Q&A: The Dignity of Humanity

The Dignity of Humanity

What does the doctrine of the image of God teach us about the dignity of human beings?

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Answer

The great thing about being created in the image of God means that we, as human beings, have a unique role in creation. It is that we have a unique dignity. You can see it in Genesis. There's almost a pause, a zooming in on the day when God creates man. He has this divine meeting when he says, "Let us make man in our image," and there's a significance of that, and you see it later in Genesis, where actually killing a human being is prohibited and that killing is linked to one thing — because man was made in the image of God. Therefore, what gives human beings dignity is not necessarily your wealth or your education, but rather the fact that God created you in his image. And it's also interesting, if you link it with the incarnation, that God chose to come into this world in a form of a man, in a form of a human being, meaning again that humans have this intrinsic dignity, and that value of it comes from God himself.

Answer by Dr. Vuyani Sindo

Dr. Vuyani Sindo is a lecturer at George Whitefield College in Capetown, South Africa.