One of the most frustrating, repeated arguments I hear about killing some people – the unborn, the frail elderly, those with disabilities – is that they have no real value. Only productive people have value in that twisted view.
Writing for Bethlehem College and Seminary’s weekly update, Joe Rigney points out that NONE of us has value in ourselves – but we still have real value:
. . . Edwards knows that human sinners, in our quest for autonomy, love to affirm creation from nothing while smuggling in some notion of our own inherent value and worth. Edwards insists in the strongest possible terms that we have nothing apart from God. We have no autonomous or independent value. When it comes to God, we bring nothing of our own to the table. He gives to all things, life and breath and everything else, including value. “What do you have that you did not receive?” Paul asks (1 Cor. 4:7).
At the same time, Edwards does not leave man as a nothing. We may not have any autonomous, intrinsic value, but we do have real value. And we have value because God values us. Our worth is derived wholly from the fact that God makes us and calls us good. Even in our fallen state, we still retain the remnants of God’s image, an image that God is restoring in Christ. What’s more, in Christ God has given himself to us, so that his Holy Spirit now dwells within us and enlivens our thoughts, affections, and actions. Though we are nothing, God has invited us into his own triune life, extending his fullness and glory to us in the gospel.
Joe Rigney, Assistant Professor of Theology and Christian Worldview, Bethlehem College and Seminary
God values us! God makes us! Yes, this is much better news than believing we – or any human being of any size, ethnicity or ability – only have value as long as we are productive.
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