Did God create man in his own image?

From Reflections on the Worthiness of Human Creation
by K. T. Chang

By 1950, mankind was entering a post-enlightenment era. Our understanding of life maintenance now challenges the interpretation of a likeness in physiological terms. As a matter of fact, physiologically, there is more likeness between man and the serpent or even between man and the fig leaves – we all survive in the thermodynamic cycle of carbohydrate (food) ingestion and oxidation (breathing) – than between man and God. Since the creator had to exist long before the completion of his design of the life cycle, there is no logical possibility that God needed to breathe or to eat. There is also, in the first place, no meaningful need to be so critically concerned with the form of God’s existence. But rather than forsaking the Bible because of a technicality, we could modify the interpretation of likeness to be at a higher level of abstract thinking, the ability of the mind to reason and to invent, to discriminate between good and evil. The likeness, then, is that man has inherited the mind of God. Conceptually, it is convenient to think of God as human-like when we communicate with Him or pray; but not in reality.

The unlikeness between man and God demands attention and understanding. While God exists in eternal time, and need not be concerned about maintaining continuity in his work, mankind is faced with the fact of short individual life spans, so that staying alive and living well takes precedence over work projects, no matter how important the work.

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©2008 K. T. Chang. All rights reserved.