- Paperback: 275 pages
- Publisher: Eerdmans; Reprint edition (September 6, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802808506
- ISBN-13: 978-0802808509
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Created in God's Image Paperback – September 6, 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
I liked how Hoekema showed from biblical exegesis that the image of God is retained in man, although damaged, and is not destroyed. This is one area of belief where most Reformed theologians are either oppossed to Hoekema or utterly inconsistent. Hoekema argues from Scripture and demonstrates how the view of Berkouwer that God's image in man is gone and is only said to be there as a possibility is wrong. Furthermore, he shows how John Calvin was inconsistent on this question at one point saying the image is destroyed and at another saying the image of God is present in man in some capacity and this is why we should love all men. Moreover, I like how Hoekema dealt with the views of other great Christian thinkers like Ireneaus, Aquinas, and Barth on the question. Furthermore, I really enjoyed Hoekema's argument that man is a psycho-psomatic unity and is composed of both a body and a soul. I think Hoekema illustrates why the view of man as trichotomy of body, soul and spirit is unwarranted. Hoekema argues that soul and spirit are virtual synonyms in the Bible and I believe he is correct. Lastly, I enjoyed Hoekema's treatment of the subject of man's self-image. I think that this was an interesting and stimulation chapter in the book.
The were a few areas where I thought the book was weak, but I think this was caused more by confusing argumentation than by poor reasoning or exegesis. I wish Hoekema would have gone deeper into the question of how God is totally sovereign in salvation, but yet man still must respond in faith. Since Hoekema lies squarely within the traditional Reformed camp and seems to espouse the view that regeneration proceeds faith, I don't see one can argue that it is man's responsibility to respond in faith since this only happens in the spiritually revived. Also, I think the doctrine of common grace is one with little scriptural support. Now, I don't deny that such grace may exist, but I think the Reformed distinction between common and irresistible or sufficient and efficient graces is one that is not directly supported by the Bible. In fact, such a notion seems to be more a necessary construct of Reformed theology than it is a valid component of Scripture.
All in all, Hoekema's book is an excellent discussion on the question of the image of God in mankind. Hoekema states his point by using, Scripture, exegesis, and some Greek word studies. Although there are few elements that detract from the overall quality of this work it is still an excellent piece of literature and an nice defense of modern Reformed scholarship on the issue.
The early part of the book has a useful Historical Survey of various theologians (Aquinas, Calvin, Barth, others) and their view on man in the image of God. Hoekema is fair and looks for the good points in various views as well as kindly pointing out errors.
Later in the book he shows he is his own thoelogian by critquing both the trichotomy (soul and spirit distinct) and dichotomy (soul and spirit inseparable) views of the constitution of man. Hoekema argues for man as a whole (body-soul-spirit) integrated person and encourages us to share the gospel of Christ(the perfect image bearer) in a manner respecting this proper view of our fellow man, who, though fallen like all of us, also reflects some aspects of God's image (James 3:9).
Pretty extensive bibliography, subject, name and scripture indexes; what you expect of a true theology text.
A good and edifying read. God blessed us with an excellent teacher in Hoekema (who is now with the Lord). I would like to read another of his works sometime. John 15:5
I think it is a marvelous book, it is also very readable for the layman. This book gives the reader a very clear and complete view about what the Bible teaches about the image of God, the origin and spread of sin and the restoration of the image of God by the Holy Spirit. One of the strong points of this book is that it follows the Scripture so closely. The explanation of the various texts is balanced and sober.
The author takes classical Reformed positions in matters of the origin of sin (a historical fall, by a historical Adam), total depravity after the fall and the possession of a free will ("Man lost the ability to live in total obedience of God"). I had questions however about certain interpretations, e.g. Romans 7:13-26. The author presumes that Paul is dealing with the unregenerate in this passage, however the interpretation that this passage is dealing with the regenerate is very popular within Reformed Christianity, e.g. Bavinck. It appears to me that the apostle Paul in this passage includes himself in the present tense. The author could have said more about the struggle with sin within the life of the regenerate.
There are places where the author betrays a Dutch bias in dealing with various theological positions, such as were he deals with synodical discussions in the Netherlands about common grace and the speaking of the snake in Paradise. There is a very strong chapter about a typical American topic: self esteem. The author does not like this term, because satisfaction with himself without God's grace is not the relationship a Christion ought to have with himself. A believer should see himself as a new creation in Jesus Christ.
I think this book is a must-read for every student of theology and can also recommend it to every layperson with an interest in systematic theology.