Hughes begins with the premise that "the doctrine of man (anthropology) can be truly apprehended only in the light of the doctrine of Christ (christology)." He presents Christ as the "true image in which man was formed at creation and into which by the reconciling grace of re-creation fallen man is being trans formed."
Comprehensive and challenging enough to be a seminary textbook, this volume has been written clearly enough for the layperson to understand its concepts.
The author addresses problem areas in anthropology—original sin, foreknowledge and foreordination, immortality of the soul, and perfection. While upholding the importance of orthodoxy, Hughes challenges traditional interpretations that contradict Scripture. His persuasive writing makes one wonder how some issues could have been misunderstood for so long. I found his discussion of the doctrines of the immortality of the soul and the eternal torment of the wicked most impressive.
Hughes' survey of the history and development of the doctrine of Christ and the doctrine of man makes this book worth buying. It is of special interest to Seventh-day Adventists. While reading this book, I began to understand why we continue to have problems with such concepts as perfection. I could see the linkage between our doctrine of Christ and our doctrine of man. I discovered that a deficient doctrine of Christ will result in a stunted doctrine of man.
In studying the development of doctrine in Adventism, we find that our spiritual ancestors developed their doctrine of man well before they dealt with the doctrine of Christ. Many of them held unorthodox, even heretical, views of the nature and divinity of Christ while developing their doctrine of man. It is, therefore, not surprising that we still have a few details to clarify in our doctrine of man. Hughes provides useful principles to understand God's Word, ourselves, and the relationship between ourselves and God better.