“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
There is so much to be gleaned from considering the fact that Man was made in the Image of God. There are many aspects, in consideration of this, which have more import than the one that I will address in this broadcast. Imago Dei implies a value to humanity, which is far beyond that of the rest of God’s creation.
Many have commented on how human consciousness, thought, intelligence and morality are all corollaries of our being created in His image. Another aspect of this, is our own ability to create.
Human creativity is obviously qualified by the fact that we must use pre-existing materials for our creations. It is only God who created ex nihilo. But the author J.R.R. Tolkien got this right when he stated that “In such ‘fantasy’, as it is called, new form is made; Faerie begins; Man becomes a sub-creator.”
One does not only have to consider novels that imagine new or different worlds. One can also include artistic creativity in the visual arts, in painting, in sculpture, or in aural arts, especially music. No such artistic ability or creativity would be possible if we were mere animals. This sort of creativity would not have arisen by blind, random, evolutionary chance. Where is the evolutionary advantage in creating “Lord of the Rings”, or Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony? Even those creations that we do not like – that may have been tainted by man’s fallen nature – are still explicable only by the doctrine of Imago Dei.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for artists, novelists, musicians and so many other creative people. We especially pray for Your people in the world of arts, who seek to glorify Your Name through their work. Amen.
Ref: Tolkien, J.R.R. (1947), On Fairy-Stories, in Essays Presented to Charles Williams, (Oxford University Press). Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.