Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Any Christian can cite the fact that man is made in the image of God, however asking those Christians what that exactly means will elicit a variety of responses. Some Christians loath the very concept that mankind is made in the image of God. Norman Geisler shows his loathing by mocking the concept. The title of one of his books is: “Creating God in the Image of Man”. In it he attempts to defend the classical Greek concept of god (immutable, timeless, static and dead).
However, letting Genesis 1:26-27 speak for itself, God creating mankind in “his image” seems radically different than what anyone will ever hear from a pastor. A couple chapters later in Genesis, a very similar statement occurs:
Gen 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
Both “likeness” and “image” are the exact same Hebrew words used in Gen 1:26. Both of them are very visual words, used elsewhere to talk about shapes, idols, and other physical forms. It is disingenuous then to claim that mankind is in the likeness of God only because of our intellectual capacity, as opposed to physical form. It is disingenuous to try to explain it away based on other understandings of God (that he is omnipresent or invisible). In that case, we are just assuming omnipresence or invisible is true, that it mirrors our understandings of those concepts, and that it precludes having form.
Is it that hard to believe we physically appear like God? After all, doesn’t a father who has a son want his son to resemble him? Genesis 1:26-27 is telling mankind that we are not God’s hamsters. We have value. God, when he looks at us, sees himself. We are made in the image of God.