Sharing God’s Glory

Imaging God means we share in God’s communicable attributes, as suggested yesterday. I believe that we share primarily in God’s glory.

Whatever humanity shares with God, it is in a completely different relationship than how God possesses it. God bestows upon people his nature, and humans receive. Psalm 8 illustrates the point well. As the Psalmist looks upon God’s creation and his favor to humanity, he explains “[You have] crowned him (man) with glory and honor./ You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;/ you have put all things under his feet” (Ps 8:5–6). God crowned man with “glory,” that which can only belong to God. God proclaims, “I am Yahweh, that is my name; my glory I give to no other nor my praise to carved idols” (Isa 42:8). However, in a derived sense God has given glory to humanity.[1]

In my judgment, God bestows glory on his creatures via the “image of God” in humanity. This means the referential view holds much truth. Something in people is the image of God and that something contains God’s glory, and his other communicable attributes. This enables humanity to become God’s representatives on earth, while the “image” is not itself the ability to represent God. In fact, this divine image inside of people allows relationships among man and woman and between people and God to occur. Hence, Genesis 1:27 focuses on the relational aspect of man and woman, while Genesis 2:15–25 focuses on the relational side between both man and woman and people and God.

Part 5 Part 4 Part 3 Part 2 Part 1

            [1] Beck and Demarest explain that people receive God’s communicable attributes, but not his incommunicable attributes (such as self-existence, externality and immutability) (Beck and Demarest, 150). This makes sense, however, the reason focus falls on “glory” here is two fold: (1) because Scripture explicitly says God bestows glory and honor on people and (2) because glory here is used as a general category to sum up what can be communicated by God to humanity, i.e. God’s communicable attributes.

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