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Theological Questions > "Made In The Image Of God"

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments What does it mean when the Bible says we are made in God's image?

* Some think the "image of God" is a commentary on our great value and worth.

* Some think the "image of God" is that which makes us superior to other aspects of Creation.

* Some think the "image of God" means that we are "little gods".

What do you think?
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message 2: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments I believe the "image of God" largely centers on the moral law and the responsibilities that go along with it. A cheetah doesn't murder another cheetah over a mating dispute. But a human does murder another human.


message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Drumheller | 37 comments I think it means that man has a living soul, unlike the animal kingdom.


message 4: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Rg | 17 comments I wouldn't underestimate the power of the human-animal connection, canines in particular, if I were you!


message 5: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments I agree with Timothy. Nephesh is used in the O.T. for both animals and humans. Nephesh is literally a "living soul." Where do you get your "unlike the animal kingdom" information, Robert? It's not in the bible.


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Drumheller | 37 comments Timothy, what scripture can you provide to show that animals have a living soul like man?


message 7: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments Robert,

Animals are not like man in that they aren't responsible for morality. God created the land animals on day 6, the same day as mankind. Animals are significant, but the bible is about mankind's salvation. Mankind wouldn't need salvation unless they sinned. Animals don't sin, but rather, are subjected to our sin (Romans 8).

If you persist on claiming animals aren't a living soul, you'll need to offer some scripture, not archaic church-speak which isn't based on the bible.


message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert Drumheller | 37 comments Wade, you are correct, I need to provide some scriptures.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7)

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit (I Corinthians 15:45)


message 9: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments And ????

I've already cited that the "living soul" reference (including Genesis 2:7) is the Hebrew word "nephesh". It is used interchangeably with animals. No offense, but did you read what I wrote?

Our knowledge of the moral law is what separates us from animals. If you have a view of animals ceasing to exist, that's your prerogative. But I wont' sit still if you are attempting to use the bible to justify this position. I've searching for many years to find this assertion, but have not seen it yet.

Nephesh is a living being. Animals are nephesh, just like mankind. Our knowledge and responsibility for the moral law and sin is what separates animals and mankind.


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Drumheller | 37 comments Wade, I believe that you are correct and that I was mistaken.
I found this scripture in Revelation which supports what you are declaring.

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. (Revelation 16:3).

Thanks for Hebrew reference. Excellent.


message 11: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments Robert,

Please understand that my passion has to do with compassion on all of God's creation. I detest "biblical" teaching which isn't based on the bible. While it is minimally reasonable to infer that animals may not be restored by God, it just doesn't make any sense. And there's certainly zero scripture (that I've found) which indicate that.

I recommend "All Things New" by John Eldredge. He focuses on an incredible passage in Matthew 19:28, which speaks of "the regeneration" or "the renewal of all things." The Greek word(s) are palingenesia. Check out this concept and think about the concept of God not ceding anything in His creation to Satan, except those who decide to remain in their sins.

There are most definitely animals in heaven right now. When you bring in the "palingenesia" concept, one might just see a restoration and redemption of creation beyond what most people believe.

I, for one, feel like God's sweeping "Genesis again" (palingenesia) will be so big, it'll blow our mind.


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Drumheller | 37 comments I agree that the Lord will make all things new (Revelation 21:5).
I often wonder what the Lord meant by Revelation 21:23-26.

Any thoughts on these verses below ?

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.


message 13: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments The Greek used in Rev 21:5 is different than in Matt 19:28, but the concept appears to be consistent. I'm no expert, but that's my take.

As for verses 23-26, this appears to be an analogy of how Jerusalem functioned on earth vs. the New Jerusalem on the new earth. You really don't need to guard gates if all sin has been removed from the scenario.

God is enormous and what Jesus Christ did for us on Calvary is incomprehensible. As for what God will give us in the eternal state, I think it's much bigger than most people think.


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Drumheller | 37 comments Wade, thanks for your input on these verses. The Lord is indeed bigger than most people think.


message 15: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments Amen, Robert.


message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Wade wrote: "And ???? I've already cited that the "living soul" reference (including Genesis 2:7) is the Hebrew word "nephesh". It is used interchangeably with animals. No offense, but did you read what I wrot..."

My response: I am curious Wade, did animals become "nephesh" as a result of God breathing into their nostrils?

Hebrew and Greek are languages that have words numbering in the tens of thousands, while English has more than a million words.

In the Bible languages, the same word is often used in many ways.

'Tselem' (Hebrew word for "image" of God) can be a resemblance or shadow (as of God)… or it can be an idol.

Thus, equating every use of image to God may be equating an idol to God.


message 17: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Genesis 2:7 - "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul ."

Soul = Strong's H5315 - nephesh -"...properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):—any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, × dead(-ly), desire, × (dis-) contented, × fish, ghost, greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, × jeopardy of) life (× in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-) self, them (your) -selves, slay, soul, tablet, they, thing, (× she) will, × would have it."

This word is used 753 times in 683 verses.


message 18: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments I don't understand your question, Robert.

Jesus died for mankind's sins. Animals don't sin and therefore don't need redemption like humans. My qualm is with those who claim animals don't have a soul and therefore cease to exist at death - and claim this is in the bible. The bible is actually silent on this issue and this position cannot be strongly supported with scripture.

Animals are very important to God's heart. That can be supported by scripture. Nephesh is important because it shows that we're all living, breathing beings. I believe the KJV translates it "living soul," but in my studies, that's only a vague translation.


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Animals have souls... not spirits. It is the spirit that can have fellowship with God

I am unaware of any verses that say they have spirits,

Are there any that you know?


message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Perhaps now is a good time to come back to the image of God

Humans, not animals are made in the image of God

Does that mean something


message 21: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments No, animals do not have a spirit made in the image of God. We're actually still on topic.

You said, "It is the spirit that can have fellowship with God." Are you saying animals cannot have fellowship with God? What do you mean by fellowship? Psalm 150:6 says "let everything that has breath praise the Lord."

God made animals to have fellowship with Adam. This, however, was not good enough. So God made Eve. In no way do I see how this excludes animals or makes them "lesser." It just makes them different. Let's not forget that our "spirit" made in the image of God centers on the moral law. Animals are not responsible for it. Mankind is.


message 22: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Oh well... I am convinced that animals without a spirit cannot be in fellowship with God... when I get a chance I will look up and post the definition of fellowship

Animals are not spiritual beings and God wants us to worship in spirit and in truth


message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments By the way where does it say that animals were made for fellowship with Adam

They were made before Adam?


message 24: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments Genesis 2:

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.


message 25: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments The fellowship between God and man is clearly different than God and His animals (as well as the rest of His creation), but it is undeniable that God loves His creation.

As a good Berean, we should always search the scriptures, but there is no argument here, unless you're looking for one. I contend that mankind - due to our sin - has an arrogant and tainted view of God's animal kingdom. We get glimpses of a restored Eden-like creation in Isaiah and Revelation, and I greatly look forward to it.


message 26: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Wade wrote: "But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. ..."

My response: I am not seeing any "fellowship" between Adam and the animals.

Adam named them... and none of them were good enough to be Adam's helper (no fellowship)… so God made Eve.

Sorry, I am not seeing any fellowship with the animals.


message 27: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Wade wrote: "As a good Berean, we should always search the scriptures, but there is no argument here, unless you're looking for one..."

My response: Nope, not looking for an argument. As a Berean, I am looking for Scriptures that support your contention.
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As for an arrogant view of animals, God gave humans dominion over the animals before Adam sinned .

So how could this "tainted" view of animals be a result of the Fall?

(see Genesis 1:26)


message 28: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments Genesis 9:8 ... "Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. "

Why would God establish a covenant with both man and animal if animals weren't important?

Let's also focus on "dominion". Why is that a negative thing? A Christlike dominion looks different than mankind's version.


message 29: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Who did God make the covenant with? Noah? Or with the animals?

When I get a chance... I will post about dominion


message 30: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments God made the covenant with both


message 31: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Wade wrote: "God made the covenant with both"

Where is God making this covenant with the animals? I see God discussing this covenant with Noah... I cannot find any such discussions with the animals.

Are there any? Or is the covenant with Noah inclusive of the animals... but made with Noah?


message 32: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1598 comments Before the Fall...

Gen 1:26 - "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

and let them have dominion = Strong's H7287 - radah - "רָדָה râdâh, raw-daw'; a primitive root; to tread down , i.e. subjugate ; specifically, to crumble off :—(come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule,(-r, over), take."


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