Monday, September 19, 2011

Imago Dei


How did we get here?

How you answer that question has a profound impact on the way you live your life.

I was raised in a Christian household and attended a Baptist church as a youth.  I blindly accepted what was told to me as fact.  I pulled away from that setting through the teenage years and upon entering college I began to ask myself some hard questions.  Why do I believe the things that I believe?  Do I have any proof to support the accuracy of my belief system.  Do I only believe certain things because I was told as a child that they were true?  Maybe I was just programmed.  Brainwashed.  I needed to own who I was.  
To do that, I had to know exactly what I believed and why.

I began to research the validity of the claims Christianity made.
At the foundation of this is the question of origins.

Right at the very beginning of the bible, Genesis 1, the claim is made that the heavens, the earth, and everything in it, to include humans, were all created by God.  Without turning this post into a creation/evolution debate, allow me to simply say:  as a health science major, and a lover of science, the facts (as far as we can know them since no one was actually around at that time, plus the events are not reproducible) are overwhelmingly in support of creationism.  However, it's not provable either way.  So there is the element of faith involved either way - whichever side you choose to accept.  But accept wisely, there are some very long-term effects.  

OK, accepting the reality of creationism, what does it mean to be made in Imago Dei?  That term is Latin for 'the image of God'.  There are various views on this.

I would say that the popular understanding of being made in the image of God means we have a spirit that is eternal, and that we have cognitive, or reasoning, ability.  These 2 things set us apart from the animals.  In an earlier post, I talked about being a Creator.  Is that what being God-like is all about?  Does the ability to have meaningful relationships factor in?  Compassion?  Love?

What does it mean to you?

(See Wikipedia Image of God, Three Ways of Undestanding Imago Dei for more info).  

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