Based upon last week’s article, “Which Lives Matter?” (Part 1), I would like to extrapolate theologically with some possible implications that might help to clarify the significance of the imago dei and Adam Theology as relating to this issue. Of course in all such contemplative ventures we must acknowledge our limitations a la Deuteronomy 29:29, Isaiah 55:8-9, et al. Yet gaining some altitude often provides us with theological meditations that prompt occasions for profound worship.
Before going back to the opening chapters of Genesis, I need to begin with a couple of background observations. First regarding Theology Proper we often speak of passages being anthropomorphic. However, this may invert the orientation of a text such as Ephesians 3:14-15. Verse 14 identifies the Father (i.e. ton patera), “out of or from Whom, verse 15, every Fatherhood (i.e. pasa patria) in heaven and upon earth is named.” This orientation would also seem to apply in relation to Sonship and sonship.
Now speaking of the Son, He also could be viewed as the Archetype for humanity, and not merely an ectype via the incarnation, since we know through progressive revelation that He was the direct Agent of all creation (e.g. John 1:3, 10; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2). So when the plural verbs and pronouns used of God in Genesis 1:26 affirm that Adam, the first “man” in time space and history, was created, there may have been a special focus on the Archetype-Agent among the members of the Trinity. If this conjecture proves to have a degree of credibility, it could highlight a bit more the theological significance of Adam Theology and also of the-One/one-and-the-many motif.
So returning to the two Adams and the question of “Which Lives Matter?,” most Biblicists and even some secular anthropologists would view the mid-East to be the geographical center of the creation of human life and its development. As I pointed out in part one, humans, bearers of the image and likeness of God, seemingly reproduce also according to their “kind” (i.e. min). Such “kinds” would exhibit great variations within their own divinely determined boundaries. Therefore since Adam was created in Eden, obviously a mid-eastern location, he most likely was not starkly black or white. However, genetically the whole range of humanity’s skin colors and characteristics descended from him. Furthermore, Christ, whose genuine humanity came through Mary, a mid-eastern Jewish girl, became incarnate on a colorblind mission. The ‘“Last Adam”’ came to rescue sinners of all types. He remains the only answer to the racially charged question “Which Lives Matter?”: All Human Lives Matter! So as the ‘“first Adam’s”’ sin brought death to himself and all image bearers, the sacrificial death of the ‘“Last Adam”’ brings with it the non-discriminating offer of spiritual life to all people who receive it by grace through faith. Indeed Christ’s coming techni-colored Kingdom will indeed beautifully demonstrate this once and for all.
Dr. Zemek serves as the Academic Dean of The Expositors Seminary and an elder at Grace Immanuel Bible Church in Jupiter, FL.