I was on Reddit this morning, and I came across a post in which someone repudiated the concept of common descent by saying:
We were created in the image of God, not in the image of apes… [evolution] weakens the faith.
CMI implies something similar here:
Although man was formed from the dust of the ground, God personally ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul’ (Genesis 2:7). Man’s life is thus not the result of spontaneous reorganization of molecules within his body, nor is it derived by evolution from any animal or ‘lower hominid’ (as theistic evolutionists teach), but is a direct gift from God.
There was a time when I would have said the exact same thing. However, now that I look back on my religious days, this view no longer makes any sense to me. Allow me to elaborate a little bit.
My religious community (reformed, evangelical, YEC) believed man was created from the dust of the earth, yet we would not have for one second said man was created in the image of dust. You can see this reflected in CMI’s opinion above. Furthermore, in Matthew 3:9 John the Baptist tells us that God can raise children of Abraham from stones, yet we would have laughed if we heard someone say these children of Abraham would have been made in the image of stones. To then turn around and say that humans were made in the image of apes if we came from apes seems inconsistent at best. Ironically, that passage in Matthew 3 criticizes the Pharisees and Sadducees for thinking their lineage makes any difference in God’s eyes. That’s pretty damning, in my view. Even CMI’s four properties of the image of God (not a physical likeness, mental likeness, moral likeness, social likeness) don’t actually preclude common descent.
In short, I think rejecting evolution (or specifically common descent) on the basis of man being made in God’s image is a non sequitur, and requires inconsistent an reading of scripture.
Thoughts on this? Does anyone disagree or have a different view? I’d love to hear it.