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Page 253

Some add a sixth distinction to this list - dominion over God's earthly creation. However, we do not include it, for this is not a created difference, but was assigned to man after his creation. It is, however, an additional difference which places man above the animal creation.

    As Mike heard his teacher explaining the previous five characteristics, he felt that he disagreed on several points. When the explanation was finished, Mike voiced his disagreement.

    "I have had a pet dog for several years," Mike stated, "and he is very smart. He's a pretty good thinker, too. Besides, everyone says he has a lot of spirit, and I know that he has a conscience. You can see it all over him when he's done something wrong. I don't agree with points 1, 2, and 4 which state that only man has these characteristics."

    "Good thinking, Mike," his teacher responded, "but let me help you reason further. Your dog can be very intelligent in physical matters - things which he sees, hears, smells, tastes, or feels. But if you sit down with your dog to discuss the meaning of life, the purpose of creation, or some other abstract idea, will he understand you?

    "When others speak of an animal having a great deal of 'spirit,' they mean that it is spirited or lively.

    "Your dog may be lively, but it cannot worship nor communicate with God as man can - it does not have a soul. Your dog has a consciousness of certain behaviors being wrong because you have consistently punished him when he did them. But your dog does not have a consciousness of God, an inborn sense to live morally upright, or a sense of accountability to God, does he? Do you see, now, how only man was created with these characteristics?"

    Why are these points of difference between man and animals especially important today when many promote the theory of evolution?

How does the image of God in man contradict those who believe in the evolutionary theory - in its narrower sense? in its wider sense?

What differences in the purpose and importance of human life would develop from believing that man is a developing animal rather than a special image-bearer of God?

Which type of society would place more value upon human life: one believing in the evolution of man, or one believing in man as image-bearer of God?

  • Consciousness - Inward knowledge and feelings

  • Accountability - The state of being answerable and responsible

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