What Can We Learn About God by Being Made in His Image?

Discussion in 'Natural Revelation and God's Creation' started by Ed Walsh, Mar 17, 2018.

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  1. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    Friends.

    It occurred to me this morning that I do not know the answer to the question in my title. The Lord Yahweh is so far above us that it seems that any comparison between Him and us is impossible. Yet he said that he created us in his image. How is it possible that creatures so sinful, so mutable, so hopelessly earthbound can still in some way be made after his likeness? I see many more ways that are different between God and fallen man than I see similarities. What then is the real image of God in man?

    Thoughts.
     
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    As Berkouwer notes, we make a distinction between the broader/narrower aspects of the image: man, despite his fall, was not beastialized (38). By narrower man lost his communion with God.

    Schilder, anticipating some of Kline's better moments, argues that the term image highlights man's officium, and not some abstract metaphysics.
    • Thus, the image is dynamic and is rooted in the Covenantal God’s Relation with man.
    • the word “image” implies “making visible.”
    • Schilder resists any abstracting the image.
    • The glory of the image shines forth in service to God (56).
    Scripture doesn’t talk about man in the abstract, but man in his relation to God (195).

    I strongly recommend Berkouwer's book on Man: The Image of God. I took extensive notes on it.

    https://negatingthevoid.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/notes-on-berkouwers-anthropology/
     
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  3. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    I have it opened in front of me on Logos.
    Thanks for the advice.
     
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    It's probably the best thing written on doctrine of man. Berkouwer kind of gets lost in explaining Dooyweerd, but he is very good in expounding and getting us to think in Covenantal categories.
     
  5. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    In my most humble opinion this area is the most misunderstood area of theology today. We must limit our understanding that unregenerate fallen man cannot do what is right in the eyes of God. Regenerate men can do what is right in God's eyes because he has faith. Most people think unregenerate fallen man can do what is good without faith because they believe all men are made in His image which is true only so far as what they know is right vs. bad. It all comes down to the appearance of what man is...to God. The distinction between God and man is not of distance but of essence, and that distinction is a true separation even with regenerate man. We cannot be like God (in essence) even if regenerate, and even much less know about the divine essence of God. I know this is hard to compered, for even many good theologians goofed this up, to worse or less degree, like Frame, Clark, and Van Til.
     
  6. ccravens

    ccravens Puritan Board Freshman

    Some ideas, mostly related to soul/spirit:

    *self-consciousness
    *personality
    *capacity for love and self-sacrifice
    *free-will to make choices and discern right from wrong
    *the ability to think critically, logically, creatively, with imagination
     
  7. ccravens

    ccravens Puritan Board Freshman

    Some thoughts from Bavinck's RD:

    *the following that are in God find a limited analogy in man: spiritual essence, virtues and perfections, immanent self-distinctions, self-communication.

    "..humans are the supreme and most perfect revelation of God."

    "So the whole human being is image and likeness of God, in soul and body, in all human faculties, powers and gifts."
     
  8. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    1. We are able to create and build, and use the sciences and math, etc., to in a sense replicate our God in how He designs and creates.

    2. We are able to exercise wisdom. We have a moral compass and are naturally endowed with what is right and wrong.

    3. We are beings of love. Love is of God and only those created in His image are able to truly comprehend it and express it in fullness.

    4. The area of work. God is a working God and those created in His image are made to work as well.

    These are just a few.
     
  9. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Answers including "faculties, powers, gifts," and "think critically, logically ..." include functional definitions and suggest that the mentally disabled are excluded from the Imago Dei.
     
  10. ccravens

    ccravens Puritan Board Freshman

    Since those categories you quoted would not be the only ways in which man is in the image of God, I would say that the absence of those in no way denies the mentally disabled from reflecting the image of God.
     
  11. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Maybe we should look to Him to see.

    As well, those who say humans are made of body, soul, and spirit would see the Trinitarian nature at work in humanity.
     
  12. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Herman Bavinck: the image of God is not a static entity but extends and unfolds itself in the forms of space and time. It is both a gift and a mandate….Only humanity in its entirety--as one complete organism, summed up under a single head, spread out over the whole earth, as prophet proclaiming the truth of God, as priest dedicating itself to God, as ruler controlling the earth and the whole of creation--only it is the fully finished image, the most telling and striking likeness of God” (RD II: 577).
     
  13. ccravens

    ccravens Puritan Board Freshman

    I love HB's prophet/priest/king analogy. I thought about quoting it, but opted for the smaller quotes instead. Must be getting lazy in my old age..
     
  14. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

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