Anthony Hoekema on the understanding of the Image of God
AbstractThis 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 veryfoundation of the Reformed theology is the sovereignty of God. Hoekema saw that thecreation of man in God’s image is “the most distinctive feature of biblical understanding ofman” (Hoekema 1988). This was why he understood that “the concept of the image of God isthe heart of Christian anthropology” (Hoekema 1988). Hoekema’s concept of the image ofGod in man is examined in this paper, which is divided into the following five parts: themeaning of being created in the image of God, the structural and functional aspects of God’simage, Jesus as the true image of God, the image of God in man’s threefold relationship, andthe image of God in four different stages. Hoekema maintained that the image of God in manmust contain both structural and functional aspects, for “the image of God includes the wholeperson” (Hoekema 1987). The structural aspect means “what kind of being man is”(Hoekema 1976, while functional aspect means “what man does.” For Hoekema, these twoaspects of God’s image in man are inseparable, for “one cannot function without a certainstructure” (Hoekema 1989). Hoekema asserted that “there is no better way of seeing theimage of God than to look at Jesus Christ” (Hoekema 1987), for he believes, based onColossians 1:15, that He is the “image of the invisible God” (Hoekema 1988). In Christ, whois God incarnated, one sees “clearly what is hidden in Genesis 1: namely, what man as theperfect image of God should be like” (Hoekema 1976). In other words, Hoekema understoodthat the perfect image of God that man possessed at creation, is found in the the life of humanJesus.
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