How does “who we are” impact mission in this world? This is the subject of the 13th chp of Chris Wright’s book The Mission of God. He addresses here subject I have addressed myself, so I was delighted both to see that he focused on our being Eikons of God and to see what he had to say.
Think about this one: How does who we think humans are shape our mission? Our work? Our interactions? I know we affirm that we are Eikons, but does it do anything to us when we are most frustrated? How does knowing that Democrats and Republicans are Eikons shape our interactions? Our policies?
To begin with, he addresses that we are in God’s image. And he goes to four points:
1. We are addressable by God — and this is both missional and it deals (though he does not take this up at length here) with those “who have not heard the gospel.”
2. We are accountable to God — because we are God’s Eikons, we are accountable to God.
3. We each have dignity and equality — because each of us is an Eikon.
4. The gospel therefore fits all: the gospel addresses us as Eikons.
We are created as Eikons for a task: to rule over, to keep and to care for creation. So Genesis 1.
We are created as Eikons in relationship: here Wright says something I liked and have not thought about enough, if at all. God makes the woman to be a “companion” for the man not just to compensate for loneliness but also to help in creation care, the task of humans in this world.
But Eikons rebel against God (what I call being “cracked Eikons”):
Sin affects us spiritually, mentally, physically, socially.
Sin affects human society and history — and here he does not shy away from affirming systemic evil and sin. Humans cause the problems but structures carry on the problems.
Sin spreads horizontally — to one another — and vertically — from one generation to another.
Sin affects the environment.
His paradigm is HIV/AIDS.