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image of God


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According to Gen. 1: 26 f., mankind was made in the image and after the likeness of God. Some of the Fathers regarded the ‘image’ as referring to the original condition of human beings and the ‘likeness’ to their final state of glory; others made no such distinction. For some, the Fall involved the loss of the ‘likeness’; for others the ‘image’ was damaged or destroyed. For all Baptism was seen as an indispensable step in the restoration of the image-likeness. In what the image consists was disputed; most located it in human free will. The 16th-cent. Reformers expressed their doctrine of humanity's total depravity by asserting that the image was utterly lost as a result of the Fall.

Subjects: Christianity.


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