Christianity has been interpreted in many ways by different theologians and lay people. As much as this subject is studied there continues to be an ongoing differing of opinions relating to what it means to be created in the image of God. However, even with the differing of opinions, Christian faith is based on the central belief that Jesus is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and that his life on earth, his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven are proof of God's love for humanity. (infoplease.com, 2010). Although Christian beliefs are based on the New Testament, Christianity still views the Old Testament as a very important part of its faith and uses it often in reference and teaching. This paper will first discuss what it means to be created in the image of God as it pertains to my opinion and second how my beliefs on this subject are incorporated into my nursing practice. Man in God’s Image
“The most distinctive feature of the biblical understanding of man is the teaching that man has been created in the image of God”. (Hoekema, 1986). The bible refers to man being made in God’s image in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the book of Genesis references man being made in God’s image in the Creation Story, in explanation of the generations of Adam to Noah and also again in the Covenant With Noah. Genesis: 1:26-28; 5:1-3 and 9:6. The New Testament references in many different books that man was made in the likeness of God and also speaks frequently of Jesus as being the perfect man who is made in the image of God. Hoekema states “Since Christ was totally without sin (Heb 4:15), in Christ we see the image of God in its perfection”. Christian belief follows that man was made in the image of God; however, differing theologians have developed differing theories over the years in regards to what it means to be made in the image of God. Theologian Saint Augustine of Hippo believed that humanity, which was created in the image of God, also had an image of the Trinity within it. He believed that there was evidence of the trinity within the human mind such as love, being, knowing, willing and understanding. (newworldencyclopedia.org, 2010). According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) “Of all visible creatures only man is ‘able to know and love his creator’. He is ‘the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake’, Man occupies a unique place in creation, he is ‘in the image of God”. God, creator of all life, made man unique apart from other living things by giving him gifts such as dignity, self-knowledge, self-possession, the ability to commune with others, free will, faith and love. Creation began with Adam and has been passed down to all of humanity which, in turn, results in a unity within humanity. Acts 17:26 states “He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions”. Because creation began with Adam, who was created in God’s image, and we are all from Adam, we too are created in God’s image. The question is what does this mean? For some it means, contrary to my personal beliefs, that with the Fall of Adam and the development of sin the image of God in humanity has been destroyed or corrupted. So what does it mean to be created in God’s image? Man was created with definitive differences from other animals. I believe animals are capable of love and all living things possess and innate ability for survival. I also believe that some animals are capable of a higher cognitive reasoning to an extent. For example, both sharks and chimpanzees have been taught to use a higher thought function in turn producing higher cognition. There is life, even within plants, that manifests and grows. However, God gave man a soul that with his body creates a...
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