Image of God in Humans

Man, Sin, & Salvation
User avatar
mattrose
Posts: 1918
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:28 am
Contact:

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by mattrose » Fri May 06, 2016 6:46 pm

dizerner wrote:So all don't live to God and the wicked get rest? How could you possibly justify that, any arguments?
Well, I'd be glad to argue the case for conditional immortality... though I could easily suggest (like you did for the reverse) that it seems rather obvious from Scripture which blatantly says that God alone is immortal and that eternal life is a gift from God... but that would probably take us on quite a detour from the intent of the thread. Feel free to start a thread with references to your favorite proof texts for inherent human immortality.

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5013
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by Paidion » Fri May 06, 2016 8:55 pm

Hi Matt, you wrote:one could argue (I think quite well) that all human beings DO have a relationship with God (some of them are just negative relationships).
If I understand this correctly, you are saying that it may be the case that all people do have a relationship with God, but some of them (more likely most of them) don't know it.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

User avatar
mattrose
Posts: 1918
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:28 am
Contact:

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by mattrose » Fri May 06, 2016 9:29 pm

Paidion wrote: If I understand this correctly, you are saying that it may be the case that all people do have a relationship with God, but some of them (more likely most of them) don't know it.
No, I didn't intend it that way (though, of course, some people do believe that).

I was trying to say that we all have A RELATIONSHIP with God. The relationship might be good ('right relationship') or it might be bad ('broken relationship'). I think a valid interpretation of the image of God is that humans are uniquely in a relationship with God. No matter the state of that relationship, they are, at least, in it. It could be a deep relationship or a negligent one, but it is a relationship nonetheless.

So I wouldn't see it as a weakness of this theory that people are in varying degrees of relationship with God. It's not really varying degrees. It's various levels of health.

User avatar
Paidion
Posts: 5013
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:22 pm
Location: Back Woods of North-Western Ontario

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by Paidion » Sat May 07, 2016 9:46 am

I was trying to say that we all have A RELATIONSHIP with God. The relationship might be good ('right relationship') or it might be bad ('broken relationship'). I think a valid interpretation of the image of God is that humans are uniquely in a relationship with God. No matter the state of that relationship, they are, at least, in it. It could be a deep relationship or a negligent one, but it is a relationship nonetheless.

So I wouldn't see it as a weakness of this theory that people are in varying degrees of relationship with God. It's not really varying degrees. It's various levels of health.
Thanks for the clarification, Matt. But I still have a problem with the concept. It seems to me that people who simply carry on their self-seeking ways in life have no relationship with God. However, if they do have some sort of "broken" relationship, with Him, how would this be different from, say, the relationship which other mammals such as dogs, horses, and chimpanzees, have with Him? (which have not been created in the image of God).

But in the matter of free will, people seem to differ sharply from mammals whose "choices" are more like instinct.

Also, people have inventiveness in a degree that seems to be absent or minimal in other mammals. Even anthropoid apes such as chimpanzees and gorillas never invent automobiles or computers, though they may use "tools" such as a stick to poke in holes and then withdraw it covered with ants which they then consume.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

Singalphile
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:46 pm

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by Singalphile » Sat May 07, 2016 12:28 pm

I think the questions are good and interesting too, but when it comes down to specific human characteristics that were intended by Genesis 1:26a, how can we say more than, "maybe?"

Perhaps it's not really about specific traits. Who is to say that some specific characteristics (e.g., free-will, ability to relate to God, creativity, etc.) are better or worse or more important than the characteristics of other things and animals in creation, anyway? And as noted, different people have differing degrees of all these characteristics. Some people may basically lack them all. Regardless of potential, I think you'd have to say that those people are less "in God's image" in some way.

Rather, it may be that Genesis 1:26-30 was intended to emphasize mankind's inherent, God-given value and worth and rule, over and above everything else in creation. It builds up to the grand finale, and that's us. Why? Because God effectively said so. Made in His image. What does that mean exactly? I don't know. (Although, if I did have a strong opinion, it would no doubt fit in with or support some other favorite theories of mine. Funny how that works.)

So I think that's why every person is inherently valuable regardless of ability or character, and should be treated as such. I think this is hinted at in Gen 9:6, which mentions man made in God's image, and it seems like a basis for much in the OT law and NT way of living.
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

User avatar
mattrose
Posts: 1918
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:28 am
Contact:

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by mattrose » Sat May 07, 2016 1:20 pm

Thanks for the feedback :)

Paidion... I think you are correct that free will and creative have strong points in their favor in this regard

Singalphile... I think you are correct that the best we can do here is 'maybe' (perhaps some maybe's are better than others though!). My goal was not to develop a dogmatism about what constitutes the image of God, but to, perhaps, eliminate some of the weaker possibilities and focus on the stronger ones. Wayne Grudem's systematic theology book comes at the issue from a similar perspective as you have written.

User avatar
dizerner
Posts: 1221
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:43 pm

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by dizerner » Sat May 07, 2016 2:43 pm

mattrose wrote:
Paidion wrote: If I understand this correctly, you are saying that it may be the case that all people do have a relationship with God, but some of them (more likely most of them) don't know it.
No, I didn't intend it that way (though, of course, some people do believe that).

I was trying to say that we all have A RELATIONSHIP with God. The relationship might be good ('right relationship') or it might be bad ('broken relationship'). I think a valid interpretation of the image of God is that humans are uniquely in a relationship with God. No matter the state of that relationship, they are, at least, in it. It could be a deep relationship or a negligent one, but it is a relationship nonetheless.

So I wouldn't see it as a weakness of this theory that people are in varying degrees of relationship with God. It's not really varying degrees. It's various levels of health.
What if we tweaked it from necessarily having a relationship with God, to the capacity to potentially have a relationship with God, to experience him on some high level?
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

User avatar
dizerner
Posts: 1221
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:43 pm

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by dizerner » Sat May 07, 2016 2:49 pm

Singalphile wrote:And as noted, different people have differing degrees of all these characteristics. Some people may basically lack them all.
Good point Singal, I think we could make a case that all people have 1. the capacity to potentially experience God and 2. some measure of autonomous choice making ability.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

User avatar
mattrose
Posts: 1918
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:28 am
Contact:

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by mattrose » Mon May 09, 2016 5:30 pm

My sermon can be found here... week 2 of the 'IF CREATION' series...Thanks for the help!

http://www.lockportwesleyan.com/the-refinery

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2682
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Image of God in Humans

Post by Homer » Mon May 09, 2016 9:14 pm

I'm not grasping how the ability to have a relationship with the transcendent God makes us in His image. He has no comparable relationship with a being greater than He.

Post Reply

Return to “Anthropology, Hamartiology, Soteriology”