Q&A: How the Fall Affected God's Image in Humanity

How the Fall Affected God's Image in Humanity

How did the Fall affect the image of God in humanity?

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Answer

Okay, we're made in the image of God, but we understand that man is in a fallen state, so how exactly did the Fall affect that image of God in man? And again, throughout the history of the church there's been varying views on this. Luther, for example, believed that the image of God was completely decimated, that there is no image of God. We know from Scripture that that's clearly not true. You have Genesis 5:1, 3; Genesis 9:6; 1 Corinthians 11:7; James 3:9, all of those referring to the image of God in man after the Fall. And you have the Roman Catholic Church based on Irenaeus that it was just the likeness of man that was surrendered at the Fall, and that's a little bit of a fuzzy understanding. The Reformers, John Calvin in particular, he recognized that the image of God is completely retained in human beings even after the Fall, but even though it's completely retained, it's completely corrupted. And so, all of humanity still has the image of God, but it's corrupted in every way and shape possible. So, rather than all of creation imaging and bringing glory and establishing the rule and reign of one sovereign king, we are now a planet populated by billions of mini kings all trying to establish their own authority and establish their own sovereignty. That right there in itself goes a long way to explain all the conflict and selfish competition in individuals and families and communities and nations

Answer by Rev. Ric Rodeheaver

Dr. Ric Rodeheaver is Senior Pastor of Christ Community Church in Laguna Hills, California.