Board index Specific Bible verses, texts, and passages Genesis

The beginning of the covenant; Faith vs. Faithlessness

Re: Genesis 1:26 - Animals in the image of God

Postby Mary Poppins » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:59 pm

What the bible says about god's image, to me, is a reflection of human thinking and human projection. The accuracy and validity of the bible is paramount to this discussion.

> If you want to know what the Bible says about the image of God and means by it, then we have to talk about the Bible.

I know what the bible says. I'm questioning it. There's been no change of subject or diversion.
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Re: Genesis 1:26 - Animals in the image of God

Postby jimwalton » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:03 pm

> What the bible says about god's image, to me, is a reflection of human thinking and human projection.

OK, so you are expressing an opinion. May I hear your reasoning behind your reflection? From previous posts, I'm guessing you think it's human projection because it's not grand enough—it's too mundane and boring. But since many mundane things are true, what pushes you to the conclusion that this particular mundanity is, if I may use the term, human fabrication?
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Re: Genesis 1:26 - Animals in the image of God

Postby Mary Poppins » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:10 pm

> But since many mundane things are true

What you are insinuating is erroneous. You've either purposefully, or due to lack of thought, simplified numerous points I've made and are therefore arguing against a strawman.

It's not that certain claims are mundane, but that they directly contradict other claims of just how not mundane god is. "God is unfathomable", is a common and often used claim. Unfathomable, but mundane.

There are great traits that humans possess. But god is often compared to our less desired traits, like being jealous, waging war, and controlling others. These are mundane traits, compared to other things humans do. And to say that this is what god is like, makes god mundane. And the contradiction persists.
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Re: Genesis 1:26 - Animals in the image of God

Postby jimwalton » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:11 pm

> What you are insinuating is erroneous. You've either purposefully, or due to lack of thought, simplified numerous points I've made and are therefore arguing against a strawman.

Not trying to establish a straw man to easily tear down, but to get at your point.

As we've already agreed, there is nothing about God that is mundane, but a lot about humans that are. Our being in His image speaks to a human responsibility (rule the earth and subdue it), not to a quality of God.

Nor do I consider ruling the earth and subduing it as mundane. In essence, we are being delegated to care for the planet (environmentalism), to figure out the planet so as to govern it well (all the sciences), and to use our every capability to create an environment similar to what God would do (working for justice and peace). I don't see it as mundane in the least.

> But god is often compared to our less desired traits

Let's discuss these a little, because your understanding seems to be underwhelming as to what the Bible is talking about.

> like being jealous

"Jealous" is used by the Bible to describe God's determination to not desire that anything comes between Him and us. Like if someone started hitting on your wife, you would be acting rightly to intervene and ask them to back off. God is jealous when he claims we rightly belong to Him, and he has a right to intervene when other forces would steal us away. It's not so much petty or emotional intolerance as it is exclusiveness, like a marriage. Jealousy is a bad thing if it's just to protect the petty; it's a good thing when it fiercely protects what is precious and what is its own. Throughout the Bible God is a concerned lover of his people, and full of anguish and grief when his people turn against him (Ex. 20.4-6). God is jealous for our best interests. He is trying to protect a relationship worth protecting.

> waging war

God is perceived as a divine warrior, as were all the gods of the ancient Near East. Any god worth his salt would fight for his people, to gain or protect what was rightfully theirs. This is not a "less desired trait." Primarily in the Old Testament God is seen waging war during the conquest in Joshua. Other than that, not much. In the NT, God wages war against sin, not against cities.

> controlling others

People have free will. God doesn't control people without their permission. To what, exactly, are you referring here?

I see no contradiction.
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Re: Genesis 1:26 - Animals in the image of God

Postby Mary Poppins » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:53 pm

> Like if someone started hitting on your wife, you would be acting rightly to intervene and ask them to back off.

That is not jealousy. God being protective is not jealousy. God being jealous is contrary to other claims.

"Jealousy is a complex emotion that encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation."

> God is perceived as a divine warrior

Yes, by a group of people who thought that warring was an acceptable and honorable thing. Of course they would project that trait on to a god they were thinking up. This is just more anthropomorphizing.

> This is not a "less desired trait."

Not for a warring type people. I find it quite undesirable. So did Ghandi.

Any negative emotional quality that we have is not consistent with other claims made about god. Most of our emotions don't apply to a being that lacks nothing and is complete within itself. Desires don't apply. A feeling of ownership is an ego based thought, does not apply to God.

> God doesn't control people without their permission

No hardening of the hearts? No intervening to move people in certain ways to fulfill prophecies? I've heard of these things from theists.
The Free Will argument is far from resolved.
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Re: Genesis 1:26 - Animals in the image of God

Postby jimwalton » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:54 am

> That is not jealousy. God being protective is not jealousy.

God's jealousy is protecting what is his own and interfering on their behalf, out of love, to keep them from harm. When you read the texts in the Bible pertaining to God's jealousy, they are clear that this is the referent.

> "Jealousy is a complex emotion that encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation."

This is most certainly not the only definition of jealousy. Jealousy is also vigilance in guarding something worth protecting, that belongs to oneself or that has value.

> Yes, by a group of people who thought that warring was an acceptable and honorable thing. Of course they would project that trait on to a god they were thinking up. This is just more anthropomorphizing.

The ancient Israelites never glamorized war. This isn't "300". Some of the stories you read in the conquest and Judges, the Israelites were afraid. They were never a warring people. You're simply wrong with your caricature of them.

> Any negative emotional quality

You are inappropriately attributing human weakness, foibles, shortcomings, and emotional distress to the God of the Bible. As you read the Bible, you discover He is not like your attributions and caricatures of Him.

> No hardening of the hearts?

God hardened hearts that were already hard. They made their choices, God brought elements into their lives that should have turned them around but only cemented them further in their positions. It is only in that sense that God hardened hearts.

> No intervening to move people in certain ways to fulfill prophecies?

It depends what you mean. He used people's natural inclinations (like Cyrus the Great) to accomplish his purposes, but he wasn't controlling them without their permission. He was allowing them to keep to the path they had set.


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