A common view of the Imago Dei, espoused by Michael Jones here, NT Wright here and Pete Enns here, is that the Imago Dei in Genesis 1:26 describes our function on the earth to serve as representatives of God to the rest of creation. Whilst I do not doubt that humans are the representatives of God in Genesis 1, I see no indication in scripture that the Imago of God has anything to do with our function. I think the Bible only indicates that it is linked to moral status, as shown by Genesis 9:6, where murder is forbidden as it harms the Imago Dei. What I am saying is that the Imago Dei is a statement about the respect which humans deserve as God’s representatives, or idols on earth. The Priestly writer was also possibly attempting to rebuke the idolatry of other nations (thought the instruction of Merikare, an Egyptian text also claims that man is made in the Image of God).
Does your concern stem from the idea that if we think ourselves as functional “little gods,” we will wreck creation?
No, my concern is that I don’t see any scriptural evidence. In fact, Michael Jones and NT Wright see it as a call for ecological stewardship.
The arguments for it are based on cultural context and comparative literature, so you shouldn’t expect to find explicit indication in Scripture.
Being created in the Image of God is an honor, but with all honor is responsibility and the ability to carry out that responsibility.
God created humans in God’s own Image to be God’s viceroys. God gave us the ability to make right decisions to carry out that responsibility. Humans corrupt God’s Creation when we abuse the gifts and powers God gave us by using selfishly.
We are to use our gifts and powers, our mind and body to benefit everyone, but when we do not, we are responsible for our sin.