By David Closson |
Published in May of 2016

SUMMARY: There are three basic understandings of what it means to be made in the image of God. One is a structural view that believes humans’ ability to reason and have a conscience reflects the image of God. Another theory is relational where being made in God’s image means living in a relationship with God and other people. The third view is functional where humans are representatives of God on earth. Whichever theory that one ascribes to it dictates how we are to interact with the world and our fellow human beings — we are to treat people with “dignity and respect irrespective of gender, race, age, nationality or economic status because we remember our King’s words that as we did for ‘the least of these my brothers, you did also to me'” (Matt. 25:40).

KEY QUOTE: “The fact that human beings are created in God’s image shapes the Christian worldview and affects how we see God, the world and one another. It informs how we understand the rest of the Bible’s story and provides a theological foundation for ethics and engagement. In short, a proper understanding of the image of God should animate everything we do, and as a result, we should endeavor to define it biblically; this will enable us to then survey what issues Christians should care about.”


Our latest curated media on the image of God:

SERMON: Image of God

Pastor David Ellis of Astoria Community Church (Astoria, NY) asks what does it mean to be made in the image of God? Is it our intelligence? Is it how we look? Is it our creativity? Ellis postulates that it is none of those as there are some people that are less intelligent and less creative…

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ARTICLE: Calling for a Modern-Day Reformation

In a powerful essay author Jemar Tisby asks why many American Christians are not welcoming to the increasing diversity of the country when Revelation 7:9 talks about a diverse multitude standing before the throne of the Lord. As a result, Tisby calls for a modern-day reformation rooted in the image of God. Tisby goes one…

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PODCAST: The True Meaning of Being Made in God’s Image

Speaker Mike Cosper details three ways we bear God’s images in the world – our capacity for relationships, our capacity for culture-making, and our capacity for wielding power. Each of these characteristics of God are detailed in the Bible, but what holds us back from realizing our full potential of being made in the image…

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