Regarding your translation issue with Clement's letter, it has been a
longstanding (but not always uniform) practice in early Christian and
patristic hermeneutics to translate dikaios as either justify or sanctify,
because the force behind each option was always considered the same in both
Western and Eastern theology. One is to make righteous, the other to make
holy, but the cause of making one either righteous or holy is the divine
energy of Grace [note, though, that RCs claim this is a created substance
and EO teach it's uncreated energy that is distinct from God's essence].
Often we use the word "sanctify" to mean more than just make holy, but also
to be positively affected or changed by God's energy and/or operation. In
such a case where this Grace operates on a person, holiness and
righteousness become very closely related terms. It was the Protestant
reformation that began insisting that to justify referred to a
non-sanctifying activity, actually a forensic activity outside of man and
rather in the heart of God concerning justice.
Regarding St. Irenaeus, I hear you saying that the image of God is 1) to be
like God, 2) not to die, 3) to live a holy life, and 4) these occur through
communion with God. So if this image was *lost*, then that would mean that
man ceases to be like God in every respect (not just in part), he dies
(though I'm unsure what you mean by death), he can do only evil and not good
anymore (including the civil realm), and this happens through a break in
communion with God. Obviously all of this is not so, especially since St.
Irenaeus demonstrates that man has the freedom to choose the good and to
believe in Christ and is not consigned only to evil and unbelief through his
own power (Book IV, Chapter 37). So I don't think your take on the image
in St. Irenaeus matches up with his own statements.
If, though, we said to lose the image was to become less like God, to die
but maintain existence, to misuse freedom to do evil, and that this locates
in a break in communion, then this would seem as if the image is only
injured and not lost. Yet this is much closer to what St. Irenaeus
What is missing from both approaches is the link in St. Irenaeus between
image and likeness (and the issue of growth). These are not one and the same
for him, but two interrelated concepts. From Book V, Chapter 16, par. 2:
"And then, again, this Word was manifested when the Word of God was made
man, assimilating Himself to man, and man to Himself, so that by means of
his resemblance to the Son, man might become precious to the Father. For in
times long past, it was said that man was created after the image of God,
but it was not [actually] shown; for the Word was as yet invisible, after
whose image man was created, Wherefore also he did easily lose the
similitude. When, however, the Word of God became flesh, He confirmed both
these: for He both showed forth the image truly, since He became Himself
what was His image; and He re-established the similitude after a sure
manner, by assimilating man to the invisible Father through means of the
So Christopher's comment about loosing the likeness is not out of bounds at
all. In fact, if we read the original passage in question again from the
public domain electronic collection of Ante-Nicene fathers...
"...but when He became incarnate, and was made man, He commenced afresh(1)
the long line of human beings, and furnished us, in a brief, comprehensive
manner, with salvation; so that what we had lost in Adam -- namely, to be
according to the image and likeness of God -- that we might recover in
Christ Jesus" [III:18:1].
... we see that what was lost was to be _according to_ the image and
likeness of God, which St. Irenaeus says is Christ. We have lost being
according to Christ, which in St. Irenaeus involves not just initial
creation but also growth, hence the distinction he indicates between image
I can only recommend that you spend some time with St. Irenaeus to discover
the relationship between image and likeness in Against Heresies. The
patristic scholar at the Ft. Wayne seminary (when I was there) highly
recommended Gustaf Wingren's "Man and the Incarnation" during my freshman
year, calling it the best presentation on St. Irenaeus's theology out
there. At the time it was out of print, but not so any more. I just
purchased a copy (which I've been desiring for 11 years) shortly before this
thread popped up. You can also check out "One Right Reading?: A Guide to
Irenaeus" by Mary Ann Donovan. This book was part of the curriculum in an
STM level course I took on St. Irenaeus with the same professor near the end
of my time at seminary. The outlines in the Donovan book alone make the
book worthwhile to own.
Personally I find St. Irenaeus to be a very good introduction to Orthodoxy
and Orthodox patristics.
Regarding your Scripture quotes, Gen. 5:3 is an argument from silence (and
could be reversed from silence to demonstrate a retention of God's image),
Rom. 5:12-21 demonstrates only a broken communion and bondage to death
(...death reigned over Adam...), not an answer to whether the image is lost
or distorted, and the same for 1 Co. 15:20-24. In actuality Scripture
demonstrates that man remains created in God's image, as God says after the
Fall in Genesis 9:6. We might even be persuaded by St. James 3:9, though he
uses the word likeness (homoiwsis) and not image (eikon).
On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 10:12 PM, <xcjorr@...> wrote:
> Since we look a lot like Jesus who became incarnate well after the Fall,
> I've always taken that to mean we did not completely lose the image of God
> in the Garden. Our likeness with Him is alone the difference between us -
> apart from sin and divinity, that is.
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Richard K. Futrell" <PastorFutrell@...>
> Sender: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
> Date: Mon, 04 Jul 2011 21:51:25
> To: <LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com>
> Reply-To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Irenaeus, the Fall, and the Image of
> Sorry for my tardy response. I've haven't religiously :-) been checking my
> e-mail during the Independence Day weekend.
> You said, "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."
> Short answer: Only man was created in God�s image. We were created to be
> like God, never to die, as we lived in communion with Him and could live
> holy lives according to His will. The image of God and ability to live in
> such communion was lost in Adam (Genesis 5:3; Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians
> 15:20�24). In Christ, it is restored and will be fully restored on the Last
> Day (1 Corinthians 15:49; Romans 8:29).
> BTW, you can call me "Rich" if you would like. It is not a sign of
> disrespect; I know you were a Lutheran pastor. It is simply being informal,
> and I hope, always cordial.
> Rich Futrell, Pastor
> Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Kimberling City, MO
> Where we receive and confess the faith of the Church (in and with the
> Augsburg Confession): The faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of
> Christ Jesus, His Word of the Gospel, His full forgiveness of sins, His
> flesh and blood given and poured out for us, and His gracious gift of life
> for body, soul, and spirit.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]