Carmen Joy Imes

Teoksen Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still Matters tekijä

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Carmen Joy Imes (PhD, Wheaton) is associate professor of Old Testament at Prairie College, in Three Hills, Alberta, and the author of Bearing YHWH's Name at Sinai.

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Summary: A study of what it means to be God’s images as representative rulers in God’s good creation, what was lost in the fall, how we might live well in a good but fallen world, and how we see in Christ’s coming the fulfillment of God’s image in humans and of God’s purposes for the creation.

One of the fundamental assertions of the first chapter of Genesis is that when God created human beings, he made them in (or as Imes contends as) his image. In this book, Carmen Joy Imes explores what this means for what it means to be human.

She begins with creation noting the pattern of the first three days that established domains and the second three that filled them with their residents. She explores biblical cosmology and the idea that creation is God’s cosmic temple. Humans, who rule under the divine King follow his pattern in work of six days working and sabbath. Humans then are God’s embodied, royal family representing God and exercising responsible rulership stewarding the creation. All humans, regardless of sex are the image of God. What Imes establishes in these chapters is the integral relationship between our embodied life as God’s image and our engagement with God’s creation of the earth. Our work is how we participate in this rule. It doesn’t define us but brings satisfaction.

What was lost in the fall was not the imago dei but rather rebellion, distrust, and fear replaced love and trust in our relationship with God, and this affected both our human relationships and that with the creation, which was marked by thorns and thistles and toilsome work. The endurance of the imago dei means that all must be treated with dignity. The rebellion was costly and eventuated in violence beginning with Cain. It led to the flood, an act of un-creation to afford a chance for a fresh start (Imes includes a wonderful chart of the chiasm of the flood account that centers in God’s remembrance of Noah). God continued to resist the violence of militaristic power at Babel, that prevented nations and cultures from flourish and filling the earth.

Before moving to Christ’s fulfillment of our failed call and restorative work, Imes explores what it means to live wisely and well in a fallen world. It means heeding the wisdom of the Word and the world. She particularly explores living well as sexual creatures and trenchantly points the way to sexual fulfillment, and in a sidebar article, explores the pervasive and problematic character of pornography. Looking at Ecclesiastes and Job, she explores living with joy amid the fleeting character of our lives and what it is to trust God when we feel we are unfairly suffering.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, revealing what it means not only to be true God but truly human in bodily form. Although male, he honors women in being born of Mary, and able to represent all humanity. He participates in every aspect of human culture, often prophetically and restoratively, ultimately dying, taking on himself the consequences of our rebellion. In his bodily resurrection, he affirms God’s ongoing purposes for embodied humans. Imes proposes that the scars of the risen Lord point to their being continuity in our resurrected bodies while our mortality points toward the restoration of all things. Meanwhile, Jesus ascended empowers his people to carry on and multiply his work, even as we learn from him what it means to be in his image.

One manifestation of that work is the healing of human relationships in the beloved community of God’s people, undivided by gender, race, or any other factor that divides humans. Jesus intent is that we work this out in physical presence, not in some virtual or ideal world. All this anticipates the return of Jesus. Imes challenges views of the rapture in a sidebar and the idea of God’s people being removed from an earth that will be burned up. She argues from study of the passages that “the taken” are those taken in judgment, that the fire cleanses, and that Jesus will rule a renewed creation in which the bodily resurrected rule with him, fulfilling their calling as people ruling in his image, restoring creation.

The book includes a number of informative sidebars, for example comparing the creation accounts to other ancient accounts. Each chapter includes summaries and further resources including QR code links to further resources from the Bible Project as well as other written resources. For group study, a discussion guide is offered.

Imes makes a powerful statement for our embodied lives and work both now and in the new creation as the imago dei. She also speaks compellingly that the imago dei, in creation and redemption transcends all distinctions between human beings. The book complements her earlier Bearing God’s Name, on our calling, in addressing our identity as an embodied royal family representing our great King as we rule over and care for his creation–forever.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher.
… (lisätietoja)
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BobonBooks | Jun 15, 2023 |
Summary: What the law given at Sinai and the Old Testament has to do with the lives of Christians.

Carmen Joy Imes wants to puncture the myth once for all that the Old Testament is about law and the New about grace. In this book, which begins with Israel’s deliverance from Egypt and provided for in the wilderness, she stresses that the law reflects how those who have been the recipients of such grace may live under such grace, and that the scriptures speak of the joy and delight that God has shown them how they ought live with Him.

A key point in this book is her reading of what she would consider the second commandment, the first being to have no other gods nor images of God. She contends that what we often translate “you shall not take the name of the Lord in vain” is better translated, “you shall not bear the name of Yahweh, your God, in vain.” She considers Israel’s calling to be, as those who worship only Yahweh, to represent well, or bear, God’s name to the nations. The rest of the commands, then, articulate how they do this well.

She then discusses how God ratifies his covenant purpose and provides for their covenant-breaking in the whole system of sacrifices, yet another note of grace. Then she traces how they are prepared to enter the promised land through census, blessing, and marching orders. She then covers all the ways Israel strikes out, from the unbelief surrounding the report of the spies, the compromises with the Gibeonites and other failures under Joshua, and the failures of David’s dynasty. The prophets reveal Israel’s problem, and it is not with the law, but what the law reveals of their hearts. They point to restoration, new hearts on which the law is written.

Enter Jesus, whose name means Yahweh saves. He is one who fulfills the name bearing at which Israel so miserably failed. His whole life as the true Israel, one greater than Moses, revealed in the transfiguration and raised from the dead reveals him as the true name bearer. There is no other name, his name is above all names, and those who are saved by grace bear that name and represent him well as they obey him. And this includes the Gentiles, who together with the Jews are formed into one new people bearing the name, living out the law written on their hearts, reflecting God’s “tattoo” upon them to the nations.

Along the way, Imes includes sidebars with informative background on such things as “How Many Hebrews?”, in which she discusses the question of the numbers given of those in the wilderness. She offers resources for further study, including an appendix of QR codes to relevant videos from The Bible Project. A discussion guide for group study is also provided.

Through a style that includes references to Narnia, personal stories, and word studies, and scholarship, she traces the arc of how God has worked to call out a people who bear His name from Sinai through Jesus to the church. She both demystifies the Old Testament, including matters like the sacrificial system and traces the story arc of all of scripture. She shows the continuity between Sinai and Zion, between Moses and Jesus and what all this means for us.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher.
… (lisätietoja)
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BobonBooks | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jun 8, 2023 |
Was in the middle of teaching Exodus when I ran across this book. It was a great resource and a great way to tie the lessons of Exodus into a larger context.
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Skybalon | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 19, 2020 |
Bearing God’s Name Book Review by Grant Alford.

Carmen Joy Imes, in her IVP book “Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters” has given us a winner on several levels.
1. She has taken her 300 page Doctrinal Dissertation “Bearing YHWH’s Name at Sinai: A Re-examination of the Name Command & the Decalogue”, and turned it into a book for the wider church”.
2. Now it is prepared as a book of 187 pages in the main body that any Christian may approach and gain much information about the text and its meaning to the Hebrews and New Testament believers but even more than that it is a practical message of Christian Living and Public Testimony.
3. First of all it clarifies what the command “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain” is NOT, and then it develops the concept of “bearing God’s Name” as both the Old Testament and New Testament present this truth.
4. The book is divided into two parts: Part 1: “Becoming the People Who Bear God’s Name, and Part 2: Living as the People Who Bear God’s Name.
5. The additional material, some of which appears in each chapter and the rest given as an appendix, so there are “notes”, or “discussion questions”, Scripture Index, the usual Bibliography, and a unique feature giving the QR codes to link to “The Bible Project Videos”.
Each chapter includes a “Digging Deeper” reference to additional reading one might want to pursue, and also the reference to The Bible Project video. There are also some “side bar notes” that insert something of a word study or a bit of cultural explanation.
All of these helps mean that material is at hand whether one wants to do further individual studies or readily be involved in group studies.
6. Perhaps one of the more revealing things to say about the content and presentation is to quote the following passage that Carmen gives in her “conclusion”. It is revealing because it is an example of what makes the book special and so readable. She often uses illustrations from her own life including family members but in this example it also captures the whole theme and thrust of what it means for us to “Bear God’s Name”.

One day, pretty early on in my studies, the clock struck 5:30 and it was time to start dinnertime chores. I sent the kids off to do theirs while I got dinner ready. After a few minutes, I noticed that the girls seemed especially cheerful and attentive. I can assure you—this was not normal. I glanced over to see what they were doing and was tickled to see that both of them had slapped a masking tape label on their foreheads that read “Yahweh.” I grinned as they explained. “We’re bearing the name of Yahweh by doing our chores cheerfully today!”
They got it! As believers we’ve been branded with his name, and that reality should change the way we do everything.” See page 186.
… (lisätietoja)
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misterehmuseseh | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 26, 2019 |

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