Showing posts from October, 2012

Common Clichés and Misreadings Once More

“Made in the Image of God” 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:26-27 ESV)
Oh my goodness, has this concept caused millions of gallons of ink to be spilled. One could go through almost countless interpretations of what “image of God” (imago dei) might connote: we share in God’s morality, consciousness, personhood, in His capacity to have relationship, and on and on the suggestions come.
These all might be true to various degrees. Yet, in context, the answer is utterly simple. To possess the “image of God” means to exercise dominion or rule over the creatures and earth that God has created. The literary context tells us this explicitly.
But historic…

Common Clichés and Misreadings

There are countless clichés and “urban church legends” promulgated by Christians. For various reasons, apparently no matter what the denomination is (or lack thereof), the average Christian layperson and leader continues to foster false readings of the text. Garnering a conglomerate list of bad theological phrases would be expansive.
The following are some real gems. I've seen entire books and workbooks (bestselling, some of them!) on the following bad readings of the Bible. This sample manifests what it means to ignore a favorite word among scholars: context, context, context. It clears up so many things.
“A Man After God’s Own Heart” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be princ…

The Greatest Charade on Earth

I’ve been reading an outstanding book by Dr. Henry Cloud recently, Changes That Heal. In one of the final sections, Dr. Cloud discusses how healthy adults must be able to view other people as both good and bad, and view ourselves as both good and bad. We cannot live in denial of how the world is infused with both good and evil, including inside us.

Dr. Cloud spends several pages discussing how all humans perceive of themselves in two distinct “selves”: the Ideal Self and the Real Self. I hope you read this carefully:
"The ideal self is the one we can imagine and want to be. If you look at your particular abilities, you can imagine what their perfection would be like. . . . Deep down inside, we all realize the difference between our ideal self, the imagined perfection, and our real self, the one that truly is. If these two battle each other, we will be in constant conflict. What we wish were true and what really is true will war with one another. . . .We need to look at the relat…