The Image Of God In Man

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The Image of God in Man

Thesis Statement

The main impact of the image is that God endues man with some of his divine attributes, thereby separating and making him different from the beasts.

Table of Contents

Thesis Statement2



God's attributes shared with man3






The Image3

The Mind of man3



The Image of God in Man


Image of God in Man; what does this mean in practical terms? It cannot refer to bodily, biological form since God is a Spirit and man is earthly. But while it may be true that the body does not belong to the image, since God does not have a body, yet somehow we would like to see man's body (which is a very real part of man) included in the image. Language and creativity,—two important parts of the image, are impossible without a body. And God the Almighty agreed to share with man dominion and authority over the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:28), an activity in which the whole man, body as well as mind, is involved. Furthermore the Son of God honored the human body by becoming flesh and dwelling among men (John 1:14) (Hebrews 2:14). Lewis suggests that before the Fall, the first man, Adam mirrored Christ the man of Galilee even more nearly than Christ would have resembled his own half-brothers. If this is so, it seems almost blasphemy to consider Adam sired by a shambling ape.


God's attributes shared with man

The main impact of the image is that God endues man with some of his divine attributes, thereby separating and making him different from the beasts. What are these special Godlike qualities which man is permitted to share? I shall mention six: language, creativity, love, holiness, immortality and freedom. You will probably be able to add to this list. All can be summed up by saying that man, like God, has an intelligence, a mind. According to Arthur Koestler,

'The emergence of symbolic language, first spoken, then written represents the sharpest break between animal and man'.

As I write this I can hear birds singing. I hope they do so because they are happy, but to be honest I admit that probably their song is to demarcate their territory, a very selfish reason. Many birds communicate by sexual display before their mates. Dolphins are said to 'talk' and use a type of radar. A sophisticated example of animal communication is the 'waggle-dance' of bees. A bee finding a succulent honey flower tells its fellows in the hive the whereabouts of the flower by performing a 'waggle-dance'. This imparts two items of information: first the direction. Here the sun is used as a fixed direction point, and the dance made in relationship to it. Secondly the distance from the hive to the flower is shown by the number of waggles in the dance.

Another form of language has been ascribed to Sarah, a chimpanzee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She uses plastic symbols to convey such messages as, 'I want an apple'. But this is as far as she can ...
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