Schaeffer on Imago Dei

What differentiates Adam and Eve from the rest of creation? We find the answer in Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image….” What differentiates Adam and Eve from the rest of creation is that they were created in the image of God. For twentieth-century man this phrase, the image of God, is as important as anything in Scripture, because men today can no longer answer that crucial question, “Who am I?” In his own naturalistic theories, with the uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system, with an evolutionary concept of a mechanical, chance parade from the atom to man, man has lost his unique identity. As he looks out upon the world, as he faces the machine, he cannot tell himself from what he faces. He cannot distinguish himself from other things…

It is on the basis of being made in the image of God that everything is open to man. Suddenly, personality does not slip through my fingers. I understand the possibility of fellowship and of personality. I understand that because I am made in the image of God and because God is personal, both a personal relationship with God and the concept of fellowship as fellowship has validity…

Furthermore, if we are made in the image of God, we are not confused as to the possibility of communication; and we are not confused concerning the possibility of revelation, for God can reveal propositional truth to me as I am made in his image. Finally (as theologians have long pointed out), if man is made in the image of God, the Incarnation, though it has mysteries, is not foolishness. The Incarnation is not irrational as it surely is if man sees himself as only the finite in face-to-face relationship with a philosophic other. – Francis A. Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time, 46-48

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