imago dei

Juliet Vedral 05-17-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

So as I sit here and eat my low-calorie string cheese, I feel compelled to stop and contemplate for a moment what it means for me to bear God’s image.

Image via REUTERS/Charles Mostoller/RNS

What criteria do we use to pick a president?

We hear the daily stats and buzz, but presidential elections are about the big picture — where we want to go and the best way to get there. This means looking not only at political options but also at the way we humans are set up — how we’re wired. When public policies don’t account for that, we have reduced horizons, diminished resources, and polarization.

Image via "LEMONADE" trailer/YouTube

Since Beyoncé released "Formation," white, mainstream outlets have been referring to her evolution as "militant." But Bey is an entertainer and artist. She is not in anyone's home to decide who turns off the TV or internet. She is not militant. She is defiant. But America is so used to demanding the compliance of black women that defiance is often confused for being militant. 

But when others don't understand who we are or how we are shaping the world, Beyoncé has already told us how to respond: "I ain't sorry. I ain't sorry. I ain't sorry. I ain't thinkin' bout you."

I'm not either, Bey. Now, where is Serena so I can twerk with her and drink this chilled lemonade?

Jeremy Schultheiss 11-24-2015
Syrian refugees in Slovenia

Syrian refugees at the Slovenian border in September. Photoman29 / Shutterstock.com

God’s been telling the story of restoration since Genesis when we were created selem Elohim, in the image of God. We were created into perfect communion with God. From Genesis 3 until the end of the Old Testament, we see a narrative of a people in exile and God giving opportunities for reconciliation and restoration of relationship that humanity is incapable of accepting. Reconciliation is an exchange of something worthless (our condition of sin) for something immeasurably worthy (communion with God).

In the New Testament we see a biblical narrative through Jesus of now-but-not-yet restoration. In Jesus we see the coming of the Kingdom of God and get to be reconciled back to God. We even get a glimpse of an eternity where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain.

If we truly believe we are the image of God, it changes how we approach the image of God in the world. Our call then is to actively partner with God in taking the world somewhere.

Stephen Mattson 12-22-2014
Victor Tongdee / Shutterstock.com

Victor Tongdee / Shutterstock.com

Sometimes we dehumanize people by speaking, thinking, or imagining about them in generalizations, by covering their true identity with generic labels and terms that are impersonal, cold, and less meaningful. For example, you can refer to your brother as “someone that I know” or your best friend as “this one guy.”

We often do this when we want to create separation or disassociate from others — often in order to protect ourselves, make ourselves look better, or attack others. Thus, we refer to our spouse as “this person I know” when we’re agreeing with a coworker about people who hold an opposing political belief we disagree with, or offhandedly use the phrase “this guy I know” about our dad when talking about annoying habits that we can’t stand.

We see Peter do the same thing in the Bible, referring to Jesus — his savior, closest friend, companion, teacher, and leader — as simply “him” when being accused of knowing Jesus right before the crucifixion.

Luke 22: 56-57: Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

I don’t know “him.”

One word: him.

No harm done, right? It’s just a simple pronoun.

We do the same thing all of the time.

Him, her, she, he, them, those people, etc.

As innocent as this practice may seem, the ideas behind them are more cynical, and it becomes much more serious for Christians when we use terms, thoughts, and ideas as a way to disconnect people from God.

John Fea 11-27-2013

Pope Francis. JeffyBruno / Flickr

Pope Francis on Tuesday released his first apostolic exhortation since his election in March. The message, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), challenges Catholics — both laity and clergy — to pay more attention to evangelizing the world.

While most American evangelicals do not usually read papal pronouncements, it would be a shame if we did not familiarize ourselves with Francis’ newest document, for there is much in it that evangelicals could embrace:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to reporters in 2010. Photo via Getty Images.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer speaks to reporters in 2010. Photo via Getty Images.

When our parents teach us at a very young age to say the magic words — please and thank you — they give us our first lessons in morality. Manners are the first step to morality. Etiquette is the first gesture of ethics. Manner and morals derive from the mores of a society. Etiquette derives from the ethos and ethics of a society.

When Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wagged her finger in President Obama’s face upon his arrival in her state, she demonstrated not only a disregard for the Office of the President, but she simply displayed bad manners.

In the United States, we do not have a monarch that embodies the state in his or her person. In the United States, that person is the president of the United States. He and the vice president are the only two elected officials who are elected nationwide. Thus, the president is not only the head of the executive branch of government, but he is the representative of the entire country.

Governor Brewer’s demeanor toward the president was inappropriate. However, the deeper question is why would this woman think it is appropriate to put her finger in anyone’s face, president or not?

01-28-2011

The issues surrounding immigration are politically complex and emotionally charged, especially at a time when many Americans are experiencing severe economic distress.

Kathy Khang 11-12-2010
I haven't had the energy to sit down in a while to blog. Somewhere between the multiple Google calendars and multiple modes of communication life over-shared with me.
Jarrod McKenna 03-17-2010
Through tears I write this post as breaking news of the Waihopai Plowshares activists have been found by a New Zealand jury "NOT GUILTY!"
Elizabeth Palmberg 04-08-2009
Many thanks to the folks who answered our request for your thoughts and stories about
Alan Clapsaddle 02-04-2009
Last week, January 27, just a few blocks north of the Sojourners' office on 14th Street in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of our nation's capital, a homeless man was attacked and lay dying on th

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