- 19 Apr 2020 -
We have all heard the ancient scripture, ‘God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him’ (Imago Dei).
The image of God is universally accepted and understood to be a fairly simple face value statement expressing that we are similar to God, modeled like him. This usually also leads people to assume that God is also a being that has a form similar to our own.
The deeper interpretation by Christians usually takes the Image of God a step farther to mean that we share attributes with God, that he has granted use of his supernatural power to us, and being like him we can use that power in the same way.
While both of these assumed meanings are true, and fit within the context of accompanying scripture, I believe neither captures a much deeper consideration that I believe the author was trying to discuss, of which I believe that most folks do not currently have the conceptual capacities to take into consideration.
First I take away the assumptions that come with past tense ‘was’, and replace it with ‘is’, as all things ‘are’, not ‘were’.
Man is created in the image of God.
Man is being created in God’s image, and man is a being created in God’s image. There is a subtle difference between these two very different statements, both I believe to be true. The former is my focus, the statement expressing that we are being actively created in the Image of God.
This is where I take “God’s image” to mean exactly what it says. We think of the word “image” in terms of a photograph or painting, a physical substance.
But image comes from imagination. We have mental images, unformed and unexpressed, that we then bring into form and creation. What was an image in our mind becomes created and out-pictured in our reality.
I believe that we are always being made in the Image of God. God is having a thought, a mental image of creation, and that thought is being made into us. We are at all times being made from the unformed image of God, into formed output.
See how this is not just an image, this is God’s own image, it is his own. As it is his, when his image changes, we change.
If there is no God with which to have an unformed mental image, then there is no being made into form.
If this sounds hard to wrap your head around, reality is even more mind-boggling. We are made in God’s likeness, so we too are capable of having a mental image that is made into being, a mental image that affects even our own being.
This is part of how your external reality is the out-picturing of your thoughts.
Consider that, God is imagining that you are a being that is imagining your own existence and by doing so making your own reality into form, while you are capable of imagining that all of this is happening.