Ed Stetzer Interviews Daniel Darling on His New Book ‘The Dignity Revolution: Reclaiming God’s Rich Vision for Humanity’

Ed: What compelled you to write a book on human dignity?

Daniel: I’ve always been fascinated by the way the Bible describes the creation of human beings. While Moses describes God speaking the rest of the natural world into existence, he slows down his narrative in the first two chapters and describes the crafting of humanity in vivid and artistic language.

God sculpted humans from the dust of the ground and breathed into them the breath of life. King David tells us in Psalm 139 that every life is crafted with care in the mother’s womb.

I also think this is an important time for Christians to reclaim this rich vision of humanity in a world that is increasingly asking what it means to be human and in a world that sees daily assaults on human dignity, from abortion to war to the way we treat immigrants and refugees to the discussions about the end of life.

Ed: What exactly does it mean that humans are “created in the image of God?”

Daniel: Well, there is a lot of mystery here, so even in a book like this, we are only scratching the surface of what it means. However, we do know that to be human is to, in some way, reflect God in the world. I think this has two meanings.

First, it means every human being has value and dignity, above the rest of the creation, because we bear God’s image. Even in a fallen world, sin has corrupted the human experience, turning us against each other in violence, but it has not removed our value. Our dignity is not diminished based on our capacity or even our choices.

Second, to be created in God’s image means we have responsibility. We were created by a Creator to create, to reason, to love, to fill the earth with his glory. In a sense, the gospel message is telling people that they were created by a loving Creator, have been separated from their Creator by sin, and in Jesus, who came to earth as fully human, can be reunited to God and restored to their original, image-bearing purposes.

Ed: So most Christians probably affirm this idea that humans are “created in the image of God.” But what do you think we often miss?

Daniel: Today, we are tempted, like in any age, to ignore the humanity of certain groups. So, for instance, conservatives like me have done a great job of standing up for the most vulnerable among us—the unborn—and telling the world that there is a person here who deserves life and dignity. And yet we are often guilty of not seeing that same dignity, that same humanity, in immigrant or refugees or in our conversations about race. At the same time, liberals often (rightly) see the dignity of the impoverished or of the immigrant or refugee, but cannot or will not see the humanity of the unborn.

A robust vision of what it means to be created in the image of God should push us out of our tribes and toward an ethic that speaks out and acts wherever dignity is being assaulted, whether its in the womb, on city streets, below the poverty line, or at the border.

And it refuses to let us choose between being pro-life and pro-justice. But too often we have let our politics shape our faith rather than our faith shape our politics.

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Source: Christianity Today