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Introducing Primer 11

What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honour."

(Psalm 8:4-5)

To be a human being, made in God’s image, is a glorious and honourable thing.

Some 3,000 years after David, Shakespeare’s Hamlet famously takes up the same theme:

"What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals."

And yet our modern world speaks of human beings in far less exalted terms. We are “meat machines”; we ain’t nothing but mammals. And so we treat one another accordingly in dehumanising and destructive ways, failing to acknowledge the image of God in one another.

Humanity, when it loses true knowledge of itself, turns out to be real “piece of work” in a very different sense.

And so in the new issue of Primer we are examining the ways in which our culture understands the human race and then seeking to bring the light of God’s word; showing how a proper grasp of the biblical theme of the image of God transforms the way we interact with technology, with the unborn, and with one another.

To begin with, Sarah Allen reflects on several recent books that offer some kind of vision for humanity. Stephen Williams takes us further behind the curtain, introducing us to Nietzsche’s own enormously influential vision of humanity after the “death of God” in the West. Then we turn to Scripture to think about humanity created in the image of God and how that speaks of our origin, purpose and destiny.

The rest is application: what does this mean for how we embrace technological advances, how we use (or abuse) our power, and how we care for the unborn and meet the challenges of abortion and its effects on our society. John Wyatt, Mark Meynell, and Andrew Nicholls are on hand to lead us through those issues.

As ever there are built-in discussion questions for you to reflect on, or to get a group together to discuss. Primer issue 11, A Little Lower than the Angels, is available now from 10ofThose.


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