I’ve read a lot of great things today. Some days are like that. It seems that every book or article I read is absolutely full of well-written depth. One of the passages that really caught my eye, and that needs little context to make sense here, was from John Eldredge’s book, “Desire”. I’m on the last lap of this great little book and Eldredge is speaking of the future fulfillment of the desires that we have in our hearts. The section this paragraph falls into is about what the image of God reveals to us about our own destinies. He has posed the question: what will heaven be like, and what will we do for all of eternity? This is part of the explanation of his answer:
If you were meeting a young man for the first time, and he was introduced to you as the “son of Einstein,” you’d probably expect him to be rather bright. If you met a young woman as the “daughter of Nadia Comaneci,” the Russian gymnast, you might assume she could turn a decent cartwheel. We expect greatness from the offspring of the great. To be introduced as the image bearers of God is full of anticipation. It would be as though we were introduced as the sons of a renowned artist, perhaps a Monet, or as the daughters of a graceful dancer, such as Martha Graham. It leads us to what to expect next. Jesus said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’?” (John 10:34 NIV). Why is it, then, that creativity rarely comes to mind when we think of how we reflect God? More often than not we think of godliness in moral terms. When we hear that so-and-so is a “godly person,” we assume that he is devout, or perhaps self-sacrificing, and certainly more virtuous than most. But when Genesis declares we are God’s image, it is describing not certain qualities of our character but capacities of our nature. This is why, when the essence of our likeness to God is announced, it is int he context of our position upon the earth, our place in creation:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, adn over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Gen. 1:26 NIV)
– John Eldredge, “Desire”, pp 375-376
It’s worth pondering for a few moments the fact that creativity, not moral aptitude, was the context in which God declared mankind made “in His image”. It is interesting when we look at the stereotypes that our culture has set up how creativity is almost as far down the list of descriptors for the Evangelical church as liberal.