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A Little Lower than the Angels

Virtually every one of us in this room is the result of an educational system that has drip by drip, like dropping water on stone, made an impression on our lives as to who we are. Very few of us, naturally speaking, think of ourselves as a little lower than the angels.

We almost all think of ourselves as a little higher than the animals. That is, we have in our mind a mental picture of something we've seen in any natural history museum: an ascendancy of primates, little jumping creatures, eventually humped over with knuckles dragging, and finally standing erect. When we see the final "naked ape" embarrassingly like us, we say, "This is my heritage. This is where I came from." We think of ourselves as a little higher than the animals.

I wouldn't debate the fact that as human beings we are mammals. We carry on the mammalian kind of processes: ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation, respiration, excretion, secretion, motion, sensitivity, and reproduction. We do these things without consciously thinking about them, just like all the other animals.

The central statement of Scripture about mankind is that we have been imputed or infused by God with a nature that is not a little higher than the animals, but one that is, in this poetic terminology, a little lower than the angels.

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