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Author Topic: We were created in the Image of God, yet have we retained that Image?  (Read 1838 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: October 20, 2009, 08:08:18 PM »

Today I was reflecting how we're to treat everyone with love because, as we're taught, we're all created in the Image of God.  But it occurred to me that though we were created in the Image of God, because of the Fall, we haven't retained that Image.  I base this assertion on the fact that none of us are without sin, and so it seems to me that along with forfeiting Eden, we've also, through sin, transformed that image.  Almost to the point that we barely, if at all, have retained that image.  If this is true, then the teaching "We're all created in the Image of God" seems to lose it's meaning.  I feel as though I know the answer but asked anyway because I think it'll come up at a family gathering.  Thoughts?

 P.S.  I mean absolutely no disrespect to my non-Eastern Orthodox friends, but I would ask that you please refrain from answering the question for clarity's sake.  Thank you.   
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 08:08:52 PM by GabrieltheCelt » Logged

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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2009, 08:13:47 PM »

We have the Image of God; we lack his Likeness. The whole of the Christian life is an attempt to restore that Likeness, that is, to be like God in every way: in thought, word, and deed.
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2009, 08:37:33 PM »

GabrieltheCelt, you may find it useful to look at the text of the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete, which is sung during Great Lent. If you don't have the text to it, you're welcome to PM me.
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2009, 11:38:25 PM »

We have the Image of God; we lack his Likeness. The whole of the Christian life is an attempt to restore that Likeness, that is, to be like God in every way: in thought, word, and deed.

Forgive me Gabriel, since I am OO and not EO. But I completely agree with Yetterbiumanalyst here.

We do retain the image of God, and that's what makes us unique amongst all earthly creatures. If we have lost this "image of God," then the sanctity of human life is undermined. Trying to define what this "image" is can be quite difficult. Some say it refers to our ability to reason, to feel, to create, etc. Perhaps. But the nascent embryo in the womb or the person in a coma cannot feel, reason, or create, and yet they are still the very "image of God." And personally, I believe that if we strive to recognize God's image, we will indeed see it in every person- born or unborn.

But as Yetterbiumanalyst says, not all of us (in fact very few of us) reveal the "likeness" of God. This likeness was affected by the Fall, and now through the process of theosis and deification we can have this likeness restored and reflect it as did the glorious Saints of our Faith.

OK, that's my two cents. Sorry for chiming in, but I too am interested in this important question.

Selam
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 11:39:57 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2009, 11:59:37 PM »

Maybe the verse on this simply means that we are physically shaped like the God; that we look like Him.  If this is the case, then we are like terra-cotta moldings.  He packed together a dirt model shaped like himself, and then breathed life into the first created man.  Sort of like a earth/sod mannequin coming to life.  We're still shaped the same way, so the image is retained.
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LBK
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2009, 12:12:12 AM »

Not quite, Alveus.  It is only the incarnate Word of God, who became incarnate as Jesus Christ, i.e. took on human form and flesh, who could physically resemble the "mannequin" you describe. God the Father is infinite, indescribable and unknowable in human terms. Likewise the Holy Spirit, apart from a couple of specific instances as described in the Gospels and Acts, where the Spirit became manifest in a visible form.

If memory serves, St John of Damascus has much to say that is useful in his treatise on the defense of iconography.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/johndamascus-images.html#PART%20I
« Last Edit: October 21, 2009, 12:14:47 AM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2009, 12:12:27 AM »

"According to the Church Fathers, the terms image and likeness do not mean the exact same thing. In general, the term image can be thought of as the powers with which each one of us is endowed by God from the moment of our existence. By making proper us of being created in His image, each one of has the ability to acquire God's likeness or to be deified."

http://www.stgeorgeserbian.us/darren03.htm
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2009, 12:39:41 AM »

It is only the incarnate Word of God, who became incarnate as Jesus Christ, i.e. took on human form and flesh, who could physically resemble the "mannequin" you describe. God the Father is infinite, indescribable and unknowable in human terms.

Yes, I know the textbook answer.  I was just being a little creative and trying to understand the text in its suggested context; from an oral history from an early point in human history.  I doubt the ancient people understood the story in terms of Greek philosophy.
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John of the North
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2009, 01:26:23 AM »

I was just being a little creative...

Dangerous thing to do...
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2009, 01:31:17 AM »

Dangerous thing to do...

My apologies!  Were the church fathers not being creative when they employed Greek philosophical language to describe the mystery of the Holy Trinity?  I agree that we have to limit our creativity with a balanced dialogue with the past, but creative thinking has always been a part of Orthodoxy, no matter how much some might wish to feign an eternal conservatism.
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2009, 01:36:36 AM »

Creativity which distorts or falsifies Orthodox doctrine is unacceptable.  angel
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2009, 01:50:14 AM »

Dangerous thing to do...

My apologies!  Were the church fathers not being creative...

 Alveus, I'm inclined to think that the Church Fathers and Mothers were never "creative" in that that they used their own reasoning;  I've only ever read that they prayed and fasted and thus, were revealed answers. 

 I think we're having a good discussion so far.  Smiley
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GabrieltheCelt
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2009, 02:38:17 AM »

One more thing; I hope you don't think I was 'ganging up' on you Alveus.  Smiley
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jnorm888
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« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2009, 11:56:59 AM »

God said this after the fall:


NKJV
Genesis 9:5-7
5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

 6 “ Whoever sheds man’s blood,
      By man his blood shall be shed;
      For in the image of God
      He made man
.

 7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply;
      Bring forth abundantly in the earth
      And multiply in it.”









ICXC NIKA
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 11:57:32 AM by jnorm888 » Logged

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