Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Monday, June 15, 2009

Do humans get the image of God through Jesus?

Some speculation on Jesus being the image of God versus humans being in the image of God...

For Christ:

Colossians 1:15-16: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him."

Colossians 2:9-10: "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority."

John 5:26: "For even as the Father has life in himself, so he has given to the Son to have life in himself."

For humans:

Genesis 1:26: "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness"

James 3:9: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness."

John 1:4: "In him was life, and that life was the light of men."

John 1:9: "The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world."

The question is: how can humans be made in God's image, since God is infinite and humans are finite?

Another question is: what does it mean to speak of an infinite God? What does 'infinity' in that context mean?

One answer is to say that the infinite is essentially a person, and a unified whole.

(Click to enlarge)

Suppose that the only way that something can be a person is through being infinite. Infinity, and only infinity gives consciousness, love, morality and free will.

(Summary of this view, click to enlarge)

I think what these verses COULD mean is that God incarnated Himself into creation as Jesus, as someone that could have both infinite and finite aspects. The infinite part of Jesus was God, God's soul and therefore personality, and the finite aspect of Jesus was His physical body in the universe (although all finite things are also held together in Jesus - Col 1:17).

I think that the way God made finite creatures in His image is that through Jesus God somehow gives finite humans access to His infinite qualities like personhood etc. Jesus gives 'light' (or 'image-of-Godness') to finite creatures.

So humans take on the 'image of God' through Jesus, through whom every human has access to infinite qualities like personhood, consciousness/mind, love, morality, and free will.

Jesus is the 'door' through which humans are made in God's image.

This explains how we have free will, consciousness, a moral sense that holds us accountable before God's standards, even though we can never explain it. Since our reason is finite. But we're not Gods - Jesus is God and we get these things through our existence in Christ, which people who never come to God will one day lose.

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Anonymous Jeff Carter said...

Humans can get their ideas on God from just about anywhere, but for Christians it MUST be Christ. He says, "Anyone that has seen me has seen the Father."

When we look at Christ, this is the picture we get of God and the good: God is someone who loves his enemies. He blesses those who curse him. He prays for those that mistreat him. He gives to anyone who truly asks. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good; he sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Everything, even the Old Testament, must be re-interpreted in the light of Christ.

Blogger Will G said...

Yes that's well said. If one assumes that Christianity is true and evaluates whether it makes sense internally, both the skeptic and Christian must agree that in Jesus' personality God reveals Himself to be a God of incredible love.


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