19 The Crown of Creation
Those who think that humans “climbed up from animal wildness to a degree of human consciousness” don’t believe in a Paradise, or in the creation of the first human.
To be created in the image of God means that “it is not our excellence but our suitability for God” and that “in the state of righteousness Adam lived by grace, ” a “sustaining grace” not a merciful grace. Kuyper sees a key role for humanity as being the image of God:
“Apart from man the world stands at a distance from God; in man it comes close to him. Now for the first time something of God’s own life beats and sparkles in this world. Mute before God as long as man was still absent, the whole creation now speaks to God through man. ” (181)
“We can understand Adam’s unique position in Paradise only in this way. That creation and that Paradise do not exist for his sake. Every-thing exists for God’s sake, and also Adam himself exists only for God’s sake. Without Adam creation was not finished. He is its crown, not that he might take creation for himself but in order that he might bring it to God. No altar stands in Paradise, but all of Paradise is an altar on which Adam as priest of God offers God the glory of his handiwork. ” (181)