I have to also disagree with the statement on p. 127 that all of creation was designed “not for humans but for God”. Wrong, it is quite specifically designed for human and animal life, God doesn’t need it! Or better said, it is designed for human life so that we can both have a relationship with God, being in his image, and with the rest of creation, and of course worship the creator of it all.
Under thesis 4 we have some helpful discussion of male and female made in God’s image. Following J.R. Middleton, Scot suggests on p. 129 by quoting Middleton that the “imago Dei designates the royal office or calling of human beings as God representatives and agents in the world, granted authorized power to share God’s rule or administration of God’s resources and creatures.”
I would say this is the task we are given as a result of our being God’s representatives on earth, but it is not the meaning of the concept itself. The concept has to do with our being in some way like God in who we are, which distinguishes us from all other creatures on earth, some of whom also have ruling functions. While it is helpful to note that unlike in the ANE where only the King was said to be ‘son of God’ and share in God’s rule, here it is all of us who are sons and daughters of God, this does not define the image itself.More helpful is the discussion by Sandra Richter in The Epic of Eden that the reason we are not to make graven images, is because humans are uniquely God’s image, God’s idol on earth. But behind and undergirding all of this is what the image is—– we are to manifest the character of God on earth, his holiness, his love etc. And what being in the image enables in the first place is our having a unique and personal relationship with God that none of the lower order of creatures can have. We are created in God’s image for relationship with God. The functions come out of the relationship, being in the image enables both the relationship and the functions. Scot is right, on p. 131, that since only humans image God, it is no surprise it is said that Jesus incarnate, perfect human, perfectly images God on earth. And indeed salvation and sanctification is all about our being confirmed to the image of Christ himself.
More interesting is the assertion of Scot that humans are to rule over other creatures, but NOT over other human beings. The human desire to dominate or rule over other human beings is not God’s intent for creation. Having a king rather than a theocracy represents a fall away from the original design. So Scot says tyranny is the strongest form of idolatry. As he says on p. 132, humans are most human when, like God, they are artisans, enabling the rest of creation to flourish.