“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Anthropology is the study of human beings and where they came from. As a scientific discipline, it has been led for decades by people with evolutionary presuppositions. There are many people within Christian churches – including many pastors – who do not think it matters what we believe about how human beings got here. What matters is the value that we place on humanity today.
The problem with such an attitude is that we need to know where our values come from. An atheist evolutionist can be understood when they believe that human life does not essentially have greater worth than that of an animal. After all, if we evolved from animals, we are basically the same as them. If our pet cat gives birth to too many kittens, we might not be too uncomfortable in disposing of the excess number of kittens, and so it should not be any more of a problem for us to do the same with babies. The reason why Christians – including those who believe in evolution – tend to find such comparisons abhorrent is because we get our values from the Bible.
But the Bible makes clear that our value as human beings is derived from our special creation. Genesis tells us that God simply spoke the animals into existence, but Adam was personally formed by God, who breathed into him to make him into a living spirit. Mankind is made imago dei – in the image of God. This level of value exists because Genesis speaks the literal truth about how humanity came to be.
Praise You, Lord God, for making people in Your image. Praise You that Your image gives us value above that of the animals. We praise You and thank You. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Ham, S. (2015), What is the Image of God?, < https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/what-is-image-of-god/ >, accessed 11/26/2017. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.