THEO 525 LBTS Image of God

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Please rewrite the paper...its 12 pages without the cover and bibliography. Please rewrite, so no plagiarism can be detected.

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RESEARCH PAPER of The “Image of God” in mankind. Genesis 1:26 THEO 525 LUO (fall 2011) Systematic Theology I Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary David J. Miller (ID# 99761) December 12, 2011 1 Table of Contents I. Introduction …................................................................................................................... Pg. 3 II. The Image of God in Mankind is the moral Christian character traits that mankind possesses............................................................................................................................ Pg. 5 III. Image is the essence of man which can not change, while likeness is the changing part of man.................................................................................................................................... Pg. 5 IV. Image is mankind as male and female............................................................................. Pg. 6 V. Image is the self-conscious personality of man................................................................ Pg. 7 VI. Image is man's original righteousness............................................................................. Pg. 8 VII. Image is the material aspect of mankind......................................................................... Pg. 9 VIII. The image of God is found in the soul............................................................................ Pg. 10 IX. Image is the freedom and reason of man, while likeness is man's gift or Spiritual communion with God.................................................................................................................................. Pg. 10 X. The image of God is a spiritual likeness.......................................................................... Pg. 11 XI. Conclusion...................................................................................................................... Pg. 12 XII. Bibliography................................................................................................................... Pg. 14 2 Introduction In Genesis 1:26, this verse contains the theological problem of how we are exactly the “image” of God, as well as the grammatical, and possibly theological, problems of why ‫ אֱֹלהִ ים‬is in the plural form. There is also the conflict of whether or not “image” and “likeness” should be distinguished from each other. We will take a look at several ideas and theories of what it means to be “made in the image of God” as well as look at the proposals about the difference of image and likeness. When it comes to the issue of what it means for man to be created in the “image” of God, we need to have a resolved notion of where we stand because our belief on this topic will define our faith in Christ Jesus. Colossians 1:15 tells us that Christ is the image of the invisible God. He is also fully man, while at the same time being fully God. His being the image of God has nothing to do with Him being fully God, but instead it relates to His being fully man. Since Christ, in the form of a man, is the image of God, we can see how we too are in the image of God, though His image in us is marred due to the Fall. We have to know in what way God’s image is in use in order to understand how His image was in Jesus during His time on earth. Erickson deems it necessary to formulate some kind of definition for what it means to be “made in the image of God”. This process is not a simple one. We must involve both interpreting individual references as well as various allusions in scripture. When viewing the nature of what it means to be “made in the image of God”, there are three ways in which we can approach. Erickson makes mention of the substantive, relational, and the functional views. The substantive view consists of certain characteristics within the nature of the human, either physical or psychological. The relational view is the experiencing of a relationship between human and God, or between two or more humans. The functional view is not something a human is or experiences, but something the human does.1 These three views or approaches will help guide us as we take on the task of determining what it means to be 1 Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998. Pg 520. 3 “made in the image of God”. Each of these views fit within one of the theories discussed in this paper. The Image of God in Mankind is the moral Christian character traits that mankind possesses. I try to think back to when I was really young. I try to remember of a time that I did not understand right from wrong. When I came to the realization that I wasn't able to think of such of time, I thought it was just because of my upbringing. I was fortunate in the fact that I grew in a good Christian home. Christian morals were stressed and emphasized. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was impossible for me not to know right from wrong. I couldn’t tell if this was a blessing or a curse. The best answer I had for this was maybe it was the fact that I had parents who loved me and found it necessary to raise me in such a way. It was definitely a blessing. I decided to talk to my friend who did not grow up in a Christian home but was fortunate enough to find himself in the church, and accepted Christ in his later teen years. I asked him the same question that I asked myself. “Can you think of a time that you could not determine right from wrong?” He looked at me, paused, and humbly admitted that he could not think of a time that he didn't know right from wrong. There were times when he did do wrong things, but deep down inside he knew it was wrong. Why is this? Is this something that is embedded in our DNA? Wilson and Bloomberg specifically look at the fruits of the spirit in the book of Galatians. Galatians 5:22-23 says, ”22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (NIV). They insist that the fruits of the spirit as well as some qualities listed elsewhere, are traits of God that man is capable of having.2There is no denying that a man regardless of having or not having a relationship with God is capable of such things. But is this necessarily what it means to be “made in the image of God”? Wilson, R.Ward, and C.L. Blomberg. “The Image of God in Humanity: A Biblical- Psychological Perspective.” Themelios 18(1993): 9-12. 2 4 Sidoroff looks at Exodus 34:6-7 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” (NIV) He states that this passage lists many attributes of God that show man how he is supposed to be and act. This is a clear indication of how God can reveal his image in mankind. 3 Both the views of Wilson/Bloomberg and Sidoroff have valid explanations and have scripture to back what they are saying but, there are some arguments to this idea. Wallace makes mention that the Hebrew word in Genesis 1:26 for image refers to the structure of the Godhead which makes it clear that image is not a certain morale that is present in the actions of man, but image is rather an essence that mankind possesses.4 It is also firmly believed that God does not reveal His image in mankind by their morality, but instead, His goodness is reflected in man's obedience to God's word. It is nice to think that the Character traits that we possess is the simple solution of determining what it means to be “made in the image of God”. Of course these traits we possess are part of the image, but it is simply a small part of the puzzle. Clearly there has to be more to it. We humans are too complex to make it this simple. Image is the essence of man which can not change, while likeness is the changing part of man. There are two nouns in Genesis 1:26, both image and likeness, which suggests that a teaching of two aspects of the image of God, one being permanent and the other, transient.5 Origen had developed the thought that he saw image as something immediately given at creation, while likeness was to be 3 Sidoroff, Matti. “Man as the Icon of God.” Greek Orthodox Theological Review 28 (1993): 24-25. 4 Wallace, Ron. “The Image of God.” Online. Available from http://www.biblefragrances.com/studies/WSimage.html/ [accessed 29 October, 2011] 5 Feinberg, Charles. “The Image of God.” BSAC 129 (1972): 237 5 conferred by God at a later time, perhaps through works. 6 Erickson summarizes the further development of Irenaeus' distinction by stating “the image was the human's natural resemblance to God, the power of reason and will (knowing wrong from right). The likeness was a donum superadditum – a divine gift added to basic human nature. This likeness consisted of the moral qualities of God, whereas the image involved the natural attributes of God. When Adam fell, he lost his likeness, but the image remained fully intact. Humanity as humanity was still complete, but the good and holy was spoiled”.7 Humanity, believers and non-believers alike are both fully human. They both possess the ability to evaluate evidence, to recognize truth, and choose on the basis of knowledge of the truth. Through this all persons are capable to gain some true knowledge of God.8 Martin Luther refuted this idea. As a man of great understanding and a skilled exegete, he saw that the difference in terminology (image and likeness) as not a difference at all. Image and likeness in Genesis 1:26 do not have separate referents. Rather, this is simply an instance of the common Hebrew practice and parallelism. Therefore, there is no distinction between image and likeness either before or after the fall.9 Since this is the case, we can safely assume that they both refer to essence and not something transient. Image is mankind as male and female. I have always been the type of person who would always find something to do on a Friday night. Whether it was a date with that one special someone, or with the guys to hang out and maybe watch a game. I'm not sure why this is, but I love to be around people. Is it that I'm needy? Or perhaps it could be something that is within me, within all of us? Erickson sums up Barth's doctrine of the image of God by saying, “We know from Genesis 6 7 8 9 Ibid Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998. Pg 522. Ibid Ibid,. 523 6 1:26-27 that the image consists in humans' reflecting the internal communion and encounter present within God. The internal encounter within a human rests in the fact that the human race has been created male and female. Thus there is an I – Thou confrontation within humanity just as there is in the humans relation with God. We also know, from looking at Jesus for the whole meaning of humanity, that the image of God consists in being for others. From this perspective as well, then, standing in relationship with others is what constitutes the image.”10 Aalders and Davis share the a similar mindset when they suggest that mankind as male and female represent the Trinity in aspect of their communion with each other in marriage, just as the Trinity communes together. Since God is a relational being, He created mankind as relational beings.11 12 It is clear that humanity is a relational based creation, but is this the real image of God in us? Two things come to mind when thinking about this particular theory. First thing is that while the relational aspect of mankind is part of the image of God in mankind, but it is not the entirety of it. It is clear that we may be getting somewhere, but we are merely scratching the surface. Secondly, Jesus was the image of the invisible God but he was not married. Jesus was a relational human, he spent time in fellowship and communion with man and women alike, but the relation between male and female (marriage) did not apply to Him. Therefore the comparison of the union of marriage and the Trinity is not a good argument for the image of God in mankind. Image is the self-conscious personality of man. Having the limited understanding of God that I have, I try to close my eyes and imagine what God is. I know that God is good, God is loving, God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and the list could go on and on. There truly is not enough words to fully describe who and what God is. But is God just a spirit, a presence we feel? Does he have a physical body? These are all the questions that cross my 10 Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998. Pg 526. 11 Aalders, G. Ch. Bible Studies Commentary. Genesis Vol. 1: 72 12 Davis, John J. Paradise to Prison. Wisconsin: Sheffield Publishing Company, 1998. Pg 80-81. 7 mind from when I was a young boy to my years as a young man. Charles Lee Feinberg mentions in his writing “The Image of God”, that God is incorporeal. That is to say that God is not composed of matter, and He has no material existence. Therefore, since we can not obtain a physical image of God, Feinberg suggests that man is a copy of God's holiness. It is this holiness that we possess that gives us the image of God. This holiness is in the self-conscious personality we all possess as humans.13 Peter Alan Emmett refutes this theory by bringing up two issues. The first is if man is the corporeal image of God, then Christ, when speaking in Genesis 1:26, is saying that He is the image of Himself. Secondly, If man was made as a copy of God's holiness, mankind no longer exhibits the image of God because mankind can now, due to the fall, only be holy through Jesus Christ, which is by grace.14 Image is man's original righteousness. Martin Luther rested on a unitary view of the image of God. Erickson explains this view by saying, “All the aspects of the image of God in humans have been corrupted; what is left is a relic or remnant of the image – not certain qualities but fragments, as it were, of all what constituted the likeness to God remain. Ultimately, the uncorrupted image still exists as God's intention for humans, but is not actually present in them.”15 Since this is the case, the image of God was lost in the fall of man and sinful men are incapable of possessing the image of God. Three arguments to this theory. First, if you read Colossians 1:15 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (NIV) and 2 Corinthians 4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory Feinberg, Charles. “The Image of God.” BSAC 129 (1972): 241. Emmett, Peter Alan. “The Image of God and the Ending of Life.” The Asbury Theological Journal v.47 (Spring 1992): 53-57. 15 Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998. Pg 523. 13 14 8 of Christ, who is the image of God.” (NIV) both these verses tell us that Jesus is the image of the invisible God and has come to restore that image in mankind. Secondly, sinful man can and still does retain the image of God; that image was simply marred with the fall of man. Thirdly, if man was not in God's image, he would be sinless, because sin involves rationality and voluntary decisions, which are characteristics unique to mankind. Animals can not sin because they lack free will. Also, if man were not responsible for his own sins, it would be wrongly deemed as sin. If mankind was not still in the image of God, we would not be able to be held accountable for our actions.16 Image is the material aspect of mankind. If you recall, when I was addressing the theory of image being the self-conscious personality of man, I began asking the question of what God looks like. I remember when I was a young boy attending Sunday school and looking at all the pictures of Jesus and God on the walls. All of them would have Jesus appear as this man with brown hair and blue eyes, a neatly trimmed beard, nice fitting clean clothes, and a big smile. Then there was God the father. You would see an old man with long flowing white hair and beard. He would be sitting on a throne with an emotionless expression on his face. As I got older I began to realize that this wasn't only the churches opinion of what God looks like. I remember watching tv, it might have been Saturday Night Live and there was a skit that involved God. In walks a man in white robes, long white hair and beard, and seemed pretty prideful. Obviously this was a satire, and probably a little sac-religious. I can't remember what the skit was actually about, but at this point it doesn't matter. The point is, we hear on earth have began to think of God as one of us. Why is this? How did we come up with such an idea? John Skinner gives us some ideas on this theory. He makes the statement that many Old Testament writers would give God human attributes such as hands, eyes, ears, etc. It would be hard to 16 Clark, Gordon. “The Image of God in Man.” JETS 12 (1969): 216. 9 think and prove that the writers ever had an impression of God as a spirit without a bodily form.17 Because of these things, it makes sense to think that the image of God we possess as humans is the actual human body. Dr. Ergun Caner briefly addresses this idea by mentioning John 4:24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (NIV) Caner states that God is a spirit, so for our bodies to be a image of Him would be pointless because it would be a bad image. He also makes the statement that animals have bodies, but they are not in God's image. 18 This may not be the best argument out there, but my opinion is that this theory is by far the weakest so far that we have addressed. The image of God is found in the soul. In this view, the image of God is predominantly in the soul, but is seen in every part of ones being. It is this Image of God in mankind that is our ability to know God by using our memory, understanding, and will, which are all apart of our soul.19 Calvin shared this view and maintained that a relic of the image remained in each person after the fall. Because the relic remained, knowledge of ourselves and knowledge of God are interrelated. In knowing ourselves we come to know God, since we are made in his image. We also come to know ourselves by measuring ourselves against his holiness. While all things, in a sense display the image of God, humans particularly do so, most notably in our ability to reason.20 Augustine was also know to hold a similar view. Bill Arnold addresses this issue in his book “Encountering the book of Genesis” by making the 17 Skinner D.D., John. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis. Edinburgh: T & T Clark LTD., 1930. Pg 32. 18 Caner, Ergun Mehmet. Theology Survey 202: Lecture Notes and Outlines. Maryland: Academx Publishing Services, Inc., 2004. Pg 9. Wilson, R.Ward, and C.L. Blomberg. “The Image of God in Humanity: A Biblical- Psychological Perspective.” Themelios 18(1993): Pg. 8. 20 Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998. Pg 523. 19 10 argument that yes, God is in the soul, but He is also relational, and rational. Through procreation, mankind also bears the likeness to God as co-creators. God can create beings and we can pass on human life.21 Because of this we can conclude that, yes God's image is in the souls of men, but that is only on aspect that makes up the whole image of God in mankind. Image is the freedom and reas ...
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henryprofessor
School: UC Berkeley

Attached.

The Image of God in Mankind - Outline
Thesis Statement: Due to the different opinions that have been given, the article focuses on
discussing various theories and ideas that implies that people were created with a similar image
to God and finding out whether there is any difference between likeness and image.
I.

The Image of God in Humans is Moral Character possessed by Mankind
A. Wilson has analyzed the fruits of the holy spirits as indicated in Galatians 5:22-23.
B. Sidoroff has also analyzed the book of Exodus 34:6-7 to elaborate on the qualities of love

II.

God's Image to Mankind does not Change, but Likeness does
A. As per the verse of Genesis 1:26, two terms are used to refer to both likeness and image
B. The likeness consists of God's moral qualities, while the image is considered as God's
natural attributes

III.

The Image is Mankind for Both a Male and a Female
A. According to the verse, it is evidenced that there is a relationship between humans and
God.
B. Two major aspects arise when a theory of communion is argued.

IV.

Image the Self-Conscious Man Personality
A. His writing, Charles Lee says God is incorporeal based on the aspect of God’s image.
B. Peter Alan Emmett rejected the theory from Lee and Feinberg by introducing two ideas

V.

The Image is the Original Righteousness of a Man
A. Martin Luther contributed much to the idea of God’s image in relation to the creation of
man.
B. Three arguments rose according to the idea of Erickson.

VI.

The Image is a Material Element of Humankind

A. John Skinner has contributed much to the theory of Image as a material element of
humankind.
B. Dr. Ergun Caner explained the aspect by using the book of John 4:24.
VII.

God’s Image Is Found in Human’s Soul

A. God's image is predominantly within the human's soul, though it is seen all other the
person.
B. Through recreation, it indicates that humans represent the whole image of God.
VIII.

The Image is Man’s Reason and Freedom while Likeness is a Spiritual Communion

A. It would be catastrophic for freedom and reasoning to be taken away from human beings.
B. Peter Alan Emmett made two arguments regarding the relationship between God's image
with human freedom
IX.

God’s Image is a Spiritual Likeness
A. Dr. Ergun Caner made several statements to support the view
B. There are several ideas from the Old Testament that does not support the theory involving
Peter Alan.

X.

Conclusion


1

The Image of God in Mankind

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Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................... 3
The Image of God in Humans is Moral Character possessed by Mankind ................................................... 4
God's Image to Mankind does not Change, but Likeness does ..................................................................... 5
The image is Mankind for Both a Male and a Female .................................................................................. 6
Image the Self-Conscious Man Personality .................................................................................................. 8
The Image is the Original Righteousness of a Man ...................................................................................... 8
The Image is a Material Element of Humankind .......................................................................................... 9
God’s Image Is Found in Human’s Soul ..................................................................................................... 10
God’s Image is a Spiritual Likeness ........................................................................................................... 12
Conclusion .................................................................................................................................................. 14
Bibliography ............................................................................................................................................... 16

3

The Image of God in Mankind
Introduction
According to Genesis 1:26, the verse indicates how humans are made as per the ‘image'
of God. However, conflicts of whether ‘likeness' and ‘image' should be distinguished have risen.
Due to the different opinions that have been given, the article focuses on discussing various
theories and ideas that implies that people were created with a similar image to God and finding
out whether there is any difference between likeness and image.
Based on the issue regarding the creation of humans as per the image of God, people
need to determine where they stand since their beliefs in this article will be described according
to the people's faith in Jesus Christ. According to the information contained in Colossians 1:15, it
is indicated that Jesus Christ represents the image of God, though He is invisible. Based on the
verse, Jesus is both a human being and God as well. The fact the Jesus represents the image of
God does not have any relationship of Him being a man, though, it shows the relationship
between the two forms of beings. Since Christ Jesus was made in the form of a human being and
represents the image of God, then people also resemble the image of God since they are humans.
For one to understand how God’s image is used, he or she should learn how Jesus used His
image when He lived on earth.
Based on the issue of humans’ creation in God's image, Erickson found it is necessary to
define the issue for people to have a good understanding of it. Since it is difficult to interpret the
meaning of the statement, both the individual interpretation and the use of the scriptures are
critical. In this case, three major approaches can be used to find out the meaning of the statement.
According to Erickson, the...

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