A Brief Definition on “The Image Of God”


The “image of God” is not as much physical as it is spiritual. Catholic scholarship seems to address the idea of “image” best because it asserts that image does not just involve dominion over animals, it involves the sharing of divine wisdom, justice, virtue, holiness, and truth which was the “moral image” shattered by The Fall[1].

It is difficult to think of the image of God in a physical sense because all people look different. Even twins have varying differences in appearances. We must look at God as light. In this line of thought, we can say that God put a facet of His light in each man and woman. It is absolutely incredible that each of the hundreds of billions of people in this world reflects once facet of God.

Spiritual gifts go a long way in revealing God’s image. I firmly believe that if man originally had the attributes Catholic scholarship suggests, they had the traits we now refer to as “gifts”. We know that spiritual gifts are bestowed upon the obedient and the faithful which seems to remedy the effects of The Fall, if only slightly.

These “gifts” can be used to reveal the image of God to the world. When given these “gifts”, we are given responsibility to use them to glorify God and reveal different aspects of his image through faithful and obedient stewardship. W. Sibley Towner alludes to stewardship when he states, “We neither are God’s clones nor are we “miserable offenders,” wholly incapable of good. We are God’s creatures and chosen partners in the work of the creation. We are given ever greater opportunity to be bearers of the divine image, that is, positive, responsible stewards in the world, until the day that God makes all things new.”[2]

In this respect, one can look at evolution in a different light. One can believe that evolution exists in a spiritual sense. That is, we are constantly evolving into God’s image which is realized at death when we are in eternal glory with our Creator.

[1] Davis, John J.  Paradise to Prison.  Salem, WI: Sheffield Publishing Co., 1998. p. 80.

[2] W, Sibley Towner. “Clones of God: Genesis 1:26-28 and the Image of God in the Hebrew Bible.” Interpretation 59, no. 4 (10, 2005): 356


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My name is Charlie Tinsley and I blog about The Bible. I post theology and have leaned towards an emphasis on domestic violence and forgiveness. I serve as Ambassador for the state of Virginia in the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. I hold a Masters of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary and Bachelors Degree in Science in Religion Summa Cum Laude with a Biblical Studies Minor from Liberty University. I have studied in the two “major fields” of theological thought. I am married and have been for several years and I currently reside in Virginia.

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