Friday, November 26, 2010

Reflections of a Recovering Theologian

I wonder, anymore, when I hear the stuff about people being made in the image of God.

That was, it is written, the condition of the Happy Couple before they made the decision to "know."

A lot of change grew out of that decision, though, and it is unclear to me what aspects of their pre-knowledge condition were changed and which they carried over into their new life.

The consequences listed, of course, were profound--but I can't tell whether that list we are provided was comprehensive.  it is certainly not written that, upon lighting the  sword, God said "Oh, and I am leaving you in my image, for all the good it will do you."  To be fair and balanced, of course, God did not stand at the palisade to ensure that they left this image at the gate.

The historical record, from both the Bible and other sources, indicates that our image is really not very consistent with the image of God, at least not as anyone has defined it for a few thousand years.

Perhaps this evidence indicates that our image and God's image now vary--that the degree to which our image reflects that of the divine--like the necessity for us to toil in the earth and suffer in child birth--is an after market adaptation for our changed circumstances.

Perhaps we are now a pale image, or even an image beyond the pale.

There is not much at stake, of course, in this fringe theological question.

I am thankful, this Thanksgiving, for that.

PS In the play Inherit the Wind, which was about the Scopes trial, a part of what Mr. Scopes did to alienate his community was tell a joke:  "God made man in His image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favor."

No comments: