis hijas,

Dear ol’ Dad

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