PuritanCovenanter said:I do believe that a discussion on images of Christ can be discussed, pro or con.
These issues may be discussed if you wish, as long as the conversation is respectful of the biblical stances we hold to.
In a conversation recently, I presented (without espousing them) some common objections to the confessional view that an image of Jesus Christ necessarily violates the second commandment.
The brother I was discussing the matter with presented a rebuttal, and I expressed dissatisfaction with it. Since the thread went off on tangents and in the (very reasonable) judgment of the moderators needed to be put out of its misery... here is a loose end tied up.
The objection stated that Jesus Christ came as a true human being, and was very ordinary in his appearance. Therefore, the argument goes, why would it be wrong to make an image of him?
The answer is that the Incarnation didn't provide anything new from the perspective of that argument. Certainly it was new that God was a true human being of ordinary appearance. However, it was not new with the Incarnation that God had revealed his presence using ordinary human appearance.
- Abraham entertained strangers in his home, being unaware that they were angels (as Hebrews also recalls). In a subsequent conversation, an angel speaks the word of God to Abraham using the first person, i.e. Abraham's conversation with the angel is a conversation with God.
- Jacob wrestles with a man (implication: a man of ordinary appearance) seeking a blessing. At least by the end of the ordeal, it is made plain that God has revealed his presence to Jacob by means of this man, and Jacob gets his blessing -- including a new name, to also be applied to the corporate people of God from that time forward: "Israel".
Objection to the objection: It may be argued that these were "just angels", not God himself.
Answer: Angel in the English language means a certain category of spirit being. But in Hebrew, it just means "messenger". Christ Jesus himself is the "messenger/angel of the Covenant" (Malachi).
Question: Can any of us imagine the Israelites carving an image of Jacob's wrestling match, and placing a label of "Jacob" under their forbear, and a label of "God" under the representation of the man God used to show his presence and interact with Jacob?
Hmmmm, I can't either.
Other examples of God revealing his presence using "ordinary-looking" human form are less clear, and the subject of theophanies in scripture is not without controversy. However, there is at least enough information to answer the specific objection above.