Part 1 – Shadows of the Kingdom, Chapter 3 – The Image-bearers
[Bible references: Deuteronomy 30:9; Psalm 37; 65; 72; 92; Isaiah 9:6; John 10:10; 14:25-31; 20:19-23; Philippians 4:4-9]
The church has a stake in human flourishing. The challenge for the church is to define and promote human flourishing (which we might otherwise describe as human well-being, human happiness) in accordance with biblical teaching, to present and commend its alternative approach to human flourishing in the face of competing cultural visions, and to embody human flourishing in the presence of God amid a culture of death and destruction. Christian theology has a role to play in assisting the church to meet this challenge.
“God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there.”
Goodness, generosity and shalom all fit together. We begin with the premise that we are representatives of the Prince of Peace. Scripture is full of encouragement for us to live in peace because it is through shalom that much else flows, including goodness and generosity. Goodness flows out of the shalom which is concerned with the overall well-being of others and is necessarily linked to justice, mercy, and humility – and we are not to be content with helping God to usher in only the minimal amounts of justice, mercy into the world but the fullness that stems from the overflowing goodness of God.
Our Creator and Temple-maker intended for us to enjoy his overflowing love and goodness. He provided us a place of abundance where all our needs could be met, where He had a purpose for us as His stewards and His co-creators and where we could enjoy him and enjoy each other. This overflowing can actually be overwhelming when we consider the breadth, the beauty, the abundance, and the complexity of this temple he has provided. And we can marvel at the breadth, the beauty, the abundance and the complexity of the skills and abilities He has provided for us as his stewards and co-creators. Just look at what He has done and what we have done with what He has given us!
 Swain, Scott. “Psalm 19 and human flourishing” Reformation21 http://www.reformation21.org/blogs/psalm-19-and-human-flourishing.php
 Lewis, C.S. “Mere Christianity” Samizdat 2014 p. 31
In what ways can the shalom of God flow over from our lives to the lives of others?
Read John 14:25-31; 20:19-23. What are the conditions of the disciples when Jesus offers them His peace?