I used to think of Christianity as something that gave me absolute certainty but over the last few years I have come to realise that the centre of Christianity is actually mystery. Recently another one occurred to me and that is the mystery of how we are both in God’s image and fallen at the same time.
How we deal with this mystery does have an effect on the way we live.
If we look on ourselves and the world as fallen we can become obsessed with evil and what is wrong in the world. We then see all of God’s story in terms of sin and how evil the world is. This is a very joyless and depressing view of the world.
Conversely if we over emphasise man as in God’s image we start to look inside ourselves for all the answers. Not only is this arrogant but it also leads to us making a lot of mistakes.
Oddly we can, from my experience, do both of these at the same time! We can be depressingly focussed on sin and yet also arrogantly sure of our abilities.
Part of the mission for the church today in post-Christendom society is to keep this mystery in balance. Man is not all evil but at the same time he is not totally good. We are creative because we are made in the image of the creative God but we do not have all the answers.