In what ways are we like and unlike God?
This past semester, in my Systematic Theology I class, we were required to reflect on certain doctrines for class each week. Since this was a Systematic I class, we dealt with the topics of God, Humanity, and Christology. For each of these reflections, we were only given one question and a 250–300 word count to respond. Essays posted here will make up for the lost time I didn’t post on Medium throughout the semester during my MA work.
I hope you enjoy them and add to the discussion!
The image of God has been one of the most highly discussed topics throughout the Church’s history. There are few characteristics people, as image bearers, can mirror God with, and there are characteristics people cannot mirror God with. People are like God: Creative, loving, and fully capable to reflect God. People are not like God: People are not three in one, able to adopt a nature, and limited in how we reflect Him.
People are creative and loving in the same manner that God is creative and loving. When God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, He gave order and organization that is recognizable. His creation has its own innate uniqueness to it: Mountains, trees, and rivers. People are creative likewise: buildings, paintings, and worlds from the imagination. Not only this, but people can love one another in right relationship. As God has shown His love on the cross to people, people can express such kind of love to God and to one another.
People are not like God in that they are not three persons one entity or able to adopt a nature to themselves. The doctrine of the trinity is clear, God is one substance, three persons. The concept is difficult enough to comprehend, let alone fully reflect. Likewise, the Son adopted the nature of humanity. People are not capable of adopting a transcendent nature. Yet, the ability and inability of humanity’s reflections of God reveal this.
People are limited in how they reflect but fully capable to reflect God. Human beings are capable to reflect the things that God has designed them to reflect. Being only a reflection, it is not a one-to-one correlation. A one-to-one correlation would mean that people are God, which, as all charlatans show, is not the case.