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If there were people outside the Garden of Eden, would they be made in the Image of God?
Humans have had questions about their origins for thousands of years and, for thousands of years, have engaged in intense debates over these questions. Christians, in particular, have sparred with the culture over new scientific discoveries and theories that explicate human descent from non-human creatures. While I don’t believe that my wading into this debate with my humble opinions and research will change the world, I do think the conclusions I’ve reached concerning the archaeological, genealogical, and theological data will give many people much needed food for thought.
As outlined in my article The Image of God and Human Origins, Part 1: The Representational View, we humans represent God here on Earth by virtue of our existence, just like the heavenly host images God in heaven. God chose humanity as His “shadow/reflection/representative” here on Earth, representing an immaterial Creator to a material world.
Because of this, He has given us the vocation of taking care of this world in His stead as He would (i.e., according to His will). For a brief description of this understanding of the Image of God, I recommend this short video by The Bible Project.
If this understanding of the image of God is correct, what are the implications for Christians in the Human Origins debate?
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