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 as others, but are still fully made in the image of God. Ellis, instead, says that our capacity to have a relationship with God is what sets us apart and that God created us for three things - dignity, equality, and responsibility.

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 important step further providing clear, concrete steps such as renewed scholarship, diverse leadership, and making sure our orthodoxy and orthopraxy lineup while pointing out that it starts with us implementing these changes in our communities and organizations. This article is for those that have already have a solid foundation in the image of God and want a deeper dive.

BOOK: The Imago Dei – Humanity Made in the Image of God

The doctrine of the image of God is like prayer, communion, or any other practice that has become perfunctory. We kind of know what it is and what it means, but the necessity and revolutionary nature of the practice or belief has dulled with time and repetition. In The Imago Dei: Humanity Made in the Image of God author, Lucy Peppiatt seeks to break the casual understanding of this indispensable doctrine by defining the three main perspectives, getting into the weeds by analyzing church fathers' and theologians' thoughts on the nuances of the doctrine, and finishing with a superb summary.

SHOW: Made in God’s Image

In two short videos totaling just under eight minutes Biblical scholar N.T. Wright dives deeper into the doctrine of the image of God. Wright says Genesis 1 is a calling to humans to look after the world and make it a place where heaven and earth come together. Since humans are created in the image of God we have a unique role in God's plan. Heaven and earth are temples and we are the priests that are called to worship God through our God-given vocation of filling the earth with people and taking care of the earth.

PODCAST: Imago Dei and Cultural Mandate with Dr. Russell Moore

What does it mean to be created in the image of God? What are some of the essential implications of this truth? Does the restlessness of human beings point to God? Dr. Russell Moore answers these questions and more in an insightful, practical 40 minutes. Moore states that the doctrine of the image of God cannot be boiled down to one thing, but suggests that if he had to choose one thing that is unique to humans it would be our innate feeling that there is something out there for us.

MOVIE: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Few people are more respected than Fred Rogers and, perhaps, even fewer have embodied what it means to treat people with dignity and respect better than Mr. Rogers. In Won't You Be My Neighbor? fellow actors, stagehands, and guests of the show reflect on the revolutionary nature of his television show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and his passion for talking to kids about difficult subjects including war, anger, death, and racism.

ARTICLE: What does it mean to be made in God’s image?

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).