Humanity in God's Image
 
I. Humanity as Creation's Climax
A special role, within creation
Two images: Sistine Chapel, National Cathedral


II. What Is the Image of God?
(Gen. 1:26-27, 5:1-3, 9:6, James 3:9)
Imago dei names our resemblance to God, and God's resemblance to us
What about us images God? Several answers:
1. Our human appearance (cf. Finis Jennings Dake)
2. Fellowship with God (Calvin, Barth: covenant)
3. Cultivation of creation (Gen. 1:26, Gen. 2:15, Ps. 8, Gen. 9:6)
as God's earthly viceroys (Childs)
4. Reasoning / speaking (Athanasius), our human mind (Augustine)
5. Human community and genderedness (Barth; cf. Gen. 2:18)
6. Jesus (Barth; Col. 1:15, Heb. 1:3, Rom. 5:12-21, 1 Cor. 15:49)
7. The Church's likeness to God, restored through Jesus Christ
(Calvin; Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:10)
 
The imago dei grounds our special relationships with
God, each other, and the rest of creation
The imago dei gives us a place in this world
(cf. the modern "turn to the self" and postmodern decentering)
The imago dei enables the divine-human conversation
(examples: Christian worship; Lord's Prayer; "telling God's story")

III. Was Death Good Too? Two Options
1. Humanity is created "able not to die" (Church Fathers; Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23)
2. Death is part of God's good creation (Leith; Ps. 104:29-30, Ps. 8:4,1 Cor. 15:36, 42-57, 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
How does each affect the Christian attitude toward death?
What would a good death look like?