I must confess that I have not really pondered this terribly much before the recent Forge intensive. This question was neatly posed by John Franke,an American theologian. The answer (and how significant it is or isn’t) is wrapped up in your concept of God. A basic understanding (albeit source of incredible mystery) of God is that he is triune. As in, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. There is enough in the bible for us to safely assume that God is both triune, and always has been – even before we enter the story of the universe through creation. Miraculously, ‘the beloved disciple’ John seemed to have figured this out (see John 1). Ok, so what did the Triune God pass the time, however long that was, before deciding to create life as we know it? We can assume some kind of interplay between each person within the Godhead. John Franke put it this way – life within the trinity is characterised by the “giving, receiving and sharing of love”. The ontology of God is relational. He is social, not solitary. Sociality within God can be referred to as “perichoresis” – close fellowship, interdependence”. John went on to say that God desired to extend this relationship to that which is not God (a missional activity), thus providing the impetus for creation. Just as God is in essence social, we too are created as social beings – it was not good enough for Adam to be alone (and most of us would agree with this sentiment). Here comes the main reason I have chosen to write about this here – John suggests that this is how we image God. We reflect the image of God in our “interdependent relationality, in the giving, receiving and sharing of love”. In this way we reflect the essence of the triune God, not individually, but relationally. I had figured out that God is probably not 5″3 with brown hair like me, but aside from some vague concept of a spiritual likeness, I have generally struggled to understand what it means to be made in the image of God. This definition means that my reflecting of God’s image may not really be about me individually after all. Dominion, creativity, conscience, will – the usual list of attributes said to reflect the image of God are individual attributes. All about me. There are many Christians out there with little opportunity to express some of these things – attributes like dominion and creativity are so readily mitigated by socio-economic and other cultural determinants. But together, we can give, receive, and share love”. As we do so, we move away from an western individualist imaging of God, to a reflection of the incredible relationality within the triune God.