The Image Of God And Humanity: Theology

Category: Humanity, Theology
Last Updated: 04 Jan 2023
Pages: 7 Views: 109

The last two papers discussed the image of God in the Old and New Testaments. Genesis 1-3 outlines the creation of the world and humanity, the creation of man woman; and how creation harmony was shattered by the fall. Creation reaches its climatic order with the announcement and creation of humanity. Humanity is created in the “Image and “Likeness” of Yahweh. Humanity, as Imago Dei was created and given dominion of all the earth, to reproduce and oversee the earth through a stewardship mandate. Jesus Christ—Yahweh incarnate—is the perfect Image of God to humanity (Col 1:15). Through the death and resurrection of Christ, those who believe in Him, have transformation power through the Holy Spirit to die to sin and live in Christ. Living in Christ means to function in harmony and morality through His Spirit. What does living in Christ look like for humanity today? This paper will examine different theological perspectives on humanity in terms of unity and race.

Theology simply means thinking about God and expressing those thoughts in some way. In this light, even atheists have a theology. An atheist thinks about God, rejects His existence, and expresses that sometimes in belief and in lifestyle. A follower of a non-Christian religion has their way of seeing the God and humanity. In some cases, the person in the non-Christian religion has substituted their phony deity for the true God and shows off that theology in various ways. The word “theology,” from theos meaning God and logos meaning rational expression, means the rational interpretation of religious faith. Christian theology thus means the rational interpretation of the Christian faith.

Order custom essay The Image Of God And Humanity: Theology with free plagiarism report

feat icon 450+ experts on 30 subjects feat icon Starting from 3 hours delivery
Get Essay Help

It is import to understand that humanity’s purpose or destiny as Imago Dei; is to know, love, and walk with God. God made humanity in His image and enabled us to share His divine attributes. But to know him and respond to him is the fundamental distinguishing characteristic shared by all humanity. All other characteristics of the human race are incidental to one’s humanity. Sin has distorted everything within the creative order of God. Sin distorts humanity and the call to know God in a way that works against humanity as whole. Sin take the legitimate need of unity in God and blows it out of proportion. People that differ in some way are fully human and made in His image, but in theory, society tends to treat people who are different less than others. To understand humanity and race, Millard Erickson, James Evans Jr., Antony Walton, and M. Shawn Copeland are some that offer theological insight on humanity, race, and Christianity.

Millard Erickson holds that the source, purpose, and destiny of all humanity, the characteristics of race, gender, economic status, age, the unborn fetus, and marital status become incidental to one’s created status in Christ. God has regard for all persons. Since God takes that view, it is mandatory for the believer to adopt a comparable view and to practice godly reverence for all humanity. This is especially true for those who may be subject to discrimination. This is a hard but necessary pill the church must swallow. Unity must come from the people of God. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:18; Col 3:11).”

James Evans Jr. holds that genuine church leadership (in the black church) requires sound theological judgment. Therefore, Black Theology differs from traditional theology in much the same way that African American Christianity differs from the Christianity of Europe and the North Atlantic. As a result, the first Africans set foot on American soil, people of African descent have had unique experience with faith and the New World. Africans held on to their inherent philosophical heritage, a distinguishing religious awareness; encountered the most ruthless form of slavery in human history; and was introduced to Christianity by those that enslaved them. Therefore, African American theological development is best understood as the convergence of an African-derived worldview, the complexities of the slavery experience, oppression, survival, rebellion, and adjustment in the New World, and their encounter with the biblical text. Environment and culture has much in which a person perceives the Gospel message and humanity. Resulting with imposing personal biases on the scripture. During slavery, civil war, and post reconstruction, there were very few Negro Americans that had the ability to read. So much of what was understood about the Gospel was by oral tradition and folklore.

Anthony Walton holds that the American society views humanity and race needs to change. Predominately, we think in terms of racial clichés and untruths, and therefore think in clichés and untruths. He holds that that our country is not becoming post-racial; it is becoming more racial, multiracial, for-the first-time-everybody-is-speaking-up racial. There for the discussion of race is not ending but a new phase is beginning, a phase when race and its place in American life can and will actually be discussed. Walton solution is very radical and interesting in His theology of the Church. He believes Christians must take the same energy used to divide humanity and show Christ’s love to those that are often hated against. Over the last 50 years taking sides and pointing fingers does not work. If social injustice is viewed from the vantage point of a natural disaster, he believes will help to reconcile humanity. When a natural disaster occurs, we recognize the collateral damage and begin working a plan to fix and alleviate the situation. There is no judging, instead we focus on the situation, identify those in need and act. In this manner the church is needed. Instead of causing the hurt, the church needs to mend it by providing a voice of love, assistance, and education.

Mary Shawn Copeland offers insight on Black Theology but moves away to a more inclusive theology of humanity and race. She expresses historically most white Christian theologians have given little attention to slavery or racism, as a result lead to the strengthening of black theology after the assignation of Rev. Dr. Martin L King Jr. Too often, Christians not only failed to defy slavery and condemn tolerance of racism; they supported it and benefited from these evils and ignored the very Gospel they had pledged to preach. She discusses that racism has become subtler in form and practice. Finding its way into housing laws, hiring practices, education, and real estate to name of few. The invisible form of injustice is termed Elegant Racism. To combat it Christian Scholars and the Church, both black and white, work in the service of faith—exposing racism’s sin against the body of Christ, its desecration of the sacraments and celebration of the Eucharist, its disruption of the bonds of charity and love that draw us into union with God and one another.

God’s sovereignty is expressed through his creative order. Human beings are the high point of God’s creation. They alone are created in his image. In God’s creative order, there was one race—the human race. The human race is the pinnacle of God’s creative work and shares the inherent limitations of the corporeal realm. Human beings are nevertheless given responsibility to manage and steward the world. Erickson notes that all races are included in God’s family and are therefore objects of his love. The human race is one entity with a common ancestry in Adam (Acts 17:26; Ge 9:18-19; 10:32-11:1). When God made humanity in His image, He gave humanity the gift of freewill; the freedom to choose (Gen 2:16-17;19). Just as our Creator has perfect will, he gave His image bearers the power of choice. For humanity to be made in God’s image defines who we are. Collectively the human race was designed to represent God in this world by working within the creative order.

The vision of humanity becomes distorted because of the fall. Sin corrupted the way in which the human race related to God and relates to one another. In this light, human race became corrupt and out of fellowship with Yahweh. As a result, humanity was no longer one race. It became a divided and scattered race (Gen 11:1-9). The desire to rule over and exploit one another is a direct result of sin. However, though the Gospel of Grace we are redeemed and as one nation being transformed in the image of Jesus Christ. In Christ there should not be a division of race, gender or socio-economic status. However, this is still prevalent in the church. Research has shown that an estimated 13.7 percent of American Churches are multiracial. Racial segregation is often a characteristic in American Christianity across denominations and congregations. An estimated 91 percent of all mainline Protestants are white as are 86 percent of evangelical Baptists. Almost 80 percent of all African-American Christians are clustered in seven major black denominations, and the remaining 20 percent are mostly in black congregations. While churches are multiracial, segregation in Christianity reinforces inequality throughout society.

This is the concern that I have with James Evens and Black Theology or any other theology based on raced. It still endorses alienation instead of unity in Christ. Paul often encourages the body of Christ to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3). When there is unity the anointing of the Holy Spirit flows from the head to the rest of the body. Paul understood this meaning through practice and scriptures. In Psalm 133, “1Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! 2It is like the precious oil on the head”, the word brethren refer to immediate relatives, but extends to all countrymen and companions. When we become believers in Christ, humanity is born into the family of God. Born not of blood, but of God. The spiritual rebirth of His image bearers. Yes, I understand the need of black theology and why it came about, but I agree with Mary Shawn Copeland. I believe the church needs to be unified and tackle the great sin of racism together.

People that differ in some way are fully human and made in His image. God’s creative order humanity is one race. Through Christ we are redeemed and there is no division because all become one again united in Him. Unity through Christ is established by the work of the Holy Spirit. Believers must obey the counsel of the Holy Spirit and begin walking in service to others. Jesus’ divine status provides an example for believers to emulate as His imagers. Jesus humbled Himself instead of using His divine royalty and power to declare His status. Instead he suffers the brutal humiliation of death by crucifixion. Through His servitude, humbleness, and humiliation, Jesus was highly exalted above all names. Through unity the Church has to begin serving one another no matter the race or gender. 

Cite this Page

The Image Of God And Humanity: Theology. (2023, Jan 04). Retrieved from

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Run a free check or have your essay done for you

plagiarism ruin image

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer