Could anyone give me a good explaination on the fact that we are made in the image and likeness of God and what that really means. I need to explain this to a non-christian and need help. Thanks in advance.
If you have a Catechism of the Catholic Church go to paragraphs #356 - 390. Also #1701 - 1709.
#363 reads: In Sacred Scripture the term “soul” often refers to human life or the entire human person. But “soul” also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul” signifies the *spiritual principle *in man.
I remember reading some commentary somewhere, that after original sin, man was still in the “image” of God, but had lost his “likeness” to God. Unfortunately I don’t remember the author or the work. Anybody out there who knows?
Happy All Saints day,
Hi Nina, (or anyone else)
Thanks for the reply…so let me make sure i’ve got this right…its our soul thats in “image and likeness” of god. And to use your original sin example, that after original sin we still have the “image” of God, ie we still have a soul, but because of sin we dont have the “likeness” of God, an unblemished soul ?
Please note: The Catechism says “most especially”, not “only”.
Here’s a thought of mine regarding the human body. From all eternity God knew He would create physical man; and from all eternity He knew He would assume that human nature. So one might infer that in designing the human body, God did it in such a way that, when He became man, it would be the best physical form for manifesting to us what He (God) is like. A tangible, visible image of God. John 14:9 “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.”
And to use your original sin example, that after original sin we still have the “image” of God, ie we still have a soul, but because of sin we dont have the “likeness” of God, an unblemished soul ?]
Yes, that’s what I recall reading. But please keep in mind, this was commentary or personal inspiration/understanding - not an official Church doctrine. I don’t believe there is an official doctrine that officially defines the difference between image and likeness. I think it’s one of those many, many areas where we’re free to ponder and meditate - enjoying the personal insights God sends our way.