Joel Edwards thinks that being made in the image of God sets a high bar.
The idea that Christian faith is something of an anachronism in the 21st century still feels very strange to me, because at the very heart of our faith is this well-founded idea that humankind is made in the image and likeness of God. Now that’s been extremely controversial amongst Bible teachers and theologians for many years. But if it means anything, it means first of all that, whatever your concept of the evolution of the species for example, what the Bible is trying to say to the whole of human society is that we are of the highest value to God. To be made in the image and the likeness of God is … has to be much more than the fact that we have the ability to think, to rationalise, to have morality.
It actually means that God is calling the whole of humanity, not just Christians, but the whole of humanity to the highest possible moral ethical standard – and therefore the bar is always going to be above our heads, and so we’re always being pulled up to a way of living communally which is always that little bit beyond us. I always think of the challenge of Christian faith, and this challenge to live in the image and likeness of God, is rather like a schoolkid aged 13 with their school uniform, you know, it’s always too big. It’s always too big and it can be slightly embarrassing, but it’s a challenge to say, God is giving us this high standard – grow into this, grow into this.