Anthony Hoekema on the understanding of the Image of God


  • Reymand Hutabarat Universitas Advent Indonesia
  • Franklin Hutabarat Asia-Pacific International University
  • Deanna Beryl Majilang Asia-Pacific International University


Image of God, Sovereignty of God, Jesus Christ


This study aims to identify the understanding of Anthony Hoekema on the image of God.
Anthony Hoekema’s theology as a whole is a Reformed theology. The core and the very
foundation of the Reformed theology is the sovereignty of God. Hoekema saw that the
creation of man in God’s image is “the most distinctive feature of biblical understanding of
man” (Hoekema 1988). This was why he understood that “the concept of the image of God is
the heart of Christian anthropology” (Hoekema 1988). Hoekema’s concept of the image of
God in man is examined in this paper, which is divided into the following five parts: the
meaning of being created in the image of God, the structural and functional aspects of God’s
image, Jesus as the true image of God, the image of God in man’s threefold relationship, and
the image of God in four different stages. Hoekema maintained that the image of God in man
must contain both structural and functional aspects, for “the image of God includes the whole
person” (Hoekema 1987). The structural aspect means “what kind of being man is”
(Hoekema 1976, while functional aspect means “what man does.” For Hoekema, these two
aspects of God’s image in man are inseparable, for “one cannot function without a certain
structure” (Hoekema 1989). Hoekema asserted that “there is no better way of seeing the
image of God than to look at Jesus Christ” (Hoekema 1987), for he believes, based on
Colossians 1:15, that He is the “image of the invisible God” (Hoekema 1988). In Christ, who
is God incarnated, one sees “clearly what is hidden in Genesis 1: namely, what man as the
perfect image of God should be like” (Hoekema 1976). In other words, Hoekema understood
that the perfect image of God that man possessed at creation, is found in the the life of human

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How to Cite

Hutabarat, R., Hutabarat, F., & Majilang, D. B. (2019). Anthony Hoekema on the understanding of the Image of God. Abstract Proceedings International Scholars Conference, 7(1), 2084-2089.