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In his image?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Faint, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Well, obviously. Why on earth would you feel the need to point that out?

    But, to the question at hand... we were talking about God creating man in His image, after His likeness. His image would represent His physical qualities. How difficult is that?

    Of course a house doesn't look like you, Mervin. It looks like a house! If it's your perfect image of a beautiful house, it's what you believe a beautiful house would look like. Likewise, a perfect image of a woman looks like a woman. It doesn't look like you (at least I hope it doesn't). But in both of your examples, you have used the word "image" to describe what something looks like. You haven't met my challange.

    Thank you for clarifying that. I disagree. Christ had a physical body. Was He not God? He ascended into heaven with that body. Where is it now? Lying off in a corner somewhere until He needs it again for His return to earth?

    It does? Not in my mind. I guess your mind is just on a different plane than mine is.

    Kathryn
     
  2. NoName

    NoName Member

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    "His" image doesn't necessarily mean "the image that he himself has." It could mean "the image he thought up in his own mind, and that therefore he owns, and that therefore it is 'his'"
     
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  3. Deut 13:1

    Deut 13:1 Well-Known Member

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    Check your PM Kathrin.
     
  4. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I don't know, Kathryn, the more I look at things from your angle, the more I see them as theologically logical - I think that is where I am going wrong; trying to bring logical 'constructs' into this.


    BTW I have thought more and more about the Holy Ghost, and I guess something has 'clicked' in that remarkably thick skull of mine.......:D

    Much as I find it hard to accept 'in his Image' as being literal, I suppose the Bible says, and so it is..........;)
     
  5. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    You know, Merlin, when you first started posting, you struck me as such a tolerant open-minded person. I don't know if it's just that you've found a comfort level now where you have decided it's okay to call other people's beliefs "ridiculous" or what. But I'm sorry to say that my opinion of you as a respectful person is not what it once was.

    I don't believe that God has a "mortal" body, which is what you have described. I believe He has a glorified, celestial, immortal body, which is not the same thing at all. The rather crude picture you have painted of God is not what I believe Him to be. The fact that I see him as having anthropomorphic qualities does not mean that I see him as just another man.
     
  6. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth ..john 4;24


    (1 Timothy 1:17) Now to the King of eternity, incorruptible, invisible, [the] only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen

    (John 1:18) No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him.................. so there we have it ,the bible tells us that God is a spirit and he is invisible so when we were made in his image ,it must refer to his attributes LOVE . JUSTICE, WISDOM, AND POWER Yes we can use these attributes if we want to

     
  7. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Now you're arguing semantics. Technically, I suppose God could have meant, "Let us make man in the image that I've thought up in my own mind," although it certainly doesn't seem to fit in the context all that well. He had, after all, already created all the animals and had presumably made them in "the image he thought up in His own mind." But, assuming that he could have meant what you think He did, why do you suppose that's that correct interpretation? What other indications are there (elsewhere in the scriptures) that this is what He meant?

    Do you think that's also what Genesis 5:1 meant when it said, "And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth."? I've always thought that it meant that Adam fathered a son that resembled him.


     
  8. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Michel,

    I think that where you are "going wrong" is in assuming that "theologically logical" is "wrong." ;) Do you honestly believe that God wouldn't want us to be able to understand who He was? Obviously, we are far from being able to understand His power or fully appreciate His majesty. But why would He have given us (in pretty straightforward language, I might add) certain information about himself, if He had not wanted us to be able to make sense of it? I don't believe He ever wanted to be the great mystery we've invented for Him.

    Well, I hope you will take the time to post what clicked. I want to hear what you have to say.

    Kathryn
     
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  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    What does it mean to you, may, to "worship God in spirit"? I'll hold off in commenting further until you've explained your understanding of this phrase. But I do have several thoughts on it myself.


    There we have it? Case closed. No further discussion needed. No one has ever seen God, except for Jacob, who claimed to "have seen [Him] face to face," (and whose life was preserved in spite of the experience), Moses, to whom God spoke "face to face, as a man speaketh unto a friend," and seventy of the elders of Israel.

    I'm not sure why you are convinced that a spirit must necessarily be invisible. On Easter morning, the Apostles who saw the risen Christ were afraid because they thought that they "had seen a spirit." If a spirit is invisible, what do you suppose they were thinking?
     
  10. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    It appears to me that the original post was lost in the sea of heated discussion on individual belief.
    If you think there is no way to know what God looks like, fine. Just explain away that Genesis is just a figurative way of presenting God's message to human being.

    If you believe the phrase "created in His image" is absolute truth, then you would need more qualificaion whether that is referring to the spiritual similarity or bodily physical similarity. If it is the former, then it simply may mean that God is an entity that can think, can decide, can get upset, can be happy, can be sad, want to be praised, capable of getting jealous, etc. Simply put, God is having emotional feeling like human, and that is the meaning of "God created man in his own image". On the other hand, if it is physical similarity, then you can have all further questions of the height, weight, hair color etc.

    So if you believe God has no physical body, and that it is not the spiritual similarity that is implied in the phrase: "God created man in his own image", then your stand is clearly that the phrase cannot be translated and explained literally, and each person will be left to do his/her own interpretation, and should respect another person's interpretation. In this way, we can remain civil and happy and carry on meaningful interchange of dialogue and learn from each other.

    For example, I argued along the line that Jesus is a Jew born around 6BC, and so should very likely look like present day Palestinian or Jewish people. Since he is the Son of God, he should be very likely to have lots of physical appearance similarity to that of His Father etc. However, if you believe that Jesus is just taking up human physical body in order to carry out the mission of saving human soul, and His physical appearance on earth has nothing to do with his actual appearance when He was with God the Father in the never starting beginning, then we just get to the point that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy spirit do not have physcial form, and hence the sentence "God created man in his own image" does not have anymore meaning. So it might be more logical to assume God has human form, appear physically like human form, but his body function may be completely different from human's function. For example, he may have a stomach, have tongue, have teeth, but the teeth are not used for chewing up food, the tongue not for tasting and selecting proper food, and stomach not for digesting purposes. You may ask, why then God need to have those form of two eyes, a brain, etc. Well, the simplest answer is: WE DO NOT KNOW. We can never understand God's wisdom etc, as often quoted from other part of the bible. Then this would settle the original question posted, and everyone can carry on with his/her own belief.......:jiggy:

    I believe I have contradicted my own arguement. What the heck, I thought I could present a logical explanation, and in the end, I think I did not explain anything :bonk:
     
  11. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Actually, Cal, I was just thinking that the dialogue has, for the most part been very civil.

    Personally, I think it means both spiritual and physical similarity. But with respect to height, hair color, etc., I think it is entirely possible to believe in an anthropomorphic God without needing to concern ourselves with the details of His appearance. Yes, if He has a human form, He does have a specific hair color, a specific height, etc. But it doesn't matter in the slightest what they are. I'm a blonde, blue-eyed white woman, but if God is a 6'10" black man or a 5'8" Asian, I don't care. I don't get hung up on race and I don't think God does either. When I say we were created in His image, I mean nothing more specific than the image of a human being.

    Interesting you would bring that up. I'm going to quote from the "Clementine Homilies," a Jewish Christian document based on a second-century source:

    And Simon said: "I should like to know, Peter, if you really believe that the shape of man has been moulded after the shape of God." And Peter said, "I am really quite certain, Simon, that this is the case... It is the shape of the just God."

    "For He has shape, and He has every limb primarily and solely for beauty's sake, and not for use. For He has not eyes that He may see with them; for He sees on every side, since He is incomparably more brilliant in His body than the visual spirit which is in us, and He is more splended than everything, so that in comparison with Him the light of the sun may be reckoned as darkness. Nor has He ears that He may hear; for He hears, perceives, moves, energizes, acts on every side. But He has the most beautiful shape on account of man, that the pure in heart may be able to see him... For He moulded man in His own shape as in the grandest seal..."


    On the contrary, I enjoyed it!

    Kathryn
     
  12. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Hey all,

    Been a long time since I have been here.

    According to my study of the scripture, our image that comes from God is spiritual and not physical.

    John 4:21 Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."


    The problem is: we are quite uncomfortable with us being "just spirit" at the very end. The Scriptures refer to this as being "Incorruptible": it's the part of us that continues on after our physical bodies cease to be.


    Matthew 22: 23 That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 24 "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"

    29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32' I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." 33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

    There won't be any sexes, and no physical body like we are used to.
     
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  13. Popeyesays

    Popeyesays Well-Known Member

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    In my view, God created man in His image and this is a metaphorical statement, not a literal one.

    God has no gender, He has no Physical Form, He is the Creator of all and Created of none.

    Now why is this statement present in Genesis?

    God created all of Creation and nothing in Creation had God's ability to do or not do by force of its own will. The Angels are subservient to God's will and have none of their own. Satan as described in the Book of Job does nothing against the will of God, he is a simple agent of God in his test of Job.

    God created man and elevated man in all of Creation, according to Islam even having the Angels bow to man. Why? Because man has the WILL to choose to obey or not to obey, to be a servant of his own volition.

    Therefore man is created in God's Image, in a metaphorical and spiritual sense and it has nothing to do with the numbedr of appendages or number of eyes, ears and noses on the face.

    God is beyond our direct knowledge.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  14. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Why do I feel like I've recently had this same debate with Binyamin?

    The first time that I am aware of that God was referred to as immaterial in Christianity was in the second century. This view eventually triumphed the formed view that God was material, but only after a three century internal struggle.

    Tertullian (AD 150-220) maintained that God was embodied and resisted attempts by immaterialists to platonize Christian doctrine. The view that God was immaterial was not a result of teachings from the Bible as much as it was a result of the influence of Greek philosophers on Christianity.

    Tertullian, coincidentally, was also the first to use the term trinitas when referring to God - but this was not an immaterial trinity. His understanding of Christianity included six points:

    1. God, like all that is, is embodied
    2. Being of spirit may take on solid bodily form
    3. Christ in the Incarnation specifically took on flesh that was unqualifiedly human
    4. Human flesh is a sacred and glorious substance
    5. The same fleshy body that falls in human death arises in the Resurrection
    6. Christ's resurrected body is an everlasting and crucial attribute of the Godhead

    Many early Christians believed that God is and always had a material body. Tertullian also believed that God had a body, but that it was of matter not of this world. In Against Praxeas Tertullian stated:

    LDS members know that God and Christ are not one and that we are created in their image because they both appeared to Joseph Smith. His eye witness account of God and His Son restored what many early Christians believed, which is admittedly not the same as what Christians of his time believed. Luckily the greek philosphers were not there to influence Joseph Smith.

    EDIT: Sorry - forgot to cite my source. This isn't where I got the information (it was from personal notes), but some of it is contained here: byustudies2.byu.edu/shop/PDFSRC/35.4Paulsen.pdf
     
  15. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hey, NetDoc! It's so good to see you again!

    Imagine that! And we've been studying the same scripture! ;)


    John 4:21 Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
     
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  16. Deut 13:1

    Deut 13:1 Well-Known Member

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    Because we did. :D
     
  17. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hello, Scott.

    I don't know whether you read just the opening post in this thread or followed it all the way through, but since I'm in the definitely minority here, I'm looking for some firm, convincing evidence from the opposition ;) as to why they believe this statement is metaphorical. I have explained my position in quite a bit of depth, but I don't want to comment further on what you've said since I've addressed this point already. Can you add something new I might be able to comment on?

    By the way, I appreciate hearing input from someone of the Baha'i Faith. If I weren't LDS, I'd probably look into your religion. I'm quite impressed with your philosophy and many of your beliefs.

    Kathryn
     
  18. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    There are LOTS of scriptures that talk about the "Spirit of the Lord". One of my favorites:

    II Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. NIV

    If we were already in "God's image" then we would not need to be transformed into "his likeness", now would we?

    Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
    2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. NIV

    God is not concerned with our OUTWARD appearance, as he is concerned with our SPIRITUAL appearance. It's your heart that he is concerned with, and not with legalism or physical duties.
     
  19. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Ok. Now that I've shown that Christians could easily accept, before the Apostasy of course, the we were created in the image of God, I'd like to show the same with Judaism, since this is the source of the Old Testament.

    First, early Christians came from Jewish communities, so it would make sense that they would have a similar belief in God as the communities from which they emerged. Judaism had a very strong influence on Christianity. I hope that this can easily be admitted by Christians and Jews.

    Alon Goshen Gottstein stated in "The Body as the Image of God in Rabbinic Literature" (Harvard Theological Review) the following:

    The word used to discribe image in Genesis 1:27 is tselem (or tzelem as I was corrected by Binjamin). This word is translated as "form, image, or likeness." The same word is used in Genesis 5:3, Exodus 20:4, Leviticus 26:1, Psalm 106:19, Isaiah 40:20, and Isaiah 44:9-17.

    Concerning this word, Gottstein stated,

    He also continues to try and explain why there is such a drastic difference between current Christian and Jewish teachings.

    Compare Gottstein's interpretation of these teachings with Joseph Smiths in Doctrine and Covenants 93:33 - "For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, recieve a fullness of joy."
     
  20. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Welcome back. You've been missed.
     
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