How can Adam be the image of God?


In his book In the Beginning , Ratzinger writes:

“We must have the audacity to say that the great projects of the living creation are not the products of chance and error. Nor are they the products of a selective process to which divine predicates can be attributed in illogical, unscientific, and even mythic fashion. The great projects of the living creation point to a creating Reason and show us a creating Intelligence, and they do so more luminously and radiantly today than ever before. Thus we can say today with a new certitude and joyousness that the human being is indeed a divine project, which only the creating Intelligence was strong and great and audacious enough to conceive of. Human beings are not a mistake but something willed; they are the fruit of love. They can disclose in themselves, in the bold project that they are, the language of the creating Intelligence that speaks to them and that moves them to say: Yes, Father, you have willed me.”

Ratzinger argues that the appeal of Christianity in late antiquity was precisely its capacity to unite the desire of philosophers for a rational worldview based on perception and knowledge, as opposed to the irrational poetry of the gods, with the deepest longings of the human heart for truths about human existence. To allow a positivist philosophy of evolution to dislodge Christianity, he insists, would not be a victory for enlightenment, but ultimately the triumph of irrationality.

He makes this case in Truth and Tolerance:

"The question is whether reality originated on the basis of chance and necessity and, thus, from what is irrational; that is, whether reason, being a chance by-product of irrationality and floating in an ocean of irrationality, is ultimately just as meaningless; or whether the principle that represents the fundamental conviction of Christian faith and of its philosophy remains true - In principio erat Verbum - at the beginning of all things stands the creative power of reason. Now as then, Christian faith represents the choice in favor of the priority of reason and of rationality."



God doesn’t force us to live up to our true potential. Man is left in the hands of his own counsel as the Church teaches. We have the freedom to choose, a scary power considering that it’s given to a merely created being. And yet God deemed this good and worthwhile, apparently because something very good occurs when man chooses rightly; he actually contributes to his own justice.



Benedict’s thinking on creation and evolution

Pope Benedict XVI has made so much sense on this subject.

We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary." (That comment came from his April 2005 installation Mass)



Since when? 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” Jonah 4



From Adam through every human since, God asks us to choose: good over evil, life over death, God over no God.



Your comment was on God not forcing us to live up to our full potential. God gave us a gift and throughout our lives we develop it. Doesn’t matter what each of us receives but what does matter is how we thank him back. We choose to use that gift to show the existence of God. John 17, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

St paul said it best, " He states: “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant” (1 Cor. 7:22; cf. Gal. 5:1). Christ’s obedience overcame the disobedience of Adam and its universal consequences, and when we lovingly turn to Christ in imitation of Him we enter His Life. So why are we called to obedience? Because obedience, born out of love, is the key to becoming like Christ.



God brings out our true potential and with his great love for us, he strengthen it!

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Exodus 3

He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” Genesis 15

Matthew 4:19

19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”



Hmm. I’m not sure how anyone here could oppose my simple statement. I’ll try a different tack. From the catechism:

[1730]God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. "God willed that man should be ‘left in the hand of his own counsel,’ so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him."26

Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.27


[1731]Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility. By free will one shapes one’s own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude.

[1732]As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil , and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach.

So man has a choice as to whether or not he allows God in, to do a work in him. The necessity of communion with God in order for man to truly become who he is is the essence of the New Covenant.



And, this is what you originally wrote:

So it is disobediences? To what God had originally intended man to be? In his image? Or likeness? God cannot interfere directly with man’s freedom of action. So then God is able to banish man from Paradise because man is not required or forced to live up to his full potential or responsibility?



Free choice. The principle according to which every individual is empowered to make unconstrained moral decisions and hence be held accountable for his or her conduct, be it good or evil.


  • The Bible testifies to the need for acquired freedom because no one “is free for obedience and faith till he is freed from sin’s dominion.” People possess natural freedom but their “voluntary choices” serve sin until they acquire freedom from “sin’s dominion.” The New Bible Dictionary denotes this acquired freedom for “obedience and faith” as “free will” in a theological sense.[17] Therefore, in biblical thinking, an acquired freedom from being “enslaved to sin” is needed “to live up to Jesus’ commandments to love God and love neighbor.”[20]


Man is a free moral agent, responsible for and therefore accountable for his actions. He is not a morally neutral irresponsible beast. We know this intuitively and this is why we’re held responsible for criminal acts, for example. Only Calvinists are irresponsible. :smile:



Umm, yes, man can oppose God’s will, which means man can sin. Sin is impossible unless man is free to commit it. Otherwise no man could rightfully be held blameworthy for immoral behavior.



:thinking: 4 points or five? On the last comment?



It doesn’t really matter as I see it. Once “T” & “U” are accepted, man’s will plays absolutely no role whatsoever in his coming to God, in his justification or salvation. Man is a “sin machine” for all practical purposes, without the slightest freedom to be or choose otherwise.



In the Gospels Christ says, “I come not to save the righteous, but the sinner,” and He goes on to make this very comparison with the individual who is physically ill as the one who needs a physician, rather than the one who is in perfect physical health.

I read a real good article on this very thought:

Hebrews 6:4-6 - Falling Away from the Faith




When I had given my previous remark I was thinking that the Calvanist hold degrees or what they refer to as point 4 and 5 points. Depending on what each group believes



What are the Five Points of Calvinism? (TULIP)

What is Amyraldism / Four-Point Calvinism?

I had to post this one to the board. This is a hardliner on christian thought on salvation.



He had an intellect and a free will.

Those are two faculties that we share with God.


closed #39

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit