Images and the 2nd commandment

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doulosChristou

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by fredtgrecoThe Spirit is described in how He comes to Christ (i.e. descends) as a dove. It is not the shape or form of a dove, but the manner in which He descends. Thus in all three accounts:

Matthew 3:16
w`sei. peristera.n "like a dove"

Mark 1:10
w`j peristera.n "like/as a dove"

Luke 3:22
w`j peristera.n "like/as a dove"

John 1:32
w`j peristera.n "like/as a dove"

with w`j and w`sei. each being adverbial conjunctions, generally describing the manner in which something is done.
Actually, Fred, an older (thus, more authentic) manuscript discovered last summer in a Vatican dust bin presents the true rendering of Mat 3:16 as will be authoritatively reflected in the upcoming NA29 critical edition of the NT. It reads:

evn o`moiw,mati peristera/j "in the likeness of a dove"




(KIDDING!) :bigsmile:
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
To represent the Holy Spirit as a dove is just as contrary to the Second Commandment as any other attempt to represent the other Persons of the Godhead. It does not matter what the purpose is, or what motives one has for doing so; God says that to attempt to represent him visually is carnal and vain. "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." Rom. 1.22-23
 

SmokingFlax

Puritan Board Sophomore
The flip-side of this issue that makes me very uncomfortable is people getting religious experiences via images of "Christ".

I sat and listened (in a charismatic church) to all these people talking about how they "got a revelation" while watching Mel Gibson's flick
...and have visited church websites (Southern Baptist) that had a portion of their site devoted to entering "Your Passion experience/testimony"
...and seen the Huge billboard advertising Easter services at a church that was also viewing the Passion movie during the service, etc. etc.

I defy anyone to separate these things from the worship of God.

If I were to smash a film/dvd/vhs of this film (or a painting or statue of "Jesus") I'd be willing to bet that there are PLENTY of folks (who aren't RC) who would view this as an act of sacrilege.

Perhaps the question should not be

"Is it lawful for us to represent Christ with an image?"

but rather

"Is an image of Christ an idol?"
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
I was thinking about this issue today on the plane trip home, and I was afraid I may have given the impression that I believe it is permissible to create images of God the Father. But I do not believe that. Just wanted to clarify that. I believe it is permissible to paint a picture or sculpt a sculpture of anything that our eyes are capable of seeing. And I also think it is just absurd to suggest that when the apostles observed the Lord's Supper and remembered Jesus, having ministered with him for three years, that they were somehow sinning because of the mental images that appeared in their heads. They are only seeing in their minds what they saw with their own eyes. I think my view is basically the same as Paul Manata's.

Ricky,

The reason I say the commandment would forbid all images is because of what the commandment itself says. Don't make an image of anything in heaven, or on earth, or in the sea. You can't just arbitrarily say that this is only applying to Christ.

[Edited on 24-12-2004 by luvroftheWord]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by luvroftheWord
I was thinking about this issue today on the plane trip home, and I was afraid I may have given the impression that I believe it is permissible to create images of God the Father. But I do not believe that. Just wanted to clarify that. I believe it is permissible to paint a picture or sculpt a sculpture of anything that our eyes are capable of seeing. And I also think it is just absurd to suggest that when the apostles observed the Lord's Supper and remembered Jesus, having ministered with him for three years, that they were somehow sinning because of the mental images that appeared in their heads. They are only seeing in their minds what they saw with their own eyes. I think my view is basically the same as Paul Manata's.

Ricky,

The reason I say the commandment would forbid all images is because of what the commandment itself says. Don't make an image of anything in heaven, or on earth, or in the sea. You can't just arbitrarily say that this is only applying to Christ.

[Edited on 24-12-2004 by luvroftheWord]
Craig,

On what basis -- if not the Second Commandment -- do you believe that representations of God the Father are impermissable?

On what grounds do you condone the representations of the other persons of the Godhead, when Deut. 4.15-19 (which expounds upon the Second Commandment), Rom. 1.22-23 and Acts 17.29 (the latter specifically prohibits representations of the Godhead) all deny the lawfulness and proclaim the foolishness of attempting to do so?

Do you really think it is permissable to make a picture or sculpture of anything that we can see with our eyes? Do you really think there are no restrictions whatsoever? Even if it violates the Seventh Commandment?

Do you really think that anyone can accurately portray Christ in a picture? Do you personally know what He looked like? If such a picture is based on the artists' imagination, then is it not a false representation? And can a false representation of Christ ever be condoned as praiseworthy? Can it ever be anything more than a 'teacher of lies'?

Do you think the Apostles and disciples, coming out of the Jewish culture as they did, and recognizing Jesus' claims to be God as they did, actually thought it was ok to make drawings of Him? Was it a mistake that Jesus came in the 1st century when He did when society lacked the means to accurately reproduce His image? Perhaps we should rely on the Shroud of Turin to settle this question?

Even if we could accurately portray what Christ looked like in the flesh -- which we can't -- could we dare to represent God the Son as a man only? Perhaps we should put a halo on Him to let the viewer recognize His divinity?

Isn't 'icon' another word for 'idol'? Why did councils and synods in the early and midieval church prohibit icons? Why did the Reformation reject the lawfulness of images of Christ in opposition to Roman idolatry? Does God anywhere in the Scriptures command us to make images of Himself or say that images of Himself do not engender worship? On the contrary, He says that He cannot be represented by anything that is in heaven or on earth (this is the wording of the Second Commandment). Did God contradict Himself by commanding representations of certain things (ie., cherubim, the bronze serpent, etc.) to be made in contrast with the wording of the Second Commandment? Is it really "arbitrary" to say that represenations of the Trinitarian Godhead are prohibited by the Second Commandment when the Lord says that the Godhead cannot be representated by art or man's device (Acts 17.29)?

Just wondering...

[Edited on 24-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm kinda busy with Christmas doings right now. But for the moment, I'd just like to ask a question.

When Jesus walked up to Matthew the tax collector that day and said "follow me", did Matthew see his deity? Or did he only see his humanity? If he only saw his humanity that day, and if the people who saw Jesus each day only saw his humanity, then why would it be wrong to only be able to see Jesus' humanity in a picture without his deity?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Paul manata
the image is of the human attributes, the deity is supplied by me and is orthodox.

Since no one is perfect then when the disciples who knew Christ rememered his suffering during the eucharist they also did not ahve a 100% acuurate picture. Did Jesus sin if he ever saw a distorted image of himself int he waters reflection? Did he purposely no look in brass plates, which also distorted His image?
One problem here Paul - the image of God in Christ was a divinely created image. All pictures are not, and are necessarily and inevitably deceptive and lies.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by luvroftheWord
I'm kinda busy with Christmas doings right now. But for the moment, I'd just like to ask a question.

When Jesus walked up to Matthew the tax collector that day and said "follow me", did Matthew see his deity? Or did he only see his humanity? If he only saw his humanity that day, and if the people who saw Jesus each day only saw his humanity, then why would it be wrong to only be able to see Jesus' humanity in a picture without his deity?
Matthew saw His Person. Not just an attribute, or a hunk of flesh. He saw Jesus Christ as He truly is - God and man, two natures in one Person, an image created by God Himself. The best one can say with images of Christ is that a partial Christ (i.e. only an attribute - a hunk of flesh and not His Person) is portrayed.

You are assuming that one could look at Christ Himself and somehow detach His humanity from His Deity. It cannot be done. In fact, to do so is called Nestorianism.

There is no way to equate a view of Christ on earth and a picture. To do so misses completely the point of Chalcedon.

[Edited on 12/24/2004 by fredtgreco]
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by luvroftheWord
I'm kinda busy with Christmas doings right now. But for the moment, I'd just like to ask a question.

When Jesus walked up to Matthew the tax collector that day and said "follow me", did Matthew see his deity? Or did he only see his humanity? If he only saw his humanity that day, and if the people who saw Jesus each day only saw his humanity, then why would it be wrong to only be able to see Jesus' humanity in a picture without his deity?
"Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" (John 14:9)

You don't get that view of reality from a picture.

[Edited on 24-12-2004 by tcalbrecht]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by tcalbrecht
Originally posted by luvroftheWord
I'm kinda busy with Christmas doings right now. But for the moment, I'd just like to ask a question.

When Jesus walked up to Matthew the tax collector that day and said "follow me", did Matthew see his deity? Or did he only see his humanity? If he only saw his humanity that day, and if the people who saw Jesus each day only saw his humanity, then why would it be wrong to only be able to see Jesus' humanity in a picture without his deity?
you know that's not literal, Tom.

"Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" (John 14:9)

You don't get that view of reality from a picture.

[Edited on 24-12-2004 by tcalbrecht]
But that doesn't make it any less true. You cannot know who Jesus is by just picturing a Nature apart from His Person. You know a Person, not a Nature.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Paul manata
huh?

I'm saying that they didn't see the father in the literal sense of "see." Jesus was talking about the works He did.

But, I think it's over. We must draw the absurd conclusion that Jesus didn't look in mirrors.
Either that, or He looked in the mirror and said - "I wish I could see Who I am, but I guess I'll have to be satisfied with seeing a hunk of flesh." :D
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Just to clarify, do those in the PCA who condone images of Christ thereby take exception to the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (see my first post on this thread for references)?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Just to clarify, do those in the PCA who condone images of Christ thereby take exception to the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (see my first post on this thread for references)?
On my interpretaion I have not seen how I am at odds. I may need to polish my argument more, but basically it is that the confessions do not condem making images of man. Since God was also man I can represent *that portion* of His minsitry as it was historically played out here on earth. I see no problem with making disctinctions in this area since it is done all the time with words. All I'm doing is making the same words of the systametics text into picture form.
Except for a little thing call authorial intent...

or I guess the liberal who says that the Word of God is only part of the Scriptures can appeal to WSC 2: "The Word of God, Which is Contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him"

And Nestorianism rears its ugly head again -- since during no portion of *that ministry* did He cease to be God.

[Edited on 12/24/2004 by fredtgreco]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Just to clarify, do those in the PCA who condone images of Christ thereby take exception to the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (see my first post on this thread for references)?
On my interpretaion I have not seen how I am at odds. I may need to polish my argument more, but basically it is that the confessions do not condem making images of man. Since God was also man I can represent *that portion* of His minsitry as it was historically played out here on earth. I see no problem with making disctinctions in this area since it is done all the time with words. All I'm doing is making the same words of the systametics text into picture form.
Except for a little thing call authorial intent...

or I guess the liberal who says that the Word of God is only part of the Scriptures can appeal to WSC 2: "The Word of God, Which is Contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him"

And Nestorianism rears its ugly head again -- since during no portion of *that ministry* did He cease to be God.

[Edited on 12/24/2004 by fredtgreco]
In my first post on this thread I highlighted the most relevant portions of the Confession and Larger Catechism which address this issue. If one takes exception, that's one thing. But to argue that making or condoning of images of Christ is consistent with the Standards which are quite explicit in their prohibition of these things is to do violence to the English language and the plain meaning of words like 'any.'

What part of 'But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture' or (listing of sins forbidden) 'the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever' can justify images of Christ?

[Edited on 25-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by tcalbrecht


"Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" (John 14:9)

You don't get that view of reality from a picture.

[Edited on 24-12-2004 by tcalbrecht]
you know that's not literal.
What do you man "not literal"?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
John 14:9
Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you,
&c.] Conversing familiarly with you, instructing you by my ministry, and performing so many miraculous works among you, for so long a time; see (Hebrews 5:11,12) ;

and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?
Surely you cannot be so ignorant as this comes to; as you have seen me with your bodily eyes, as a man, you must, know that I am God by the doctrines I have taught you, and the miracles I have wrought among you: and

he that hath seen me;
not with the eyes of his body, but with the eyes of his understanding; he that has beheld the perfections of the Godhead in me:

hath seen the Father;
the perfections which are in him also; for the same that are in me are in him, and the same that are in him are in me: I am the very image of him, and am possessed of the same nature, attributes, and glory, that he is; so that he that sees the one, sees the other:

and how sayest thou then show us the Father?
such a request is a needless one, and betrays great weakness and ignorance.
As I said, you don't get that reality of Christ imaging the Father from a picture.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by fredtgreco


Except for a little thing call authorial intent...

or I guess the liberal who says that the Word of God is only part of the Scriptures can appeal to WSC 2: "The Word of God, Which is Contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him"

And Nestorianism rears its ugly head again -- since during no portion of *that ministry* did He cease to be God.

[Edited on 12/24/2004 by fredtgreco]
Except for that thing called the intentional fallacy. I see no reason in the catechism to read it your way. But, if it is indeed the meaning then I guess I'm at odds with it. Just like Fred is at odds with this:

III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heavene) yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be. preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed; all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administrated, and observed.(f) For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God.(g)

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Sorry, wrong again. Not my Confession, at least the one I swore an oath to:

3. Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; or, in the least, interfere in the matter so faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the Church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger. And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his Church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretence of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.
And if you didn't understand that the unanimous, virulant authorial intent of the divines (and those of the adopting act of 1789) was against your intepretation, you have some serious historical theology to do. ;)
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Paul manata
But I see no one likes my argument about Jesus not looking in mirrors. I can see why.


Why do we find no (nada, ziltch, big fat zero, donut) admonitions to those who walked with Christ to avoide remembering Him when they partook of the eucharist? Indeed, even the passage implies that they were to *remember* his death.
Uhh, because they were not remembering a man-made image? But again, if you think it brings someone closer to God to view a sissy, false, Anglo-Swedish hippy and think it bears any resemblance to our Lord - of, wait, it can't bear a resemblence, that's right, because it is not Jesus (it can't be His person), just some unembodied hunk of flesh that is not in any way an image of His Deity, which is somehow distinct from His humanity, but yet not really distinct, because that would be Nestorianism. Maybe if we looked at a mirror of a mirror, of a mirror, of a mirrir of a pond of a brass plate of a mirror of Jesus, we could get the ratio of His Deity to under the approrpriate amount, but yet not so low as to be Nestorian... :p

Go have some egg nog and ejoy your kid's Christmas. Seriously (no sarcasm - mean it and love ya bud!). I hope you both have a wodnerful time, and that he enjoys all his presents. I hope mine do as well - Star Wars nuts this year! Blessings.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Just to clarify, do those in the PCA who condone images of Christ thereby take exception to the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (see my first post on this thread for references)?
On my interpretaion I have not seen how I am at odds. I may need to polish my argument more, but basically it is that the confessions do not condem making images of man. Since God was also man I can represent *that portion* of His minsitry as it was historically played out here on earth. I see no problem with making disctinctions in this area since it is done all the time with words. All I'm doing is making the same words of the systametics text into picture form.
Except for a little thing call authorial intent...

or I guess the liberal who says that the Word of God is only part of the Scriptures can appeal to WSC 2: "The Word of God, Which is Contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him"

And Nestorianism rears its ugly head again -- since during no portion of *that ministry* did He cease to be God.

[Edited on 12/24/2004 by fredtgreco]
In my first post on this thread I highlighted the most relevant portions of the Confession and Larger Catechism which address this issue. If one takes exception, that's one thing. But to argue that making or condoning of images of Christ is consistent with the Standards which are quite explicit in their prohibition of these things is to do violence to the English language and the plain meaning of words like 'any.'

What part of 'But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture' or (listing of sins forbidden) 'the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever' can justify images of Christ?

[Edited on 25-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
round and round we go. I did not make an image of the person.

I think this refers to the immaterial, only100% deity, members of the Godhead.
So you are saying that the Standards only prohibit represenations of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit? Therefore you agree that to represent God the Holy Spirit by a dove is contrary to the Standards? Interesting...

The Catechism says "of all or any of the three persons." There is no wiggle room. Your view is out of accord (in direct contradiction) with the Confession and Catechisms. As Fred said, you have some serious historical theology to do, Paul.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
But I see no one likes my argument about Jesus not looking in mirrors. I can see why.


Why do we find no (nada, ziltch, big fat zero, donut) admonitions to those who walked with Christ to avoide remembering Him when they partook of the eucharist? Indeed, even the passage implies that they were to *remember* his death.
Your speculation about a mirror image of Christ, supposing he had a mirror, during his earthly life is not justification for us to invent images in contradiction to the Second Commandment that probably look nothing like how he actually looked.

Actually, the command is "do this [partake of the Supper] in remembrance of me." The symbolic picture in the Lord's Supper is of his death, the shedding of his blood, and the breaking of his body, for the sins of his people. It is not meant to be taken in the literal sense that you are suggesting. That kind of literalness leads to the Roman Catholic error known as transubstantiation.

The Apostles and disciples already had the Second Commandment which forbad images of the Godhead. Paul is the one who wrote Rom. 1.22-23 and Luke is the one who recorded Paul's statement in Acts 17.29, both of which reiterate the prohibition against attempts to represent the Godhead (Godhead refers to all three persons). Hence, your statement about 'nada' is flat wrong.

[Edited on 25-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Just to clarify, do those in the PCA who condone images of Christ thereby take exception to the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (see my first post on this thread for references)?
On my interpretaion I have not seen how I am at odds. I may need to polish my argument more, but basically it is that the confessions do not condem making images of man. Since God was also man I can represent *that portion* of His minsitry as it was historically played out here on earth. I see no problem with making disctinctions in this area since it is done all the time with words. All I'm doing is making the same words of the systametics text into picture form.
Except for a little thing call authorial intent...

or I guess the liberal who says that the Word of God is only part of the Scriptures can appeal to WSC 2: "The Word of God, Which is Contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him"

And Nestorianism rears its ugly head again -- since during no portion of *that ministry* did He cease to be God.

[Edited on 12/24/2004 by fredtgreco]
In my first post on this thread I highlighted the most relevant portions of the Confession and Larger Catechism which address this issue. If one takes exception, that's one thing. But to argue that making or condoning of images of Christ is consistent with the Standards which are quite explicit in their prohibition of these things is to do violence to the English language and the plain meaning of words like 'any.'

What part of 'But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture' or (listing of sins forbidden) 'the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever' can justify images of Christ?

[Edited on 25-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
round and round we go. I did not make an image of the person.

I think this refers to the immaterial, only100% deity, members of the Godhead.
So you are saying that the Standards only prohibit represenations of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit? Therefore you agree that to represent God the Holy Spirit by a dove is contrary to the Standards? Interesting...

The Catechism says "of all or any of the three persons." There is no wiggle room. Your view is out of accord (in direct contradiction) with the Confession and Catechisms. As Fred said, you have some serious historical theology to do, Paul.
Andrew, while I have the same view as you on this matter, I think you're misunderstanding what Paul is saying. He is agreeing that we are not to visibly represent God the Son per se, but is arguing that we can represent Jesus' human nature without representing His divine nature, and thus that pictures or movies of Christ are not in fact visibly representing God the Son. As to the problems with that argument, I second Fred's posts above.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Me Died Blue
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Just to clarify, do those in the PCA who condone images of Christ thereby take exception to the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (see my first post on this thread for references)?
On my interpretaion I have not seen how I am at odds. I may need to polish my argument more, but basically it is that the confessions do not condem making images of man. Since God was also man I can represent *that portion* of His minsitry as it was historically played out here on earth. I see no problem with making disctinctions in this area since it is done all the time with words. All I'm doing is making the same words of the systametics text into picture form.
Except for a little thing call authorial intent...

or I guess the liberal who says that the Word of God is only part of the Scriptures can appeal to WSC 2: "The Word of God, Which is Contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him"

And Nestorianism rears its ugly head again -- since during no portion of *that ministry* did He cease to be God.

[Edited on 12/24/2004 by fredtgreco]
In my first post on this thread I highlighted the most relevant portions of the Confession and Larger Catechism which address this issue. If one takes exception, that's one thing. But to argue that making or condoning of images of Christ is consistent with the Standards which are quite explicit in their prohibition of these things is to do violence to the English language and the plain meaning of words like 'any.'

What part of 'But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture' or (listing of sins forbidden) 'the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever' can justify images of Christ?

[Edited on 25-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
round and round we go. I did not make an image of the person.

I think this refers to the immaterial, only100% deity, members of the Godhead.
So you are saying that the Standards only prohibit represenations of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit? Therefore you agree that to represent God the Holy Spirit by a dove is contrary to the Standards? Interesting...

The Catechism says "of all or any of the three persons." There is no wiggle room. Your view is out of accord (in direct contradiction) with the Confession and Catechisms. As Fred said, you have some serious historical theology to do, Paul.
Andrew, while I have the same view as you on this matter, I think you're misunderstanding what Paul is saying. He is agreeing that we are not to visibly represent God the Son per se, but is arguing that we can represent Jesus' human nature without representing His divine nature, and thus that pictures or movies of Christ are not in fact visibly representing God the Son. As to the problems with that argument, I second Fred's posts above.
What I am saying is that the Standards do not allow that kind of wiggle room. There is nothing to suggest that the Westminster Assembly gave allowance for a Nestorian approach to images. They were fully aware of the whole history of the Iconoclastic controversies. Their statement is flat and unambiguous. I reiterate: Paul's view that making or condoning of images of Christ for any reason (recognizing that he justifies images of Christ as a man but not as God) is flatly out of accord with the Standards. Period.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Originally posted by Paul manata
But I see no one likes my argument about Jesus not looking in mirrors. I can see why.


Why do we find no (nada, ziltch, big fat zero, donut) admonitions to those who walked with Christ to avoide remembering Him when they partook of the eucharist? Indeed, even the passage implies that they were to *remember* his death.
Your speculation about a mirror image of Christ, supposing he had a mirror, during his earthly life is not justification for us to invent images in contradiction to the Second Commandment that probably look nothing like how he actually looked.

Actually, the command is "do this [partake of the Supper] in remembrance of me." The symbolic picture in the Lord's Supper is of his death, the shedding of his blood, and the breaking of his body, for the sins of his people. It is not meant to be taken in the literal sense that you are suggesting. That kind of literalness leads to the Roman Catholic error known as transubstantiation.

The Apostles and disciples already had the Second Commandment which forbad images of the Godhead. Paul is the one who wrote Rom. 1.22-23 and Luke is the one who recorded Paul's statement in Acts 17.29, both of which reiterate the prohibition against attempts to represent the Godhead (Godhead refers to all three persons). Hence, your statement about 'nada' is flat wrong.

[Edited on 25-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]


the mirror argument (which they did have back then in the form of brass plates) addresses the argument that our image is not 100% EXACTLY like Chirst so it violates it in that sense. Now, I must conclude that Christ purposefuly never looked in a mirror. And if He did by accident he needed to repent, and absurd conclusion. As it stands this argument, as I've *used it*, has not been addressed.

Your accusation of my argument leading in transubstantiation is an asseted opinion meant to illicit emotional feeling from the readers of the thread. There is no way you can get that out of what I wrote, unless you view it in your understanding, i.e., straw man. By way of analogy, if I told some people to have a beer every 24th of december, in rememberance of me, because I died. You can bet during that time they would have mental images. All I'm saying is that, although it is opinion, I am almost 100% sure that those who knew Christ and saw Him suffer recalled that in their minds. or, at least, when He was brought up, e.g., talking about His resurrection, I'm sure the witnesses remembered that as well. How could one not! This would be a violation of 2C and I think it is absurd to think so.

Your lastt salvo misses my argument, so I'll allow you to try again.
Your mirror argument proves nothing and is getting more absurd as you progress. How does Christ looking in a mirror justify graven images today of an artist's conception of how he looked? No one is saying that Jesus sinned by looking in a mirror, if he did; this is a straw man argument.

I addressed the literal approach you seemed to be taking that those who were with Christ and later celebrated the Lord's Supper were not forbidden to devise representations of Christ and indeed were commanded to do so by the word 'remember.' If I took your approach more literally than you intended, pardon me. I don't mean to suggest that you advocate transubstantiation. However, the phrase remember with respect to the Lord's Supper was never intended to be a call to devise a visual representation of Christ either inwardly or outwardly. You seem to suggest that an inward literal representation of Christ is commanded by the use of the word remember (which is not the actual word used), and I am saying that do this in remembrance of me is not about the literal physical image of Christ at all as you suggest, but about his work and sacrifice on the cross.

I fail to see how the words of Luke and Paul condemning representations of the Godhead don't address your point that those who followed Christ allegedly were never told to avoid representations of Christ. In my view, my 'salvo' is dead-on and your point is refuted.

[Edited on 25-12-2004 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Paul manata
mirror argument: it has been said that ANY representation of Christ that does not PERFECTLY capture is image violates 2C. A brass mirror which distorts (see I Cor 12) necessarily misrepresents Christ's image and therefore if he looked at it it would be a violation of 2C according to what has been posted here.

remember me argument: I'm saying that the first century Christians would have really remembered Him, even in my other situations. If you remember what a freind looked like, a fiatori what the friend who saved you looked like!

Luke and Paul: This assumes your view and thus beggs the question. My view has not been disproven, that's why we're debating it. If it has, accurately reconsctruct my argument and then show how it fails.

[Edited on 12-25-2004 by Paul manata]
The point I am arguing is that God's Word forbids us to make any visual representation of God inwardly or outwardly as the Confession and Catechisms state. The God-made laws of physics allow that Christ -- if he looked in a mirror which is merely your assumption for debating purposes and not grounded in any known fact -- would have seen his reflection in whatever form it took. To jump from that to the assumption that we are thereby authorized to make graven images of Christ is a leap that is unwarranted.

I don't doubt that first century Christians could recall the physical appearance of Christ. I don't believe that provides justification for the imagination of man today to devise an inward representation of Christ. Thomas reached out and touched our Lord. Others touched him and recognized his appearance as distinct from the average Joe walking down the street in Gallilee. I concede those things, but that doesn't warrant someone who didn't see or touch him from devising vain and imagined representations of Christ's appearance. I encourage you to re-read Calvin on the subject of idolatry in the Institutes. I have cited numerous statements by him on this subject earlier in the thread which no one has responded to. He speaks of the vanity and unlawfulness of images, including Christ in the flesh, and including the dove as Holy Spirit. He also speaks of the danger in that man's heart is prone to visualize the spiritual in carnal ways. One can see that most clearly in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox religion today. Jesus could have come during an era when his physical image could have been reproduced but he did not. The early church rejected images of Christ for 500 years, according to Calvin. An icon is an idol, and an idol can only lead to false worship. Hence the making of such and the worship by, through and of such is forbidden in the Second Commandment and reiterated numerous times throughout Scripture.

You said that no one who followed Christ was forbidden in the context of the Lord's Supper to inwardly physically represent him. I responded by reminding you that the Apostles and disciples already had the Second Commandment so such a prohibition would have been redundant. Nevertheless, Luke and Paul who both saw Christ wrote in the Scriptures that any and all visual representations of the Godhead, ie., all three Persons, were forbidden. They don't say, it's ok to represent Christ in human form, but not ok to represent him as the Son. They say, such representations of all the Godhead were foolish and vain. The Scriptures were and are for all Christians at all times and in all contexts. Therefore, your argument that there was no such prohibition to the disciples is incorrect.
 

RickyReformed

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by Paul manata
Originally posted by fredtgreco


Except for a little thing call authorial intent...

or I guess the liberal who says that the Word of God is only part of the Scriptures can appeal to WSC 2: "The Word of God, Which is Contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him"

And Nestorianism rears its ugly head again -- since during no portion of *that ministry* did He cease to be God.

[Edited on 12/24/2004 by fredtgreco]
Except for that thing called the intentional fallacy. I see no reason in the catechism to read it your way. But, if it is indeed the meaning then I guess I'm at odds with it. Just like Fred is at odds with this:

III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heavene) yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be. preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed; all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administrated, and observed.(f) For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God.(g)

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
Isn't this the tu quoque fallacy?
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
If mental images of Christ are wrong, then don't ever bother to read Revelation 1:13-16.

"...and in the middle of the lampstands {I saw} one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength."

Try reading that without your **imagination** developing a mental image of what Jesus probably looked like at that moment. It's automatic. And since the details themselves aren't sufficient to give an EXACT replication of Jesus, as you seem to think is necessary, then your imagination causes you to sin every time you read this passage, which is foolishness and is one of the reasons I don't agree with such a view.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by luvroftheWord
If mental images of Christ are wrong, then don't ever bother to read Revelation 1:13-16.

"...and in the middle of the lampstands {I saw} one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength."

Try reading that without your **imagination** developing a mental image of what Jesus probably looked like at that moment. It's automatic. And since the details themselves aren't sufficient to give an EXACT replication of Jesus, as you seem to think is necessary, then your imagination causes you to sin every time you read this passage, which is foolishness and is one of the reasons I don't agree with such a view.
I guess you don't read passages that describe sex, or the beauty of a woman, either. Wouldn't want to break the 7th commandment in thought, now would we?

But then again, since the Catechism says that what is forbidden is not contemplating a God-devised image in His Word, but "the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind" there is no problem.

Otherwise, by your argument, we are "foolish" for not constructing images of God the Father either - since the Bible is full of such images (Ezekiel, just to name one). So Go Sistine Chapel!
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
Then I guess the fact that the Bible does, in fact, tell us things INSPIRED (see God-devised) about Christ's appearance then we are allow to picture him as he walked with his disciples in our minds as well, just as we are allowed to picture Revelation 1:13-16 in our minds. Thanks for pointing that out.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by luvroftheWord
Then I guess the fact that the Bible does, in fact, tell us things INSPIRED (see God-devised) about Christ's appearance then we are allow to picture him as he walked with his disciples in our minds as well, just as we are allowed to picture Revelation 1:13-16 in our minds. Thanks for pointing that out.
I think what Fred was saying (correct me if I'm wrong) was not that it is biblical to picture the Revelation image in our mind, since he used the word contemplate, which I would take to mean meditating on what the textually-described image says about Christ and His attributes. That could well be taken to be the purpose of such descriptions, since their visual nature does not necessarily mean that we are to visually depict them in our minds ourselves, hence Fred's mention of the sexual passages and feminine physical descriptions.
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Paul manata
Jesus was also 100% man. The Bible does not forbid this. You guys also need to take this into account because it appears as if monophysitism is running amuck, here.
"Whoever, then, makes an image of Christ either depicts the Godhead which cannot be depicted, and mingles in with the manhood (like the Monophysites), or he represents the body of Christ as not made divine and separate and as a person apart, like the Nestorians.

"The only admissible figure of the humanity of Christ, however, is bread and wine in the holy Supper. This and no other form, this and no other type, has he chosen to represent his incarnation"¦"

Synod of Constantinople (Hieria, 753 AD)

Quotes collected by the First Presbyterian Church of Rowlett, Texas
 
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