LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Humanity and the need for divine grace
Submitted to Jonathan Pruitt, Teaching Assistant
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of
Theo 510 – D06
Survey of Theology
Barbara A Servello
May 8, 2015
Humanity and the need for divine grace in this day and age seems to be out of our grasps. The world and humankind seems to be in chaos. No one can see that it does not matter the color of skin, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc. that we are all made by God and for God. Pick up the newspaper and we see that our world is out of control.
Many theologians have voiced ...view middle of the document...
Selem and Demuth in Greek and imago and similitude in Latin. He claims the first set of words refers to the concrete, the outward representation. The second is used as similarity, the reflexive inward relationship. He goes on to claim the Egyptian royal theology was where these terms derived from because Pharoah represents a copy of God on earth and was actually presented in the form of statues. He goes on to say that humans represent God on earth as his similitude in other words humans reflect God.
The creation of humankind, according to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was God’s last work, as the new work, as the image of God in God’s work. In all the creation story God spoke and creation came into existence. With humankind God created free in the sense that one made be musical, intelligent or blind. Freedom is relation. Being free means “being-free-for-the-other” because we are bound to that other we are free.
Karl Barth is perhaps the best-known for defining image of God as the unique interpersonal relationships that people enjoy. These relationships may be vertical (man to God) as well as horizontal (man to woman in marriage, or man to man in society). I got the idea that Barth felt that after the fall imago Dei was not really significant. Gardoski asks these questions about theories; are any correct? Must we choose only one? How can we decide?
John Wesley seemed to be in agreement with other theologians that imago Dei does have a natural image. Not a physical image but an image of reason, will, and freedom. Humankind was able to distinguish truth from falsehood. His understanding was just. His reasoning was perfect and therefore that meant that his will was perfect too.
“Humankind’s affections were rational, even and regular,” according to Wesley. “The affection that humankind had was what God is, Love.”  “Love filled the whole expanse and soul of humankind. Every movement was filled with the fervor of love.”
Wesley went on to say that the third part of this natural image was the perfect freedom God implanted. Humankind was made with an entire indifference so the Creator nor any creature other than humankind could tip the scale to one side or the other. Humankind was in control of their own actions. Bonhoeffer conveys that humanity is different from all other creatures in that God is in humankind. With all this in mind Wesley says that God crowned all this with happiness.
St. Thomas Aquinas also says that there are three different ways that a human person is made in the image of God. He is in agreement with the first way is according to the order of nature. In other words the human person has the ability to know and love. This is as far as Wesley and St. Thomas are even close holding the same beliefs. Aquinas says that the first step is for everyone. However, way two and three are much different. Way two states that according to the order of grace humans are the imago Dei when they...