Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pieper, 1968. Section G, “The Doctrine of Man”

Section G, “The Doctrine of Man”

This final section of the book is divided into two main headers, (A) Man Before the Fall, and, (B) Man After the Fall.

(A) Man Before the FAll

Chapter 1, “Man Created in the Image of God”

In the original creation Man was created in the “image” and “likeness” of God (Gen. 1:26). The two terms are synonyms. Some attributes, such as self-existence and eternity, were not communicated, others were in a limited manner.

Chapter 2, “What Constituted the Image of God”

Pieper considers man’s original condition of being disposed to do God’s will as central to being created in the image of God. The first humans were communicative and endowed with an intelligence and dignity which was not marred by the Fall.

Chapter 3, “Image of God in the Wider and in the Proper Sense”

Lutherans agree that God works to recreate knowledge of God and holiness in is people. They do not all agree whether fallen man still bears the image of God. They do agree that man has intellect and will but that fallen man has lost his original wisdom and justice. Regardless of our view of man bearing God’s image, we know God desires to renew fallen mankind so we must treat others with dignity.

Chapter 4, “The Relation of the Divne Image to the Nature of Man”

Pieper presents a Roman idea that the divine image was added to man after he was created, as a gift. On the contrary, man was made with the divine image. It remains but is corrupted. Unfallen man is uncorrupted. In Christ we are to be changed back to the original nature. This is an inherent part of being human.

Chapter 5, “Immediate Consequences of the Possession of the Divine Image”

Because man was created in God’s image, originally he was immortal, as God is. Man also had true dominion over the animals. When the Fall came, animals were no longer man’s servants but often enemies or victims.

Chapter 6, “The Purpose of the Divine Image”

God created man (Loc. 11140) “in order that one of His creatures 1) would know Him, live in conformity with His will, and in communion with Him enjoy bliss, and 2) would rule over the other creatures as His representative.” This is the state to which God restores man in Christ.

Chapter 7, “Woman and the Divine Image”

There is no difference in the divine image between male and female. There is, however, a difference in role, even before the Fall. The subordination described in the Bible is not one of inferiority but of different roles and gifts. Pieper builds a case very similar to that of complementarians in the late 20th century.

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