Anthropology: Part 3 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer
BSac 100:400 (Oct 43) p. 479
[Author’s Note: This issue of Bibliotheca Sacra continues the studies in Anthropology. It is the third in this series and will be continued for at least five succeeding issues. This entire division of Systematic Theology includes: the creation of man, his estate, his fall, and the doctrine of sin.]
III. Man’s Estate at Creation
2. The Immaterial Part of Man.
a. The Origin of the Immaterial Part of the First Man.
Having given some consideration to the doctrine of the material part of man and recognizing that the most important revelation concerning man as created is declared in the words which state that man is made in the image and likeness of God and that this resemblance is featured in the immaterial and not the material part of man, it is now in order to investigate the truth God has disclosed regarding the immaterial part of man. On his material side, man is said to be the direct and immediate creation of God and to have been made from existing matter. It is written: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground” (Gen 2:7); but of the immaterial part of man it is not said that it is divinely created or made of any existing material, but that man became a living soul as a result of the divine in-breathing into the earthen vessel of the breath of lives (plural). “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7); “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every
BSac 100:400 (Oct 43) p. 480
creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he them” (Gen 1:26, 27). These statements introduce facts and forces quite beyond the range of human understanding. It is clear, however, that the immaterial part of man originates not as a creation, but as a transmission. Some element of creation may have been present and active, but it is evident that the “living soul” which man became by the divine in-breathing is more uncreated than created. It is an impartation from the Eternal One. Angels are created beings (Col 1:16), and, since they are immaterial, it follows that their beings, in all their features, are a direct creation quite apart from preëxisting matter. N...
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