During this year of 1970, while the Western world gropes about in a quagmire of racism, both black and white, it would seem appropriate for the historic revolutionaries, the Christians, to make a public declaration on race. This paper is an attempt at a Christian manifesto on the races of man, declaring to the world our high view of race and culture, and pointing hopefully to that super-kingdom in which “we are no longer strangers and foreigners but fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).
The Bible contains at least three positions about the races of man:
1. All men are made in the image and likeness of God.
2. All men are descendants of one pair, Adam and Eve.
3. All men are sinful and in need of redemption. These positions are probably distinctive to the Hebrew-Christian tradition.
1. All men are made in the image of God. The lofty view of man expressed in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” is so indelibly stamped on Western culture that the “imagehood” has survived the obsoleteness of the Creator. This biblical pronouncement cannot be dismissed as mere anthropomorphism or a mirror-image of Xenophon’s theory that men create their gods in their own image. As Cuthbert Simpson remarks,
[To the Hebrew mind] the representation that man was made in the image of God meant much more than that man looked like God or like the divine beings which formed his retinue. The image included likeness to them in spiritual powers … the power of thought, the power of communication, the powers of self-transcendence [The Interpreter’s Bible (Gen. 1:27), 1952].
The powerful effect of this image idea upon our society has probably been ...1
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