John Stonestreet on Why the Biblical Answer to Human Identity Is Revolutionary

There are three reasons that every Christian should be able to understand, articulate, and widely share what it means to be human. And to live their life from this deep Christian conviction. The Christian answer to the question “What does it mean to be human?” is different from the answer you get from atheistic naturalism, or from Eastern pantheism, or from the postmodern philosophy currently characterizing life here in the West.

The biblical answer to what it means to be human is revolutionary. It’s the idea that God created everything and called everything good. Then He put Man and Woman on the earth to rule over it as His image-bearers. To represent Him and His will to the rest of the created order. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Here are three important reasons why.

First, the idea of the image of God has been among the most consequential in all of human history. This is not just a personal, private belief of some followers of Jesus. The idea has fundamentally changed the world. It changed what humanity thought about people who were oppressed. It changed what we thought about the other. It changed law, politics, the courts, and education.

Chuck Colson used to say that the image of God, other than the message of personal salvation, is the most important gift that Christianity ever gave the world. Even atheists like Friedrich Nietzsche, Luc Ferry, and others have acknowledged that the very concepts we now take for granted (much of the Western world concepts like human dignity and human equality) were actually birthed in history from this Christian idea of the image of God.

Second, the idea of the image of God is essential for Christians to understand because it is crucial to an understanding of the Christian worldview. The Christian story is given to us as a story. That’s what the Bible is. It takes us from the account of creation all the way to the account of new creation. It takes us from the heavens and earth to the new heavens and the new earth. Central to this gigantic narrative, the True Story of all of reality, is the human character — the image bearer; and God Himself taking on flesh. This idea is critical to understanding the Christian worldview. What does it mean that God actually became man? That God actually took on the skin and the condition of humanity in order to redeem and to restore it?

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Source: Christian Headlines