Theology III Lecture 01 and 02 „A Biblical Theology of Man in Ten Steps” and „The Doctrine of Man in Genesis 1-11”

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Theology III Lecture 01 „A Biblical Theology of Man in Ten Steps”


Dr. Michael Vlach

VIDEO by Joshua Crooch
„A Biblical Theology of Man in Ten Steps”
The Master’s Seminary –
Theological Resources –



Today we’re gonna be rooted in the Book of Genesis. We will camp out in Genesis 1 & 2, where I may point out some other issues regarding the doctrine of man in the first 11 chapters of Genesis. I’m a really big fan of studying Genesis 1 & 2 and then comparing that with what you see when you get to the end of all things with Revelation 20-22. Some have pointed out and I thing there’s some truth to it. In general, evangelicals are often really good at explaining Genesis 3 and the Fall, and then the solution of what Christ has done, when He came at His first coming. But, those are two parts to the story:

  1. That’s the Fall
  2. And then, you have Redemption and the Solution

There’s the Creation, but there’s also the things to come, or what we refer to as the eschatology of the restoration of all things.

I do think that the traditional understanding of the Bible storyline.

  1. Creation – Genesis 1 – 2.
  2. Fall – Genesis 3.
  3. Promise Genesis 3:15 . Protoevangelion: the promise that there’s gonna be a woman coming, who will defeat the power behind the serpent and restore the Creation. Genesis 3:15
  4. Most people would refer to the next part of the story as: Redemption. Even though that’s the most common one, I like to refer to this one as the arrival of the King. When Jesus comes, He’s proclaiming the nearness of the Kingdom and of course, since there’s two comings of Christ, the emphasis is on His role as the suffering servant, making atonement for sins. And of course, the actual Kingdom itself is established with the second coming of Christ.
  5. The last part is going to be restoration. Revelation 20-22

I was making the point that often times we are really good with the Fall, we are really good with Redemption. But, we also need to make sure we’re looking at the issue of Creation, which obviously is going to be Genesis 1 – 2.

What we’ll be doing today is focusing on the Doctrine of Man, mostly in regard to the Creation account. Now, this is a Systematic Theology class, but one of the things I like to do  when we’re looking at a specific doctrine, whether it’s the doctrine of man or even the image of God, is to see how that doctrine progresses throughout the 5 parts of the story. So, all of that to say: We need to camp out in Genesis 1 & 2 for awhile. We’re quickly gonna get to Genesis 3; that’s what the doctrine of sin and Hamartiology is all about. But, I think, as we really study Genesis 1-2, when we grasp what its saying, that will give us even more of an appreciation for the devastating aspect of the fall. When we see how God created things to be, and when we see how man throws it away, mars it and a lot of things get destroyed because of that, we realize more the devastating consequences of the Fall and of course we appreciate more what Christ does for us, because He comes to bring the restoration of all things, which obviously includes our spiritual restoration of being made right with God, but, not only that, but eventually, what He’s gonna do when He  restores all things with Creation and nature.

In light of that, let’s go ahead and look in Genesis 1.Genesis 1 is very broad because it’s talking about the Creation of the world in 6 days, and then a man ends up culminating an aspect of Creation at the end of the 6th day. There’s no doubt that the 6th day is particularly highlighted in the Creation account. I was actually reading somebody who actually did a little chart of the words that were devoted to the various days of Creation. And when you put them all together, on average, there’s about 100 more words  involved with the 6th day of Creation then there are the other days. So, it’s definitely the high point. Man comes last, on the 6th day. So, he’s the culmination of the creation. Of course, when you get to Genesis chapter 2, it’s gonna get more specific on the actual creation of man. Genesis 1 is broader, Genesis 2 ends up being more specific.

When you look at Genesis 1, and I pointed this out last time, when we read Genesis 1:26-28. As I mentioned last time, you really cannot overemphasize the significance of Genesis 1:26-28. The themes here, the truths here are strategic and will carry out through the rest of the Bible, because we see this Creator God, this King of the Universe  has created this beautiful world, and this man is created last in that, but he’s created for a purpose. So there’s all kind of rich truths in Genesis 1:26-28. If you look in verse 26, is says, „Then God said: Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” There’s been a lot of debate in regard to the „Let us”. I do believe that that is an indication of plurality in the godhead, and as we move out throughout the Scripture, we will see that that takes form throughout as the Trinity, of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.

If you read John chapter 1 ,it talks about „In the beginning was the Word,” in reference to Jesus. „And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And you see that the Word was involved with Creation. So, „In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God,” so there’s God and yet you see that the Word was with God.” You are seeing plurality there. What’s significant here is – obviously, we know that there’s one God. The Scripture indicates that there’s one God. There’s plurality within the godhead. This is indicating that within God, this is very, very important, because this is going to be mirrored in His creation, that with God there is unity and diversity. Hopefully, a basic orthodox understanding of the Trinity, and basic theology proper classes affirm that. We affirm that there’s one God, but then there’s 3 persons within the one God. So is God unity or is He diversity? And the answer ends up being both. He is unity and diversity. There is one God, and yet, there is 3 persons.

As God creates man, we’re also gonna see that unity/diversity established within mankind. Because we see here that God said, „Let us make man  in our image, according to our likeness- we’ll get more into that, here, shortly. We’ll make some statements today about image and likeness. I think it will end up being the next class where we really dive more into the issue of the image of God. „God said, Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” Notice, „Let them rule over the fish and over the birds of the sky..” So, notice, „Let us make men,” and then, „let them rule”, because there’s gonna be a plurality to mankind. You’re gonna quickly see when you get to verse 27, that God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them. So, there’s mankind, that’s a unity, but there’s gonna be a diversity when it comes to gender. There’s gonna be male and there’s female. That’s an evidence of the unit/diversity motif.The very fact that there will be man, and that there will be specific persons, obviously starting with Adam and Eve, and then, eventually children and descendants of Adam and Eve is another example of unity and diversity within mankind.

From an apologetics level, this is getting more into apologetics. One of the things we say that’s great about the Christian worldview is that our world is full of unity and diversity. And the Christian worldview can best explain that because our God is both unity and diversity.

Coming back to Genesis 1:26 , when it says, „Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness,” we’re dealing with the issue of image there. I think Wayne Grudem has given a good definition of image. You don’t get a specific definition of image in the actual text, but, Wayne Grudem has submitted that being in the image of God means that man is somewhat like God and represents God. That doesn’t mean that man  is God ontologically. But there is a sense in which he is like Him. There is a sense in which he represents Him. I think it’s gonna be the context of Scripture that most gives us  what the image of God is and of course from our standpoint in history, we have a great advantage because when Jesus comes on the scene, He also is referred to as the perfect image of God. And so, I think, as Jesus lives His life  and we have that recorded in Scripture, we see that the way that He loved God and the way that He loved others, that it ends up being the perfect manifestation of what the image of God is supposed to look like in man. And so, we have that.

But, the image, if you look at some of the cultural issues, in regard to the image of God, in the ancient world, sometimes a leader, a pharaoh, or a king, sometimes would place an image of themselves in a particular geographical area. There would be a statue, there would be an image of the King. And that would represent the King. And that would also represent his dominion in that particular area. When people would look at that image, it would remind them of who the sovereign was and what that meant in regard to his authority in their lives.

Notes from the first 14 minutes. VIDEO  length 1 hour 38 minutes

From The Master’s Seminary –

Theological Resources –

VIDEO by Joshua Crooch


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