04 February, 2019

27. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Dominion

27. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Dominion

"...Subdue [the earth], and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
—Genesis 1:28

This view sees us made in the image of God in that we share in His dominion over the earth.

The featured image is of a sign for sale at a Renn Faire. It jumped out at me because this NIA sentiment is exactly the opposite of what the Bible says, hearkening back to the battle of the worldviews.

We are to be good stewards of the earth. We are not to abuse or exploit its resources. But we are its lords. We have the God-given right to chop down a tree and build shelter from the elements. We have the God-given right to kill an animal for sustenance. We do not share equality with trees or animals.

What difference does this distinction make? What role does it play in the war?

We buy our oil from Saudi Arabia...a country that commits gross violations of human rights.

Image result for christian torture scars iranA Saudi Arabian blogger who speaks out on freedom was accused of apostasy and "insulting Islam" and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 15 years in prison.

Women who are raped and can't identify their perpetrator are deemed guilty of adultery and sentenced to hundreds of lashes and years in prison.

Despite that freedom of religion, including the freedom to pray, is a basic right recognized under international human rights law, the Saudi government raids homes where Christians meet for prayer, beats them, and threatens them with death.

The country’s oil wealth has been used to fund mosques, charities and Islamic institutions worldwide, as well as radical Islamist groups. 15 of the 19 terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the US were Saudi.

But instead of drilling for oil in our own country, creating jobs, and boosting our own economy, we fund a country that rapes, tortures, and murders people because drilling in America would put polar bears at risk.

While the NIA complains of scars left on the land from thumper trucks searching for oil...

...persecuted Christians and other victims of human rights violations bear scars from torture for life.

Want to make a difference? 
Click here to send a letter of encouragement to a Persecuted Christian. 

Further Reading:

America must stand up for persecuted Christians in Saudi Arabia, India and around the world

Saudi Arabia's Crimes Against Christians

Western hypocrisy, Saudi Arabia and the persecution of Christians


The "quote" on the sign is falsely attributed to Indian Chief Seattle (who died in 1866), and has been widely quoted in books, on TV, and from the pulpit. A children’s book, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message From Chief Seattle (which sold 280,000 within the first six months of its 1991 issue). It actually originated from Ted Perry, the screenwriter for Home, a 1972 film about ecology.

Information on Saudi Arabia's Human Rights violations taken from "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2004". US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour.

Photo Credit: World Hands: Creative Commons / Polar Bear / Persecution Victims: Fair Use

31 January, 2019

26. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Counterpart

26. The Image of God as Counterpart

For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, "I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly... 
—Isaiah 57:15

Humans as God's counterpart implies that we are the relational partner for God, created for fellowship.

What does that even look like?

Think of a big wig CEO, like Mark Zuckerberg, gaming with the man who empties his trashcan.

Or the President of the United States having lunch with the guy who cleans the White House toilets.

And I don't mean a "cares for all humanity" fist-bump in passing for publicity photo. I mean, after a long day of work, the only think Mark or Mr. President WANTS to do is hang out with his janitor because they are best friends.

Humans were created for fellowship with God, but not as His peers.

He's the CEO. We are the toilet cleaner...though out job is not to clean toilets.

Except for our own.

Photo Credit: Toilet & Mark Zuckerberg: CC0

28 January, 2019

25. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Similarity

 25. Imago Dei: The Image of God as Similarity

The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.
—Exodus 33:11

The focus on the Image of God as Similarity is on the physical and emotional similarities people have with God.

Ancient Jewish sources hold to this interpretation:

 2 Enoch 44:1–3: The Lord with his own two hands created mankind; and in a facsimile of his own face. Small and great the Lord created. Whoever insults a person's face insults the face of the Lord; whoever treats a person's face with repugnance treats the face of the Lord with repugnance. Whoever treats with contempt the face of any person treats the face of the Lord with contempt. (There is) anger and judgement (for) whoever spits on a person's face.

2 Enoch 65:2: 2 And however much time there was went by. Understand how, on account of this, he constituted man in his own form, in accordance with a similarity. And he gave him eyes to see, ears to hear, and heart to think, and reason to argue.

Our ability to have compassion is because God is compassionate. Our ability to show mercy is because God is merciful. These attributes are what make us distinct from animals; we are not merely upright-walking primates.

While the Bible teaches that God is spirit and invisible (John 4:24, 1 Timothy 1:17), He evidently chooses to inhabit some sort of ethereal body when interacting with humans, as shown in Exodus 33:11 and other similar verses (Exodus 33:20, 23).