Man or monkey? Who exactly are we? Questions that are pertinent to every generation, and the answer we give will impact the lives we live.
The Bibles story of creation is dramatic indeed, distinct from all other such stories, not pandering to the mind of man. And when it speaks of man the drama couldn’t be greater: “And God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. so God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”” (Gen 1:26,27).
God chooses to make mankind different to the rest of creation – like Himself.
He is not a refashioned hominid, breathed into by God, but a distinctly and directly created being in the very image and likeness of God.
What is that image?
- It is to be god-like but not God (Either God is god or we make our own – usually quite accommodating or we become our own gods, commanding our own destiny etc.).
- Because God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit it must be a community of being in loving, holy, happy relationship, honouring and sharing – we are not meant to do life alone. No man is an island. We were made for one another. Community.
- Spiritual because God is Spirit – something that the animal creation is not.
- Moral being because God is Holy and Righteous – in fact the New Testament speaks of it particularly in this way in regard to the fallen image being restored in Jesus.
- Intelligence – able to think and reason beyond the norms of mere existence.
- Ability to communicate with God and with one another in a highly intelligent way
- Creative top the degree of being able to think and act outside the box – i.e. send spacecraft and people into space.
- Aesthetic – appreciation of beauty in music, art etc..
- Volition – the ability to make free decisions.
- Representative – being made in His image we are to represent Him to the world.
- Rule – though in some ways a consequence of being made in God’s image, it nevertheless is directly connected to it. God’s purpose was that we should be vice-regents, effecting His rule in the earth.