Category: Image

‘A better story’ – 12

Our ‘better story’ for sex and marriage begins as we are welcomed into God’s reality.

Five truths underpin this.

1. God has spoken.  We no longer have to strive to construct our our ‘reality’.  God has spoken in his Son and in his Scriptures.

2. We are God’s creatures.  This is his reality, not ours.  Our nature and purpose need to be understood in the light of our creaturely dependence on him.

3. We flourish when we work with the grain of God’s reality. …

Do we meet Christ in everyone?

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, recently put it like this in a Tweet:- ‘Each of us is made in the image of God. That’s why we have the chance to encounter Christ in every person we meet – especially those on the margins.’

It’s an attractive thought, and one that seems to be becoming increasingly popular.  But it involves some rather loose thinking, because we can agree wholeheartedly with the premise (‘each of us is made in the image of God’), while observing that the conclusion simply does not follow (‘that’s why we have the chance to encounter Christ in every person we meet’).…

Aspects of our likeness to God

Moral aspects

  • We are morally accountable to God.
  • We have an inner sense of right and wrong
  • We are capable of behaviour that is holy and righteous before God

Spiritual aspects

  • We have immaterial spirits
  • We have spiritual capabilities that enable us to relate to God in prayer, praise and so on
  • We have immortality

Mental aspects

  • We are capable of rational thought far in advance of any animal
  • We are capable of complex language far in advance of any animal
  • We have an awareness of the distant future; of eternity, indeed
  • We are capable of creativity in areas such as music, art, and literature
  • We are capable of rich and complex emotions

Relational aspects

  • We are capable of deep and complex relationships
  • We are capable, in marriage, of reflecting the relationship between Christ and the church
  • We have been given authority over the rest of creation, and will even judge the angels

Physical aspects

  • Our physical bodies reflect the character and purpose of God, even though he himself is immaterial
  • Our ability to produce children who are like ourselves reflects God’s ability to create human beings who are like himself

Based on Grudem, Systematic Theology


The Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate

Does the Great Commission of Mt 28:18-20 supersede the cultural mandate of Gen 1:26-28?  Does the command to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ replace the requirement to fill and subdue the earth and to rule over all living things?

At first sight, it might seem that this is indeed the case.  After all, the cultural mandate was given to Adam in Eden, as God’s image-bearer, in a state of innocency, prior to the Fall.  …

The image of God

‘Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness…”  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.’ (Genesis 1:26-27)

Scripture asserts (in Gen 1:26-27; Gen 5:2; Gen 9:6 and elsewhere) that God has made man in his own image.

What does this mean, and what has become of God’s image in man?  The doctrine can be unpacked in the following stages.…