Question 22:

If Trinity is Gods nature, then the characteristics (or distinguishing features) of humanity, created in Gods likeness, must also resemble the Trinity of God. What are these characteristics (or distinguishing features)? In other words: What is it that makes humanity resemble God […]


Answer: It is apparent that the Christian idea of man, particularly the understanding of the individual, is very much influenced by God’s triune revelation. It is an ancient insight that a person’s understanding of him or herself is intimately linked to religious faith and the resulting vision of God. A person discovers him or herself, effectively, on a detour via his or her own experience and knowledge of the divine. The theologian Emil Brunner writes: For every culture, for every period in history the [following] words apply: Tell me your God and I will tell you the state of your humanity

The image of God and the image of man are mutual reflections. Christian thinking thus soon discovered that also being a person in the image of the divine Trinity is not only and not primarily determined by a substantive I am or I am-within-myself, but rather is determined by relationship, as it is with God i.e. from others and to others. One becomes a person in the full meaning of the word through mutual recognition, in being with others and for others. The other is thus an important part of being one’s own person. In others and through others, I gain myself, my life then becomes rich, fulfilled and complete. The other person is thus an important part of being one’s own person. Yes, it can be seen from the triune God that being within oneself and for oneself are not contradictions and that these thoughts do not stand in inverse relationship to one another. One might say: The more I am me, the less dependent I am on others and the less I have to take account of others; and the more I am dependent on others the less I am me! No, looking at the triune God both are directly proportional: those who are in God are themselves because they are fully one with and through one another and thus form the inseparability of a divinity. From this one can read that relation, the being-in-relationship-with-others, is the highest form of unity. And we all yearn for this form of unity, not being one with the entire world, but a unity that is completed in a network of relationships and in connectedness through mutual relationships and in differences.


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