I feel as though numerous biblical scholars such as John Walton, NT Wright, Joshua Moritz and others (like InspiringPhilosophy) are guilty of intellectual dishonesty by describing the notion of the Imago Dei as a ‘function’, or ‘calling’ of man, a status that gives man responsibilities over creation as it’s rulers. But I argue that the Ancient Near Eastern context of Genesis 1:26 simply will not allow this view. A parallel to genesis 1:26 is correctly noted by John Walton in the Egyptian Instruction of Merikare:
Well tended is mankind—god’s cattle
He made sky and earth for their sake . . .
He made breath for their noses to live.
They are his images, who came from his body . . .
He made for them plants and cattle,
Fowl and fish to feed them . . .
When they weep he hears . . .
For god knows every name.
In this text, man is also created as the Imago Dei, yet he does not have responsibilities to the rest of creation, on the contrary, the rest of creation exists for his sake. Therefore you cannot read Genesis 1:26 as implying human responsibilities, on the contrary, it gives humans rights over the earth. (This is not to suggest that humans have no duty to treat the earth responsibly, only that it isn’t implied in Genesis 1:26)
What I am saying here is that the desire to marry the Bible to ecological concerns and/or to reconcile the Hebrew Bible with the New Testament (where the Image of Jesus Christ is certainly a vocation), theologians have committed intellectual dishonesty regarding the highly anthropocentric status of man as the image of God.