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1776Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Irenaeus, the Fall, and the Image of God

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  • Benjamin Harju
    Jul 3, 2011
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      Pr. Futrell,

      Okay, I'll try to clarify. Not only was man "stuck in an immature status
      and unable to grow," but this immature man was also thrown into bondage to
      the devil. He became corrupt, which is a spiritual injury. Gustaf Wingren,
      a Lutheran scholar, writes on the subject in "Man and the Incarnation" p.20
      "...but he [man] is different from the rest of Creation in that in addition
      he was created in order to become like God--to become the very image of
      God. This is his destiny. Irenaeus does not say that he _is_ this image,
      nor was this destiny wholly realised [sic] in Creation before sin entered
      the world, because man was a _child_. This means, in part, that man has not
      arrived at his appointed destiny in Creation, because he is not the son of
      God in that sense, but it also means that, if he grew up to maturity without
      being confused by the adversary, he would reach the end which has been
      ordained for him by God."

      If man is not actually the image yet because he is a child and needs to
      attain to the image, then to lose the image cannot mean that he lost
      something he had in full, but rather he lost the potentiality to something.
      He lost the ability to mature into the likeness of God.

      Pr. Futrell, in saying on your part that St. Irenaeus lost the image, you
      have not said what you believe that image is for Irenaeus yet. That makes
      it hard to understand what you mean when you say you hold to Irenaeus losing
      the image and that I only say the image was wounded/diminished. In
      _Irenaeus_ to lose the image is to lose the potentiality to be like God
      through growth in union with God. What do you think this image is that is
      absolutely lost?

      In Christ,
      Benjamin Harju

      On Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 10:23 PM, Richard K. Futrell <
      PastorFutrell@...> wrote:

      > **
      > Ben,
      > I just take it that when Irenaeus says that we lost the image of God in the
      > Fall, that's what he means. We lost it completely. I happen to agree with
      > Irenaeus.
      > Ben, I may be understanding what you are saying incorrectly. Here�s what I
      > hear you saying:
      > Ben�s words: "That the image and likeness of God is destroyed in man for
      > St. Irenaeus means that man in his child-status has been removed from the
      > pathway of growth in the Life that he received from God."
      > What Rich hears: Lost image = being stuck in an immature status and unable
      > to grow. Thus, the lost image was not really lost but stuck in a state of
      > immaturity until Christ comes into the person�s life. If so, then
      > - Ben: The image of God that is lost is only seriously wounded and
      > diminished until Christ starts to vivify it.
      > - Rich: The image is completely gone and begins to be restored when Christ
      > comes into a person�s life.
      > Is my understanding of your word accurate?
      > Rich

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