Saturday, February 5, 2011

What God has given us as image-bearers...

"Whatever mode God employed in creation (and the mode is eclipsed in importance by the fact), God made man in his own image or likeness. Although the Bible nowhere spells out in so many words what this means, the implications are clear. For everywhere Scripture assumes man's qualitative difference from the animals, and rebukes or ridicules man when his behaviour is more bestial than human in its irrationality of godlessness or selfishness. The divine image in man is a complex of qualities, which might be summarized as follows:

(a) Man has an intelligence, a capacity to reason and even to evaluate and criticize himself.

(b) Man has a conscience, a capacity to recognize moral values and make moral choices.
(c) Man has a society, a capacity to love and to be loved in personal, social relationships.
(d) Man has a dominion, a capacity to exercise lordship over creation, to subdue the earth and to be creative.
(e) Man has a soul, a capacity to worship, to pray and live in communion with God.

These capacities (mental, moral, social, creative and spiritual) constitute the divine image, because of which man is unique."

--From 'Reverence for Human Life', "Church of England Newspaper" (29 October and 5 November 1971). Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 143, by permission of InterVarsity Press.

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