Thursday, November 23, 2006

Imago Dei: Part 5

Happy Thanksgiving Day Everyone! (At least, USA readers.)

For the immediately preceding post in this series on the Image of God (re: PT and pacifism), please click here.

In this post, I want to look briefly at Psalm 8, where the theology of the Imago Dei mirrors that in Reverence Theology (PT and Isaiah).

Psalm 8 beautifully combines the themes of human frailty and human royalty (the Imago for Reverence thinking). The terms "glory" (כבוד) and "majesty" (הדר) in Psalm 8:5 are clearly royal, as seen in their parallel use of the king in Psalm 21:5. Yet, Psalm 8 views it as a great wonder that God would bestow such royal glory on mere mortals. Because of human finitude and transience, it can only redound to God's glory to grant such ennoblement. "What are human beings, anyway?" (8:4). The category of אנושׁ, which is highlighted in 8:4 is ontologically opposite to Yahweh, with no inherent right to rule anything (Psalm 9:20). Human beings on earth are poor creatures of the moment.

Isaiah 43:7 declares that God creates and forms God's people for God's glory. Psalm 8 similarly gives all the glory to God, by beginning and ending with one thought (an inclusio): How majestic is God's name in all the earth. Ennoblement comes to humans as we embrace self-less transparency as in Psalm 8 and use that transparency to allow God's majesty to shine on earth.

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