From the start God gave us work to do. To engage with Him in creation and transform it using ingenuity. To form tools for music, architecture, culture, creative pursuits and to join with Him. We bring increasing Order, Beauty and Abundance as we extend the garden to the whole world. After the fall, we need to co-labour with God once more. Now, we get to bring Healing, Deliverance and Resurrection Life as well. God gives us tools to diagnose the health of every part of our being: body, soul and spirit and our whole human society, our communities and our nations. The Law is a tool to diagnose how sick we are. The covenants are a reminder that God has called us to image Him in creation, in family and in our work, as well as in every sphere of human society. Economics, family, science and technology, communication, education, government, church, arts and entertainment. We bear His image in every bit of human society there too. This is where we work to honour God, people find restoration to dignity, health and integrity; they join in an exodus into become more and more fully human as Imagebearers who are being liberated by God.

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give.These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze;blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

– Exodus 25:1-9 (NIV)

“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human. We are all healers who can reach out and offer health, and we are all patients in constant need of help.”

– Henri Nouwen

“The prophets and apostles did not believe that God’s mighty acts in history were dispensable myths that represented universal truths. For them, the big story did not point to something else beyond it but was itself the point. God really created all things, including humans in his image, and brought Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground… God’s mighty acts in history are not myths that symbolize timeless truths; they create the unfolding plot within which our lives and destinies find the proper coordinates.”

– Michael S. Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way

Despising Yourself


Shame, Blame and Hiding can and does destroy lives. When we have them at the core of our lives and build upon this despising of ourselves, we can become hugely successful and still not escape our despising. When God calls Moses and so many of the other human imagebearers of the Old Testament, they all have a “despise list” that they bring out to give reasons for why they are inexperienced, lack the abilities, character or strength for God’s call on their lives. We need to see ourselves differently so that we don’t become victims of despising our small beginnings.

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Just as previously we looked at the Exile after the Fall, so God calls us to follow Him in an Exodus.  Just as we exiled ourselves from His presence through believing a lie, so now, God offers us the truth in order for us to choose to walk in His design for us as imagebearers. Walking this out is not easy, but it is liberating even as we look into the darkness of the world and indeed the darkness deep within our human hearts. He is calling us to repentance which is a complete about turn, and to march in the opposite direction into wholeness and integration. This takes huge courage. It is not easy to change the world unless true change takes hold of us first. God is good, but He is not safe!

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Entering into the story…

The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking, and Christian thinking is the prerequisite for Christian action. – Harry Blamires

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Read the passage linked below and imagine the scene as if you were a movie director working with the characters. Often, we do not enter scripture with our humanity intact and we do not dignify the characters we find there by giving them their humanity in return. The goal of Lectio Divina is to meditate on the scene we find there and allow the characters to speak to us by vividly imagining the scene as if we are standing there physically too. Ask Holy Spirit to make the scenario come to life as you read using all of your senses to visualise everything in the scene…

Exodus 31:1-10 – The Calling of the Artists to Build the Tabernacle

God was doing a new thing by giving the Israelites a divine communication tool in their midst as a direct connection to Him. This device was like a laptop with a Skype connection that could be folded up and packed away as they moved from place to place in the wilderness. As the pillar of fire by night or cloud by day would lead them, they would pack up and move. God’s presence would move with them. 

How was the tabernacle to show the presence of God as He met with Moses or the High Priest between the cherubim over the ark of the covenant? How does this show God’s presence? His authority? His providence? and His commitment? The camp was set up with the tabernacle right a the centre of the community. This theme of temple has been there from the garden to the tabernacle, to the first and second temple, and on into Jesus who refers to Himself as a temple , and finally then into the modern day church or body of Christ.

How was the tabernacle a joint project between Trinity and Humanity? Made by human hands to God’s blueprint? How does this mirror creation? Imagebearers? Creative calling? This is one of the first times that God anointed and the Holy Spirit came to rest on human beings to achieve a task. Bezalel, was probably only a teenager, perhaps 15 years old. Oholiab could have been his father. How does this generational relationship help Bezalel? How do you think Bezalel and Oholiab were feeling gong into this call of God on their lives? Intimidated? Excited? Overwhelmed? Perhaps all of the above? How does the tabernacle become an immersive, interactive multi-sensorial educational tool for the Israelites? Again this mirrors creation in that everything God has given us is meant for good, but we can choose to abuse it. Worship is use and idolatry is abuse of a good thing. How does the tabernacle differ in a profound way from all of the surrounding nation’s idols?

1) Prepare: Close your eyes, breathe, focus your mind, and ask God to enter into this time of prayer with you. Ask God to speak to you through this image.

2) Lectio (read): Open your eyes and scan the image. Note what draws your interest, but continue to scan the whole image. Close and rest your eyes a minute.

3) Mediatio (meditate): Open your eyes and let your eyes be led. Focus on just the part of the image that caught your eyes and name it. Close your eyes, seeing that piece of the image in your mind.

4) Oratio (pray): Open your eyes and look again at the piece of the image that caught your eye. Allow it to bring forth a word, image, or emotion. Close and rest your eyes.

5) Contemplatio (contemplation): Open your eyes and gaze at the whole image. What is God speaking to you today through this image? How will you respond to Him? Spend time processing that with God. Pray or journal about it.

When you look at this graphic, what do you see? What does it mean? Do you agree with it? Does it make sense? Discuss or think about how it makes you feel. Then, after a few minutes click to the next tab…

Now look at this graphic. Which do you agree with more? Why? What is the same and what is different? What do you think has changed between the two. Compare and contrast the two graphics and decide if you think Christianity is a Realm of Life or a Way of Life? Why do you think that way? Which do you prefer? a REALM is a small part of life, a WAY of Life is ALL of life. How can the Realm of life mentality cause us to shrink into a “Panic Room” Mentality. Watch this video and consider the difference between the two images – Realm vs. Way of Life.

Embodied Spirituality in Practice


Every part of human culture and society either images God in giving human beings dignity and value or in turn attempts to dehumanise, control or treat creation inhumanely. Often we can be doing both simultaneously.


Getting in touch with how to rule and reign over every area of life to glorify God in every nation, tribe and tongue.

Notice the Tension between every sphere of society. Each and every one of us may work in a particular sphere, but we are all engaged in every part to image God to the world. Much of the Old Testament deals with how God led Moses to set up societal structures. We need redemption in every area, none images God perfectly, why would they as they are made up of fallen imagebearers going about their work day.

God-given Authority: Justice

Reveals: God as King of Kings

Primary Attribute: Justice (not leadership)

Function: Enforce the civil law, which is the will of the people

God Governs: People up – concensus (God gives power to the people and they choose)

Population driven (serves people with Justice)

Elective, Consensus, Representative, Not the priesthood

God-given Influence: Laws of supply and demand

Reveals: God as Provider

Primary Attribute: Provision

Function: Provision, supply and demand, service

God Governs: Principles/Laws of Economics

Aid versus economics

The right to own land – private property

Living within your means

Generous giving and lending – borrowing integrity/responsibility

Limited debt – not perpetual, Work ethic and workers integrity

Gleanings, no poverty, stewardship of environment

God-given Authority: Love (If you don’t love you lose your authority)

Reveals: God as Abba Father

Primary Attribute: Love

Function: To nurture and love, responsible for primary education and discipline

God Governs: The Laws of Love, Chastisement, 

Brooding, Protection

God-given Influence: Inseparable from family, where family is involved, education increases exponentially

Reveals: God as Teacher

Primary Attribute: Wisdom

Function: Feed and inspire a motivation to learn

God Governs: Laws of Human nature and natural hunger for knowledge / the need to understand and be understood.

God-given Influence: Truth

Reveals: God as Living Word

Primary Attribute: Sovereign Will/Truth

Function: Tell the truth in love

God Governs: Laws of human nature

Truth is most powerful in a free forum

God-given Influence: Beauty

Reveals: God as Potter and Lover (Song of Songs)

Primary Attribute: Beauty, joy, enjoyment, music, recreation, sport

Function: To bring joy, rest and fun

God Governs: Laws of aesthetics

Rest and restoration, A sense of humour, Creative intuition

God-given Influence: Laws Of Nature

Reveals: God as Creator

Primary Attribute: Order and Power

Function: Laws of Nature

God Governs: Laws of Nature

Healing versus cure, Supernatural

Cause and effect, Hygiene,

sanitation, prevention, nutrition

Stewardship of the environment

God-given Authority: Moral Law

Reveals: God as Great High Priest

Primary Attribute: Mercy, Holiness, Righteousness

Function: Upholds Moral Law regardless of how much civil law changes

God Governs: Top Down – God appoints

Moral Model – a visible representation of God to the people

Absolute standard of truth

Not given territory or carts, just a small plot of land

Dependant on the people

Advisor to the King/Judge, not King or Judge

Essential to the health of a nation

Every part of society functions together like a cube where each of the corners is in tension with the other seven corners. If it was made of string, the cube would need tension to retain it’s shape. This is how tension works, each domain of society has sovereignty and they all only function together as a whole. If one area decides to rule over the others, God’s design is lost. They all are important and must be held in tension.

This whole section of the module is abbreviated from a wonderful book called “Old Testament Template” by Landa Cope.

Here is a related Spiritual Practice called “Keeping Sabbath” for you to explore.



At each step along the itinerary of the Biblical Timeline we will look at how the following themes come into play at each juncture of the journey…

Father, Son and Holy Spirit exist in an endless and perfect relationship. This relationship was also in perfect alignment with the whole of creation – heaven and earth united in fellowship with the Creator. Everything God does is “from the father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit.” Creation was made through their partnership and co-labour. Similarly after the fall, this co-labour extends between the three persons of the Trinity in the unity of the Godhead, but also includes us in the process of making things right, taking responsibility for our choices and our actions. God took a massive risk in giving us such a powerful free will, but the risk is worth it because while it leaves us open to temptation and fall, it also leaves us with great freedom to love and respond to God. So He is happy to make us with the ability to choose for Him and also against Him. Now, heaven and earth have been torn apart. We are set against one another, and now against God too. Still, God wants to co-labour with His imagebearers, and we can still do so with Him. He does not hit a reset button or bin everything, He is as committed to the plan as ever before and will call us back to integration.

As soon as we realise what has happened in the fall and how it has affected even basic relationships, work and child bearing, our relationship to our environment and the new dangers that surround us, we hide in shame and blame everyone and everything else rather than taking responsibility. So, God has to walk us through what happened in the moment we chose against bearing His image and started to decide how we would divide what is good and evil rather than accepting that God wanted to give us abundant life. Now, we have not entered into creation as a temple included in a way of life filled with worship. Instead, we have said only certain things that are included in a small realm of life can be of use in worship to God. The narrative from now onwards is to diagnose our condition and work slowly towards a solution that God will need to provide as a way for us to walk out our salvation with fear and trembling. It is not going to be easy, but God reaffirms His commitment to us and will work with any imagebearer who will hear His voice and agree to act in obedience with Him in His plans and purposes for All things. So, God invites us into fellowship with Him and sets up a tabernacle and after that a temple made by our hands where He can abide with Israel as He forms them from a refugee camp into a great nation. The covenants are a recommitment by God with creation, family and nation and finally to establish His kingdom in our midst.

After the Fall, God’s plan is to follow through on the original plan. Just like a creative faces many issues with a project and has to solve problems that arise with innovative and creative solutions. God has planned all of this out and while He does not control us, He works in the midst of our choices like a chess master to work it all together for our good. Imagine with me for a moment if the fall had not happened. We would still be learning as image bearers to image God, we would be acquiring new skills, we would develop in science and technology, working with creation and with one another to extend God’s temple garden to the whole world. We would not be hampered by death, sin or disease, we would face no communication breakdowns, no poverty and no greed. Culture would have developed and we would spread into communities, cities and more. We would have increased in diversity but live in perfect unity. God would still be expressed in our imagebearing and we would not exploit each other or creation in our work. Yet, now that all seems a long time ago, things did radically change, so we now have to deal with so much in keeping warm, protecting ourselves, locking our doors and generally fighting for our survival. The world has become a dangerous place, but just as our choices brought us to this reality, we can also choose to walk out and into God’s plan for us by embracing our human ability to bear His image.

In the start of the narrative and our journey as imagebearers, the whole of Creation was a temple for God and we, His imagebearers, men and women, were reflective of Him. He was True North to us, He was how we find fulfilment and our true selves by reflecting Him in body, soul and spirit and also in our work of extending the garden to the whole earth. After the fall, we now have an alternate narrative that we can choose to live out of and it creates all kinds of hell. God did not make suffering, poverty, war, enmity and disease – we allowed it, chose it and continue to do so in our world. We also to get to choose the opposite and when we do we see order, beauty, abundance and healing, deliverance and resurrection life restored. So, we either join with a flash narrative or the Big story of God in the world. If we reflect God as we were designed to do, we become more and more fully integrated and deeply and gloriously human. When we do the opposite we break relationship and become inhumane and de-humanise others, we treat them as objects and abuse in every form results. So, now God needs to restore relationship with every part of our society and he starts with the tabernacle and temple and then extends to every part of life through the law which was just and good and an image of how we used to function before the fall. Sadly keeping the law due to our divided narratives is now extremely hard and we fail frequently.

In the Old Testament and even now we experience much pain; some is of our own cause and consequences for our actions, some of it we did not choose but is a result of institutionalised evil, and other aspects are caused by an ever present evil that hopes to corrupt God’s imagebearers and distort God’s image in them. So, if we as image bearers poorly reflect God, then can we turn to God and say, “How could you allow this?” Your own reputation is on the line in these reflective creatures that you have made. Perhaps the only solution is to wipe out the imagebearers, exterminate the problem and then start over with a better plan. God does not do this even though it causes Him great pain to watch the violence we produce in the world and He does not, like us, close His fist, turn his back or close His eyes. He has far more at stake than we do. This present evil, which was not there in the beginning before the fall and will not be there in the end, is wanting to eliminate God’s image in man and woman completely and will use every means at his disposal to do so. He is aware that God plans to redeem the whole family of man by sending a saviour from within the human genealogy, so we find that Satan focuses in on eradicating the family line from which the saviour will come. He has no love for humankind, and just has to convince us to join with him and we give him power through our will by committing to genocide, poverty, violence, greed or any of the other wages of death. We live in a world of pain, but this world that God made did not start in violence nor will it end in violence. It started in God and will end in all things being reconciled to God.

God did not create the world and then retire into full-time Christian ministry. All work when done for God in service for others is a vocational calling. God calls each of us to pursue Him in the call of God upon our lives and just as God made everything. He continues to sustain everything working it all together for our good. Anything God does, He calls us to do too. So, we should work with diligence, effort, expertise and in service to one another. We see from the instance we are created God gives us work to do alongside Him. It is work that matters and work that should fulfil and give purpose to us. But it is first and foremost worship to God, thus it should be part of our existing in Trinitarian fellowship as we work, write, photograph, design, speak, film, choreograph, paint or provide within our communities. We do it all in and for and through God as we live and move and have our being in Him. I am amazed when I consider that God asked Moses to have a mobile communication device built for Him. He would dwell and make His tabernacle with His people, in the midst of their camp and this ark of the covenant will be where Moses would meet with God and it would be made with human hands! They were told that they were the image of God, so not to have any other images of God and yet, God asks them to build the tabernacle and later the temple as a reminder that their work and society was to create a safe space for God and them to co-labour together to see His will and purposes done on earth as it is in heaven! We have the same role today. God’s presence is with us, when we worship Him through the fruit of our labour in every area of society into which God calls us, even if like Daniel we are called to mirror God in the most unlikely places.

I remember reading the Bible to my daughter Mya, when she was little and at one point she looked up at me and said, “Daddy, I don’t want to read this book anymore!” A bit shocked I had the wherewithal to ask why to which she replied, “There are too many bad people in it!” She is right, in fact there is only one imagebearer who is in fact, good. The rest of us are pretty poor at imaging God. The Bible narrative is full of well rounded characters who if we approach them with our humanity in tact and at the forefront, actually have a lot to teach us through warning, mistakes, successes and their weakness as well as strength. It is an encouraging book because nothing is censored. God is looking constantly for men and women who will hear Him and in faith obey what He asks of them to do. No individual in the bible was ready and willing when they were called and yet, God was with them. He put His reputation at stake to work with them, and then he transformed them first before using them to transform their societies. Often this transformation, which was spiritual and physical, embodied change occurred through trials and testing, wilderness, exile and exodus. Over and over again these are themes throughout the Bible with His imagebearers. It is worth paying attention to. It is how God worked with Creation, with families, with nations and also within His Kingdom. The same purposes and plans of God are worked out through human beings in partnership with God. He will call us, wait for us, prepare us and challenge us into the vocational call upon our lives. We will have to learn to use tools, becomes proficient with them, pray and worship Him throughout the tumult of life and He will transform us through our lives as we respond to Him and surrender to Him in every part of our lives. If we are not ready, He will wait. He is eternal and in no rush.

Creative expression




Coming soon…

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Creative Assignments


add-e1557741871377.png Assignment: Every nation on earth should image God, we all have national anthems and flags that symbolise the best about who we hope to be. Often reality is less inline with our ideals, Do some research of your national history and show how your nation has moved toward or away from God over time. Highlight good things and bad things in it’s history and keep in mind the story of God’s people in the Bible. How did they both keep and fail God’s call on them?  Sign up and Create a Timeline here for your nation.

Here is an example of the kind of things to include in your timeline.

This is a chance to express yourself creatively. Perhaps something in this part of the timeline has challenged, excited or inspired you. You may want to think about how you could express that through drawing, writing, painting, filming, designing or photographing something to share with others here at

Optional: In addition to the assignment above, please write a haiku, poem, song or create a piece to express yourself and share it with us!

Submit Creative Assignments

This is where Creative Imagebearers submit their creative assignments for each module of the coursework.
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Final Take-Away to give context…


God was not done creating at Creation v 1.0. He wanted to join with us in another whole level of Creation v 2.0. This is where we are invited in as Junior designers and given authority to rule and reign over our small domain even while God keeps the whole Universe by holding it all together (Colossians 1:15). It is amazing that God gives us such power to impact on this human project. There is no sand box where we get to play with things that don’t matter much, God is giving us free reign within our limits. This is where we get thankful that each of us is limited, finite but gifted. So if we do evil, it is limited by our energy levels, short lives and that we can only be where our body is at any given time!

You cannot not communicate Everything that God has made communicates Who He is; Since we are embodied, most communication is non-verbal. So in the same way our communication reveals not only our image bearing ability but also the depths of human depravity as a result of the fall. We move toward God and away from God through our Creations. We discover the atom and then build an atom bomb. We have incredible creative power and that power blows up in our face often. Yet, God does not remove our creativity or our imagebearing. His goal is not to eradicate us like vermin to solve the problem of sin. Instead He is going to redeem us as His Human imagebearers and restore us as the pinnacle of His creation by becoming one of us and fully human in Christ, yet without sin.

Do you see the goodness of God as He enjoins us to bring beauty, order and abundance? Can you also see where we desperately need healing, deliverance and resurrection life? We are failed imagebearers who are not getting any better. Technology and humanism will not save us, if left to ourselves it only accentuates the problem… We will need a saviour from outside the system to come in, diagnose the problem and with discernment enact a solution. How will God redeem the whole world without annihilating us? Our humanity though good is a double edged sword and is capable of despicable evil.

Your take-away



Additional Resources:

Creative Imagebearers Workbook – Aleck Cartwright: