The Image Ruined and Restored

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The New Canaan Society exists to inspire a global connected network of men who are committed to friendship with Jesus and each other. At their 2013 Washington Weekend, Dr. N.T. Wright, author and Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St. Andrews, discusses the identity that humans bear as God's image bearers, how this image has been damaged by sin, and the particular work of restoration that Christians are called to fulfill. 



When many of us hear that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives, we often translate this to mean an enjoyable plan that my culture tells me I ought to expect. But when it doesn't happen the way we expect, we assume that something has gone wrong.

What are some things that are not promised in Scripture that Christians assume God wants for us? When have you dealt with disappointment with God over false expectations?
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How has this same Enlightenment-influenced expectation influenced the church? What does the "bigger, better, richer, more successful" myth do to our thinking about local church life, missions, organizational finances, outreach to the poor, etc.?
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God had a specific plan for this world. Dr.  Wright called it God's Project. Sin subverted this plan, but God never gave up on it, and He now uses risky humankind to work at its fulfillment.

Read Genesis 1:26–28. Based on this passage, what work did God expect of man before the Fall?
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How does this world follow the form of a temple, and how will it ideally function when under the redemption of God?
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Read Romans 8. How do our lives on this side of the cross relate to the Israelites in the Exodus?
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How do we tend to revert to usual worldly means and reflect pagan gods rather than the true God? How can you live in such a way that you are a consistent angled mirror towards God's glory?
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"Our symbols are not credit cards and cars and houses and clothes. Our symbols are the bread and wine and the water and the cross and everything that speaks of Jesus." Cling to these as you seek to honor the Lord by fulfilling your blessed role as part of God's royal priesthood.


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