Being God’s Image: Why Creation Still Matters by Carmen Joy Imes

Being God's Image: Why Creation Still Matters by Carmen Joy Imes cover image Summary: Tracing the ways that creation (including humans) is the image of God. 

I have known of Carmen Joy Imes through social media for a few years but this is the first book of hers that I have read. I have been interested in the imago dei for a while. I picked up both this and Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters and I did not really read more than the titles. I probably should have started with Bearing God’s Name since it was written first, but by my perceived understanding of the titles, I was more interested in Being God’s Image.

The book is in three basic parts, tracing the image of God through scriptures. It starts in early Genesis, through the wisdom literature, and in the New Testament, ending in Revelation. There are many subthemes as the topic is traced through the bible. But the dominant one is that humans are not created to be God’s image but created as his image, which entails a vocational place within the physically created order.

Reviewing a book like this is hard because it is so wide-ranging. I am very much in favor of tracing a theme throughout scripture because part of the reality of scripture is the bible is a collection of different books written at different times and in several languages. This is a good book to highlight how cultural models and literary models influence how we should read the bible. The “plain reading of scripture” only works if you consider the culture and history. We do not read the bible by ourselves; we read with the wisdom of scholars and the church universal as influences.

Imes is a biblical scholar; I am not. But as I have read widely. There are a few places I am not sure I was convinced of everything, but broadly, this is a very orthodox reading based on what I have previously read, and I think this treatment shows how important the image of God is to a vocational understanding of the Christian life.

Being God’s Image: Why Creation Still Matters by Carmen Joy Imes Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audiobook

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