Question: In the September 2004 Q&A, you responded to criticism of your claim that Adam was the only one created in God’s image. Could you please clarify this: 1) Are you saying that Eve was not created in God’s image; 2) how do you explain 1 Corinthians:11:7 in light of Genesis:5:3? Are we ALL created in God’s image or were Adam and Eve the only one’s created in God’s image? What is God’s image? What does it mean?
Answer: We can only go by what the Bible says. We are told, “So God created man...in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Gn 1:27). “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul….And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam...and he took one of his ribs, and...the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man” (2:7,21).
Adam, made in the image of God, lived for some time alone except for his animal friends—a friendship that lacked real under-standing and satisfaction—before God made Eve out of one of his ribs. She was created by God in His image just as Adam had been, though the manner of her creation was different. In contrast, their children, grandchildren, et al., did not come into existence by a special creative act of God, but by natural procreation. They were in the image of their parents—an image that had been marred by sin and death. As this natural procreation of birth and death continued, the human race gathered an increasing gene pool of disease and deformity as the moral decay worsened. We are pitiful creatures compared with what Adam and Eve were at the beginning.
Jesus declared, “God is a spirit” (Jn:4:24). Therefore, “in God’s image” does not refer to physical qualities, for God has none. The image of God in which Adam was made can only be moral and spiritual, giving man the capacity to know, love, and commune with God—and to know in his conscience when he is disobeying God and is thus alienated from Him. All mankind inherited the “image of God” in which Adam and Eve were made—not in its original perfection, however, but corrupted and distorted by sin, which the Bible defines as coming “short of the glory of God.”
Being made in the image of God gives man the ability to form conceptual ideas and express them in words. This places man on the other side of a chasm that separates him from animals—a chasm that no evolutionary process (even if there were such) could ever cross. This impassable barrier was referred to by Mortimer J. Adler in his 1967 still-in-print book, The Difference of Man and the Difference it Makes. At that time, Adler, a University of Chicago philosophy professor, co-founder of the Great Books of the Western World, and an editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica, was an agnostic. He later became a professing Christian. Such reasoning in the search for truth is only possible because man was made in the image of God, who says, “Come now and let us reason together” (Is 1:18).