The Mirror of God: How the Church Can Fully Reflect the Divine Image
by Stanley K. Inouye
The story of humankind may be thought of as the story of a mirror—a mirror that is created, shattered, and restored. It is the story of how cultural differences originated and how Christ’s coming brings us back to unity. Three related lessons from Scripture help convey this story: Jesus’ role in Creation, the account of the Tower of Babel along with its reversal at Pentecost, and Christ’s entry into history as a human being. From these lessons we can formulate a biblical rationale for why Christians from different cultural heritages need each other and should reach out to one another across racial and ethnic boundaries.
Christians believe human beings were created in the image of God. Most theologians have taught that the image of God is some static quality or faculty, such as rationality. But several key theologians, including Martin Luther and to some extent John Calvin, have recognized that the image is not some human faculty, but is rather a relationship, an orientation of the life toward God. And some theologians have compared this relational understanding of the image of God to a mirror: When human beings are in right relationship with God, they (like mirrors) reflect his glory; but when through sin, they focus on something else, they no longer reflect his image.