Both creature and person

“The human being is both a creature and a person; he or she is a created person. This, now, is the central mystery of man: how can man be both a creature and a person at the same time? To be a creature, as we have seen, means absolute dependence on God; to be a person means relative independence. To be a creature means that I cannot move a finger or utter a word apart from God; to be a person means that when my fingers are moved, I move them, and that when words are uttered by my lips, I utter them. To be creatures means that God is the potter and we are the clay (Rom. 9:21); to be persons means that we are the ones who fashion our lives by our own decisions (Gal. 6:7–8). . . .

“Though we cannot rationally comprehend how it is possible for the human being to be a creature and a person at the same time, clearly this is what we must think. Denial of either side of this paradox will fail to do justice to the biblical picture. The Bible teaches both man’s creatureliness and man’s personhood.” (Anthony Hoekema, Created in God’s Image, chapter 2)

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