Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

What Does it Mean to Be Made in the Image of God?

So if someone asked you “What does it mean to be made in the image of God?” and you had around 300 words to explain it, what would you say?  Here are my thoughts.

As human beings, our desire to find fulfillment outside of our being makes theological anthropology meaningful, thus understanding what it means to be made in the image of God is relevant to life, meaning and ethics. Scripture says we are created in God’s image, even as broken and fallen people. What does this mean? We are similar to God, we have the capacity to have a relationship with God, and because we are made in His image, we have been given the call to be co-creators, creating culture as His vice regents, in a way that mirrors His glory. Being made in God’s image speaks to the universal human potential to live out our sacred potential in Christ, whereby we mirror the love demonstrated in the Trinity, by living as an inclusive community of loving persons, with God at the center, as a sign and foretaste to God’s New Creation.

This understanding of being made in the image of God has evolved through the ages of the church. Early understanding, influenced by Greek culture, emphasized being similar to God in that we can reason, will and remember. The reformers primary metaphor for the image of God moved from a sculpture (likeness) to a mirror (reflecting the divine), where God’s glory is reflected through union with Christ – Imago Dei/Imago Christi. This relational view was developed to include our ability to love. The emerging dynamic view, while holding to an ontological and relational understanding, has a teological emphasis, in that humans (holistic body and spirit people), reflect God’s image as we live out our sacred potential in Christ by partnering with God, in the power of the Spirit, moving toward the coming Shalom.

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