You are on page 1of 13

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY RESEARCH PAPER PROPOSAL:

The Image of God in Man: How Mankind is Unique.

THEO 525 LUO (Spring 2012) Systematic Theology I

Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Nathaniel Jones (ID# L21077684)

May 12, 2012


1

TABLE OF CONTENTS Thesis.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Beginning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Original Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Gods Image In Woman.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 2 3 5 7
9 10 11

THESIS STATEMENT Instead of dividing the human race into characteristics, one must recognize that the whole essence of the human being is the exact image and likeness of God.

INTRODUCTION
There are several biblical questions, From Christology, "What think ye of Christ? From Soteriology "What must I do to be saved?" and From Eschatology "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" the question, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" (Anthropology) must also be asked.1 The question, what is man, was asked by David in the book of

Psalms, while he was reflecting on the majesty of God and thinking about the infinite enormity of the heavens. What is man question has been asked yet still today. Man has been trying to locate an answer to this question concerning the why and how of our existence, mans journey, mans purpose for life, and ultimately the destiny of man. However we are defined makes big difference on how we act and treat each other. The question still remains to be at hand, what is man.

"What is man?" has occupied the minds of some of the worlds greatest thinkers and in the church in all ages. The answer of the church is the concept of the "image of God" is looming large. Mans image of God is treated by some theologians as part of a chapter in their anthropology,
2

others give a whole chapter,3 and some use it as a starting point to draft a

systematic presentation of the Christian faith.4


1 2

Matt. 22:42; Acts 16:30; Matt. 24:3; Ps. 8:4. E.g., Robert L. Dabney, Lectures in Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972), pp. 293-296, 298-299; Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester: IVP, 1994), pp. 442-450. 3 E.g., J. J. Van Oosterzee, Christian Dogmatics, trans. John Watson Watson and Maurice J. Evans (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1878), pp. 374-377. 4 E.g., Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, The True Image: The Origin and Destiny of Man in Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989);

There are several biblical questions, From Christology, "What think ye of Christ? From Soteriology "What must I do to be saved?" and From Eschatology "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" the question, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" (Anthropology) must also be asked.5 The question, what is man, was asked by David in the book of

Psalms, while he was reflecting on the majesty of God and thinking about the infinite enormity of the heavens. What is man question has been asked yet still today. Man has been trying to locate an answer to this question concerning the why and how of our existence, mans journey, mans purpose for life, and ultimately the destiny of man. However we are defined makes big difference on how we act and treat each other. The question still remains to be at hand, what is man.

"What is man?" has occupied the minds of some of the worlds greatest thinkers and in the church in all ages. The answer of the church is the concept of the "image of God" is looming large. Mans image of God is treated by some theologians as part of a chapter in their anthropology,6 others give a whole chapter,3 and some use it as a starting point to draft a systematic presentation of the Christian faith.4

R.C. Sproul and R. Wolgemuth. Whats in the Bible. The Story of God through Time and Eternity. Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2000, 1
6 7 8

Ibid. Ibid.

Gilbert Bilezikian. Christianity 101, You Guide to Eight Basic Christian Beliefs. Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1993, 120

II) Survey of Views Anthropomorphite View

Anthropomorphites, which include the Swedenborgians and Mormons, viewed the image of God as indicating that Gods body is like man. In the Book of Mormon, the book of Moses states, "In the image of his own body, male and female, created he them" (6:9). Anthony Hoekema, a Christian theologian of the Dutch Reformed tradition states that, the Mormons "understand the expression image of God as referring primarily to mans physical nature."8 All men hold the divine image, including those who are non-believers.

Socinian View The Socinians, a Unitarian sect which arose after the Reformation, believe that mans being in the image of God consists solely in his dominion over the lower creation.9 This view also believe that all men, believers and unbelievers, have the image God.

Roman Catholic View

The Roman Church believes that the "image" or the "likeness" of God refer to mans different aspects. The "image" includes the natural gifts man, such as his personality, intellect and will. The "likeness" is the so-called superadded gift placed upon mans nature after his creation but before his fall, these consist of the righteousness and holiness spiritual gifts.

Anthony A. Hoekema, Mormonism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1963), p. 52. Charles Hodge Systematic Theology, vol. 1 [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, repr. 1993]

10

The fall resulted in the loss of the superadded gift and not the whole human nature, which was just simply weakened. After his fall man still retained some good, including his free will, and is capable of responding to Gods grace and thus meriting more grace. 11

Eastern Orthodox View

Like the Roman Church, the Eastern church also distinguishes between the "image" and the "likeness" of God and uses it to preserve some good in fallen man.12 Eastern Orthodoxy argues that since Christ is the image of God in our humanity as a part of its doctrine of the image of God, we can revere, but not worship, icons of the Son of God, Mary and the saints.13

Broader and Narrower View

The view of Reformed and Presbyterian churches is that the image of God may be spoken of in broader and narrower senses.14 The image of God in the constricted sense is that the consisting of knowledge, righteousness and true holiness, was lost at the fall, but the image of God in the wider sense, means mans that the "intellectual power, natural affections and moral freedom," was retained.15

Spiritual and Ethical View

With the fall "the image of God was totally lost" and it is only "the Gospel that brings it about that we are formed once more according to that familiar and indeed an enhanced image,
11

Ibid Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church (London: Penguin, rev. 1993), p. 219.

12

13

Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, vol. 2 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974
14

Charles Hodge p. 99. Ibid.

15

because we were born again into eternal life."16 Lutheran theologians have denied that the image of God includes the so-called larger sense.

They restricted it to the spiritual virtues of understanding, morality and godliness.17 Some Reformed and Presbyterian theologians also share this understanding of the godly image. Unlike the previous views, the spiritual and ethical view alone denies that non-believers are in the image of God in any sense.

THE ORIGINAL IMAGE From the first line of the bible, it is inconceivable to have a world without God, since God is the reason for creation of all life. In the Gospel of John, the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is ultimate form of existence which there can be no other higher. The world begins with God word which would create what he spoke. Genesis shows us that everything that God created the animals, the birds, the fish, the vegetation and the earth with just his word. When God looked down and saw that none of these creations none of them were made in His image. Theologians have debated on how the image of God should be defined and approached. In scriptures God is presented as a being that has the qualities of absolute goodness. While the bible is a commentary about the nature of God the first two chapters of Genesis is helpful in discovering the image of God. The bible gives a vivid intro to no one but God existed before time began and all things that were created. He created everything that exists; human life cannot exist outside of time and space.

16

Ibid.

In the Exodus 3:14, Moses tried to penetrate the mystery of the identity of God, I am the one who is, was the mysterious name given. When God told this to Moses he was saying that I am from whom all life derives. This quality of God represents him as prior to, distinct from, and is called transcendence. 17 In the transcendence of God is found His omni qualities; omnipresence, omnipotent, and omniscience. If by omnipresence, God is present in all places, this would be wrong. But if by omnipresence is Gods energizing this whole universe because he makes all things hold together, we are correct. His omnipotence, would suggest that God is all-powerful and by virtue of Him being that creator of all things, he has ultimate power over all he created. The bible teaches us that God has perfect knowledge. Because he created time, it is impossible for God not be aware of the past, present, or the future. God is defined as a dynamic being, he is not just dynamic in himself, but he is also dynamic in his activity. Gods transcendence may propose that he is captive in remote majesty, which teaches something quite differently. It shows that Gods life is an outburst of activity. In the first three versus of the Genesis establishes God being.

In Genesis 1:1, we are introduced to God as the one who envisions and designs the works of his creation. In the first sentence, God is presented as the creator, the Father of the world. In Genesis 1:2, the spirit of God is introduced as the one who watches over his creation. His spirit took on the role of protector. Then in Genesis 1:3, we are introduced to the Word of God. It is through the word that Gods will come to be. God spoke, and the word makes it happen. The quality of Gods goodness includes the areas of holiness and his love of nature.

17

Ibid.

According to Bilezikian, holiness in not a quality recognizable by humans, it is shrouded in mystery. But when we realize that God existed before any evil ever occurred, we get a small glimpse of the awesome aspect of the divine being as pure righteousness. 14 God cannot be tempted to do evil because he cannot deny himself and become untrue to his purity. In Exodus Moses affirms Gods holiness when he asks, Oh Lord, Who among the gods is like you? Gods holiness is reflected by His creation. Since God is good, whatever he create is also good, this reflects His nature and His standard of holiness, God is the author of everything good, and that is good reflects his holiness.18 Human has a share in the goodness by virtue of Gods goodness. In every phase of creation He repeatedly declared His works good. His excitement grew and declared man not just good, but very good. Gods goodness is reflected in the image in man and in woman. GODS IMAGE IN WOMAN What about the Woman? In looking at the second story of the Genesis text we are afforded yet more interpretations of creation. Some scholars believe that the story of Eve is the story of the displacing of the Goddess whose name is taken from a form of the Hebrew verb to be by the masculine God, Yahweh, whose name has the same derivation. 19 Eve has been seen as the Mother Goddess of ancient near Eastern religions and was honored and worshipped with the title the Mother of All the Living. While the creation of Woman seems simple, others have tried to explain it more deeply:

18 19

Ibid. Phillips, John. Eve: The History of an Idea. San Francisco: Harper & Row Rising. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979, 74-83

When God was on the point of making Eve, He said: I will not make her from the head of man, lest she carry her head high in arrogant pride; not from the eye, lest she want I will form her from a chaste portion of the body, and to every limb and organ as He formed it, God said, Be chaste! Be chaste! Nevertheless, in spite of the great caution used, women have the faults of God tried to avoid.17

In the second creation story, Eve can be seen as not an afterthought; she is the culmination and that Genesis 1 itself supports that male and female are indeed the last and truly the crown of all creatures.20 It can, therefore, be seen that Eve or women as a whole is Gods crowning achievement, and just a companion for Adam. Tribe states that, The creation of man first and woman last constitutes a ring composition whereby the two creatures are equivalent. In no way does the order disparage woman. It is maintained that what is being suggested is her original equality.21 The theory that God created woman to be Adams help is challenging. Many of the early interpreters believed this to be confirmation that woman was created only so that humanity might be able to breed. Adam does not view Eve as a wife, but as a spiritual equal: He said, It is you who given me life: you shall be called Mother of the Living, Eve; for it is she who is my Mother. It is she who is the Physician, and the Woman, and She Who Has Given Birth. Man, in need of what Woman provides, appears to be an essential incompleteness with all its consequences. Even though woman comes from a man, man still is in need of Woman to have a since of completion and fulfillment.
20

Ginzberg Louis. The Legends of the Jew: I: Bible Times and Characters from the Creation to Jacob. Philadelphia: the Jewish Publication Society of America, 1909, 1937 21 P. Tribe. Eve And Adam: Genesis 2-3 Reread Woman Spirit

Because Man feels incomplete, Woman was created to be the help and security of the man, the home man needs; she is the vessel of fulfillment specially designed for him. 22 Although God put Man as the head of the family, the heart of the family is the Woman. She is to create a placed for Man in the world, to keep him from being alone, as Adam was before God created Eve.23

CONCLUSION So again we ask, what is man? David said that man was made a little lower than the heavenly creatures. The story of the creation gives an account of this when God gave man dominion of the every living creature. Even though man tried to discredit our rule over the creatures by saying that we were the same as these creatures. The theory of Evolution attempted to place our image in the form of the ape. However, as we studied the bible we see that our image come from our, God. God in his infinite power created us in him image; well in his dynamism of himself he created man. In the Book of Genesis, when God readied himself to create man he said, let us make man in our image.24 Gods goal is His glory in Jesus Christ through the new humanity in His image ruling over the universe to His praise. This was David's resurrection hope: "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" (Ps. 17:15), when he and all the saints will be perfectly "conformed to the image of God's Son" revealing Him as "the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29) to the glory of the Triune God!

22

P. Tribe. Eve And Adam: Genesis 2-3 Reread Woman Spirit Rising. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979, 74-83 23 M. Daly. Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Womens Liberation. Boston: Beacon Press, 1973 24 Gilbert Bilezikian. Christianity 101, You Guide to Eight Basic Christian Beliefs. Grand Rapids, Zondervan,

10

Bibliography Bilezikian, G. Christianity 101: Your Guide to Eight Basic Christian Beliefs. Grand Rapids. Zondervan, 1993, 120. Daly, Mary. Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Womens Liberation. Boston: Beacon Press, 1973. E.g., Robert L. Dabney, Lectures in Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972), pp. 293-296, 298-299; Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester: IVP, 1994), pp. 442-450. E.g., J. J. Van Oosterzee, Christian Dogmatics, trans. John Watson Watson and Maurice J. Evans (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1878), pp. 374-377. E.g., Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, The True Image: The Origin and Destiny of Man in Christ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989); Ginzberg Louis. The Legends of the Jews: I: Bible Times and Characters from the Creation to Jacob. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1999, 1937. Grey, Mary. Introducing Feminine Images of God. Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press, 2001. Pagels, Elaine. Pursuing the Spiritual Eve: Imagery and Hermaneutics in the Hypostasis of the Archons and the Gospel of Philip. Philadelphia: Fortune press, 1988, 265-275. Phillips, John. Eve: The History of An Idea. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984. Sproul, R.C. & Wolgemuth, R. Whats in the Bible: The Story of God through Time and Eternity. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000, 2. Trible, Phyllis. Eve and Adam: Genesis 2-3 Reread Woman Spirit Rising. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979, 74-83.

11