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A lot has been said about man being made in God's image. However, when I once explained this to a Hindu lady, she said "God in man's image or man in God's image, it's all the same", implying that she thought the God of the Bible was just man's projection.

However, I think it would be useful to have some explanation of the "otherness" of God as seen in the Bible. I think that most non-Christians are unaware that the Bible has a particular view of God, that is different from their own. It would be nice to have some discussion on the question of the otherness of God.

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Possible duplicate: What is the Christian perspective on the description of God? –  Ryan Frame Nov 29 '13 at 4:03
    
possible duplicate of What properties does Christianity attribute to God –  David Stratton Nov 29 '13 at 6:04

5 Answers 5

The statement that your quoted from the Hindu believer has a Pantheistic notion in it. Contrast this with the way the Christian Holy Bible consistently teaches about God and His plan for humanity.

  1. God is distinctly declared as the Creator of Heaven and Earth and the first human being. The account of the creation of the world starting from Genesis 1:1 would be a good starting point.

  2. The names ascribed to God in the ancient Hebrew traditions (Old Testament) would be another field of study that can profoundly improve our understanding on the observable attributes of God that His chosen people ascribed to Him.

  3. God reveals Himself in three persons, co-equal, co-eternal (the concept of Trinity) in order to carry out the plan of Salvation.

  4. And lastly, and most pertinent when discussing Christianity with people of different faiths, is the fact that the Christian Bible is not a collection of wisdoms, it is not a collection of legends, it is not a collection of legalistic rules and regulations. Instead, it use all those to weave a coherent blueprint and a model on how to connect ourselves to God, so we can participate in His plan using His strength. This plan has a definite beginning, and it has a definite end. It is not an cycle with indefinite number of iterations.

Of course, this doesn't even began to describe how rich the revelation of God in the Scriptures really is. This is just a starting point, a frame of mind to start a discussion.

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The first difference is that man is not equal to God.

Other differences are hard to explain because the scripture is not clear at this point, except that it explicitly uses the words 'image' and 'likeness', with no further explanation of it. Really, the Bible doesn't offer us what this "Image of God" exactly means.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26, NIV)

Theologians from the past and today are still attempting to explain what these words mean and Biblical scholars still have no consensus about the meaning of the term. It is obvious that man inherited some nature and attributes of God. Hence, there is nothing wrong to infer that God has two eyes and one nose but no one should not make such deductions. The main difficulty here is that no one has seen God and the Bible never mention how God looks like. Another difficulty we have is that God is invisible and though God is invisible to us, it still doesn't mean that God has no form. The scripture again tells us that Jesus is the image of God, which further complicates the whole thing.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1:13-15, NIV)

Nothing really makes sense. We can't really explain this. We have difficulty in explaining the countenance of God because He is our creator and we are His creation. We still haven't understood everything about our body yet, and understanding our designer is something yet beyond our reach and capability.

One thing for sure is that, man is not God and man cannot be equal to God because man was created by God. The creation can never surpass nor be equal with the creator. One good example is that man cannot remain holy and righteous. While Adam failed to obey God's commandments, Jesus the Son of God was able to fulfill the will of God. Man cannot remain sinless while Jesus our God remains sinless.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15, NIV)

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God is one single being comprised of three persons - Father, Son, Holy Spirit. He is complete within himself and needs no others. People, on the other hand, are single persons who were created as male and female and were not meant to be alone.

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Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your answer, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site. As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following posts, which are meant to help newcomers: help page, How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Stratton Nov 30 '13 at 13:30

To answer your question about man being made in God's image, we must first establish what God's image means.

Here are some cogent references:

Genesis chapter 1 KJV

1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Obviously it could not mean physical appearance since man and woman are dissimilar.

So what is the image of God that is referred to in verses 1:26 and 27? To find the answer to that we have to go back the original Hebrew scriptures:

H6754 צֶּלֶם tselem (tseh'-lem) n-m.

1. a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion, resemblance 

2. (hence) a representative figure, especially an idol

So we see in the original Hebrew that it has to do not with any material aspect, but with a Spiritual aspect. Which only stands to reason since all material things were created by and for him. And God existed before any material thing So God must be all Spiritual (you may call that state by some other name, but the concept is still the same).

That leaves us to ponder then what does being made in the image of God mean?

As near as I can determine from all of the Scriptures I have studied, it means that we are made in the concept of the Trinity, or in other words in three parts.

I take that to mean body, Spirit and Soul. Even beyond that in studying Genesis I came to the decision that the following Scripture gave a deeper meaning to murder than just the loss of life for the man because of the statement that man was made in the image of God. Of course that is only my thoughts and I was wrong once a long time ago.

Genesis 9:6 KJV

Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

I also take that to justify capitol punishment, but that's another argument entirely.

Genesis 5:3 KJV tells me that we are all in the image of God.

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

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God is composed of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. God is the creator of Heaven and Earth. He created us human being and the universe. A mysterious and miraculous which other human being doesn't understand and believe about it while human being has no power like God. Moreover, many individuals doesn't know what is God and who really He is.

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Welcome to C.SE. When you get the chance, please check out our tour and specifically How we are different than other sites. This is an okay answer to a really off the wall qyestion. –  Affable Geek Dec 18 '13 at 15:58

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