Sunday, April 01, 2007

Image of God

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image of God.

In another post, we can explore just what that means. But I've been thinking about how the image that we have of God shapes us. We tend to emulate the qualities we imagine God possessing.

At various times in the history of the Church, Christians have seen God as a harsh, judgmental overseer. And that led to embarrassments such as the Inquisition. If God is viewed as the ultimate warrior, that tends to spur movements such as the Crusades. (Though I must point out that the Crusades have gotten a bad press.) If God is seen as the Great Philosopher in the sky, that leads to Scholasticism.

Some Christians seem to think that God is obsessed with his own glory. They argue that he cannot be charged with arrogance because God is God. It would be wrong for him to love something more than himself. Since there is no good higher than God's glory, it is only right for that to be God's highest objective.

In other words, behavior that would be sinful in other people is holy because of who God is. (I know that this is not how they would describe their own position and that this is an overstatement. But I also think that this a fatal flaw of this position.)

Those who hold this view tend to behave in a similar way as they envision God acting.

They redefine love to include any action or attitude used in the service of the truth (as they see it). Because they are convinced that their particular brand of theology is the ultimate truth, they deny the possibility their attitudes could ever be arrogant. They are intolerant of those who hold differing theological views, even though those views are well within orthodoxy.

So that's my impression. What do you think?

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"


daniel the smith said...

This post and the last one highlight something that's been subconsciously bothering me, I think. They also provide a pretty good explanation for the behavior of some people...

Still, though, it's not like they're making this stuff up. There are bits in the Bible that make it sound like that. I'm not sure why one would interpret the rest of the bible in light of those statements, but I can see why people go along with it.

Pastor Rod said...


Yes. This is one of those cases where most everything they say is true. But when they put it all together the way they do, it just doesn't square up.


Liz Clarke said...

This is somewhat hard to grasp, but let me give it a whirl. I too believe that God is the highest objective, therefore, how can He be arrogant? He cannot! These people that commit sins know that it is bad, but what do we say for the people that think that they are being holy because of who God is?

People have the will to make their own decisions. We ultimately know what is wrong and right, but yet we choose to read the Scripture to what is most convenience for us, individually. Our theological views are so confused because of our "will" and self-interpretation. I do not believe that there will ever be "ONE" point of view, with regard to our current lives and our afterlife. But the Bible says, that all will be clear for us someday, but noone has been able to clarify, with certainty, these many issues. So conflicts will arise, each will have thier own beliefs, whether theological or regarding anything else. So we are left awaiting the truth!!