Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Imago Dei: The Image of God in Man

Gen. 1:26-27; Gen. 5:1-2

The Imago Dei is a blurry concept in theology, with a lot of dogmatic stuff attached to it. What, at the least, can we conclude about the image of God in Man?

In my former life as a school administrator, I discussed the following points with the faculty as a starting place for discussion:

  • Whatever the image of God is, it is universal within the human race (Christians and Non-Christians alike).
  • Whatever it is, the image of God remains after the Fall, no doubt corrupted, shattered or marred in some way. To what degree we do not know for certain, but it remains nonetheless.
  • Whatever the image is, it differentiates us from the rest of Creation. Whatever it is, relational ethics is predicated upon it. It implies that the human is inherently valuable, whether lost or saved. It underscores the sacredness and dignity of human life.
  • Whatever it is, it stamps us as God’s possession. We belong to God.
  • The image involves reflecting God in some way.Certainly, from the context, humans reflect God through their governing activity.
  • Less certainly, from the context, humans reflect God through their creative activity.
  • By way of inference and application, there is goodness in work, learning, art, music, literature, and in passing these things on to others. To devote ourselves to these things is God-reflecting activity.

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