Re: iconodulia (Was Re: Why?/Re: Answersingenesis)

From: george murphy (
Date: Wed Apr 04 2001 - 07:58:09 EDT

  • Next message: Jonathan Clarke: "Re: Why?/Re: Answersingenesis" wrote:

    > 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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