Doctrine (Part 4). Anthropology.
Identity is at the forefront of contemporary culture. Whether through simple cyber customizations or costly plastic surgeries, humans are obsessed with personal identity. Such an obsession has led short guys to buy big trucks, scared people to become rappers, and Simon Cowell to show too much chest hair. It is virtuous to understand ourselves and who we are. However, journeys of personal discovery are almost always void of any biblical truth. We have become the masters of our own malleable images, the progenitors of our identity, and the definers of self. Anthropology (study of human beings) should not be a discussion of personal preference and relativistic self-reflection, but an investigation of our creation and our Creator God.
From a trinitarian perspective of God it is fitting to move toward a view a His creation; specifically his creation of men and women. Genesis 1:27 stands as the touchstone verse which paves the way toward a fully orbed view of humanity and the image of God–“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Therefore we do not understand human identity without understanding Divine identity. If our image is fashioned after God’s, then we must begin with an understanding of his image before we investigate our own.
Our identity is rooted in God’s, but it is not identical to his. We are not all-knowing beings, but we do have a capacity to comprehend truth (Eph 3:18). We are not omnipresent beings, but we do have a presence. We are not divine, but we are spiritual. We are not love, be we do practice love (1 John 4:7). We are not God, but we are fashioned in his image. Therefore our ultimate purpose and identity lies in pursuing God, by receiving the gospel and following the example of Christ. Through pursing Christ’s ethic of the gospel by the grace of God, the image of God is enhanced within us and we become more like Christ (Eph 4:14-16). This is our identity–not of ourselves but of God.