Re: Social problems and evolution

George Murphy (
Thu, 05 Mar 1998 07:56:21 -0500

RDehaan237 wrote:
> Russ,
> In a message dated 3/3/98 5:21:22 PM, you wrote:
> <<I like the "relation" idea that has been suggested (as I mentioned in an
> earlier
> post), provided we understand that "image" is not equivalent to relation, but
> that
> the relations we have--to God, to Creation, to each other--are made _possible_
> because we possess that image.>> ........................................
I've commented on the "substance" of the imago dei in a post
that hasn't gotten to the list yet (This seems part of a wider problem.)
Let me take a bit different tack here -
1) "Relations" are more "substantial" than some discussions
make out. I am my parents' son because of my relationship with them, &
this is _not_ simply a genetic one. With all due respect to heredity, I
would still be in a child-parent relationship with them if I had been
adopted at birth. More broadly, we are who we are only in our
relationships with the world, not as idealized isolated human atoms. In
modern trinitarian theology it is becoming increasingly recognized that
the trinitarian persons are constitued by their inter-relationships.
2) If we don't look beyond Gen.1, vv.26-28 seem to view the
image of God in humanity as involving both relationship with God and
with the rest of creation. With God, simply because it is the image &
likeness _of God_. & as having the image of God, humanity is to have a
certain relationship - "let them have dominion [which requires some
careful interpretation]" - with the rest of creation. One can say
formally that the latter is a consequence of having the image, but you
can't really separate the two: If we are in an improper relationship
with God's creation, we don't posses the image.
George L. Murphy