Shalom Makers: Development in the Way of Christ – A More Human(e) Way – Part IX
You can check out the outline to connect to the previous sections of this essay. We are in the second section entitled A More Human(e) way.
Being Fully Human
When we take the time to listen and walk with the poor, and recognize them as people made in the image of God, we realize with Christian and Myers that at the heart of poverty is a “web of lies that results in the poor internalizing a view of themselves as being without value, and without a contribution to make, believing that they are truly god-forsaken” (Myers 1999:115). Myers makes the case that “no transformation can be sustainable unless this distorted disempowering sense of identity is replaced by the truth” that they are “valuable enough to God to warrant the death of the Son in order to restore that relationship (dignity) and to give gifts that contribute to the well-being of themselves and their community (vocation)” (Myers 1999:155).
This twin idea of being made in the image of God and the worth that all human beings have because of the universal love of God for humanity, is persuasively argued by Nicholas Wolterstorff in his book Justice: rights and wrongs as the only solid grounding for inherent human rights. He contends that human rights was not invented by the enlightenment, but is found in the story of Scripture, and that not only does existing secular theory lack a solid grounding for human rights, but even some theistic attempts to ground human rights solely in the fact we are made in God’s image falls short. He makes the case that there must be a “bestowed worth that is universal and equal for all humanity in order to establish inherent rights; and that bestowed worth is found in the love of God” (Allison 2008). The story of God is about helping those made in his image become all they were created to become.
The next post is on freedom as the politics of Jesus.