Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Image of God and Salvation

So here I am listening to Larry Norman waiting for a couple of kids to show up so I can start teaching them some powerpoint. Anyway, Dwight and Rebecca have some interesting thoughts on their blog epic journeysabout salvation and the Image of God.

Rebecca said something very insightful. "We all are on it already by the very fact that we are human and created in God's image. I think we as evangelicals have done humanity a disservice when we decided that only Christians bore the image of God."

First, Rebecca still calls herself an evangelical. I too must fall into this camp if no other reason then my current faith tradition. But claiming this name brings many problems. These are for another post however. I want to expound on this idea that everyone is created in the Image of God.

Evangelicals have argued and taught myself and others that at the fall the image of God was damaged. The Image then relates directly to salvation (though rarely articulated). At Salvation the Holy Spirit comes and restores that which was damaged. Thus the idea that only "Christians" are in the Image of God. Somehow, the way I understood it, the Image of God had to do with perfection, morality, the ability to reason, position in relation to the rest of creation and the like. It seems that the understanding is incomplete. Almost as if it does not really matter since it is damaged and salvation is the only thing that fixes the problem.

What if we start with the definition. We could talk about the Image of God being Creativity, or Community, or the Need to Love and Be Loved, The desire to procreate, simply being persons. Maybe there aspects of all these (and the evangelical answers too) that define us as being created in the image of God. So, what is damaged? What does salvation fix? If the Image is basically what makes us humans then are the unsaved less then human? God Forbid though they often feel like it in church. No what is damaged is our ability to relate to God and each other. We are still very human, still very much the likeness of God, still very much children of God, whether or not we desire to grow more like God. We are all humans in process from where we are to where we are going. Dwight has some good insights on the topic where are we going.

Besides when scripture reads "let us create them in our image" we only know one thing about God, God is creative. God creates. Where are more creative people "Christians" or those who are simply searching.

Just some thoughts
If I am unclear post your comment and I'll try to clear up the unclearness.


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