ImageoDei/Relationships (was Soc. prob & evol)

RDehaan237 (
Fri, 6 Mar 1998 07:09:05 EST

In a message dated 3/5/98 7:55:56 AM, you wrote:

<<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 constituted by their inter-relationships.>>

Thanks for your emphasis on relationships. Much needed But you can't separate
persons from their interrelationships. When people say, "Jimmy is a spitting
image of his father" they are not talking prmarily about his relationship.
They are talking about his resemblance to his father. The person is always
present as well as the relationship. Both are needed. I think image and
relationship have a figure-ground relationship. You can talk about one, but
never forget the other. That seems to be what you are saying in your next

<<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.>>

I am in substantial agreement with the above paragraph except the last
sentence. It is an overstatement. If that sentence is true, who then can
possess God's image? Can you think of anyone who has a completely proper
relationship with God's creation? I think the Calvinistic doctrine (as I
recall it from my course in Ref. Doc. at Calvin college long ago) is that the
image of God is marred in varying degrees but not destroyed by sin.