Starting Point

Any discussion of manhood and womanhood in the Bible must start here [discussion of “image of God”]. Every time we look at each other or talk to each other as men and women, we should remember that the person we are talking to is a creature of God who is more like God than anything else in the universe, and men and women share that status equally” (Wayne Grudem, Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood [Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2002], 20).

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4 thoughts on “Starting Point

  1. I would disagree with Grudem: men and women are not equally “like God.”

    Notice that he begins with a discussion of “the image of God” (imago Dei). Now, imago Dei is not the same as sicut Dei (like God). Men and women were the image of God, but desired a different state of being “like God.” I’m sure that we can agree that before the Fall man and woman together bore the image of God in an inseparable union, being one flesh.

    Notice how Grudem cannot stay away from “like God” (post-Fall) language when addressing the relative value of the genders. Perhaps it is because only sinful beings pose questions of relative value and equality that he frames the discussion suddenly in sicut Dei language.

    So, if Grudem argues that Man and Woman equally and undividedly bear the image of God, I would agree. However, if the question is, “Which gender is more ‘like God,'” I’d have to answer this inherently evil question by saying that Man is more “like God,” since hierarchical, authoritarian gender relations are part of the curse (Man being placed in authority over Woman).

    Before anybody throws a fit, let’s notice that only a sinful being would consider being more like God to be a good thing. When we remember that striving to be like God is the epitome of evil, and that the Church is the BRIDE of Christ, maybe being more like God isn’t necessarily something to brag about.

    If I’ve responded poorly, I would like to appeal to the poverty of the question.

  2. I understand your point Michael. And I think it a good one.

    This is what I interpret Lucilius is getting at:

    Grudem:..”as men and women, we should remember that the person we are talking to is a creature of God who is more like God than anything else in the universe,”

    What if we modified this to say; “a creature of God [who God intended to be] more like God than anything else”.

    No. We are not equal to God, as Lucilius points out. But we are more like God that animals and plants, which what I understand is the context of the quote.

  3. Lucilius said:
    “I’d have to answer this inherently evil question by saying that Man is more “like God,” since hierarchical, authoritarian gender relations are part of the curse (Man being placed in authority over Woman).”

    I do not believe that it is part of the curse that man has authority over woman (simply read Ephesians 5, which is in the context of redemption–i.e., restored humanity). It *is* part of the consequences of sin that men exercise that authority in ways that are authoritarian or “lord-it-over.” I’m not sure “hierarchical” is a pejorative term, although it has taken that sense in our modern, American culture.

    I think you’re right, though, that being “like God” and being made “in the image of God” are not at all the same thing. However, I think Lawrence is right as well that Grudem is thinking purely of the distinction between humans and other animals in that particular quote.

    Tim

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