- Web Site Suggestion
- Essay: How Are We Created in God’s Image? part 1
- This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
1. Web Site Suggestion
One Happy Table: Vegan Food for the
2. Essay: How Are We Created
in God’s Image? part 1
Genesis 1:26 reads, “Then God said,
‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…’ ” (RSV) The text
does not clarify in what way “man” is created in God’s image. It is
tempting for humans to attribute human characteristics to God. Eckhart
Tolle, author of A New Earth, wrote, “Man made ‘God’ in his own
image,” and a review of religions seems to support this conclusion.
Similarly, Anne Lamott quipped, "You can safely assume you've created
God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same
people you do."
If we are to take the Genesis account
seriously (which is to say that Genesis reveals profound truths but
not necessarily to say that Genesis is a historically accurate of the
universe’s creation), we should ask in what way(s) humanity resembles
God. The text does not claim that nonhumans are not created in God’s
image, so it is consistent with the text to posit that nonhumans also
have divine attributes. Nonetheless, the text’s focus on humans
suggests that there are divine attributes that are distinctly (but not
necessarily uniquely) human.
As I ponder what makes humans
distinctive, it seems to me that perhaps the most distinctive
attribute of humans is that, as best I can tell, we are the only
creatures who kill other animals because they compete with us for
resources. Examples abound, and include killing wolves, coyotes,
cougars, and other natural predators who compete with human farmers by
threatening “livestock” and with human hunters by killing deer, elk,
and other “game” animals. We kill millions upon millions of birds, sea
mammals, sharks, and other creatures in part because they consume fish
that humans want to eat. Animals of many species are trapped or shot
because they threaten to forage on crops planted by humans.
Since Genesis 1 describes God reviewing all of Creation and declaring
it “very good,” I doubt that killing animals whose need for sustenance
competes with humanity’s limitless desires is a divine human
attribute. Indeed, Jesus encouraged compassion, service, and simple
living. Next week, I will explore other human attributes that we might
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.
Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Where is the True Jesus Christ?