The Value of Man

Some who are hostile to Christ, have said that Christianity strips man of all value. The assertion is the the Christian’s view of mankind is pessimistic and thus supposedly we engage in some sort of vicious self-loathing.

Ironically, others who are also hostile to Christ set out to “disprove” Christianity by making the opposite statement, that Christians have too high a view of humanity, after all the idea goes, we shouldn’t think so highly of ourselves as to think that a God (if He exists) would even care about us, given the vastness of the universe. Such people are sure that God has other things to do than to meddle in our measly mortal affairs, a view which somewhat mirrors the ancient Greek view towards the gods of Olympus.

I recently read through theologian R.C. Sproul’s “What is Reformed Theology?”, and after I was finished, I most definitely felt the need to read it again. Dr. Sproul addresses the value of man, and describes the nature of this value or worth in light of 2 separate and diametrically opposed worldviews (efforts to mesh them are fruitless),

Reformed theology maintains a high view of the worth and dignity of human beings. It differs radically at this point from all forms of humanism in that humanism assigns an intrinsic dignity to man, while Reformed theology sees the dignity of man as being extrinsic. That is to say, man’s dignity is not inherent. It does not exist in and of itself. Ours is a derived, dependent, and received dignity. In and of ourselves we are of the dust. But God has assigned a remarkable value and worth to us as his creatures made in his image. He is the source of our life and our very being. He has cloaked us with a robe of value and worth. – p.25

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