11 aspects of being made in the image of God

Here are 11 things the early chapters of the Bible say about being made in the image of God. they all depend on God being prior, above and qualitatively different. THE primary distinction is that he is Creator and this is his creation in which we are his creatures. we are by God, for God and in the image of God. This fundamental separation is the ground of all Christian understanding of identity, meaning and morality

  • Twofold variety, a community of love. In his image God created a BINITY, reflecting the Trinity, unlike the teeming animals

  • Speaking. God speaks, calls, self-discloses. So do they

  • Rule as vice-regents under God

  • Creativity / separating / taxonomy. God makes things by kinds and calls them and separates them. He invites Adam to name things, thus doing the kind of things God does, as a child with their parent

  • Walking with God

  • Dependency on God rather than autonomy from him. Being God-centred

  • Work. God works, he gives us work

  • Innocence

  • Honour

  • Beauty

  • Poetry / speaking exultant words

There are plenty of things that being made in the image of God is not. Theologians like to talk about God’s “incommunicable attributes” - things he does not give to others. We are called to be like him in his holiness but not in his omniscience, for example. Four things that are clear at the start of Genesis that being made in him image does not mean:

  • Moral equivalence to God or being moral agents independent of him

  • The right to be arbiters of good and evil

  • The right to be God. The great twisting of Satan was to take being made in the image of God and use it to tempt to want to grasp godhood

  • That we are just like the other creatures