Theological Term of the Day: Imago Dei

In the book of Genesis, we are told that human beings were made in the image of God. (In Latin this is the Imago Dei.) The Christian tradition has never reached anything approaching a universal consensus as to how exactly we are the image of God. But N. T. Wright has a succinct summary of one take on what it might mean for the world:

I understand the idea of the “image,” as in Genesis 1:26-28, to mean that humans are designed to function like angled mirrors. We are created in order to reflect the worship of all creation back to the Creator and by that same means to reflect the wise sovereignty of the Creator into the world. Human beings, worshipping their Creator, were thus the intended key to the proper flourishing of the world.
— N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began.

One of the things this understanding helps explain is the manner by which the world fell into sin when we did. When we fell from grace, we were no longer able to fulfill the role of caring for creation, and thus, by our sin, we took all creation down with us. When, by the grace of God in Christ Jesus, we are restored to our proper place, the new creation shall rise with us.