UNDER CONSTRUCTION ... A Preview
All of us have God on our minds. (from Chapter 9, pg.42)
No rational person argues the issue of origin. Creation is self-evident. Disputes revolve around how and why it all came about. Opinions vary, but all are supposition... all are theories. Since no one has ever had firsthand knowledge, each of us chooses to accept the origin theory that offers the most reasonable premise.
No rational person argues the idea of a "god" of sorts. Why is this? Instinctively we know there must be a God. This idea is built-in. All of us have God on our minds, and we are committed to our God-ideas though we may not be able to articulate them.
Do our God-ideas really matter? Yes, they matter because our ideas about Who God is reveal how we feel about ourselves, and our God-ideas influence our human interactions. Our God-ideas influence the way we handle joy and responsibility, stress and heartache. Ultimately, these ideas bear upon the way we face death, our own and that of others. The truth is that extremes drive us to examine our God-ideas.
Examining the distinctions of being human. (from Chapter 11, pg. 59)
1. People Are Unique. Every creative action was distinct from the previous one, with the human beings formed separately as the capstone. The man and the woman were God's final and most distinctive creation. Creation-thinking piques our interest at this point in the narrative. Instinctively we know that people are different from all other life-forms... strikingly different. Therefore, when the biblical account is ignored or dismissed, human life has no genuine distinction and ultimately no real purpose. Human beings are unique and we know it. "Your hands have fashioned me. ... I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works, my soul knows it very well." [Psalm 119:73 (ESV); 139:14 (ESV)]
Consider this distinction... After a consultation, in a separate creative action, God intimately formed the human beings and breathed His own life into them. "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over' ... And 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 (NASB)]
All life is valuable because all life is a product of the mind, hand, and will of God. Yet, human life is unique. All human beings and only human beings are the image of God. God preserved the record of creation to tell us that He made us like Himself. This Latin term imago Dei comprises all that the English phrase the image of God embodies in both Testaments. We are imago Dei.
I love the phrase imago Dei (im-aah'-go deh'-ee). Years ago I took a class taught by the late theologian Carl F. H. Henry. It was one of the highlights of my life. I was the lone middle-aged wife and mother, sitting nervously among a classroom of twenty five young folks studying to become official theologians. Professor Henry painted a word picture of imago Dei that is still as fresh today as it was then. After a lengthy and scholarly biblical lesson on the phrase the image of God, the next scene is forever etched in my mind. Professor Henry walked up and down the aisles of the classroom, stopping to look into the eyes of each of us, and repeated quietly, "Never forget, you are imago Dei." I shall never forget.