TWO: IMAGE OF GOD PAPER
Objective: Identify our purpose as being created in the image of God. Instructions “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” That’s what Snow White’s evil stepmother pridefully asked her magical mirror every morning in order to confirm her sinister identity. However, as Christians, we do not need a mirror, (or magic for that matter), to establish our identity. Rather, our sense of purpose and very reason for existence is confirmed by the word of God, not our natural image. For example, Genesis 1:28 states that humankind’s creativity and dominion are direct blessings from God; resulting from being created in His image. What a gift it is to not have to search for our purpose. It is right before us, generally speaking, contained within the word of God. Read Chapter 6 of your Lennox textbook. In 250-300 words describe what it means to be made in the image of God. In 250-300 words, discuss what you believe is God’s purpose for you based upon the reading and scripture. Include scripture and at least one scholarly reference beyond the textbook. Use the Paper Writing rubric provided in the syllabus to guide your writing. THREE: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME DISCUSSION Objective: Explain how creation focuses on the God we serve. Instructions It’s not about us! It’s really not about us! I mean, as much as we find about us in the first three chapters of Genesis especially, there still remains a focus upon God and what distinguished Him from the rest of humanity, and the gods of other nearby nations. Our course textbook on p. 70 details some of these unique qualities of the God that we serve. They include the way that He created out of nothing and the fact that He created humans who reproduced, which set Him apart from creation. Now, these few characteristics may not seem like much, but just imagine serving a god that functioned just like your neighbor’s idol. Or, think about what it would mean to worship a god that “rained down life-giving semen.” I know it sounds weird, but the implications are further reaching. You see, God is holy and He is high and lifted up. He is wholly other. We must think big about our God because He is. As a result, the entirety of Scripture is concerned with proclaiming the holiness of God. From the image that humankind was formed in, to the formation of the nation of Israel, to the Great Commission in the New Testament, it’s not about us, it’s about God. He is holy! Now that you know that life was not all about you, from the very beginning, discuss what that means for you personally, for your family, and for your chosen career path. In other words, how does that apply to you now? How does it impact your thinking? Planning? Parenting? Use the Discussion rubric provided in the syllabus to guide your posted response and responses to other posts. FOUR: DIFFICULT CONVERSATION SUMMARY Objective: Summarize why there is evil and suffering in the world. Instructions Honestly, this could be our least and at the same time most favorite objective to engage in. Why? Because I think we’d all rather talk about Good News. I mean come on, let’s break out into the chorus of, “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High.” However, there is also value in discussing and trying to answer the question about the existence of evil and suffering in our world. After all, a lack of sufficient understanding in this area has and could continue to cause people to reject the loving God that we know. Be that as it may, I think our course textbook does an excellent job of handling this topic on p. 72-73. For example, Lennox (2009) states that, “the reason for sin was pride and that the results extend to every human being” (p. 72). Also, according to Lennox (2009), the first sin set in motion a long line of catastrophes that included disharmony in the world, disharmony in relationships, and ultimately guilt and a lack of peace with themselves and in their relationship with God. Most importantly, Lennox (2009) stated that, “the writer of Genesis explained that the world’s pain was not God’s doing, but the result of humanity’s rebellion against God” (p. 72). For this assignment, it’s required that you engage in a conversation with someone in your family or at work about the existence of evil and suffering. Conversation starters could include: o Ask them where they think evil and suffering came from and how God could “do” or “allow” something like that? o Ask them if they have ever read Genesis 3 and heard what the Bible says about evil and suffering? o In your response to the individual, provide a positive answer to the question according to your understanding from reading God’s word and what the author had to say in the course textbook. In a 500-750 word summary, provide the name of the person and a detailed summary of the questions you asked and the resulting conversation you had with the individual about evil and suffering. The summary is not required to have an APA title page. However, citations should be presented in APA format and a reference list should be included as a separate page at the end of the summary.