We Are The Image; We Do Not "Have" It

From Restored To Our Destiny :

'Neoplatonism, then, understood as an ontological dualism and hierarchical continuum between God and creation is denied admittance at the start of Bavinck’s theological labors and continues to be refused entry throughout.  The Creator-creature distinction entails that mystery is “the lifeblood of dogmatics.”  That is, there can be no univocal, one-to-one correspondence between the Creator and creature.  By grounding his concept of analogical reasoning in the trinitarian being of God ad intra and his works ad extra (the archetypal and ectypal), Bavinck preserves the mystery of God by ruling out a priori any univocal referentiality between the divine and creaturely.  Precisely because univocism is impossible in his system, and the creature cannot be confused with the Creator, he has unfettered freedom to insist on his recurring holistic motif “that a human being does not bear or have the image of God but that he or she is the image of God.”  He does not feel, as so many do, the need to restrict the image in some way out of fear that some human characteristic is unworthy of being identified with the divine.  All such identifications are analogical from the start.  The Creator-creature distinction, as Bolt puts it, serves as a “regulative principle” for Bavinck.  Thus, in volume one he criticizes various views on the “seat of religion.”  It is not the mind (Descartes), nor the will (Kant), nor the heart (Schleiermacher); “religion is not limited to one single human faculty but embraces the human being as a whole.”  This is because it is the whole person that is constituted the image of God in creation, the whole person spoiled and ruined by sin, and the whole person restored in Christ.'


Brian Mattson