Statement of faith for Christian theistic evolutionists

The cross at Llanddwyn Isle in Angelsey, Wales (public domain).

I believe in one God, infinite in power and perfection and being, eternal and unbound by time, creator of heaven and earth and all that is seen or unseen. All living things came to be at his command and proceeded according to his divine will and providence; he is the author of every natural process and he alone sustains them by his powerful word.

I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Word of God and God incarnate, worthy of glory and honor and praise, through whom and for whom was made every thing that ever has been or ever will be made, who came to earth in the form of a man to reconcile the world to himself and save all people from their sins. He, like us, was tempted in every way, yet did not sin, and instead submitted himself to God, being obedient even to death. I believe he suffered, died and rose again on the third day, as both he and the Hebrew prophets foretold.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the promised gift of God and the third Person of the Trinity, who has come now to convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment and to lead us into all truth, who indwells believers and empowers them for peaceful and godly lives and fruitful ministry.

I believe mankind, male and female, were made in the spiritual image of God and offered everlasting life through obedience to and communion with their Creator. But we went astray, as scripture teaches, and seeking to be our own gods, we severed ourselves from our source of life, corrupting our natures toward sinful desires and condemning us to the ultimate punishment — a fate from which we may be liberated and redeemed only by penitent faith in the Lord Jesus.

I believe the Holy Bible to be inspired by God and hence, infallible and authoritative on all matters on which it was and is intended to teach. I believe that through the study of scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the one true God will make himself known to those who seek him, as he promises in his word.

I believe God’s creation was and is very good, and serves as a reflection of his divine character. Nature, like scripture, is a book written by God, and it cannot lie, just as he cannot. Therefore, the study of nature, in good faith, will yield truth, continually revealing the grandeur breathed into it by its creator since the beginning.

I believe in one Church, established and knit together by the living God, which is to serve as his hands and feet in the present age and will be welcomed by him, spotless and beloved, in the age to come.

Our reasoning for drafting this statement can be found here. It may be downloaded in the form of a Word document here and a PDF here.

This statement expresses the philosophy of godofevolution.com and is intended as a starting point for others, not a binding or authoritative document for all theistic evolutionists. No doubt individuals will take issue with a variety of minor things it does or doesn’t say. In any case, please feel free to use, adapt or otherwise alter it to your purposes in any way you wish.

  • And my response to them all is “On what basis?”, especially the last two, which are manifestly untrue:

    – Creation (aka. the Universe) is neither good nor bad, it simply is. It’s how we experience it that is good or bad, and in the course of a lifetime, we’ll experience both.

    – There is no One True Church; religions and faiths have always differed all over the world because people, its creators, vary all over the world. The Abrahamic faiths have tried to impose a number of central doctrines on large empires of people, and yet have failed miserably – fractured into a thousand sects, they cannot agree on pretty much anything, because they have no solid basis:

    e.g.

    “a fate from which we may be liberated and redeemed only by penitent faith in the Lord Jesus.”

    I understand this is a position peculiar to the Calvinist sects. Not even all Christians agree on this.

    I also think this isn’t entirely consistent with something you told me in a previous discussion:

    A number of Jesus’ parables and teachings, the Parable of the Talents, for example, indicate that we will be judged based on what we have been given

    Given that faith in Jesus is a boolean value, True or False, I’m not sure how these concur?

    • And my response to them all is “On what basis?”

      The basis is the Bible. Most all of the tenets here come directly from scriptural teachings or long-held church tradition. I can provide verses if you have specific questions about any of the other positions beyond the ones I will address below.

      Creation (aka. the Universe) is neither good nor bad, it simply is. It’s how we experience it that is good or bad, and in the course of a lifetime, we’ll experience both.

      I agree that one’s subjective feelings about whether the universe is good or bad differs from person to person and even within the same person throughout his or her life. My belief that the universe is inherently good does not make it so, but neither does another’s belief that it is inherently evil or your belief that it is neither one. I would reason that an object can have inherent value regardless of whether anyone believes it does or not.

      The Bible says, repeatedly, in Genesis 1, that what God has made is good, so that’s what I believe. I don’t say that because I expect it to convince you, but you asked what my basis for all this is, and that’s it.

      There is no One True Church

      Again, not according to scripture. The New Testament authors frequently refer to all believers in Christ as “the church” (or sometimes, the “body of Christ” — hence the “hands and feet” comment in my statement). And this does not necessarily refer to one sect or denomination or even a central doctrine — just anyone and everyone who puts their faith in Christ. A good basis for this can be found in 1 Corinthians 12.

      I understand this is a position peculiar to the Calvinist sects. Not even all Christians agree on this.

      I never meant to imply that I think everyone who calls themselves a Christian would agree with every point of this statement of faith. If that had been my goal, I would have made it much shorter and far more vague. That being said, I think the position is a lot broader than “the Calvinist sects” (I’m not a Calvinist myself) and it certainly predates John Calvin. Indeed, this teaching characterizes the entire New Testament. Faith being the basis for salvation is stated succinctly in Acts 16:30-31, Romans 10:9 and Ephesians 2:8. As for penitence, Jesus frequently called for his listeners to repent, and the New Testament authors attest that while faith alone is the basis for salvation, a desire for obedience and holiness are the necessary consequences of faith (e.g., Romans 6, 1 John 3:9, James 2:14-26). repentance is the mark of true faith — it’s a symptom of the guiding internal belief. It’s like when you “really” love someone, your actions will tend to clearly demonstrate as much.

      Given that faith in Jesus is a boolean value, True or False, I’m not sure how these concur?

      Yes, I stand by what I said before. I was trying to illustrate my belief that God’s standards for judging a person’s faith and heart may be very different than ours. especially for those who don’t “believe” in Jesus because they’ve never heard of him or because they were treated horribly by someone who claimed to follow him. God is not a monster who cares nothing about people’s eternal fate; he desires that everyone would be saved (1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9). And in Luke 23:43, Jesus promised Paradise to a criminal who had not repented, or confessed his sins or memorized the Nicene Creed (which didn’t exist yet) — who in fact had done nothing but say a few simple words of faith with his dying breaths.

      I think the Bible clearly teaches that salvation comes through penitent faith in Christ, so that’s what my statement of faith expresses. But as to exactly what that will look like come Judgment Day — i.e., who all will be “in” and who will be “out” — I leave room for the grace of God.

  • Paul Holcomb

    I don’t understand how you can have a statement of faith that claims the “66 canonical books of the Bible to be inspired by God and hence,
    infallible and authoritative on all matters on which they were and are
    intended to teach” – as a core statement. I have never heard an acceptable explanation of how the literal creation account of Genesis and several scriptures referencing Adam, Noah is comparable with Darwinian evolution. The compromise and reinterpretation of scripture is a greater threat to the church than outright denial of it as doctrinal truth. Reading evolution into the bible requires eisegetical teaching and theological gymnastics. I would rather you throw up your hands and say that you don’t believe the bible and you put your faith in science and Darwin’s theory rather than try to compromise biblical truth. Otherwise, you’re not defending the bible, you’re splintering doctrinal truth instead of challenging scientific consensus.

    • I believe the Bible is inspired, infallible and authoritative, that doesn’t mean I have to interpret the first part of Genesis literally. The question is, was Genesis intended to be interpreted literally? You believe it was, I believe it wasn’t.

      As to your other comments, do you harbor similar outrage toward Christians who allow their view of scripture to be swayed by the scientists who claim the earth revolves around the sun? After all, the Bible clearly teaches that the earth does not move (e.g. 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1 and Psalm 96:10) and the sun does (Joshua 10:12-13, Habakkuk 3:11 and Ecclesiastes 1:5), such that a leading cleric was quoted during the Galileo affair as saying, “To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.”

    • TogetherWeStand

      Hi Paul: I completely agree and appreciate you articulating so well the huge concerns people who love and believe the Bible would have with this website. I do not agree it was an appropriate response by Tyler Francke to question whether you “harbors similar outrage” toward other Christians for simply evaluating and stating your concerns about what is taught–the insinuation being that you harbor outrage towards him. That to me is a terrible manipulative tactic and judgment for one Christian to make toward another.

      I also think it is incorrect to use 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalms 16:30, and Psalms 96:10 as proof text that the Bible teaches the earth does not move or follow a path in it’s orbit around the sun. Otherwise King David would be still be standing somewhere the holy land seeing as he said the same thing, “I shall not be moved” nine times in the Psalms.

      • The Psalmist is saying he will not be moved in his faith in or devotion to God. Do you believe the earth has a deep faith in God, and that is what the statements in 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalms 16:30, Psalms 96:10 and others refer to? Does the Psalmist ever say he is “firmly established” or “set on pillars,” like the Bible often says of the earth in conjunction with its “shall not be moved” statements?

        • TogetherWeStand

          Hi Tyler: I agree that David was speaking of something much different than being physically permanently fixed in a particular space–so the same with the “world shall not be moved” texts in 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalms 16:30 ,and Psalms 96;10. The text could easily be interpreted to mean that the earth would never be moved from the fixed orbit it takes around the sun, with its orbit through our galaxy, with its path to our universe. In other words God has created established order in the physical universe and we have nothing to fear.

          • I see. So when the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 104:5, “He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved,” evoking clear imagery of a large structure like a temple being built on a firm foundation, you’re saying that what the author “really meant” was that the earth was set upon a constantly revolving “foundation” of empty space. Makes perfect sense.

          • TogetherWeStand

            Critical thinking stops when religious condescending ridicule starts (which is a manipulation tactic). You were doing so well there for a while. I am not interested in religion.

          • Actually, critical thinking stops when one stops thinking critically, and more specifically, when one ceases to engage upon the topic at hand, as you so nicely illustrate in your above post.

          • TogetherWeStand

            Thank you for proving my point.

          • Enough with your childish games. Either address my question about the fundamental inconsistency between a gravitational orbit and “being set on its foundations” or go somewhere else.

          • TogetherWeStand

            Being religious is not a game. In fact it is very serious matter. Jesus Christ never took lightly the actions of religious leaders of his time. That is why he was murdered. You anger is actually a good sign. I encourage you to continue to seek out the truth on these matters. Your friend Jim

          • OK. Goodbye, Jim, and good riddance.

          • Joe Rodriguez

            When the Bible tells us to test the spirits, you seem to show yourself as an evil spirit in the way you interact with people who disagree with you. You seem to be running very low on the love your neighbor department. I’m not 100% certain yet, but I won’t lie to you about what I think of your website. I strongly suspect that you have a very evil agenda. But, like I said, I’m not certain. I guess only time will tell. By the way I interpret scripture very much in the likes of James White and John Calvin so I believe that all things work for the good of those that believe in Christ. So while you might mean it for evil, He will use it for good to His glory. I just felt the need to speak my mind on your apparent mission. I hope I’m totally wrong about you, but I have complete faith in every word God has revealed and I know that man makes his plans and God directs his every step. My God is absolutely sovereign over everything he has created in six literal days including.

          • Well, my irony meter just exploded. Again. Thanks a lot, Joe. Those things aren’t cheap, you know.

          • Darrin Hunter

            Speaking of testing the spirits, I am a former 5 point, 5 Sola Calvinist. Strolling along with Sproul, Horton, White et al. However, I ran into the Christology of the ancient church which toppled my Calvinistic towers.
            Monergism is a repackaging of the ancient heresies of Monoenergism and Monotheletism and hence was denied by the ancient church. So for you to invoke that against someone who holds to evolution is disingenuous.

      • Mark

        There is a distinction between affirming that the canonical books of the bible are inspired, infallible, and authoritative, and stating that a “literal” interpretation of some passages in those books is the only infallible and authoritative interpretation.

        I agree with Paul and Jim that it is troubling when people read their own modern scientific (or other) views into scripture. But I would argue (and I think Tyler would agree) that if we properly understand scripture as being divinely inspired while still reflecting an ancient understanding of the world, it is in no way incompatible with accepting what we learn about the evolution of life on our planet as revealed by God through His creation.

        I would go a step further and say that this perspective requires less “eisegetical teaching and theological gymnastics” because it doesn’t require us to read into scripture something that was never there in the first place (i.e., modern science), and doesn’t require us to ignore what God has revealed through what He has made.

  • Joe Rodriguez

    This website seems to be designed to lead many astray from the Truth of God’s word. They declare unto themselves a new god; THE GOD OF EVOLUTION! Darwin is god to those that hate Jesus Christ. Jesus is Lord and there is no other name whereby man was created or can be saved from eternity in hell for denying the Savior. He did not call Christians to compromise so that they would be accepted by the world. He told us that we would be hated because we believe Him and the world hates Him.

    This website is owned and operated by people who call the God of the Bible a liar. It is all of Satan’s power and you will compromise your faith and obedience in the same way Eve believed the serpent’s lies. Why are they attacking fellow Christians like Ken Ham with the same intensity as atheists do? Why all the personal attacks focusing on Ken Ham and his creation projects. Why are these guys trying to turn the body of Christ against Mr. Ham by criticizing how many people he could have helped if only he stopped building the Ark and focused his money on charity? Why do they post pictures of children in depressed communities while making these attacks against Ham? Does this website and their mission seem like good fruits or Satan seed?

    • You caught me, Joe. Satan and I had this whole master plan to make Christians not be Christians by making them believe something that in no way affects their ability to be a Christian. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best plan, but hey, at least we’re trying. And we would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids.

    • A question for you, if I may, Joe: What specific, testable evidence would convince you that you’re wrong about evolution?

      • myklc

        Oh Tyler, you and your evidence! What next, expecting people to be aware of how they attack you in their comments about you attacking Ken? @.@

      • Joe Rodriguez

        Hello Tyler

        It would be a blessing if you could give me direct answers or references that include citations for these 12 specific issues. I’ll be looking forward to your responses. Thanks

        1. Mutations do not produce new purposeful genetic information.

        2. Evolution of a new species as a result of new genetic code arising has never been observed.

        3. There is no proven mechanism that can explain how new purposeful genetic information could arise, and statistically it is impossible.

        4. There is no known proven mechanism that can explain all the steps for a living cell to form from nonliving molecules (abiogenesis), and statistically it is impossible.

        5. Abiogenesis has never been observed and all experiments to initiate it have failed.

        6. The fossil record is a record of extinction of fully formed animals and plants- not a record of the evolution of life forms.

        7. There are no fossils of proven mutant evolutionary intermediate organisms, yet there should be millions and millions of fossils of such mutations. That is, we have no evidence of actual evolution in the fossil record.

        8. Some of the oldest fossil-bearing rocks contain fully developed advanced animals such as trilobites, with no evidence of evolutionary ancestors.

        9. Erosion rates for the continents are too fast for the continents and their fossil content to be old enough for supposed evolution to occur.

        10. There are not enough ocean sediments or volcanic deposits for the continents to be old enough to allow for supposed evolution.

        11. Radiometric dating results give old ages for recent rock, so we cannot accurately “know” the age of rocks. Also, the finding of carbon-14 in coal and diamonds means that these deposits must be less than 100,000 years old, indicating insufficient time for supposed evolution.

        12. The rate of mutation of DNA currently observed suggest that DNA must be less than 100,000 years old, which is not enough time for supposed evolution.

        • Hey Joe, thanks for the response. So, just so we’re clear, if I specifically address all 12 of these items, you will change your mind about evolution? That’s the deal?

          • Joe Rodriguez

            Hello again Tyler

            Just to be clear about the term, “evolution”. We’re well aware, or at least we should be, that there are many uses people make of this word because of the various definitions people appeal to. Therefore, contextual application of the term evolution isn’t an instant assurance that the conversant are actually speaking the same language.

            To put is plainly and to avoid the slippery slope, and fuzziness of ever mutating definitions many of us have encountered, I’ll summarize the 12 points in non-scientific jargon to answer these questions every child and adult asks themselves.

            Your scientific citations should provide scientifically credentialed facts that answer the following basic question my children ask me?

            1- How did life begin?
            2- Where did life come from?
            3- How did the universe come to be what it is? (Cosmology is irrefutably drenched in evolutionary philosophy.)
            4- What is the mechanism that produces the millions of life forms found in the current and extinct phyla?
            5- Where does DNA get its information from?
            6- At what specific point in the past, did gender make its debut into the schema.
            7– Does evolution explain the mind?
            8- Does the fossil record prove that macro evolution from common descent is a credentialed scientific fact?
            9- How does macro evolution refute the argument of irreducible complexity?
            10- How do stars moons form?

            This is about a complete list of scientific questions my children ask me. On the theological side their biggest questions deal with the age of the earth as currently assumed vs the biblical account. Did God create Adam & Eve or did they come from monkeys and or apes. Which one of the transitional stages is the one that reflects God’s image of Himself.

            So, if you can help me answer these questions to my seven children who range from 22 years to 3 years old, I would be deeply indebted to you.

            Thank you and God bless

          • Hey Joe. You did not answer my question: If I specifically address your 12 things, will you change your mind about evolution? Because if you are not open to your mind being changed by thebfacts and evidence then, I’m sorry, but it’s really not worth the time investment it will take to answer your questions.

          • Lisa Keith-Lucas

            Wait, that is a completely different list.

          • I know, isn’t it hilarious? It’s not even the same number of things.

          • Lisa Keith-Lucas

            I’m guessing they are both çopy/paste lists,

          • I can’t find any record of the other 10 online (not that they’re unique, just the specific wording). Joe claims he didn’t rip them off, and he may be telling the truth, as far as I can tell. Doesn’t make him any less disingenuous though.

          • Lisa Keith-Lucas

            I’m fixing to cross the NE Gulf to Tampa. Will compose a response and post late tomorrow if I can.

          • Joe Rodriguez

            Hi Lisa, if you’ll go back in my messages with Tyler you will see that I first present 12 questions, then I expand on the 12 points with the 9 outstanding questions my children and I are currently seeking answers for. Same topic, same issue, same questions…simply an unpacking of the concerns we’re working through that’s all.

          • Chris

            Just going out on a limb here, but you did post this on the blog post that did answer a lot of these questions.

            “All living things came to be at [God’s] command and proceeded according to his divine will and providence; he is the author of every natural process and he alone sustains them by his powerful word.”

            That pretty much sums up #1, 2, 4, 5, and 9. #3 and 10 are both not biological evolution related. #7 I would expect is “yes”. As for #6 and 8, they seem like the closest to legit questions, but you’re missing the whole point.

            I think the problem you’re having is you don’t understand the theistic part of theistic evolution. You are describing completely random processes without consideration for a Creator. Think about it– spraypaint from a can can seem random, but with a creator behind it, the design can be beautiful.

          • Joe Rodriguez

            Hi Chris – I was responding to a message I received from Tyler. I have no idea what blog you’re referring to. Are you saying that there is a blog somewhere that answers all of my questions, along with journal references and credentialed citations?

          • Chris

            This site is the blog I was referring, and the section I quoted is literally the first point made on this page, and it addresses and answers at least half of your contentions.

            If you are seriously looking for answers to the rest of your points, I suggest BioLogos, Reasons.org, or Old Earth Ministries.

          • Joe Rodriguez

            Hello Tyler

            God created us in His image with the capacity to reason, for good reason. A double minded man is no glory to God. Why wouldn’t I change my mind about something that I wrongfully believe? Isn’t that what Christian living is all about? You call yourself a Christian, and I really find your question extremely odd, insulting and not at all in par with what we see in the scriptures.

            Where in the scriptures have we ever been taught to pre-qualify, pre-screen or make deals with people so as to determine if the individual in question is worthy of our time and effort before we share the truth? Is that how evangelism works these days? I have never answered a skeptic’s objections to Christianity by telling them that I will only answer their question if they promise to convert to Christianity. What’s that all about? It just plain weird and it gives off some pretty creepy vibes.

            On another note, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. What are you doing man? It should embarrass you that you stoop to employ ad hominem attacks on me. Why? Simply because I used the questions from a YEC textbook? Who cares what book I reference? The issue of real importance are my questions about macro evolution and big bang cosmology. not my references and not you attacking my character.
            By the way, you’ve expressed how precious your time is so don’t bother scouring the internet for what you accused me of “ripping off” from some other website when I expanded on my questions after I articulated a response to your “challenge.” These are my original thoughts, so you’re not going to find that I burglarized any websites

            What a way to get started huh? Wow, very classy. If it would put you at ease you should know that I do not have the slightest intention or desire to debate with you or anyone else for that matter. You said you have answers great. I would really appreciate whatever information you have that proves Darwinian evolution. So please enough with the character attacks and lets just get on with the business of taking care of business. I will include my email address in the event you have references, PDF, videos or other source material you want to share. Thank you

            Joe.Rodriguez1999@gmail.com

          • Hey Joe, well you would certainly know all about putting off creepy vibes and ad hominem attacks, wouldn’t you, Satan seed?

            Look, you come onto my site, ranting on my sincere statement of faith that I’m a tool of the devil trying to lead people astray, repost some plagiarized BS, and now you’re going to pretend to be offended that I’m not taking you seriously? Please.

            Oh, but since you’re so desperate to have your “concerns” addressed, I posted them (the first 12, not the completely different second 10) on a Facebook group of like-minded Christians. I’m sure you’ll be deeply gratified to see how easy Dr. Ashton’s issues are to dispose of: https://www.facebook.com/groups/celebrate.evolving.creation/permalink/10153801982715977/?comment_id=10153802599810977&notif_t=group_comment.

            Have a great life.

        • Lisa Keith-Lucas

          May we address any of these?

          • Feel free. But just so you know, these 12 “issues” were copy-pasted from a YEC book called “Evolution Impossible.” Haven’t Googled yet to see where Joe ripped off the second list from, but that should give you some indication of how invested our friend is in this discussion.

            Because of that, and because Joe still has not said he would actually change his mind if his “concerns” were satisfactorily addressed, I don’t plan on wasting my time entertaining him.

          • Joe Rodriguez

            Please feel free Lisa, I doubt Tyler would object to you chiming in. I certainly don’t and would appreciate it very much..Thank you. .

    • Darrin Hunter

      No, that’s not the issue. The issue is that when Christians hold to something demonstrated to be false, untrue, a lie, incorrect, wrong…..they cease to be truth bearers and end up bearing false witness.
      AiG has incessantly called Neanderthal’s homo sapiens. They are not! We have both genomes! Would you dismiss the genetic scientist if he told you that you were definitively innocent of a false murder charge? If not, why would you deny the fact that non-African humans have 1-4% Neanderthal DNA?
      Those who now hold to geocentrism, as the entire church once affirmed the bible taught, deny the truth! Period. We are not free to pick and choose what is true in nature, just because we might think the scripture is teaching something we assumed was scientifically accurate. Was Jesus teaching science when he said the mustard seed is the smallest in the earth (it isn’t) or was he teaching his listeners with what was familiar to them? Now apply that to Genesis 1-3.

      Joe, is promoting pseudo-science or bearing false witness fruit of the Spirit?

  • Kainan Joubert

    I stumbled upon this site when I was looking up the “A Matter of Faith” movie, and I agree with the statement of faith, and I believe the Bible wholeheartedly. I believe in Genesis that God spoke the universe, life, and everything else into existence, and evolution, adaptation, and mutation happened during that time, but I do not believe in the pieces of Human Evolution that state that we evolved from apes, which evolved from monkeys, which evolved from lemurs, and so on. God created man “in His own image,” and “breathed life into them” (Genesis 1:26-31). We were created in Imago Dei, the Image of God, and those are my beliefs. I only wanted to state my belief and opinion based on my research and what God has shown me, and I wanted to see if others agree. That is all.

    • Hey Kainan, I disagree. Properly interpreted, Genesis 1:26-31 does not preclude the possibility of human evolution, nor does any other part of Genesis. Any theologian will tell you we are created in the spiritual image of God, not the physical image of God, since God has no physical form. In other words, we could look like tiny birds or huge blob monsters and still be created in the image of God. The body is just a temporary shell. As to God breathing life into us, well, David also wrote that God knit him together in his mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). It’s poetic language. Beautiful and deeply meaningful, yes, and absolutely true, but not the stuff of science lessons. It’s a deeper, different kind of truth.

      • Kainan Joubert

        Okay. I agree. I forgot about that. I had just talked with my grandfather about that a few weeks ago

      • In His Image

        I have to respectfully and theologically disagree. We were not created only in God’s spiritual image. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” God is Spirit and we must worship Him in Spirit and in TRUTH. He did not say let Me make man in My image , but said“Let Us make man in Our image” He is triune, and we were created in His triune image, with body, soul and spirit. We can see in Colossians 3:15 that Jesus is the first born of all of creation, and the image of the invisible. Jesus had that image before man and every created animal and it is in His image (as well as that of the Father and Holy Spirit) that we were created. To say God has no physical form is to say Christ did’t come as God in the flesh or that He doesn’t have a physical eternal glorified form. A glorified form we will one day be made in the likeness of. This body is a temporary shell (but so was Christ’s) but it will spiritual change “like a seed” or a chrysalis and we will put on His eternal image, just as we put on his temporal one.

        • Christ has always existed as the Word and Son of God, but he did not always have a physical body. He took on flesh at a specific time in history, dwelling among us in the “appearance of a man,” though he was “in very nature, God” (Philippians 2:6-8). It’s known by theologians as the Incarnation, and is a fairly important piece of traditional Christian doctrine. Seems to get talked about quite a bit around the later part of December for some reason.

          • In His Image

            LOL how could I have missed that 😉

            Tyler, I never denied the incarnation, in fact I was pointing YOU to the incarnation because you said that God doesn’t have a physical form, 😉 to quote “Any theologian will tell you we are created in the spiritual image of God, not the physical image of God, since God has no physical form” Not true (as seen in the incarnation) God the son (and God is one (three in one)) has a physical form.
            But you are implying that before Jesus the word put on flesh and dwelt among us that He had no `physical` form that we could be made in the image of. It is very true that He didn`t have “flesh and blood” until the incarnation. But to say He had no form ignores the verse I shared with you in Colossians above “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature(or all of creation)”

            There are many references to God’s image before Christ took on flesh. Even Moses was permitted to see the back of His glorified form and goodness, but not His face in Exodus 33:20-23 Why does God say He has a face if He isn’t yet incarnate?
            (some even believe Melchizedek in Abrahams time was a pre-incarnate form likeness of Christ as pointed at in Hebrews 7:1-22)
            I think you are assuming that only flesh has an image. Do you mean to say the angels and spiritual beings are made of flesh and blood when they appeared as men? We know that God had a glorified form (in the Word) from which we were created, even before Christ was made flesh in the incarnation, many of the prophets talk about His form in visions of His glory.

            Referring to images not of flesh and blood I can even see your image beside your name and its made up of light on my computer screen. Sure, it’s an image of your flesh self, but that does not mean that I am saying we were made in the image of the incarnated Christ that Isaiah talks of in chapter 53:1-3, but Adam was made in the image of the Eternal God, with a body soul and spirit, which is how we can be called His children. Do you assume that the Spiritual has no form or physical form? Then what is the point of the physical resurrection of Christ? Why the empty tomb if He was just returning to His Spiritual body(or lack there of)? and what is the point of your clever take on the monkey handed “adam” reaching out to the hand of God if He has no physical hand?

          • Just because my replies are shorter than your verbose rants does not mean I haven’t read them. I have read them both, which is how I know that you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

            No part of the triune Godhead has a physical, material form. Period. Christ took on flesh, became man, to make himself like us and dwell among us, and he resurrected bodily to defeat death, break our bondage to sin and give us hope of future resurrection (1 Corinthians 15).

            None of that means that Christ has some sort of permanent, visible appearance that can’t be changed. That would be placing limitations on him that the other two Persons of the Godhead do not have, which is also referred to as heresy.

            You may want to look up this thing called poetic metaphor. Sure, the Bible sometimes describes God as having a face, hands, back, etc. It also describes him as being a whirlwind, a pillar of fire, a rock, a fortress, a storm, precious stones and so on. It is the result of two limited tools (language and the human mind) trying to conceive of something which is infinite and defies limitations.

            Christ,specifically, is also described as a lily, a rose, a vine, a lamb, a lion, some bread… Point is, if you pick and choose which metaphors you are going to take literally and which ones you aren’t, your theology is going to wind up in some pretty weird places.

            Also, Colossians 1:15 refers to Christ in his bodily form, which is obvious from the context: “The Son is the image of the invisible God.” Jesus is God, ergo, invisible.

          • In His Image

            I apologize Tyler, I WAS being a bit too verbose(a weakness of mine), and am sorry it gave off the impression as a rant. It’s not my place to convince you, I just felt like sharing with a Christian brother who seems misguided(which is probably why you likewise put up with my “misguided rants” as you may call them 😉 )
            Just some “quick” slightly verbose responses:

            “No part of the triune Godhead has a physical, material form. Period. Christ took on flesh” doesn’t that statement seem contradictory? Or are you saying Christ isn’t part of the Godhead. Jesus said He and the Father are one, and Before Abraham was “I Am”, He told Philip that “he who has seen Me has seen the Father, how can you say, ‘show us the Father'” pretty compelling words that Jesus who has physical form was indeed a part of the Godhead. Perhaps you are placing limitations of time on the Godhead who can dwell in His creation while being outside of it. Do any of us truly understand God enough to say anything about Him that He has not said about Himself?

            “That would be placing limitations on him that the other two Persons of the Godhead do not have, which is also referred to as heresy.”
            I find it interesting that some one that is strongly at variance with past established beliefs of the then main stream Christian creation is so quick to cry heretic. But it seems to me that you may also be implying limitations on The Son as Christ in the flesh(which of course He had some self imposed limitations) by saying “None of that means that Christ has some sort of permanent, visible appearance that can’t be changed” you seem to be saying He could not be fully God and fully man. Which He was “For in Him all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form Colossians 2:9 NASB” it gives a present tense in the NASB and says BODILY form…. perhaps His limitations were self imposed as seen in Philippians 2:6-11 but that does not give us the right to impose the limitation to the Godhead that Christ can no longer have a body, because he is now glorified, especially when His word says that He does…
            I was not denying metaphors exist in the Bible but to explain away everything we don’t understand about God(which is most everything) as a metaphor is also putting limitations on God. (I was going to add supporting examples but that may make this look like a rant so…. I guess you’ll have to take my word for it… )

          • In His Image

            I apologize Tyler, I WAS being a bit too verbose(a weakness of mine), and am sorry it gave off the impression as a rant. It’s not my place to convince you, I just felt like sharing with a Christian brother who seems mistaken in this area.(which is probably why you likewise put up with my “misguided rants” as you may call them 😉 ) None of us are meant to be “islands” in our faith, perfect in knowledge, we are collectively the body of Christ with different gifts and points of view, and are called to build each other up.The reason I wanted to share is I believe that God has given me some God given understanding in this area, so I got “passionate” and wanted to share… but I guess I came off as ranting. So let me say this “JESUS IS LORD” 1 Corinthians 12:3 and “I believe Jesus (the) Christ has come in the flesh!” 1 John 4:2-3 But as 1 Cor. 13 says “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge” ” but do not have love, I am nothing” So I’d rather point you to trusting in the truth(Jesus) rather than any man. Rather than trusting my understanding or your own, Ask Him whether or not what I am saying is true. But instead of just understanding, strive for love(God is love)

            So just some “quick” only slightly verbose responses to your reply:

            “No part of the triune Godhead has a physical, material form. Period. Christ took on flesh” – doesn’t that statement seem contradictory to you? it’s indirectly saying Christ isn’t part of the Godhead(which I know you don’t believe). Jesus said. He and the Father are one, and Before Abraham was “I Am”, He told Philip that “he who has seen Me has seen the Father, how can you say, ‘show us the Father'” Those are pretty compelling words by our Lord declaring that Jesus who has physical form was indeed a part of the Godhead. Perhaps you are mistakenly placing limitations on the Godhead who can dwell in His creation while being outside of it(He is beyond our understanding). Do any of us truly understand God, enough to say anything about Him that He has not said about Himself?

            “That would be placing limitations on him that the other two Persons of the Godhead do not have, which is also referred to as heresy.” – I find it interesting that someone that is strongly at variance with past established beliefs of the Christian creation story is so quick to cry(or imply) heretic. But it seems to me that you may also be implying limitations on The Son as Christ in the flesh, by saying “None of that means that Christ has some sort of permanent, visible appearance that can’t be changed” you seem to be saying He could not be fully God and fully man at the same time. Which He clearly was: “For in Him all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form Colossians 2:9 NASB” This verse was written after the ascension and it gives a present tense DWELLS in the NASB and says BODILY form…. Did he have limitations while in the “flesh”? Yes, but they were self-imposed limitations as seen in Philippians 2:6-11 but that does not give us the right to impose the limitation to the Godhead that Christ can no longer have a body because he is now glorified, especially when His word says that He does…(why do you think a bodily form would be a limitation to the Godhead?I’m not implying He is bound to it or it’s limitations, but that it is something He chose for Himself at the beginning of creation as seen in Colossian 1:15)

            “You may want to look up this thing called poetic metaphor.” – I’ve seen in your comments that this is your “go to” argument when favorably interpreting God’s word to suit your understanding, but I was not denying metaphors exist in the Bible, but to explain away everything we don’t understand about God(which is most everything if He hasn’t reveled it) as a metaphor or parable is also putting limitations on God. (I was going to add supporting examples but that may make this look like even more of a rant so…. I guess you’ll have to take my word for it… 😉 )

            “The Son is the image of the invisible God.’ Jesus is God, ergo, invisible.”
            Does that explain the empty tomb…and where Jesus is now? You think He is now invisible? Is that the excuse the disciples said?…
            Jesus is God(the Son), the son was/is the image, ergo, visible to those with opened eyes “willing” to see.
            I wrote this out of love(I have no other need to write to a stranger so don’t take my word for it(or rely on your own) seek, ask, and knock. Ask for eyes to see (I know I do), if we were perfect already Christ wouldn’t have had to give warnings to the churches in revelations.

          • myklc

            To which the physicalist should reply that invisibility does not mean that there is nothing physical, it just cannot be seen. The LDS are very fond of this ideation. God is described as a chicken, an eagle and many other things in tanach. God can assume (perhaps animate?) whatever form God chooses at the time. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.

      • I find your statement interesting. I always thought that being made in the image of god meant that humans were supposed to look like God. That is that it implies God himself is something that looks like a human.

  • Bob Alexander

    What is your stance on marriage and Christians who affirm homosexuality?

    • I support civil same-sex marriage. As to Christians affirm homosexuality, I think there has to be enough grace in the church for believers to be able to discuss, and disagree, over things like that. If another believer has earnestly and prayerfully studied scripture’s perspective on the matter, and reached a different conclusion than me, well, that’s fine.

      • myklc

        Indeed. What the church should be doing is solemnising and supporting Christian marriages. Once again, be the light on the hill showing a Godly contrast between what the world does and what we do. Perhaps the Church should decide not to accept state laws and procedures regarding marriage, nor take money for performing such ceremonies?

        Trying to legislate what we believe to be Christian behaviour seems to me to completely miss the point of why we are here.