Main difference between man and other created beings?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by timothy27, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. timothy27

    timothy27
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was just doing some reading and wanted to get some opinions from the people here on this site.

    What is the main distinguishing aspect of humans? What is it about us that sets us apart from other created things, animals, angels etc.
     
  2. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Angels are spiritual only, so we are different in that we have physical bodies.

    As far as the rest of the physical creation, man is the only part that also has a spirit. What this seems to involve, in terms of differences we can see are quite a few characteristics:

    inventiveness/creativity -- man has the desire to express himself individually in creative activities. When a sparrow builds a nest, for instance, it is just like every other sparrow's nest (assuming the same materials are available, and even if not, the form and shape mark it for what it is). But people build individual homes of all different sorts.

    appreciation of beauty for the sake of beauty -- whether it be music, art, or a sunset, men can appreciate or not appreciate it on an individual basis which has nothing to do with utility.

    building a culture around ethics and morality -- animals live by instinct when they are living in a group. Men live by conscious choice of values.

    religion -- man is religious by nature, aware of deficiencies within himself and striving to become different, usually via some sort of supernatural connection.

    the ablity to choose -- how to live one's life, what to believe in, how many children to have, what to eat for dinner, etc.

    That's just a partial list. I'm sure others can add quite a bit to it.
     
  3. timothy27

    timothy27
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Those are great answers Helen but I want to know if there is ONE main difference between men and animals, angels etc. Is there something we have that they do not, besides physical bodies.
     
  4. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Men are different from animals in that we have spirits.

    Men are different from angels in that we have bodies.
     
  5. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    The easiest and most complete answer is "The image of God in man." Nothing else has that.
     
  6. chipsgirl

    chipsgirl
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does it say in the Bible that animals do not have spirits? I really don't know, that's why I am asking.

    Also, Helen says Men are different from Angels in that we have bodies but that seems a little generic. There has to be a major difference between me and an Angel.

    Thanks for starting this thread Timothy27. Good question!
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some angels do have bodies (cf. Heb 13:3; Luke 2; Gen 17; etc.) The distinction between men and angels is the image of God. Angels are a company, not a race. They don't procreate, nor descend from one another. They are not savable. They fill many roles in teh service of God that man doesn't form.
     
  8. richard n koustas

    richard n koustas
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2004
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    0
    We sing...angels don't
     
  9. Bro. James

    Bro. James
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,627
    Likes Received:
    12
    The first man, Adam, was made from a lump of clay. God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul. God did not do that for any other creature.

    Another fatal flaw in evolutionary theory.

    Interestingly, the clay lump still rebels against the Potter.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  10. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hominidae have a soul (Helen referrs to it as our spirit), thus making them in the image and likeness of their creator God. Non hominid lifeforms may have a life force, but not a soul as we do.

    We tend to "humanize" creatures that we can react to (dog, cat, etc), but the reality is that a starfish, chimpanzee, plankton, and mushroom are all the same in that they lack being created in God's image. We differ from them.
     
  11. Helen

    Helen
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Soul is different from spirit, John. The soul is the 'nephesh', or breath of life (the word is translated both ways). The complex animals are listed in the Bible as having nephesh, or the breath of life, or soul.

    But only man has spirit.

    That spirit and soul are different is attested to several times in the Bible, but perhaps the clearest is Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
     
  12. TC

    TC
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    10
    As Pastor Larry has said, only man is declared to be made in the image of God. Man's creation was special and we have been given dominion over the birds of the air and the beasts of the field and the fish of the sea.
     
  13. timothy27

    timothy27
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is it about a soul that distinguishes us from the life force of angels? I know you will say it is the image of God, but can you clarify?
     
  14. timothy27

    timothy27
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    PAstor Larry, when you say angels are not savable what do you mean? If they cannot be saved can they be lost?
     
  15. timothy27

    timothy27
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    The image of God, a reference to Genesis.. "let us make man in our image..." Trinity? or reference to God and His Holy court? If the latter would that mean our soul resembles angels and therefore that is not the main distinguishing aspect?
     
  16. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,925
    Likes Received:
    111
    But of course, demons are fallen angels, they are unredeemable.

    Timothy27 asks in the OP: What is the main distinguishing aspect of humans?
    What is it about us that sets us apart from other created things, animals, angels etc.


    Man is the only creature with whom God has a personal relationship.
    Not even the angels can claim that distinction!

    Rob
     
  17. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many disagree and with good reasons. "Soul" and "spirit" are used interchangeably enough to give good reason to believe that they are the same: the immaterial part of man. Man only has two parts: the material (body) and the immaterial (spirit/soul). "Soul" is a term that can refer to the body, to the spirit, or to the whole man.

    If you believe this way, then 1 Thes 5:23 and Heb 4:12 use "soul and spirit" as a figure of speech for the very center of man.

    Angels are either confirmed in holiness or confirmed in damnation. They are not savable like humans are.
     
  18. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess I wasn't clear enough on making a distinction between the human spirit and the breath of life.
    I agree with you on that topic. Some use "soul" instead of "spirit" and "spirit" instead of "soul". So long as we understand the difference between the "breath of life" and the "spirit" we're on the same page here. The only time there's contention is when they're used interchangeably.
     
  19. timothy27

    timothy27
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Angels are either confirmed in holiness or confirmed in damnation. They are not savable like humans are."
    Above by Pastor Larry.


    So the angels destiny is determined?
     
  20. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page

Loading...