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So What Does the Image Mean?

image of God, Adam and eve, creation, GenesisIn the beginning God created man in his image. In the image of God he created him. Male and female he created them.

For the last few weeks, we’ve wrestled with exactly what this challenging and important passage means. And today I’d like to wrap things up.

But this is just the first part of the journey. It’s one thing to understand what it means to be made in the image of God, but it’s something else entirely to wrestle with whether it really matters. That’s where we’re headed next.

But, before we get there, let’s pull everything together.

The Journey So Far

In our journey toward understanding the image of God, I’ve argued that the image is basically about “representation.” In other words, human beings represent God because (for some reason) he’s decided to manifest his glorious presence in creation through us. And, as his representatives, he has given us the responsibility of “ruling” in his place. I have to admit that I still think this was an odd decision given what a mess we’ve made of things, but I’m sure God has his reasons.

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Bill Nye the Humanist Guy vs. Ken Ham the Creationist Man

Two weeks ago, Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy) created an internet sensation with a You Tube video arguing that creationism is not appropriate for children. Almost 4.5 million views later (as of this morning), that video has certainly made quite the splash.

His basic premise is that since “evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science,” anyone who teaches their kids that evolution isn’t true is really holding their kids back. As he says,

I say to the grown ups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it because we need them.

Now the people from Answers in Genesis have responded. In the video below prominent creationist Ken Ham calls Bill Nye “the Humanist Guy” and critiques him  for having an agenda of his own, creating lots of little humanists. And (big surprise) Ham contends that teaching kids evolution is the truly harmful thing to do.

You can watch the video exchange below. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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Flotsam and jetsam (9/10)

Good Reads

  • The Neverending Hunt for Utopia: our history can be defined, surprisingly helpfully, as the study of a struggle against fear and want—and where these conditions exist, it seems to me, there is always that most human of responses to them: hope.
  • Why Fathers Really Matter:  In other words, what a man needs to know is that his life experience leaves biological traces on his children. Even more astonishingly, those children may pass those traces along to their children.

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A Prayer for Sunday (John Chrysostom)

John Chrysostom was the archbishop of Constantinople and one of the most famous preachers and theologians in Christian history. His writings have influenced generations of Christians, and he’s still known as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs of the Eastern church, three pivotal figures in the development of Christian theology. (The other two are Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus.)

After being exiled from Constantinople for mostly political reasons, Chrysostom died on September 14, 407. So in memory of his amazing life and ministry, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.

O my all-merciful God and Lord,
Jesus Christ, full of pity:
Through Your great love You came down
and became incarnate in order to save everyone.
O Savior, I ask You to save me by Your grace!
If You save anyone because of their works,
that would not be grace but only reward of duty,
but You are compassionate and full of mercy!

You said, O my Christ,
“Whoever believes in Me shall live and never die.”
If then, faith in You saves the lost, then save me,
O my God and Creator, for I believe.
Let faith and not my unworthy works be counted to me, O my God,
for You will find no works which could account me righteous.

O Lord, from now on let me love You as intensely as I have loved sin,
and work for You as hard as I once worked for the evil one.
I promise that I will work to do Your will,
my Lord and God, Jesus Christ, all the days of my life and forever more.

Forced Choices: Best Woman in the Old Testament

It’s time for a new poll. In our last one, I asked about your favorite European cities. And I suppose it’s not too much of a surprise that London (27%) and Paris (21%) came out on top. I suspect that may come from the fact that these are the cities most people visit. But I was a little surprised to see Athens at the bottom with only 2%. I’ve never been there, but it seems like it would be cool.

Anyway, enough with sounding like a travel blog. Let’s get back to the Bible. And this time I’d like to hear what you think about the women in the Old Testament. Who is your favorite? As usual, I can’t list them all. I can’t even list all the cool ones. Instead, I will arbitrarily pick a few and put them on the list. You’ll probably get annoyed that I’ve left out your personal favorite and leave a comment. That’s fine. But vote for one of the ones on the list anyway.

And I’m also not going to give you any guidelines for what “best” or “favorite” means. That’s up to you. I won’t try to explain what “woman” means either. If you’re unsure on that one, call your mom.

So, what do you think? Who is the best woman in the Bible? Use the poll in the sidebar to vote. And let me know in the comments if I’ve left out someone even better.

Saturday Morning Fun…The Lego Story

Flotsam and jetsam (9/7)

one of the best book opening lines ever

Good Reads

  • What “The Avengers” Can Teach Us about Identity: If the real you, the one at the core, is really the sinner, then it means that all this stuff you do – the daily battle of choosing good rather than evil, of seeking moral purity, of singing songs to the Lord – then all that is just a change in behavior. In the end, it’s only play acting. You know who the real you is. The evil down inside. And much as you want to behave better, you know you’ll always come back down to selfishness, greed, and all the rest.

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Bad Philosophy Needs to Be Answered (C.S. Lewis)

“If all the world were Christian, it might not matter if all the world were uneducated. But, as it is, a cultural life will exist outside the Church whether it exists inside or not. To be ignorant and simple now — not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground — would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (MacMillan, 1980), 28.

It All Started with the Naked Mole Rat: A New Video for My Book

Here’s a short video describing my book Gospel for the Living Dead: A Fresh Take on the Gospel Story. It’s pretty low-tech: just me, a couch, and an artificial ficus tree. (Do real ficus trees even exist?) But I think it does the trick.

We’ll be sending the video to some publishers later this week. And I’d like it to look like the video is really popular. So if you could hit “play” twenty or thirty times, I’d really appreciate it. Or, if you have children, students, and/or friends who need to be punished, you could make them watch this repeatedly. Either way works for me.

Oh, and feel free to hit the “thumbs up” button on You Tube as well. I’ve made arrangements for you to receive a crown in heaven for every thumbs up you give me. I have connections.

Flotsam and jetsam (9/5)

Orcs Don't Care (HT 22 Words)

Good Reads

  • Trading the Good Word for Good Deeds: The churches join a growing number of conservative evangelical congregations in other states that have canceled Sunday services to perform charitable acts as a way to show they’re not only concerned with fighting gay marriage and abortion but also care about helping the needy and other social justice issues.
  • I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why: If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.

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