Podcast: Uniquely Unique | Image of God

As the series comes to a close, Jim and Colin take stock of one more distinguishing feature of humans—the image of God. While the previous episodes in the series question if humans are uniquely unique from other species from the ground up, this episode changes perspectives to approach an answer from the Heavens down. As usual, they bring in a range of experts from a variety of fields to weigh in on what it means to be made in the image of God. They come to some significant conclusions, including a warning against idolizing human rationality, but also point out where this quest may continue.

Guests: Han-Luen Kantzer Komline, Andrew Torrance, Steven Bouma-Prediger, David Lahti, Alister McGrath, Helen De Cruz

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I’m still listening to it. I really enjoy it so far. I think Tim Mackie did a good job at understanding it and breaking it down in their series on it.

One question I keep seeing brought up is “ could only we do this” but I feel that’s easily solved by looking at how Jews were chosen as Yahweh’s people. The Jews then were no different than anyone else. God could have picked japanese, indigenous tribes and so on to bring the a messiah through. Yet he chose them and so with humans as his image the same logic applies. Does not matter if others could reach our level if it’s based off of his selection.

I definitely fall into this camp.

I believe that human is just biology. We are just animals.

I believe our role is to be corulers over creation. That to be in the image of God means being his image on earth. Not bodily, but functionally. It says God cares for and loves creation and that we by extension are supposed to as well.

When it says “ they have become like us” I don’t think it means becoming like god. Since it was more than god there. The us is not some Trinity. It’s Yahweh and his heavenly hosts. Those who we see discussing how to handle humankind. What’s the correct path forward. In the same way, the tree of good and bad means that humans became like god and the angels because we too now have decided to set ourselves up as equals and deciding how we want to go forward.

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Remember back to the episode on culture, Helen de Cruz alluded to the more recent archeological research that shows it was our capacity for cooperation, for empathy, and even altruism, that contributed most significantly to our evolutionary success, rather than the survival of the fittest being understood as the strongest, most ruthless, and even the most selfish.

De Cruz:

You can’t understand how we get to all sorts of complex things, like human societies for one, but not just human societies, without invoking cooperation as a basic principle.

@jstump, Bro. Jim, which is it, unending conflict, survival of the fittest as Darwin and Dawkins teach, or cooperation/love as Jesus taught? If the answer is cooperation, then it seems to me that BioLogos should issue a statement to this effect specifically breaking with the kind of evolution of the Selfish Gene. This should open communication with honest doubters in evolution based on survival of the fittest and restore openness and integrity to this process.

The problem with the Image of God is that it is not a “thing,” as Western thought would have it. It is a relationship. God created the universe, and it was Good. God is Good, so God created the universe in God’s Own Image. Dawkins says says that God did not create the universe and it is not good, it is chaotic without meaning and purpose. NoGod created this universe in His image of chaos.

Cooperation, harmony, love are at the center of the rational universe that we all live in, whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not. It takes more than one to love, to cooperate. That is why God is Trinity, 3 and 1, 1 and 3. The Trinity is the Image of God. Humans are created in the Image of God, which becomes real when we are born again in God’s Holy Spirit.

When have you seen BioLogos supporting unending conflict and Dawkins’ view of the Selfish Gene?

I’m curious what’s wrong with the science of the “ selfish gene”?

It seems as though when I become a regular at BioLogos (a long time ago) when we asked about where BioLogos stood in terms of evolution, we are told that it stood with “settled science.” That seemed fair enough, but if one is outside the scientific community, how does one find out what is settled science and what is not?

And indeed there have been controversies within the scientific community about evolution and BioLogos has not been helpful to keep us abreast and supported the status quo when pushed. Those with whom I dialogued on the blog and were in position to know were clear that survival of the fittest was settled science.

Now you are reporting a “new” finding that says natural selection for humans is based on cooperation, rather than conflict. If this is new, then it must be a change in the science. If BioLogos supported the old science, then it supported survival of the fittest. What I am advocating is a statement about a new finding which has resulted in a change in our understanding of natural selection, which can open new discussion with those which questions about evolution and science.

Why are people these days so afraid to admit their mistakes? Christians are supposed confess our sins, so we can do better. Supposedly science learns also by making mistakes. Christians make mistakes and scientists. Let us admit this fact, so we can begin again on some new facts, such as the basic nature of mutualism in biology.

I must admit that feel I have been unfairly attacked for defending the basic goodness of life and God. This is not necessarily the fault of BioLogos, but now in my opinion is the time for BioLogos to take a clear stand for the Logos.

How can you say that Jesus was the image of God but also fully God? How can you say Jesus was the firstborn of creation by God and yet say he was fully God?

There are a wide range of interpretations about this.

Strong's Greek: 4416. πρωτότοκος (prototokos) -- first-born

I connect it with this verse.

Revelation 1:5 Greek Text Analysis and versus 18 of Colossians 1.

So when it says Jesus is the firstborn of all creation I think it’s referring to Jesus being the first man to receive eternal life and given the title Lord of Lords with all power and honor given him from his father.

In scripture it also says that “ in the beginning was the word and the word was god and was with god and the word became flesh and dwelt among us “

So in the beginning what became Jesus was the word. Jesus was the word. Jesus could not have already been a man, otherwise it would mean God made a man , Jesus, before primates had even evolved. That’s problematic unless you believe in creationism or ID.

So in the beginning there is Yahweh. Yahweh has a power and that power is called the hilt spirit and when God spoke
Things into creation ( from the genesis myth ) it’s implying it was done through the Holy Spirit. Then eventually this word became flesh as the son of God.

This is also something none of us can fully grasp. No matter how much we think about it this subject simply
Goes beyond our knowledge snd experience.

Roger, we have repeatedly asked you to stop it already with the Dawkins and the selfish gene stuff. Asked and answered about fifty times. Don’t try to derail yet another thread.

@Mark_Burland, welcome. This is an important question. Arius used this passage to say that Jesus was created and therefore not God. The Church has taken it to mean that Jesus was present at the Beginning of the Creation, and therefore not created. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word…”

We expect that an image is not the same as the original, however if God makes an image, a duplicate, who is to say that it is not the same as the original?

Of course we are also talking about the paradox of the Trinity, Who is Three distinct Persons, and Who is One. Therefore the Father is One with the Father, but is not the Father.

All we can say is that God the Father revealed Godself through God the Son/Logos/Jesus Christ and God the Spirit. God is One and God is Many.

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

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