Info

makes it impossible for him to hold here that Adam was possessed of moral likeness to God. The origin of his view of the image of God renders it liable to suspicion. Pfleiderer, Grundriss, 313 ? ?The original state of man was that of childlike innocence or morally indifferent naturalness, which had in itself indeed the possibility ( Anlage ) of ideal development, but in such a way that its realization could be reached only by struggle with its natural opposite. The image of God was already present in the original state, but only as the possibility ( Anlage ) of real likeness to God ? the endowment of reason which belonged to human personality. The reality of a spirit like that of God has appeared first in the second Adam and has become the principle of the kingdom of God.?

Raymond (Theology, 2:43,132) is an American representative of the view that the image of God consists in mere personality: ?The image of God in which man was created did not consist in an inclination and determination of the will to holiness.? This is maintained upon the ground that such a moral likeness to God would have rendered it impossible for man to fall ? to which we reply that Adam?s righteousness was not immutable, and the basis of his will toward God did not render it impossible for him to sin. Motives do not compel the will, and Adam at least had a certain power of contrary choice. E. G. Robinson, Christ. Theology, 119-122, also maintains that the image of God signified only that personality which distinguished man from the brute. Christ, he says, carries forward human nature to a higher point, instead of merely restoring what is lost. ?Very good? ( <010131>Genesis 1:31) does not imply moral perfection ? this cannot be the result of creation, but only of discipline and will. Man?s original state was only one of untried innocence. Dr. Robinson is combating the view that the first man was at his creation possessed of a developed character. He distinguishes between character and the germs of character. These germs he grants that man possessed. And so he defines the image of God as a constitutional predisposition toward a course of right conduct. This is all the perfection, which we claim for the first man. We hold that this predisposition toward the good can properly be called character, since it is the germ from which all holy action springs.

In addition to what has already been said in support of the opposite view, we may urge against this theory the following objections:

(a) It is contrary to analogy, in making man the author of his own holiness; our sinful condition is not the product of our individual wills, nor is our subsequent condition of holiness the product of anything but God?s regenerating power.

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment