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About the Book

Table of Contents

Part I

Part II

Part III


Part V

Part VI

Part VII



Part III: The Terms "Image" and "Likeness" aas Used in Genesis 1:26

Chapter 2

The Image Lost

     IF WE LIMIT "manhood," by definition, to those alone who bear the image of God, in what light are we to consider those who do not bear this image? If they do not belong within the kingdom of God, they do not strictly belong within the kingdom of Nature either. Then what exactly is their relationship (1) to Nature, and (2) to God? In a very real sense history demonstrates that man has tended in a destructive manner to exploit Nature for his own selfish ends, and most creatures fear man once they have come to know him, so that he may properly be said to be at enmity with Nature. Man is aggressive. A recent symposium on the subject of aggression included a number of papers dealing in various ways with the parallelism (or lack of it) between human aggression and aggression within or between other species. Speaking of the latter, James Fisher observed: (7)

     Except for the relationship of predator to prey, which does not fall within the definition of aggression, animals are usually tolerant of other species even if they share the same food spectrum.

     D. I. Wallis, speaking of social insects, said that aggressive behaviour was part of the mechanism by which the colony was maintained. Thus, true "aggression" is either virtually absent from other species than man or it acts as a preservative of the species. With man the situation is very different, and in summarizing the symposium, the authors wrote as follows: (8)

     The irrefutable and terrifying history of overt aggression appears to be essentially human [my emphasis]: animals display aggressive attitudes which may have a survival value but under natural conditions, they do

7. Carthy, J. D. and F. J. Elbing, reporting a symposium on "The Natural History of Aggression," held at British Museum in October, 1963. See Nature, Jan. I l, 1964, p.129, quoting J. Fisher and D. I. Wallis.
8. Ibid., p.131.

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not fight to the death with members of their own species; aggression is ritualized so that little damage is done.
     Man's beastliness is not of the beast [again, my emphasis]; to the anthropologist and the historian, human overt aggression may seem normal, but seen against the background of the animal kingdom, from a point of view which cannot be avoided by the biologist, it appears pathological.

     This hostile spirit, already directed so widely outside himself, is even turned within his own species with potential violence enough to bring about its complete destruction.
     And in spite of his propensities for religion, the Bible says that man is even at enmity with God. If man evolved by purely natural processes, then his present character is indeed a strange one. Let us consider these two relationships separately, first his relationship to Nature, and then his relationship to God. The consideration must be brief though it is an enormous subject -- indeed, the whole of human history -- but the object here is only to underscore the significance, as we see it, of the image of God in Man and the cost of losing it.
     If man has merely evolved "out of" Nature, then in spite of his enmity towards it and the unhappy abuse it has suffered so frequently at his hands, his behaviour must be viewed merely as unfortunate rather than unnatural. Yet even evolutionists are hard put to explain this circumstance. Wood Jones
(9) remarked upon the strange "fact" that evolution's final creative triumph should have been the emergence of her "arch-destroyer." Strange indeed. . . . However, most people believe firmly that the theory of evolution has been demonstrated so clearly that however difficult it may be to account for man by natural processes, we must still assume that the difficulty is merely due to our ignorance of the mechanism. Man has indeed a more complex central nervous system and this could be the reason for his behaviour, but the complexity is in degree, not in kind, and occurred by quite natural processes. In time the efficiency of the process of natural selection will prove itself, as it always has, either by a change in man for the good or by a change in Nature brought about by his manipulative abilities. The tensions between the two will disappear. At least, this is the tune that is being whistled in the dark, and the less learned take heart from the whistlers with what is, after all, merely an optimistic alternative to an older and out-moded humanism.
     Nevertheless, when we descend to a more detailed examination of the discontinuities between man and Nature, we discover many profound and unbridgeable gaps. As a result, we find ourselves in the

9. Jones, F. Wood, Trends of Life, Arnold, London, 1953, p.18.

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awkward position that the more research we do, the more evident the chasm becomes. The only way to salvage the theory seems to be to call a halt to further research! As we shall see, this has happened with regard to the origin of human speech. Although this situation tends to be more obvious when man is considered psychologically rather than physiologically, it is nevertheless true even with respect to his body. For in many ways man's physiological constitution is second-rate when contrasted with that of the animals. This impression has always been shared by primitive people who have looked with envy upon the animals as enjoying what appeared to them vastly superior vitality and far greater wisdom than themselves. The wisdom of animals has not, however, escaped the notice of civilized man either, and indeed one of the major problems for evolutionary philosophers is to account for that fantastic built-in guidance system which we call "instinct" and which all animals appear to have except man. That man lacks instincts, (10) even at the most basic levels of existence, is now generally agreed by students of the subject. So we have here a very basic difference which sets man apart by himself. Evolutionary theory has neither been able to account for the presence of instincts in animals, many of which are so complex as to be almost beyond complete description, nor for its absence in man. It is strange indeed that man who is the climax of an evolutionary process has somehow lost virtually every vestige of a faculty which serves the rest of Nature so perfectly except, of course, where man has interfered.
     But while unredeemed man alone thus exhibits this lack, on the contrary, man alone in Nature has the power of speech. This, then, is a second distinguishing mark which sets him apart from all other creatures. Although, inspired by Darwinism, endless attempts have been made for many, many years to establish an evolutionary origin of speech from animal cries, and although popular statements in the press and elsewhere contribute to the general confusion by speaking loosely but quite improperly of animal "language," the experts in the field know that the problem remains totally without illumination: the hiatus is still absolute. Indeed, Susanne Langer, (11) no mean authority in this, has observed that all theorizing to date has been so futile as to

10. Instinct: for a useful but brief summary, see H. J. S. Guntrip, "The Bearing of Recent Development in Psycho-analysis on the Psychology of Religion," Transactions of the Victpria Institute, vol.85, p.71. Also, see Max Schoen, "Instinct and Man," Scientific Monthly, June, 1929, pp.531-538. He wrote, "In fact, the standard of criterion for instinct, namely, an act common to a species and somewhat perfect on first appearance, is inapplicable to human behaviour."
11. Langer, Susanne, Philosophy in a New Key, Mentor Books, New American Library, 1952, pp.88. "The problem is so baffling," she wrote, "that it is no longer considered respectable."

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render the subject of the origin of speech an indecent one to bring up in any serious conversation. Here, then, is the impasse: more research, less light! It is as Hallowell observed, (12) while it would be very nice to build up an argument by easy stages, the total effect of which would seem to complete the bridge, "it is foolhardy to allow our desire for parsimony to cause us to overlook persisting differences."
     In the Doorway Paper, "Who Taught Adam to Speak?" we have explored this problem and do not intend to repeat here what has been already said. But it is important to underscore the fact that most students of human nature are prepared to admit that it is man's ability to communicate his thoughts which has given rise to the whole fabric of civilization. And while evolutionists have tried to persuade themselves that the power stems merely from a faculty suddenly acquired, perhaps by a mutation occurring in an otherwise normal animal, Grace de Laguna disagreed: (13)

     Man's rationality is not a higher faculty added to, or imposed upon, his animal nature. On the contrary, it pervades his whole being and manifests itself in all that he does as well as in what he believes and thinks.

     It would seem not unreasonable to assume that the achievement of humanhood and of the power of speech were synonymous, and that speech was therefore not an acquisition of man but co-terminous with him.
     Man's conscious use of speech to express his thoughts allows him to reflect upon his own thinking in a unique way, and reinforces self-consciousness. Whatever else Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
(14) may not have said, he undoubtedly was correct when he wrote that "we are separated from the animal world by a chasm"; and he continued, "Because we are reflective, we are not only different, but quite other. It is not a matter of change of degree, but of a change of nature resulting from a change of state."
     It would appear from thoughts such as these that the study of animal psychology has severe limitations in shedding light upon human behaviour. This is as Ralph Linton said,
(15) animals develop more complex social behaviour only as an aid to survival whereas man does exactly the opposite, constantly endangering his own survival by the very same process. The starving Australian will not eat his totem animal though it may be the only remaining source of food. The

12. Hallowell, A. Irving, "Self, Society, and Culture in Phylogenetic Perspective," in Evolution After Darwin, edited by Sol Tax, University Chicago Press, 1960, vol.2 p.360.
13. de Laguna, Grace, "Culture and Rationality," American Anthropologist, vol.51, 1949, p.380.
14. Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre, The Phenomenon of Man, Collins, London, 1959, p.l66.
15. Linton, Ralph. The Study of Man, Appleton-Century, New York, 1936, pp.86, 87.

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Chukchee will not cook in a boat, so -- by a chain of circumstances -- he cannot hunt whales. The Pawnee refused to fight if carrying certain sacred objects, and were invariably slaughtered. Cattle in India rob the natives -- who have less than enough to begin with -- but they dare not restrain them. The Jews in Jerusalem refused to defend themselves on the Sabbath day with dire consequences to themselves. And we spend our meager resources in embalming the dead, to the detriment of the living. One Australian native community made its marriage laws so complex that they reached an impasse: nobody could get married to any living person. Yet in spite of this tendency toward absurdity in social behaviour, man has succeeded in continually adding to and modifying the sum total of human behaviour patterns in a way which the animals never do. Ruth Benedict (16) pointed out that if you killed off all the ants in the world except two, these two if they survived could probably in time recover for their species all the intricate patterns of ant behaviour which had momentarily been lost. But if you killed off all human beings except two, even though they survived, 99.99 percent of all civilization probably would be lost. For this reason, Humphrey J. T. Johnson (17) said that there is a wider difference "between a man and a gorilla than between a gorilla and a daisy." The gorilla is as incapable as the daisy of creating civilization. Adriaan Kortlandt, (18) writing about the life of chimpanzees in the wild, made this observation:

     For many years the great apes were studied in the hope of tracing some aspects of man's evolution from them, since their behavior was considered to represent a more primitive stage than others. Gradually, however, as it has been realized that man and ape represent diverging branches stemming from a remote intermediate ancestor, the emphasis has changed. The main problem of primate research today is to explain why the great apes did not become more nearly human than they did.

      The assumption here is, to my mind, a false one to begin with. The question being asked, "What stopped the chimpanzees?" is a "negative" one, whereas it should be a more positive one, "What happened that man appeared on the scene as such a completely different creature?" The miracles which evolutionists are willing to believe in are very substantial, but they cannot believe in the sudden appearance of an entirely new order of life. Yet they have to admit that this is what seems to have happened, for there is simply no bridge from human behaviour back to primate behaviour which will stand up to the mass of research

16. Benedict, Ruth, Patterns of Culture, Mentor Books, New York, 1934, p.11.
17. Johnson, Humphrey J. T., quoted by P. G. Fothergill in Nature, Feb.4, 1961, p.341.
18. Kortlandt, Adriaan, "Chimpanzees in the Wild," Scientific American, May, 1962, p.133.

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increasingly being undertaken with the purpose of describing the bridge, but which is in fact destroying the possibility of it piecemeal.
     Psychologically, then, there appear to be real differences in kind, not merely in degree. But even physiologically it is found that man is constituted differently from other animals in certain critical aspects. For example, one of the most important factors in the maintenance of normal physical well-being of any warm-blooded animal (and man is one of these) is the achievement of a body temperature stabilized within a quite narrow range. It might be supposed that man and the other mammals do so by the same physiological processes. Research over the past fifty years has demonstrated increasingly that this is not the case at all, even in those animals supposedly nearest to man, evolution-wise.
     One of the best known students of this matter of thermal equilibrium is J. D. Hardy, who a few years ago undertook a series of exploratory experiments with a view to elucidating the problem of temperature homeostasis. Assuming that the primates, which are supposed to be nearest to man, ought to be used for experiments directed towards shedding light on humans, he conducted a pilot study using monkeys. Subsequently, when summing up the negative results of this study, he said:

     In summary, although the monkey was selected originally for this type of experimentation because it was hoped that its physiology in respect to temperature regulation might be nearer to man than that of the domestic cat or dog, it would seem that the monkey does not simulate man in its method of regulating body temperature. In particular, the cebus monkey is not a good experimental animal for bridging the gap between the data available on man and that available on animals.

     It may seem that this is of little consequence because, after all, temperature regulation is only one of many physiological functions. However, this regulation is of greater importance as one rises higher in the scale of central nervous system complexity. The brain in man is very subject to damage in this respect. But in any case, the more the situation is explored, the more complicated it becomes, for other factors -- other physiological functions -- become involved, in which man's uniqueness is once more underscored.
    When man cannot eliminate excess body heat, from exercise or food, etc., by radiation loss (and this happens in many ordinary life situations), he must lose it by the evaporation of sweat. Man sweats

19. Hardy, J. D., "Summary Review of Heat Loss and Heat Production" in Physiologic Temperature Regulation, U.S. Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville, Pennsylvania, NADC--MA-5413, Oct., 1954, p.12.

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freely enough, but what about animals? Isn't the sweating of horses much the same? The evidence shows that it is not at all the same. In spite of appearances to the contrary, Rothman, (20) one of the greatest authorities, concludes that "functionally, animal sweat glands are certainly not comparable to human eccrine glands . . . and do not take part in systemic heat regulation." The sweating of domestic animals, such as horses and cattle, has been shown again and again to be of an entirely different kind, involving structurally different glands and contributing virtually nothing to the cooling of the animal, all appearances to the contrary.
     In man the activity of sweat glands is not an isolated phenomenon but is an effective cooling mechanism because peripheral blood circulation is enormously (and automatically) increased, so that deep body heat is transported to the surface where it will be removed most effectively by the chilled skin; and at the same time the skin itself, by the greater fluid content, becomes a far better heat conductor to aid the process. Rothman points out that relative to animals, the range of cutaneous blood flow in man is remarkably great and that comparable thermal regulatory vasomotor adjustments are not found in any other animal. Indeed, another noted authority from England, O. G. Edholm, remarked recently: (21)

     The slow progress in our understanding of the mechanisms in human skin is due in part to the necessary limitations of the experimental techniques to relatively non-injurious procedure. Furthermore, the differences in the vasomotor innervation in the skin of man and animals have proved to be particularly striking.

     Though it is not generally recognized, man's skin is probably the largest organ of his body. It is no small matter, then, that he has such a unique outer shell.
     It should be observed in the light of all this that man is, as Douglas Lee put it,
(22) "supreme as a homeotherm." What this does for man is to make him truly ubiquitous. In combination with a vastly superior mental equipment, it allows him to settle in every part of the world successfully from the equator to the poles. Only those animals which he has domesticated and by years of breeding selected for certain characteristics, can share this ubiquity -- chiefly the dog. By nature it is not true of any other warm-blooded animal, although some have a wide

20. Rothman, Stephen, "Physiology and Biochemistry of the Skin," University Chicago Press, 1954, p.166.
21. Edholm, O. G. and R. H. Fox, "Peripheral Circulation in Man," British Medical Journal, vol.19, 1963, p.110-114.
22. Lee, Douglas H. K., "Heat and Cold," Annual Review of Physiology, vol.10, 1948, p.368.

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range by hibernation or other such responses. These animals could never, of course, conquer the environment, they merely yield to it successfully. Man alone is capable of "having dominion over the earth," and in no small measure this is because he is physiologically distinct from the rest of the animal creation.
     It hardly explains anything to say glibly that he merely evolved into this superior position, because the physiological changes are both numerous and interdependent, and to offer him any advantage initially they would all have to occur at the same time. Moreover, thermal sweating in man is a parasympathetic response, whereas in animals it is a sympathetic response; and these two, the parasympathetic and the sympathetic, are in apposition (indeed, often in antagonism) to one another. It is difficult to see how this complete turnabout could occur by a long slow process.
     As already stated, this is one small area of research which has brought out differences where they were not expected. There are countless other areas, equally unexpected, where the same uniqueness comes to light. For example, racists have firmly believed that if you can improve a breed of horses, cattle, or dogs, one could logically do the same with man. But, as George Dorsey has pointed out
(23) evidence shows that about all you could do by similar breeding techniques would be to produce a race of human beings with the following traits: bald, fat, short legs, six fingers, webbed fingers, near-sighted, deaf and dumb, feeble-minded, curly-haired, cataract, albino, and a few others. In the case of humans, virtually all in-breeding produces undesirable results. This is so true, in fact, as history goes to show, (24) that nations which boast of a comparatively pure stock have contributed little to the advancement of culture, and in-bred groups in isolated communities have shown a high incidence of imbecility and deaf-mutism. Just occasionally have brother-sister marriages proved to be exceptionally successful, and when this has occurred in the past, the societies in which they appeared have accorded them superior status. In Hawaii, they became chiefs; in Peru, the same applied to the Inca ruling houses; in Egypt, we meet the same situation in the case of the Ptolemies and Cleopatra. It may be noted in the last instance that Cleopatra's brother was anything but a noble specimen, a clear indication that luck was running out from a genetic point of view.

23. Dorsey, George A., Why We Behave Like Human Beings, Blue Ribbon Books, New York, 1925, p.116.
24. Kretschmer, Ernst, Geniale Menschen, Berlin, 1929, quoted by F. Weidenrich, Apes Giants, and Man, University of Chicago Press, 1948, p.90.

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     But it should still be emphasized that these few illustrations are representative only of the total evidence and barely skim the surface. In another Doorway Paper (25) a very greatly enlarged list of significant quotations reinforcing the chasm between man and the animals will be found, quoting from some two hundred sources, even if one limits oneself for the most part to structural and functional differences. It is easy to be misled by popular statements. The factual data do not support such statements, as Alex Novikoff wrote in Science a few years ago (26)

     The study of animal behaviour can not be a substitute for the study of man's behaviour. As we establish the likeness in behaviour of animals and man, we must simultaneously investigate the fundamental qualitative differences between them. Except in certain pathological conditions, man's behaviour is as unique as the organs which he, alone of all animals, possesses: thought, speech, labour (i.e., creative) are impossible without a highly developed brain and hand. It is his unique biological constitution which makes possible the development of truly social relations among men. Many investigators studying the integrated animal populations, the so-called societies of animals, appear to have overlooked the fact that animal societies never rise above the biological level, that only man's society is truly sociological.
     Any one who has tried to teach biological change to college students knows the barriers to learning which have been created by the identification of animals with men throughout the student's life-time.

     Having said all this, it is very important at the same time, and in order to keep the record straight, to acknowledge freely that the use of animals in physiological and medical research is clearly justified by the enormous advances which have accrued from such substitute experiments. Quite apart from the immediate practical benefits from this research, very great gains have also been made in our general understanding of living processes from the purely scientific point of view. This might seem to negate much of what has been said above. But not really, because there is a difference between making use of the findings of research from animal experiments, and equating man with the animals, as though he were merely one of them with some added "factor," the loss of which makes him revert simply to an animal stage. However much physiological research demonstrates that the functionings of man's body are very similar (though not identical) with other animal bodies in so far as many organs are concerned, it would be a fatal mistake to equate man with other animals, as though he were

25. "Is Man An Animal? ", Part V in Evolution or Creation?, vol.4 in The Doorway Papers Series.
26. Novikoff, Alex. S., "The concept of Integrative Levels and Biology," Science, Mar.2, 1945, p.212.

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merely a group of physiological functions. The whole man is much more than the sum of his parts.
     It is only the rank materialism of our times, strongly reinforced by evolutionary thinking, which makes it so tempting for people to assume that if we once understood man's physiology completely we would understand man completely.
     Even the psychologists have more and more frequently tended to adopt this line of reasoning, so that psychology increasingly becomes merely a branch of physiology and the tools of its research are largely borrowed from the physiologists.
(27) With materialists, man has tended gradually to lose his "mind." It is becoming merely an electro-chemical organ. And with psychologists, in spite of the root meaning of the word, man has tended to lose his "soul."
     This process of identifying things which are merely similar is highly unsound and can lead to ridiculous conclusions. Admittedly, an animal may be much more like a man than a piece of wood is. But, and here is the important point, if man was made in the image of God, and is therefore related to God as a son is to a father, and this in a way which no other animal is, or if he at least still retains the potential to become a child of God, then in actual fact the piece of wood and the animal are more alike than the animal and man. For they have neither the potential nor the realization of this unique relationship with God. They are, in fact, in a very real sense merely "things." The wood and the animal are in one category and man is in an entirely different category. In so far as we have in view redeemed man, it is no longer meaningful to say that he is an animal. We can only speak of him as an animal if we choose deliberately to ignore what actually makes him a man. By emphasizing what he shares with the animals, we are easily deceived into making an equation which in fact ignores all that they do not share, and what is not shared does not merely make a difference but all the difference in the world.
     Having given some thought to the relationship of unredeemed man to Nature, we now turn to the second part of the opening question, his relationship to God. He is neither naturally a child of God nor an animal, for both these classes of creatures still belong within His kingdom. He is not within the kingdom because the laws of that kingdom are not written within his heart. Yet the loss of the Imago Dei does not revert him merely to an animal stage, for the very significant

27. Psychology versus Physiology: at a recent symposium on psychiatric education it was actually proposed that medical schools in undergraduate courses combine psychology with the physiology course in the form of neuropsychology. See P. J. Crawford "Undergraduate Medical Psychology," British Medical Journal, May 4, 1963, p.1237. 

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reason that he has not surrendered the potential of its re-creation within him, a potential which no mere animal ever has. Indeed, the possession of such a potential must in the final analysis always constitute the grounds upon which the true "humanness" of a creature is to be determined. And it therefore becomes purely an academic exercise to discuss whether such a creature as Zinjanthropus was human or not, merely on the basis of bone structure, brain size, head form, or associated cultural artifacts.
    Having therefore a division within the species Homo sapiens, on the one side of which will be those who have the unrealized potential for the image of God, and on the other side of which are all those in whom the potential has been realized, we need a simple way, a word or a phrase, to distinguish them. For purposes of simplicity, we may call the first "true man" and the second "pseudo-man." The assumption being made here, then, is that only when a man is born again does he achieve true manhood, since only then does he bear the image of God by its re-creation within him. Scripture recognizes this in a rather interesting way. For speaking of aggregates of men, it tells us that those who "were not truly people" will after their conversion become "people" in the true sense (see 1 Peter 2:10).
     We have, then, three orders of living creatures: animals, pseudo-men, and men. And that which sets apart the last two from the first is wrapped up in the word image. Pseudo-man has the potential for bearing the image of God but in the meantime bears only the image of fallen Adam (Genesis 5:3). True man has had the Imago Dei creatively restored. Pseudo-man bears a relationship to God as a creature to his Creator just as the animals do, although in his case the relationship is often a very conscious one. Yet with this consciousness, there comes also a sense of uncertainty, which sometimes takes the form of hope and sometimes the form of fear.
     The uncertainty which accompanies all such relationships is twofold: First, as to whether God, as Judge, is benevolent or demanding. Second, whether the relationship is in any sense a personal one, in which the individual himself can be of any consequence. God Himself could either be impersonal or so great a Personage as to have no direct concern with puny individuals in such an enormous universe. It is these uncertainties which lend to all natural religions their strange admixture of doubt and hope. But once the image has been restored, uncertainty disappears. The relationship of creature to Creator becomes the much more satisfying and directly personal one of son to Father. Indeed, if there is one single question which a man may ask himself who is uncertain as to whether he is a Christian or not -- who cannot  

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with assurance recall any specific spiritual experience by which to mark a point of re-creation -- it is this, "Do I think of God and address Him as my Father?" It is not a question of repeating the Lord's Prayer sincerely, in which one unites with others in saying, "Our Father. . . ." It is a question of saying to God personally, "My Father." As Paul said in writing to the Christians in Rome, "The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God . . . whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8:16, 15; also Galatians 4:6).
     This explains a number of passages which, taken together, might superficially appear to be contradictory. In John 14:6 Jesus said, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by me." But the tenor of Scripture in many other places is that man, even in his ignorance and unredeemed state, makes contact with God. Cornelius did so before becoming a Christian (Acts 10:4). This led Peter to conclude, as he says in Acts 10:35, that "in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." In view of many other passages of Scripture which clearly limit "acceptance" in the New Testament sense to those who have experienced salvation by full faith in the full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ alone, this passage has at times caused consternation. It should be remembered, however, that it is a statement made before the New Testament was written, and it must, therefore, be understood in its Old Testament setting. Acceptance with God was enjoyed by many who did not belong in the household of faith (Israel) in the sense that, like Nebuchadnezzar, they accepted the fact of God's omnipotence and direct righteous concern in human affairs and, having acknowledged this, were "accepted." Thus Nebuchadnezzar was restored to health and the city of Nineveh was spared destruction because of its repentance. This, then, gives some indication of the potential for pseudo-man before God. And the writer of Hebrews pointed out (Hebrews 11:6) that the only requirement here is that a man must believe that God is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
     What distinguishes the Christian from the otherwise devout is that the former has a perfect assurance that God is his Father, whereas the latter has only the awareness that God is his Judge. No man steps from the one position to the other except by being born again through faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Without this saving faith, he may still turn to God as Creator and Judge and find that God is indeed reachable and merciful. But he cannot turn to God as Father. No man, no matter how devout he is, can go to God as Father except through the Person of Jesus Christ.
     Yet Scripture indicates that God is gracious towards the just and

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the unjust, indeed that He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life (John 3:16). The very wording of this wonderful passage indicates that the love of God preceded and is not therefore dependent upon the response of man. If we love God, it is because He first loved us (I John 4:19). God's attitude is underscored in the words, "My delights are with the sons of men" (Proverbs 8:31) -- not merely with the sons of God, be it observed.
     Thus unredeemed man is put in a very strange position. While he may have no thought of God in his heart, it is not at all true that God has no thought of him. Alienated man is alien, not because God has turned away from him, but because he himself has turned away from God. Unredeemed man may still turn to God in prayer and have his prayers answered, as I found for some years before I became a Christian. But without the restored image there is no assurance, no assurance of salvation, no assurance of anything. Alien to God, alien to Nature, alien even to true manhood as God intended it to be -- such is the condition of man without the image.

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Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

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