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Prof Michael Welker: Human Beings as God's Image?

But the glorious truth of the New Testament is that restoration is possible through Christ, the perfect image of God Col. In the new creation, God will once again set up his image bearers. Paradoxically, the new creation has already begun. It was inaugurated when Jesus was raised from the dead and will be consummated when he returns. Thus, we will care for those caught in the vice grip of poverty. We will fight against human trafficking. We will uphold the dignity of the elderly and disabled.

We will advocate on behalf of immigrants. We will work for religious liberty and conscience freedom. We will stand for marriage. We will promote racial reconciliation. And we will fight the culture of death in all its ugly forms. Keep an eye out here for more information. David Closson, M. Read More. By Elizabeth Bristow. By David Closson. By Courtney Reissig. Article What does it mean to be made in God's image? By David Closson May 4, David Closson David Closson, M.

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Article 6. Creation and Calling of Human Beings

Human Dignity. What human dignity has to do with criminal justice reform By David Closson. Sanctity of Life. What does an abortion doctor do when she gets pregnant? Show More. Some people today challenge whether there is a substantial difference between the cognitive abilities of humans and other animals. Studies of animal behavior particularly of chimps and other apes show that animals not only laugh and cry and care for each other, but can learn some sign language and even have basic reasoning ability. A hundred years of intensive research has established beyond reasonable doubt what most human beings have intuited all along; the gap is real.

In a number of key dimensions, particularly the social realm, human cognition vastly outstrips that of even the cleverest nonhuman primates.

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The often-misunderstood part of this claim for human distinctiveness is that the capacities that set us apart from other animals morality, reason, language, culture, and so on are dependent upon other components of behavior and even brain structures that have evolutionary stories. This explains why we find hints or precursors of them in other species. Nevertheless, the gap between modern humans and other species is real.

We should be cautious, though, in defining the image of God as our unique human cognitive abilities. It is possible that the gap could have been filled by other species that are now extinct. Would the cognitive abilities of these species reveal only a difference only in degree? Another challenge for this interpretation of the image of God is the status of people with mental disabilities. Are they not showing his true likeness?

This is a major motivator for Christians who seek to protect the unborn, the poor, and the aged. These cautions notwithstanding, the idea that God may have bestowed his image on humanity in the fullness of time—at some point during evolutionary history when humans had sufficient cognitive capacities—is consistent with the traditional theological view of the image of God as relating in some way to our cognitive capacities. Another common view is that the image of God refers to our capacity for a relationship with God.

Christianity - Human Nature and the Purpose of Existence

Of all visible creatures only man is able to know and love his creator. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity. Being in the image of God, the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead. Since the image of God had been destroyed in us by the fall, we may judge from its restoration what it originally had been. Paul says that we are transformed into the image of God by the gospel. And, according to him, spiritual regeneration is nothing else than the restoration of the same image.

Neuroscientists have looked for evidence of such things as selfless behavior or the ability to perceive the transcendent. But science is simply not capable of fully testing such spiritual realities; the evidence that scientists do find is open to many interpretations. In the ancient cultures of Egypt and Canaan, people made images of their gods from metal and wood and set them up in local temples to worship. We represent God here on earth better than any idol made by human hands. Or as N. It seems to me that God has put humans like an angled mirror in His world so that God can reflect His love and care and stewardship of the world through humans and so that the rest of the world can praise the creator through humans.

This analogy helps us to see the connection between the image of God and caring for creation, as discussed previously.

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How might these models of the image of God fit with evolution? We also believe that God created us as spiritual beings; God established a unique relationship with humanity by endowing us with his image and calling us to an elevated position within the created order.

Science cannot judge our spiritual capacities or divine calling, so there is no contradiction. These various views are affirmed by individuals in the BioLogos community, and in fact the views are not mutually exclusive. Let us remember to:. Manage Cookie Preferences.

How should we interpret the Genesis flood account? How long are the days of Genesis 1?