«Anthropology in general refers to any study of the status, habits, customs, relationships and culture of humankind. In a more specific and theological sense, anthropology sets forth the scriptural teachings about humans as God’s creatures. Christian anthropology recognizes that humans are created in God’s image but that sin has in some way negatively affected that image» (Grenz, Guetzki, and Nordling 11). In other words, anthropology is the study of how God created us uniquely in his image, and how sin affected the image.
On the sixth day, God made male and female in his image, and he saw that it was very good (Genesis 1:27, 31). The Bible continues to tell the story of how God made us. He made Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. After that, God took one of Adam’s ribs and made Eve. The Adam and Eve walked with God. The Bible does not go into much detail to explain the creation process or any other part of creation. God wanted us to know how we are unique and wonderful and that we are supposed to have a relationship with Him. «We are the only earthly creatures whose essence is more that physical; man alone has a soul or spirit and is thus a combination of matter and spirit» (Cottrell 149).
The fact that we have a soul is one way we are like God. No other creature has a soul or can tell right from wrong. Starting in Genesis, and throughout the whole Bible, God has called people His children. In the Old Testament, He told the Hebrews that they were His people, and in the New Testament, He call the Christians His children. God did not change his mind about who he would accept as the chosen, but when Jesus died on the cross, He opened the doors to everyone who accepts Christ to be God’s child. This label of being God’s child show that God wants to be in a relationship with His creation. Man was made uniquely in the image of God.
In the Garden of Eden, God only had on commandment, which was «You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die» (Genesis 2:16). This was a very reasonable request that God made of Adam and Eve. God made all of creation for man and asked them to do one thing: to not eat from one certain tree. He gave them reign over all the other trees but this was not enough for man. The reason for the forbidden treat was to give humans free will in their choice. Man was tricked by Satan and ate the fruit from the tree. Before the fruit was eaten God’s and man’s relationship was perfect; Adam walked with God (Genesis 3:8). Once the fruit was eaten, the relationship between God and man was never the same. From then on, man could not live forever with God on earth, but man had to die and go to the final judgment. This is where it is decided if man could spend eternity with God or away from God in Hell.
The only way to spend eternity with God is through Jesus Christ. Jesus had to be a sacrifice for all of mankind. This sacrifice was a sacrifice like no other. It was human blood, but not just any human blood, innocent blood from a man who was entirely God and entirely human. This sacrifice mad it possible for God to forgive the sins that were committed by man. Now, all we have to do to spend eternity with God is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This is also not hard because Jesus saved us from an eternity away from God. Sin separated us from God, but through God’s wisdom, he sent his son down to earth to take the pain and blame for us.
Anthropology is the study of man: how man is made in the image of God and how sin separated man from God. The story does not end there. One cannot just look at man and his problems without looking at God’s power and grace. God made us and gave us one commandment to follow; and we broke it. He sent his son to die on a cross for our sins so that we may spend eternity worshiping Him.