The Image In Creation

We were born to create.

Or perhaps it’s better to say we were created to create.

The Bible begins with the words: In the beginning God created.  This is the first thing we learn about God.  God is an artist.  Which is very cool.

But the Bible tells us more about this creative God.  Specifically it tells us that he made people “in his image”.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

God made mankind in his image.  In a way that’s different than all the other animals.  Now, this is a thought that is not popular in our current cultural thinking.  By many it is seen as arrogance that we would assume ourselves to be better than cats, dogs and orangutangs…but God says something different.  He says that he CREATED man in his own image, and therefore that we ought to rule over the earth.  (Note: this is meant to be a caring stewardship not a ruling of an iron fist, if you are interested in things relating to the environment and faith you should really check out my friend Matthew Morris’ blog: it s fantastic)

What I want to discuss is what it looks like specifically to be created in God’s image.  Because that is a huge statement!  What is it about humans that is the image of God?  What is merely our “animal” instinct and survival skills and what is the Imago Dei?  I think we can see lots of thing, but I would like to focus on the aspect of creativity. 

No other creature creates like humans do.  No other creature has a robust need for the arts.  We can train an elephant to paint, but we can all see it’s not the same.  Other creatures sing and we appreciate their beauty, but do they create?  I loved my dog growing up, but he never wrote me poetry or played me a song on the piano.  My daughter tells herself and sometimes the rest of our family fantastic stories.  They come from her mind, she creates them; we have no record of any other animals doing that.

To me this doesn’t seem like an evolutionary issue.  Humans don’t just create better art.  We don’t just have finer motor skills.  We have the Image of God, we have traits of the ultimate CREATOR.  Humans CREATE, we dream of things in our mind and create elaborate art to express it through dance, painting, writing, drawing, music, poetry and theater.  No other creature that I know of does this.


About checkeredowl

Artist Management & Development + Video View all posts by checkeredowl

2 responses to “The Image In Creation

  • Keith Shields

    A while back I did three talks that looked at creativity and humans as co-creators with God. In one of these talks I looked at Genesis 1:18-24 and suggested the following evidences that God desires for us to be co-creators with Him:
    • God gets Adam to name all of the animals. Why? Was God too tired after creating them all? No. God involves man in the creative process. So Adam names the animals.
    • God uses one of Adam’s ribs to create Eve. Why? Had God run out of dirt? No, again, He is involving Adam in the creative process.
    • Lastly, “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” This is a reference to marriage and to a man and woman creating a child between them. God could have made it such that at a certain time in our life-cycle we simply divided in two and formed another self. He did not need to rely upon sexual reproduction. But again, he did so that we might participate in creation with Him.

    • checkeredowl

      I love that. I had never considered “they will become one flesh.” as a reference to reproduction, that is quite a thought, I’ll have to think over it a bit! I had always assumed it referred to the covenant that bonds the man and wife; even then, the fact that God would allow us to CREATE convent is rather astounding!

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