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From “Trousered Apes” to God’s Image Bearers

From “Trousered Apes” to God’s Image Bearers

We’d be appalled if someone referred to us as “trousered apes,” a colorful quip coined by C. S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man. Yet this is not far from the unflattering picture evolution paints of humanity.

Does scientific evidence for human origins force us to view ourselves as nothing more than clever chimps? Is it scientifically naive, has some naturalists would say, to assert that we are uniquely created in the image of God? Christians can respond to this dilemma in a number of ways. We can shrug our shoulders and weep for the lost world around us or we can share our views—even with no guarantee that doing so will make a real difference. The love of Christ compels us to choose the second option.

We must answer questions concerning human origins in such a way that takes science and Scripture seriously. Fazale Rana’s ten-year update to his book Who Was Adam? (coauthored with Hugh Ross) is an incredibly valuable resource to help us do this. In it, Fuz sorts through fossil records, genomic analyses, and other studies to provide scientific support for a biblical Adam and Eve—and thus for the biblical view of humans as God’s image bearers. Who Was Adam? also helps us identify the shortcomings of evolutionary interpretations of human origins, and it develops a robust, testable creation model grounded in science and Scripture. Tensions created when trying to account for the image of God in people within an evolutionary paradigm evaporate.

God’s revelations in nature and Scripture give us a clear view of reality and purpose. We are unique, beautiful creatures with awe-inspiring potential who have all the motivation we need to share the Christian message of hope, redemption, and human dignity. We are not trousered apes.