"The Passion of the Christ"

Status
Not open for further replies.

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
As per Nigel Lee:

I recently told a Rabbi:

1) If Christ is not God, stone Christians for breaking 1st Commandment!
2) If Christ is God, stone Gibson for breaking 2nd Commandment!


:roll:
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Paul,
But as we read reformed folk, when it especially comes to things of a biblical nature, are we not the one's whom should plant the flag and cry, foul? Gibson himself has claimed that the Christ of this movie is a "works" oriented salvation. By attending, do you not endorse the error? Will not the world look on and say, "semi Pelagianism is fine"?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:6f3249aa30][i:6f3249aa30]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:6f3249aa30]
[quote:6f3249aa30]
Actually the context of the 9th and 3rd commandments are excellent qualifiers in this case. The image is untrue, and lies about who Christ is.
[/quote:6f3249aa30]

Well you have just wiped out all historical pictures. If it is true that since the man whp plays Christ in the movie does not really look like him, so it is a lie. Then it is also true that, say, braveheart was breaking the ninth commandment since that is not what William Wallace looked like?!?

Look, I understand your position. I do not think that you application is correct. I think your verses in the broader context refers to worship. I do not agree with Murry or Calvin that this will lead ME to worship, and I would not worship the actor anyway. I think this is an example of how the pharasaical interpretation of laws was wrong. I appreciate your ability to defend your position, I just think it suffers from reductio's...and, that which implies that which is false is itself false. I publicly apologize to Greco, Way, and Webmaster for getting to heated. I just thought that they were a little quick to condem, especially when this is OBVIOUSLY not a clearly taught issue. Since it is not I think it false inot a conscience thing. But I do ask your forgiveness since I was less than kind toward all of you. i will still studie this and you guys have said many thought provoking things. I am not convinced though. I think that a theory that says when the disciples spent the day with Christ and then they remembered him later that day, they were violating the second commandment is wrong. I respect your opinions...but that is all I think it is....opinion.

-Paul [/quote:6f3249aa30]

I understand Paul, and I hope you will forgive me for getting too heated as well. My little quip to make a point about Newman obviously went too far.

Finally, as for the 3rd commandment and William Wallace, it obviously doesn't apply, since Wallace is not God. And the reason that an image of God breaks the 9th is because it necessarily is a false image about one to whom perfection is required. You have not done violence to my being by failing to be perfect in portarying me. I am imperfect already. Not so with God. To portray Him as other than He is, is to give a false and misleading picture to another. For example, how many evangelicals have been led astray in their thinking about Christ by the sissy Scandanavian pictures that populated the 19th century?
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Paul,
But if you know what the premise is, and it is an outright heresy, by you paying money to attend, do you not support a heretics effort?
 

twogunfighter

Puritan Board Freshman
Fred

So having the Egyptian idols in my house that have no reference to the trinity is OK but not the icon that by its originator is supposed to be the Son.

Chuck
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:105dce1d1a][i:105dce1d1a]Originally posted by twogunfighter[/i:105dce1d1a]
Fred

So having the Egyptian idols in my house that have no reference to the trinity is OK but not the icon that by its originator is supposed to be the Son.

Chuck [/quote:105dce1d1a]

As long as you don't place any value in the idol itself.

"Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one." (1 Corinthians 8:4 NKJV)

Now if you were to place value in the piece, or if you were to cause someone to stumble based on it (just as in the case of meat offered to idols), and which could certainly happen, then you should remove it.
 

twogunfighter

Puritan Board Freshman
Fred

So it is OK to keep the idol of one that has been given very little grace and decides that a cat is the image of his god. But you should not keep an idol of someone who was given more grace but deceived by a subtler deception and worships a rather bad picture of "Jesus" and some "saints." It seems to me that both groups were deceived idolaters and the verses that you quoted apply to carved cats, mummies, and icons. To wit, if I place no value in them and to me they are just the idols of deceived persons, then they must be equally OK. In other words they are equally idols, one of Egyptians and one of nominal Christians.

BTW I am not defending the Passion movie. I won't be attending it. I think that my conscience would be offended if I saw it because there is no way that I could divorce the depiction of "Christ" in movie from my thoughts of Christ in my head. I can easily do that with this goofy looking icon that I have at home, however.

I guess for me it is key that the commandment says "thou shalt not make for [u:e81ec2afd5]thyself[/u:e81ec2afd5] any carved image....." Therefore I can take someother benighted nabob's "god" as long as I don't appropriate it's "divinity" for myself. Thus after plundering the Philistines I can put Dagon in the living room with a little inscription under it that states
[quote:e81ec2afd5]
"Comemorating the Sword of the Lord's smackdown of the Gathites in 3546 BC 'Dagon don't look like a real god now does he' "
[/quote:e81ec2afd5]

Or after plundering the Sistine Chapel I can take one of those "Madonna with Child" paintings and hang it in my home with a little plaque that states
[quote:e81ec2afd5]
Three dead Knights of Malta and one Templar all aggree; Mary is not an eternal virgin
[/quote:e81ec2afd5]

Am I all wrong here?

Chuck
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Chuck,

I think you are right except for one thing I have said before. It is (or should be) impossible for you to contemplate or think on Christ and not worship. Hence a depiction of Christ would always be idolatry. That is why the absolute restriction of Deut. 4:15-19.

The creation can be viewed two ways - properly, as the general revelation of God and [i:8fe69eac50]as[/i:8fe69eac50] creation (cf. Ps. 19), or idolatrously as a god or God (Rom 1:23).

God can only be viewed one way - as God. So to depict Him in any fashion is a violation of the commandment. As with all the others, it is there for God's glory (He reserves it to Himself to reveal Himself) and our protection.

Does that make sense?
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Brothers and Sisters...

One of the biggest reasons I will not go to see this film, nor will I rent it when it comes out, is that I shudder to think of what the Lord of Glory, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, who looks down upon this from His exalted seat at the right hand of God the Father, thinks about seeing His once for all sacrifice as our great high priest, done again.

As much as my mind desires a sign, as much as my heart longs to see Christ, as much as my wicked heart wants to see something that may bring Christ again to open shame, I will not go see it for Christ's sake.

I cannot fathom why He would not be offended and I will not risk offending Him by something so trivial as a movie.

In Christ,

KC
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Paul I am not quite following why you would say this -


[quote:8c4e1000e8]
then are you saying that when the apolstles spent a day whith Christ and then had natural memory impressions that they violated the second commandment?
[/quote:8c4e1000e8]

Why would the direct gaze on the Christ himself, and having such an image of him impressed on the mind, be idolatry in any way? It is not a man-made fabricated image, but the actual Christ himself. That would mean that Christ himself, as Christ, is idolatrous ipso facto, and that God violated hisown character in sending his Son. That does not work. The commandment is not against Christ, but false images of him. his person in all its glory, is a blessing that, theologically, we called the "beautific vision." We await the day when the sky will be rolled back as a scroll and the full glory of Christ is revealed to us face to face. To have improper images of him now rolling around in our heads (the long haired blue eyes "Jesus") or depicted in some other way, is what the commandment is forbidding. The apostles never sinned when looking upon Christ. Even God says of the Christ that we should "look to him."
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Paul...

[quote:9802a535bb]So we should never tell people about it? And, the bible portrays it so why read it OVER and OVER again. I'm not trying to pick on you but I don't think THAT was a good reason...my opinion.

-Paul [/quote:9802a535bb]

I guess that is a fair question. But when we retell the story or read again the Word, are we crucifying Christ all over again? The RCC believes that the sacrament does this very thing, which is why the reformation disagreed with it.

We seem to think that reading or telling is the same as visually depicting. I cannot argue one way or the other on that one (and win). But I do know that Paul was content to preach Christ and Him crucified. Why not reinact it? Because the preaching of the Word has always been in a particular way. We of the reformed will go a step further and say that it is the regulative principle that makes preaching the means God has appointed. Had God wanted to, He could have brought about the development of video and audio equipment so that it could be recorded for all to see. But instead, He left behind His Word to illumine us - the Word read, sung, and preached, to be the exact mediums.

When we preach Christ crucified, we are not showing a person depicting Christ going through this torturous death. Why? Because our acting out does not show the real thing. When a the person depicting Christ cries out, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani," how do we know it is the truth? How do we know we have captured the essence of what happened? How could we ever think that a mere human could exalt himself to the position of Christ to speak anything in His place?

When we preach and directly quote Christ, we are not trying to be Him when we do it. We are not stripping ourselves down to a loin cloth and putting stripes upon ourselves so that we can look the part.

This is all imitation, playing a part, acting. All of these things connote a farce, not the real thing. While it may be acceptable in our day and age to do these things, and we think it commonplace, it does not change the fact that if we portray an historical event, we can never present it completely factual. Why? Because we are not the person, we are not in the place, we are not telling it as it was.

With bits and pieces we portray something that was, but it is not the truth. It is not exactly what God decreed, because His decree is for an exact thing, the truth.

Preaching, reading, and singing the Word do not entail depictions, representations, or facsimilies. By the Spirit, the preaching is made perfect by truth. By the Spirit, reading is understood. By the Spirit, worship in song is in Spirit and in Truth. What does the Spirit do through plays, theatre and movies? We better be careful with this one, because we are now stepping out of the bounds of Scripture, for it is silent on these.

I know that this is a complex issue. I am not totally resolved on it myself. However, I would rather err on the side of caution where I am in doubt. I would rather do anything than offend my Lord who bought me. My salvation or membership in the covenant of grace does not depend upon this film. My becoming a minister of the gospel will not be hindered by not seeing this film. My not seeing this film will definitely not cause me any strife within family or covenant community.

Therefore, I do not need to see it, even though I may want to.

In Christ,

KC
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:8abb69b3d5]
But when we retell the story or read again the Word, are we crucifying Christ all over again?
[/quote:8abb69b3d5]

Metaphorically, yes.

Similar to the fact that when someone new is born into the world and they hear the gospel story for the first time.
 

Craig

Puritan Board Senior
Fred-

I would have responded before to your comments to me on page 2...but I was away from my computer for a day.

The second commandment states:

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image- ANY likeness of ANYTHING that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath (such as people's avatars), or that is in the water under the earth (ictus included); you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the 3rd and 4th generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep my commandments"

IF I am to take some people's interpretations AS THEY have presented them...I am one of the only few not currently breaking the 2nd commandment 24hrs a day, 7 days a week as I have not placed ANY image from HEAVEN or EARTH as my avatar :biggrin:

Obviously, some people take some "license" to the 2nd commandment. I haven't walked into a Reformed Christian's home yet and not see some sort of family portrait. Images...these are all images. What are these images for? Reminiscing I would assume...do they not draw your mind BEYOND the mere image as you RECALL certain memories. I think the meaning of the 2nd commandment is obvious, but many like to add to the Law.

You asked if I am able to see God and NOT worship Him...no, I am not. When I watch the Passion of the Christ I will not worship the actor...in fact, I will probably find myself reminiscing on what I've read in the Scriptures and dwell on Him who is portrayed in the Scriptures.

And, just to ask a question that lines up with what you asked me: Can you look at anything and not worship God? If not, you aren't thankful...if you can, my friend, you're violating the 2nd commandment (not really, but I think if you want to be consistent, you have to admit you are). I may be sounding brash, I hope you will take this for what it is: a response to an opinion. I genuinely don't understand your slant on this.

The simplicity of Scripture is wonderful. Where others judge, I will let Them (Scripture) guide me. Where there is license...I'm there (not to brag, not to cause people to stumble). I will not allow man made "improvements" on scripture guide me.

Now, I don't remember, did anyone respond to how we can (in some opinions) display symbols of the Holy Trinity (which always fall short, and if taken IN THEMSELVES, actually mislead people's thoughts about God)?
Also:
Who here can actually think in pure abstractions? I think that's an interesting question...especially when considering that many here like to think about God. What's even more interesting are the images and metaphors presented in Scripture about God. Do think about them? Do you worship with them?

My answer: I DO.

Again: those who use man made images to worship with and worship and serve...are committing sin. That is explicit in Scripture. Will I be worshipping when I watch the movie? In a certain sense...just like doing anything is, in fact, a way of worship. Will I be using the images to worship? Nope.

Now, here is where you and I may have agreement: Do I see any reason to fear this movie may cause some to stumble, or commit sin? Yes.

My only fear of the movie is that fundies will try to use it to convert people...that is mistaking the common for the holy. That, is a sin. I will simply appreciate the movie for what it is (or...who knows...I may not appreciate it and hate how it portrays Christ...and recognizing it as such, I would be worshipping God by realizing and rejecting the ideas expressed about His Son).

Again, please take my comments for what they are. I know I may not know much, but this I am certain on, and do fear some are adding to the commandments.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
[quote:c0033b8624][i:c0033b8624]Originally posted by Craig[/i:c0033b8624]
Again: those who use man made images to worship with and worship and serve...are committing sin. That is explicit in Scripture. Will I be worshipping when I watch the movie? In a certain sense...just like doing anything is, in fact, a way of worship. Will I be using the images to worship? Nope.
[/quote:c0033b8624]

I'm just not sure I can agree that it's possible to [i:c0033b8624]not[/i:c0033b8624] use the images to worship, even if you wouldn't be directly trying to. As Fred pointed out, we shouldn't be able to think about God and not worship. I think we all agree on that. But the reason I think it will be unavoidable to worship using the images in watching "The Passion" is that you will certainly be thinking about God more when you're watching "Jesus" being scourged than you would watching, say, a footbal player run down the field for a touchdown. So, in that sense, the images would in fact be moving you to worship.

It just seems inevitable in my mind. Let me know what you think, Craig.

Chris
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Mark....

[quote:986588f341][quote:986588f341]But when we retell the story or read again the Word, are we crucifying Christ all over again?
[/quote:986588f341]

Metaphorically, yes.

Similar to the fact that when someone new is born into the world and they hear the gospel story for the first time. [/quote:986588f341]

I don't think you can make the case even metaphorically, or at least I would not want to. Even though we tell someone the story and they have never heard it before, we are still telling it in the perfect tense. It has been completed.

A film does not necessarily do the same thing. Even though you know that the events took place in the past, you are still waiting for the story to unfold in the present. Preaching does not do that. We preach Christ crucified - already happened and completed. We do not preach the crucifixion of Christ as something still going on or something not yet completed or something for which we must go to the past, while in the present, to see. The RCC does this at each mass and present the sacrifice of Christ afresh. This film, from all I have read, does that.

In Christ,

KC
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
Isaiah 53 is in the past tense.
The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world.

It is rather existential to say Christ dies metaphorically when we read the passion, but then again we are told to die daily ourselves, to crucify our flesh.

I will not start a new religion over it though, and I am certainly not advocating the RCC sacrifice of the Mass.

[Edited on 2-19-2004 by Visigoth]
 

Craig

Puritan Board Senior
Chris said:
[quote:3db893ff5d]
I'm just not sure I can agree that it's possible to not use the images to worship, even if you wouldn't be directly trying to
[/quote:3db893ff5d]
Then if one couldn't...they ought not to see the movie. I do agree with you there.

But the way I do it is by distinguishing what I see from what a thing [i:3db893ff5d]really is[/i:3db893ff5d]
Images portray a truth...but not the whole truth. So, the other way I do it is by recognizing how far images fall short of revealing whole truths.
[quote:3db893ff5d]
As Fred pointed out, we shouldn't be able to think about God and not worship.
[/quote:3db893ff5d]
And you're right, I think we all agree on that. But again, as has been pointed out earlier: we can't even look at creation without worshipping...in fact, Paul says those who do, aren't thankful. Would he encourage us to disregard the 2nd command? Remember, the 2nd commandment is concerned with getting lost in the image and actually worshipping it. If it weren't, I will reiterate, the use of any avatar is STRICTLY forbidden in Scripture and I hereby recommend the Webmaster remove any/all images contained on this site...those who insist on their use should be banned.
[quote:3db893ff5d]
But the reason I think it will be unavoidable to worship using the images in watching "The Passion" is that you will certainly be thinking about God more when you're watching "Jesus" being scourged than you would watching, say, a footbal player run down the field for a touchdown. So, in that sense, the images would in fact be moving you to worship.
[/quote:3db893ff5d]
You're right. Being moved to worship is good. And my argument is that these images will draw people beyond what they merely see. You can't see such things and not ask questions. Just like if you see someone killed before your face you're not likely to worship/like it...the first thing to come to mind will be the deepest philisophical and moral questions. In essence: you're mind will be drawn above...unlike the images we are presented with on a regular basis. They require no thought, no processing...those are the most dangerous images. They are simply consumed and shape the very way we think. We change without knowing it. We idolize what we see, and worship those things (that is especially true with sports. When I hear what people use for analogies/metaphors, I can know what consumes them...what they worship) This movie will shock (in a good way I imagine) and people won't simply be able to accept what they see without processing it.
 

twogunfighter

Puritan Board Freshman
Fred

Sorry but in my mind I have two idols in my house that used to belong to idolators that are now long dead. They have no power. They are not even convincing as images of the earthly thing that they were supposed to look like. One is a chunk of painted wood and one is carved stone. They are both decorative. None of my friends has said to me that they are made uncomfortable by them. Until I read this thread I never gave either of them a second thought. But now that I have, it still seems to me that there is no real difference between an idol of the Egyptians or an idol of the Russian Orthodox church. They are equally insignificant, powerless, blocks of creature reformed creation and can be evaluated and appreciated based only on their worksmanship without attributing any divinity to them. I will continue reading and re-reading this thread and trying to see your meaning though. Thanks for your patience.

Chuck
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
[quote:54a96ac326][i:54a96ac326]Originally posted by Craig[/i:54a96ac326]
You're right. Being moved to worship is good. And my argument is that these images will draw people beyond what they merely see. You can't see such things and not ask questions.[/quote:54a96ac326]

Exactly--I don't deny that seeing the movie will certainly draw people beyond what they merely see. But I still think that using man-made images to initially do so is forbidden by the second commandment and Romans 1:23. I mean, don't you think that at least [i:54a96ac326]some[/i:54a96ac326] of the Israelites were thinking about God in a way that was beyond the mere image when they made the golden calf? I think so. Nonetheless, God condemned it as sin, because they were using means other than His appointed ones to get there. That's my main point, and I think the point of the second commandment as well.

[Edited on 2-19-2004 by Me Died Blue]
 

heartoflesh

Puritan Board Junior
A question for those who are going to see the movie..

Are you going because you want to be:

1) Entertained

2) Learn more about the crucifixion

3) Other
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
The movie changes the Word of God and distorts the gospel accounts of the atonement of Christ.

Second Commandment notwithstanding, is that not reason enough to avoid the film?

Phillip
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:c804567108][i:c804567108]Originally posted by Visigoth[/i:c804567108]
[quote:c804567108]
But when we retell the story or read again the Word, are we crucifying Christ all over again?
[/quote:c804567108]

Metaphorically, yes.

Similar to the fact that when someone new is born into the world and they hear the gospel story for the first time. [/quote:c804567108]

Actually, no we are not, even metaphorically. Christianity, as Machen so eloquently put it in his polemic against liberals, depends on an [b:c804567108]historical fact[/b:c804567108]. Christ has been crucified. Once. All of history since the cross looks back to that day on Calvary, all of history before looked forward to it. To admit in any sense that Christ is crucified again is serious error. Even more than that, Romanist dogma requires that Christ be actually (not metaphorically) crucifed again. This was a critical matter for the Reformation. Every Reformer found this anathama. It is an ipso facto denial of the atonement. It is damnable error.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:cadbf35eab][i:cadbf35eab]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:cadbf35eab]
[quote:cadbf35eab]
The movie changes the Word of God and distorts the gospel accounts of the atonement of Christ.
[/quote:cadbf35eab]

In a sense so do (according to my theological dogma's) baptists and Arminians. But I will wait until I see the movie to make that judgment, for myself. And, as I said previously, I'm a big-e'nuff boy to take care of myself and exercise discernment.
[/quote:cadbf35eab]

So would I big wise to be "big boy enough" to know when I have had too much of a porno?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Thanks Paul. Yet another reason for me to have for my distaste for Frame's view of "reformed" theology, if he allows his teaching assistant to publish such shoddy work as this.

We reformed are really a piece of work. We have succeede in throwing out every distinctive of the reformation - the 3rd use of the law, the regulative principle, the 2nd commandment, the 4th commandment, et al, and then we have the gaul to throw stones at our baptistic brethren with whom Calvin would be far more likely to worship since he would not be subjected to images of Christ, football on the Lord's Day and skits and dance routines.

If this weren't so sad, it would be hillarious.



[quote:456fc8595a][i:456fc8595a]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:456fc8595a]
Interesting article my mom sent me..thought it might be enjoyed. It is written by a Frame's teaching assistant. I will bold the section in which he discusses the 2nd commandment-the article itself is good though(I just put the #5 in bold, that is where the section starts):

Below is an interesting reply to the article that Richard forwarded by
Andrew Webb arguing against seeing the Passion.

The author of the reply, Steve Hays, is Professor John Frame's teaching
assistant at Reformed Theological Seminary (though he speaking for himself
not Frame -- I'm just explaining who he is).

It's also noteworthy that Reformed Theological Seminary Professor of OT,
Bruce Waltke, himself an Orthodox Presbyterian (meaning on most issues to
the "right" of PCA), recommends we do see the movie and finds no 2nd
Commandment issue with it.

As the GBC elders have said before, it's a matter for a thoughtful
conscience. I would not have forwarded this to GBC family ordinarily but
felt I should for the sake of balance to illustrate that there is a wide
variety of opinions about the Passion, even among the "Reformed" circles and
it's by no means automatic that Catholics or "Evangelicals" want this movie
but that "Reformed" should not. There are many ways to consider this.

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2004 1:45 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Re: The Passion

I appreciate Andrew Webb's sincerity. For the most part, I can also agree
with a lot of what he says, but draw rather different conclusions. Taking
his 5
points in order:

1. Webb seizes on one possible use of the film (as an evangelistic tool),
and
then debunks the entire enterprise on that basis alone. But is that the only

possible benefit of viewing the movie? Suppose it deepens the faith of a
viewer who is already a believer?

Webb stake out a very strong version of a position, then tries to knock it
down. We must use tools like The Passion to reach the lost, otherwise we're
missing a great opportunity.

But my position doesn't depend on such a heavy-duty commitment. Indeed, it's

because I'm noncommittal on what methods God may or may not employ in
leading
someone to Christ that I can be more open-minded than Webb. Who am I to
prejudge what tools the Lord may avail himself of? Some methods are clearly
improper. But I don't see that the case for or against this particular film
turns on
such a bold position.

2. The script would naturally be better if it stuck with the canonical
Gospels. But let's consider some the possible consequences of viewing this
movie:

i) An Evangelical converts to Catholicism. That would be a bad outcome.
However, an untested faith that is so unstable wasn't much of a faith to
begin
with. It was just a default setting in absence of time-tested and
well-informed
faith.

ii) An unbeliever converts to Catholicism. Even if we were to say, for the
sake of argument, that all Catholics are damned, so are unbelievers, so I
don't
see how conversion from unbelief to Catholicism is, even under the most
ungenerous construction of the alternatives, a worst case scenario.

iii) A nominal Catholic becomes a devout Catholic. But assuming, for the
sake of argument, that both identities are damnable, is that an unacceptable

consequence?

Now it could be argued that a nominal Catholic is easier to win over to the
Evangelical faith than a Catholic who is hardened in the errors of
Catholicism.
That is true. But this is all rather hypothetical. It assumes that he would

be reachable before seeing the movie. This, in turn, assumes that he's is
taken out of play after seeing the movie. Given the relative proportion of
Catholics to Evangelicals, many Catholics are already out of reach because
there are
not enough astute Evangelicals to reach them.

This line of criticism assumes an ideal situation in which we can control
the
choices that people make and the outcome of those choices--in which a
superior alternative is readily available.

And although I don't want to overgeneralize about this, social conditioning
is a partial, although by no means infallible, indicator of who the Lord has

chosen to save or not to save.

If, conversely, the Lord has chosen to save someone, then that individual
can
take a rather zigzag route. An unbeliever could convert to Catholicism, get
involved in Bible studies, network with Evangelical friends, and transition
out
of the RCC into an Evangelical setting.

Suppose the film makes an unchurched viewer curious about the Gospels? So he

goes back to the original and gets his theology from the horse's mouth (as
it
were). God is very ingenious about using unpromising means to achieve his
ends. That is an aspect of his sovereignty.

It may be that using Latin dialogue is a plug for the Latin Mass. But unless

the viewer already knows about the Tridentine Mass and the theology of the
Mass, he is not going to get the idea of a bloodless resacrifice from
watching a
gory film about the Crucifixion.

Let us not rule out the possibility that God has a remnant in the Roman
Church. We, who know better, should coax them out of Babylon whenever the
opportunity presents itself, but being a Roman Catholic isn't always worse
than being
an unbeliever.

3. It is true that an overemphasis on the physical suffering of Christ is
theologically unsound. However, I'm put off by the airchair quality of
these
disclaimers. Webb hasn't the slightest idea what it feels like to be
tortured to
death. By contrast, many of the original readers of the Gospels had witness
this form of punishment. And there are many parts of the world today where
Christians are martyred for their faith, often in the most cruel ways
available.

For many of us who live in the age of anesthetics and pain killers and
climate-controlled cars and homes and offices, the bodily torment of Christ
is a
pious abstraction. Spartacus is a poor counterexample because he did not
voluntarily submit himself to such a hideous demise.

The business about the active obedience of Christ strikes me as a mere
cavil.
How do you present that on film? Is this an objection to Gibson's film, or
any cinematic treatment of the Passion? The point is that every medium has
its
strengths and limitations. The sacraments are visual aids, object lessons.
They are no substitute for the word of God, but they assist our
comprehension and
retention of the Word.

Again, it's true that the movie is colored by a bit of Mariolatry. But,
again, Webb picks this out on the basis of extraneous knowledge. To the
uninitiated, you wouldn't get the cult of Mary and all that goes with it
from watching
the movie. Just as the movie is flawed by extra-Biblical material, Webb's
analysis is flawed by extra-cinematic material.

4. Much of what he says here is true, but there are a couple of problems
with
it:

To begin with, the same thing could be said about the Jesus film, which he
mentioned, with seeming approval, under point #1.

Again, the problem with this sort of criticism is not that it's wrong, but
that those who need to hear it don't listen, while those who listen don't
need
to hear it. Saddleback and Willow Creek are going to continue to do
whatever
they please with or without Webb's strictures or Mel's movie.

Throughout the Bible, God employs both word-media and event-media in
revelation. And word and sign are both in play in the teaching of Christ. A
miracle
is an enacted parable.

No, preaching cannot be replaced by another medium. But it's not as if that
either/or alternative is forced upon every pastor or moviegoer. Why should
I
allow Rev Engel's truncated position to dictate my own position?

Unfortunately, Webb falls into the trap of equating orthodoxy with a
reactionary response to various errors or overemphases. That is really not
taking our
cue from Scripture. And the comparison with the Middle Ages is a red-herring

in the information age. The horse is out of the barn.

As to emotion, this is, again, a very one-sided objection. Mere emotion
never
saved anyone. But the Bible is a very passionate book. And if the Bible has
no emotional resonance for me, then is it even real to me? If I never feel
what
I say I believe, isn't my faith just a distant abstraction? What about
passion in preaching? What does Webb think of George Whitefield passionate
preaching
of the Gospel?

[b:456fc8595a]5.[/b:456fc8595a] How does Webb happen to know that God went to great lengths to avoid any
physical description of his Son? (BTW, I never knew that omnipotence had to
go
to great lengths to do anything!) How does he know that the Gospels
PURPOSELY
left out any description of Christ? This is a rather presumptuous assertion.

There are very few physical descriptions of any of the men and women in
Scripture. Is this because it would violate the 2nd Commandment to depict
St. Paul?
Actually, it's Webb who runs the risk of idolatry with such a sweeping
argument.

Well, I can play the guessing game as well as Web. There are, I assume, a
couple of reasons why the Gospels don't describe our Lord's appearance. To
begin
with, it isn't relevant to his ministry, and, additionally, the written word

is not inherently visual. So unless you have a special reason to do so, you

wouldn't. But, of course, it is essential in the film medium.

At the same time, Webb raises important questions about how we read the
Bible. The Bible uses a lot of picturesque imagery. And the historical
narratives
of Scripture contain many visual descriptions. Is Webb saying that the
reader
should never try to see, to imagine, to visualize what the Bible describes?

Isn't there some value in a reader trying to picture the scene depicted in
Scripture? To be a participatory reader? To enter as fully as possible into
the
text?

No, we don't know exactly what Jesus looked like (unless you regard the
Shroud of Turin as authentic). But we know a number of things in general. He
was a
man. A Palestinian Jew. He was around 30 yrs. age when he began his public
ministry. He was a manual laborer. He lived in a hot, outdoor climate.

What did the Apostles see when they looked at Jesus? Did they see anything
different than we would see if we were in a position to take a picture of
him?
Yes, Christ is MORE than a man (God incarnate), but what they SAW was a man.


I really don't object to a crucifix. It doesn't happen to suit my personal
taste. I wouldn't wear one (although I do wear a cross from time to time.)
But,
as a matter of principle, I don't regard this as a deal-breaker.

Steve

[Edited on 2-19-2004 by Paul manata] [/quote:456fc8595a]
 

Guest

Puritan Board Freshman
Fred:


[quote:7d3d99bab1]
To admit in any sense that Christ is crucified again is serious error.
[/quote:7d3d99bab1]

We are crucified in Christ. He is not crucified IN us but FOR us.

I agree with you.

Perhaps the metaphor of my continual sins piercing Him may not be accurate. . .
(maybe mistaking grieving the Spirit here for the crucifixion)

What does the writer mean when he says:


Heb 6:4 For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; [b:7d3d99bab1]seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.[/b:7d3d99bab1]

Whatever it means I know I do not want to be guilty of it. . .

[Edited on 2-20-2004 by Visigoth]
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
[quote:f5680c1280][i:f5680c1280]Originally posted by pastorway[/i:f5680c1280]
The movie changes the Word of God and distorts the gospel accounts of the atonement of Christ.

Second Commandment notwithstanding, is that not reason enough to avoid the film?

Phillip [/quote:f5680c1280]

Just curious, where is that info coming from?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:0bfad11328][i:0bfad11328]Originally posted by Visigoth[/i:0bfad11328]
Fred:


[quote:0bfad11328]
To admit in any sense that Christ is crucified again is serious error.
[/quote:0bfad11328]

We are crucified in Christ. He is not crucified IN us but FOR us.

I agree with you.

Perhaps the metaphor of my continual sins piercing Him may not be accurate. . .
(maybe mistaking grieving the Spirit here for the crucifixion)

What does the writer mean when he says:


Heb 6:4 For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; [b:0bfad11328]seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.[/b:0bfad11328]

Whatever it means I know I do not want to be guilty of it. . .
[/quote:0bfad11328]

We are in complete agreement, Mark.

Thank you.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:22b29bedd9][i:22b29bedd9]Originally posted by Paul manata[/i:22b29bedd9]
no. ALL porno is wrong, since when do we say that someone who is not correct on theological issues is thereefore, wrong on ALL issues: Even Paul states, "As long as Christ is preached." Following you reasoning, have you EVER read or benefiited by anyhting a baptist or an Arminian has written? Frankly, I do not see the conection...apples and oranges.

p.s. did u get my u2u?
-Paul [/quote:22b29bedd9]

Paul,

Good answer. But what I meant was to respond with an absurdum (you can't have all the fun! ) The point I meant was that if the film is a violation of thye 2nd commandment, it is immaterial to argue whether there would be any value or whether one could "put up with" the problematic parts of the film. The objective (is it sin) must be answered before the subjective (how will it affect me). My absurdum was to show that you put the cart before the horse.

I did get your U2U and responded. Thanks.
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:99f4a5fef7][i:99f4a5fef7]Originally posted by cbruno01[/i:99f4a5fef7]
[quote:99f4a5fef7][i:99f4a5fef7]Originally posted by pastorway[/i:99f4a5fef7]
The movie changes the Word of God and distorts the gospel accounts of the atonement of Christ.

Second Commandment notwithstanding, is that not reason enough to avoid the film?

Phillip [/quote:99f4a5fef7]

Just curious, where is that info coming from? [/quote:99f4a5fef7]

From a compilation of statements from Gibson and others on the set of the movie.

Would any of us say that Rome has the gospel? Of course not. This movie is a presentation of the gospel according to Rome approved by the Pope himself.

Why not just go to a mass and save 8 bucks? That is what Gibson said! He said that this movie portrays what happens at every mass!!

Abomination of desolation.

Evangelicals and Catholics together, presenting a false Christ, a false gospel, adding to the Word of God, and people can't wait to see it.

Run for the hills!

Phillip
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top