In an earlier post, I mentioned originale peccatum (original sin) and offered some thoughts there.
Here I’d like to balance that out just a bit with this offering from John Calvin:
“There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity. This we take to be beyond controversy. To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted in all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty. . . . Men of sound judgment will always be sure that a sense of divinity which can never be effaced is engraved upon men’s minds. Indeed, the perversity of the impious, who though they struggle furiously are unable to extricate themselves from the fear of God, is abundant testimony that this conviction, namely, that there is some God, is naturally inborn in all, and is fixed deep within, as it were in the very marrow.”
from John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960), 43, 45-46.
The Bible declares that humanity is created after the image and likeness of the Creator (Gen. 1:26). All humans are the created representation of God on earth. Though the image and likeness of God is undeniably tainted by sin, Scripture indicates that the imago Dei still remains after the Fall (Gen. 9:6; Rom. 2:14-15; 1 Cor. 11:7; Jm. 3:9). It is unlikely, therefore, that God’s image has been lost altogether due to sin. In all the creative work of God it is humanity alone who is made after the divine image. Hence, the imago Dei is what sets us apart from the rest of creation. Moreover, not only does sin bind everyone together, since all are sinners, so too does the fingerprint of our Maker unite us!
Surely this should make a difference in how we treat one another. What do you think?