Creativity

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Here is Rembrandt’s painting entitled Artist in His Studio. It has been said that he is pausing to reflect upon pure canvas untouched at this point by his paintbrush. With his weight on his back leg, he seems to be pondering what it is exactly that he will deliver to his audience. The white-ness of the canvas is reflected in the light radiating from its surface. It almost is the light itself. Rembrandt has positioned the painter in the background at such a distance that the size of the canvas dwarfs him. Creativity is needed for creation and in this painting of a not-yet-painting, the area of creation seems to outsize the artist.

Humans are creators. Not creators ex nihilo (out of nothing) but creators of what has been given us. Like the painter, we aren’t the makers of the canvas, we are the users of it. We think, reason, believe, and love our world(s) and thus mold them through our sub-creation (term coined by J.R.R. Tolkien). We mold, brush, and fashion the stuff of this world in the same manner as God because we are the image of God.

Any thoughts on the implications of humanity being the image of God?

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3 thoughts on “Creativity

  1. There are colossal, life-altering implications for humanity existing as the imago dei. Firstly, we are created by God, and therefore we are God’s exceptional beings. Secondly, God designed us in his image, with the intent that we complete specific tasks in Creation. We are the image of God in that we have been given, are now satisfying, and eventually will completely exist in congruence with the singular mission God has given us. God has designed us so that we will emulate for the sake of the world the character of the Creator. Taking care of his Creation (physically) is only one example of living as the image of God.
    I think the most relevant portion of living as the image of God right now for me personally is reflecting the companionship God intends for us in a collective experience. We are only mirroring Christ fully when we do so in community with one another. The most basic form of this is shown in Genesis 1:26-27, when God created both male and female together. We are each (as individuals) created in the image of God, but only together can we truly convey the genuine nature of God to the world.

  2. I think the first question is, who is God? Genesis 1 gives the account of an all-powerful, all-knowlegable being creating a order out of chaos. Throughout the creation process, we read of the abundance of creation, the beauty of it, and the enjoyment God had in it. We then read that people were created in God’s image.
    In this context, it seems that we can understand some of God’s qualities: power, ability to organize out of chaos, love, beauty, care, joy. Being created in God’s image seems to imply that we have those qualities as well, but obviously not on the scale of God. God is all powerful. Each person has power (albeit limited). God creates order. People have the ability to organize (again, a limited non-universal ability, but we can organize). God is all-knowing. People can understand and know. God is complete love. People have the ability to love (although very shallowly, compared to God). As we look at people, we see, on a limited scale, the qualities of God. So, I would posit that being made in the image of God means that people have all the qualities of God, but on a limited scale. Obviously, we also need to remember that people have been tainted by sin, whereas God’s nature is completely pure.

  3. Tara and Tami- thanks for the comments. I plan on continuing this post in a series or something. Tara- thanks for the community aspect of things. Tami- thanks for the origins stemming solely from God. I’ll continue writing sometime very soon. I think the topic is much needed.

    Scott

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