To be in the image of God is to be logikos, a term which can only be translated into English, but very unsatisfactorily, as “rational.”
From the Introduction by C.S. Lewis to On the Incarnation by Saint Athanasius
The term logikos can only be properly understood in relation to the Logos; in other words, to be in the image of God can only be understood in relation to God. Only when in relation to the Logos can we be deemed to be logikos: rational. If we are to live rationally, we are to pattern our life in accord with the Logos.
Man was created to live in this condition – this condition of relationship to the Logos. It is in this condition that we are to remain or abide. It is our nature – and this is linked completely with the presence of the Word of God.
Lewis, in this introduction, cites Athanasius, from Against the Gentiles:
In this way then, as has been said, did the Creator fashion the human race, and such did he wish it to remain.
But then the snake, the forbidden tree, the fall. We chose what was closer – the body and its sensations.
…they fell into desire for themselves preferring their own things to the contemplation of divine things. …they imprisoned in bodily pleasures their souls…
In our time we get the year-round month of June.
Continuing with Athanasius, he touches on the nakedness that man realized with the fall:
…not so much naked of clothing, but they had become naked of the contemplation of divine things, and that they had turned their minds in the opposite direction.
As Lewis describes it, we lost the garment of contemplation when we succumbed to our desire. It is in this way that we were truly naked. We remain caught in this corruption, save for the salvific work of Christ. And this begins the hint of why Christ was not merely a perfect man, nor only a divine being, but the God-man – as He had to be.
Athanasius continues by examining the complete order of the creation; in no sense is it a clockwork universe. Creation, not out of chaos but out of nothing, is not only the one-time handiwork of the Creator – it is held together and continues to exist only because the Creator holds it together. As Athanasius puts it, “a relapse into non-existence, were it not protected by the Word…”
Were we not protected by the Word in our day, is it so hard to see a relapse into non-existence for humanity? We are working very hard to destroy everything about us that is human, everything about living on this earth. Absent the Word, we would succeed.