Dignity and Destiny | CMDA Product Resource

Image of God | Faith
post Overall rating: ★★★★☆ 4.3 based on 3 reviews
5 1


Dignity and Destiny


Humanity in the Image of God


In Dignity and Destiny, John Kilner explores what the Bible itself teaches about humanity being in God’s image. He discusses in detail all of the biblical references to the image of God, interacts extensively with other work on the topic and documents how misunderstandings of it have been so problematic.

People made according to God’s image, Kilner says, have a special connection with God and are intended to be a meaningful reflection of Him. Because of sin, they don’t actually reflect Him very well, but Kilner shows why the popular idea that sin has damaged the image of God is mistaken. He also clarifies the biblical difference between being God’s image (which Christ is) and being in God’s image (which humans are). He explains how humanity’s creation and renewal in God’s image are central, respectively, to human dignity and destiny.

Locating Christ at the center of what God’s image means, Kilner charts a constructive way forward and reflects on the tremendously liberating impact that a sound understanding of the image of God can have in the world today.

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John F. Kilner, PhD

John F. Kilner, PhD is the Franklin Forman Chair of Ethics, Professor of Bioethics and Contemporary Culture, and the Director of Bioethics Degree Programs at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. From the 1994 founding of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity until 2005, Dr. Kilner served as the Center’s President and CEO. He presently serves as a Senior Fellow in the Academy of Fellows of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity.

An author of numerous articles in such journals as the Hastings Center Report; Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law; American Journal of Public Health; Archives of Internal Medicine; Mayo Clinic Proceedings; American Journal of Jurisprudence; Interpretation; and Ethics & Medicine, he has written or edited over 20 books. His award-winning Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God (2015) has most recently been followed by Why People Matter: A Christian Engagement with Rival Views of Human Significance (2017). Earlier books include Why the Church Needs Bioethics; Biotechnology and the Human Good; Life on the Line; Who Lives? Who Dies?; Cutting Edge Bioethics; The Reproduction Revolution; Bioethics and the Future of Medicine; Dignity and Dying; Genetic Ethics; The Changing Face of Health Care; Basic Questions on Genetics, Stem Cell Research, and Cloning; Basic Questions on Healthcare; Basic Questions on Reproductive Technology; Basic Questions on Alternative Medicine; Basic Questions on End of Life Decisions; and Basic Questions on Suicide and Euthanasia.

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What Others are Saying About | Dignity and Destiny

True Reference Work on the Image of God

4 5 1
This title is important work on the Biblical concept of the Imago Dei, It truly could be considered the reference work on the Image of God. Nearly 70 pages of reference sources and at least a third of each page are the footnotes and explanation of John F Kilner, who is the endowed Franklin Forman Chair of Christian Ethics at Trinity International University. As the church librarian with little background in Christian doctrine, I found it to be a very hard read, it is a reference work for the serious student. Many misunderstandings about what it means to be created in God's image have wreaked devastation throughout history, and this author tackles every one of the major events in history and their relation to this study. People from the beginning of time have tried to place themselves in God's place and role the world, whether it is to justify slavery, or find fault in imperfect people like women, disabled, different cultures, native cultures. These attempts of sin to dispose people to dispose other by placing themselves in the "Image of God". Romans 8:29 stated that "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, and that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." What a thought provoking study. I wish I had the background to appreciate this fine work. It was interesting as far as I could understand it.

Definitely Worth Reading

5 5 1
I picked up this book shortly after it came out. I was hoping to find some useful material for my Doctor of Ministry thesis. What I found was the best book I've read on the imago Dei. Kilner builds a solid theological concept grounded in the history of this doctrine. He takes the time to explain the approaches of other theologians before sharing where he feels they have weaknesses in their theory and then he posits his own approach. Most definitely worth reading.

Decent Read

4 5 1
Thorough, but quite dry. Never truly provides a clear support for his thesis after demonstrating the flaws in opposing views.