June 16, 1992
When our children were in elementary school, one of their playmates had rather unusual mannerisms and speech patterns. We often wondered the source since his accent was not recognizable. It was not French or a Texas drawl. His movements, while not comical or weird, were also distinctive.
His mother usually picked him up when he finished playing at our house, but one day his dad dropped by to take him home. Within moments of answering the doorbell, I understood why this boy talked and moved the way he did — he was a carbon copy, a smaller version, of his father.
I think of that boy nearly every time I hear something to do with the long-standing debate about the origins of man. Of course the debate basically offers two choices. One is that we evolved from primates, which evolved from who knows what, which originally was some sort of cosmic soup. The other is that we were created by a supernatural being — namely God.
Without apology, I believe the second option. Logically, it seems all things require a cause or a designer. Also, the greater and more intricate never seems to come from the less complex. How then could man come from animals?
Furthermore, evolution offers no source for ethics. Where do our ideas of right and wrong come from? Related to ethics is faith — and I think I would need far more of it to believe that “Time + Chance + Energy (where did that come from?) = Humanity,” than I need to believe the Biblical record of creation.
After giving a general account, there is a description of the pattern God used in Genesis 1:26-27: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Since the record does not explain what it means to be made in the image of God, people speculate. Some think since we reason, have a will, and experience emotions... that must be what God is like. Others include creative ability, appreciation for beauty, and the ability to enter into relationships. Whatever it actually does mean, and even though there is not a whole lot of “goodness” in most of us, mankind somehow reflects “God-ness” — we resemble our “Father.”
This debate is not settled by opinion though. What happened happened, outside of what any of us choose to believe. However, science has yet to answer why people, with our deep capacity for selfishness and evil, can also have a deep sense of what is good. It points to a “godlikeness” and a higher “goodness” that apes and animals do not share.
Our young friend imaged his dad. We, somehow, image our Father. We do not usually do it with words and actions as he did, but when we do talk and behave in a godly way, there are no explanations other than love and good deeds come from a supreme Love and Author of all that is good.