July 25, 2012

Humans Aren’t Hamsters, But the “Image” Is More Than That

Dr. Cortez continues his series on what it means to be created in the image of God:

On the fifth day, God created the fish and the birds. Early on the sixth day, he created all the land animals. But it was only when he got to the end of the sixth day that he made creatures who would be in his image and likeness: humans. No other creature gets that distinction. Just us. We must be pretty cool. Special.

We’re exploring what it means to be made in the image of God. (See the whole series here.) And, like many difficult questions, your starting point makes all the difference. If you start with the fact that only humans are said to be in the image of God, then it seems like you have a relatively simple procedure for figuring out what the image is: just find whatever it is that makes us distinct from all the other creatures, and you should be all set.

This is what people commonly refer to as the “structural” approach to the imago. When God created humans, he embedded some capacity (or set of capacities) in our very nature that makes us image bearers. And, whatever this capacity is, other animals don’t have it. Sucks to be them.

Read the rest of the post here.