> George Murphy wrote (in part):
> << The problem which images can present is that people may
> place their ultimate trust and reliance in them rather than
> in the true God. This is "idolatry" in the elementary sense,
> & is not really as serious a problem as placing one's trust in
> more sophisticated non-visual idols. "Son of man, these men
> have taken their idols into their hearts" (Ez.14:3).
> Thinking that Jesus was blond & blue-eyed or that
> dinosaurs lived in Eden can be a hindrance to good theology.
> It is not, however, in itself idolatry.
> I admit that it was out of order to cast the volley of
> "idolitry". Fortune, women, power, fame, and 401Ks
> are the gods that clamor for my allegiance with
> far greater impact than those fanciful pictures I
> barely recall from a childern's bible.
> Nevertheless on your above point,
> For a brief period, I lived amongst a black community
> in the US, crossed the doors of an AME church during that
> time, and read some of what they say about the world.
> >From that experience, I do have to say that the blond
> & blue-eyed Jesus figurines are a stumbling block for
> some people in this world.
Undoubtedly. & the historical Jesus was of course Jewish &
quite likely significantly darker & shorter than our usual pictures of
him: I have been told that a modern-day Yemeni Jew might be an
approximation. OTOH, the classical doctrine that the Logos assumed
anhypostatic (un-personal) human nature - for the Logos is the single
person of God Incarnate - means that there is _some_ appropriateness to
representation of Christ with any racial characteristics. I've always
liked the card I got from a Korean bishop with a picture of Jesus & his
disciples having Oriental features & in traditional Korean garb.
Orthodox icons are not intended to represent the historical
Jesus in photo-like fashion but the heavenly reality of the earthly
Jesus. They look "foreign" enough to western Europeans to remind us
that he is not simply a projection of our cultural assumptions.
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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