On What It Means To Be An Image Bearer
In this video conversation, N.T. Wright suggests that what the book of Genesis and the apostle Paul mean by humans "bearing the image of God" is less a static picture and more of a creative, dynamic proposition-- specifically, how we "reflect" God into the world.
How could humans have evolved and still be created in the "Image of God"?
The meaning of the “image of God” has been debated for centuries in the church. A common view is that the image of God refers to the human abilities that separate us from the animals. However, scientists have found that abilities like communication and rationality are also present in animals on a basic level. Plus, theologians do not see the image of God as human abilities. Some theologians see the image of God as our capacity for a relationship with God. Other theologians see it as our commission to represent God’s kingdom on earth. Both of these theological positions are consistent with scientific evidence. Whether God created humanity through a miracle or through evolution, God gave us our spiritual capacities and calls us to bear his image. (Updated June 25, 2012)
An Unfolding Creation
When we get stuck on the idea of having biological ancestors, we can miss the point that being made in the image of God is a relational quality, not a biological trait. We can communicate and have a relationship with God, and we can reflect his character and represent him to the rest of creation.