New Article: Down Syndrome and the Image of God

A sweet story by a biology teacher who sees things with a new perspective when his own child is born with trisomy 21.


This is a really timely article for me, personally.

I know someone with Down Syndrome, which is often in my mind when I think about certain theological questions. I’ve also been thinking and writing a lot specifically about the image of God recently. In fact, last night whilst doing some writing on the topic I came to an incredibly similar thought to something Samuel wrote in his article.

He writes, ‘I have come to realize that the image of God does not need to be thought of as an “inventory” or a “checklist” of desirable human traits.’ And, again, ‘I have come to understand God’s image upon individuals with and without congenital impairments as a “divine seal” that denotes our intrinsic worth despite the presence or absence of any given feature.’

Last night I wrote, The image confers unique dignity on humanity because we are the only species that God has chosen to reveal himself to, given eternal souls to, and that he has appointed for a special task within his creation. Just to be a member of our species, then, is to be of unique worth to God, regardless of an individual’s level of ability.

Thanks for posting this, and thanks to Samuel for offering us his thoughts. It’ll definitely be one I come back to as I continue to think and write about these things.


For insightful comments on the Old Testament understanding of the image of God, read John Walton’s book Old Testament Theology for Christians: From Ancient Context to Enduring Belief, which basically confirms your comment.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.