Friday, August 13, 2010

Because Painted Images Can't Do Anything

Isaiah 41:24 Behold, ye are of nothing, and your work of nought: an abomination is he that chooseth you.

40 comments:

Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coram Deo said...

TF,

The discussion continues at Triablogue on this selfsame subject here, here, and here.

Evidently painted images can do something, they can be a contentious and divisive subject even as they remain abominations.

In Christ,
CD

gerry said...

I'm surprised and saddened that the people at Triablogue adovcate making images of God.

Despite what I always considered excellent theology, I doubt I'll visit that site again...too bad.

Lvka said...

Painted Images Can't Do Anything


Want to rethink your approach?


1 Samuel 5:1  ¶And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. 2  When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3  And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. 4  And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.
5  Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.


Note that the Ark had two golden statues of Cherubim on its top.

There are also other examples in the OT where the Ark was working wonders.

Turretinfan said...

Hophni and Phinehas, as well as the uncircumcised Philistines shared your view, Luka. Perhaps you yourself should rethink it. The angels on top of the ark were not the focal point - the focal point was the empty place between them.

Lvka said...

Icons are not the "focal point" either: it's the divine presence they mediate that is.

So: do you want to rethink your approach?

Lvka said...

In any case, you said that "Images Can't Do Anything", which is clearly false from a biblical perspective, so... you sure you don't want to rethink your whole strategy?

Turretinfan said...

I didn't simply say "Images Can't Do Anything" but rather "painted Images Can't Do Anything," which is true regardless of pious myths.

Turretinfan said...

"Icons are not the "focal point" either: it's the divine presence they mediate that is."

a) Yes, they are - at least visually. I understand that their reason for existence is beyond the paint.

b) Is this your claim regarding icons of Jesus, or all icons?

- TurretinFan

Lvka said...

I didn't simply say "Images Can't Do Anything" but rather "painted Images Can't Do Anything," which is true regardless of pious myths.

So you're saying that GRAVEN images CAN do SOMEthing. :-)


Is this your claim regarding icons of Jesus, or all icons?

Unless you thought that honor due to saints and icons is an end-goal in and of itself, yes.

Turretinfan said...

"So you're saying that GRAVEN images CAN do SOMEthing. :-)"

No, graven, carved, molten, and painted images are all equally incapable of doing anything.

I had asked: "Is this your claim regarding icons of Jesus, or all icons?"

You responded: "Unless you thought that honor due to saints and icons is an end-goal in and of itself, yes."

It is interesting that you think honor is due to the icons themselves as well as to the saints that they represent.

How is your position distinguishable from panentheism?

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

LVKA,

you are E.O., yes?

I find your answer remarkable and astounding. You answered a question this way:

Unless you thought that honor due to saints and icons is an end-goal in and of itself, yes.

In light of that response, would you kindly reconcile some verses for me and help me see the par significance between "saints" and "icons"?

Here are the verses:

Rom 12:9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Rom 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Rom 12:11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rom 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.



1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
1Jn 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1Jn 4:9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.


Just how does an icon in the E.O.C. "honor" and "propitiate" the way the Saints are instructed to "honor" as Paul wrote and "propitiate" as John wrote Saints are to do, to honor one another and to propitiate, to pray for one another?

And while I am asking, hopefully you will answer, when does one become a Saint from your point of view so as to do either one of those things or both, to honor and also propitiate for Saints as we are instructed to do?

Lucian said...

No, graven, carved, molten, and painted images are all equally incapable of doing anything.


...except for those of the two golden Cherubs atop the Ark... :-)

Seriously!...

Turretinfan said...

Lucian,

I answered that above. They had no power either.

-TurretinFan

Lucian said...

Then who overthrew the idol? :-)

And why were the Philistines scared to death and got rid of the Ark, if the Ark wasn't responsible?

:-)

Turretinfan said...

Yes, as I said, the uncircumcised Philistines thought the Ark of the Lord was responsible. Foolish idolaters they!

As for who did it:

1 Samuel 5:6 But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.

- TurretinFan

Lucian said...

...because the Ark passed through there. :-) -- it did NOT happen on other times or in other occasions.

God is everywhere present and He fills all things: but these things did not happen there until the Ark was there.

So: care to re-think, or re-phrase you whole approach and attitude to icons?

Turretinfan said...

"God is everywhere present and He fills all things: but these things did not happen there until the Ark was there."

Yet, it was not the ark that did those things.

"So: care to re-think, or re-phrase you whole approach and attitude to icons?"

The Ark of the New Covenant is Christ, not icons.

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Hebrews 9:11-12
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

-TurretinFan

Lucian said...

Yet, it was not the ark that did those things.


...but those things which were not done by the Ark, were done through the Ark... do you agree?

Turretinfan said...

"...but those things which were not done by the Ark, were done through the Ark... do you agree?"

No. They were done near the Ark. You could even say they were done because of the Ark. But they were not done by or through the Ark.

Lvka said...

And why not? Was this not precisely why God ordained Moses to build it in the first place? So that He may manifest Himself from between the two golden Cherubim? (Exodus 25:22)

Turretinfan said...

You are correct - in the empty space, between them.

Lvka said...

So the Ark served as a medium or vehicle for making God's power and glory present.

Turretinfan said...

No. God appeared between the Cherubim, not through them or by their power.

Lvka said...

The space where He manifested His presence was determined by the two golden Cherubim. :-)

Turretinfan said...

No. They stand in his presence. Their location is determined by Him, not the other way 'round.

Lvka said...

Since He appeared from between them, they were a vehicle or medium for making Him present.

Turretinfan said...

That doesn't seem very logical, my friend. You seem to be mixing up location and mechanism.

Lvka said...

God chose to use the Ark as a means of manifesting Himself, His power, and His glory. He worked His mighty deeds through the Ark, using it as a vehicle of manifesting His might.

So: God does work through His holy images. -- that's the conclusion; and not that "images don't & can't do anything".

It's just like saying that medical instruments are useless, because you need doctors to operate them: it's a lie, at least by omission.

Turretinfan said...

"God chose to use the Ark as a means of manifesting Himself, His power, and His glory."

Not really. God mostly chose to keep the Ark hidden. He manifested himself above the ark.

"He worked His mighty deeds through the Ark, using it as a vehicle of manifesting His might."

No, he did not. That's how it is shown in the Indiana Jones movie, but Scripture does not ascribe any power to the Ark itself.

"So: God does work through His holy images.-- that's the conclusion; and not that 'images don't & can't do anything'."

Sorry to disappoint you, but God does work through His holy images, but his holy images are men, not painted boards.

"It's just like saying that medical instruments are useless, because you need doctors to operate them: it's a lie, at least by omission."

No, God did not use the ark as a tool to exercise his power through it.

-TurretinFan

Lvka said...

He manifested himself above the ark.


IOW, God's position was the place where the Ark was located. -- He manifested Himself through or by it.

Dagon "bowed" before the Ark, as Moses also did when God appeared: because He manifested Himself from between the Ark's Cherubim, and nothing and no-one could resist the power of His presence. -- [Of course, Moses bent down gladly and willingly; Dagon, not so: he was thrown down by God's might and glory which appeared from between the Cherubs]. :-)

Lvka said...

No, God did not use the ark as a tool to exercise his power through it.


According to the Exodus 25:22:

Yes, God DID use the ark as a tool to exercise His presence through it (and since He is all-powerful, it follows that His power and might were also present with Him where-ever He appeared).

So, putting two and two together:

Yes, God did use the ark as a tool to exercise his power through it.

Turretinfan said...

Actually, the specific location is clear:

Exodus 25:20-22
And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Notice that it says "above the mercy seat" and "between the two cherubim." God did not appear in the box, or through the box, but rather at and above the box.

And Exodus 25:22, as you can see, does not say God used the box as a tool.

Perhaps you might say that the high priest used it as a tool:

Leviticus 16:14-16
And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: and he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

-TurretinFan

Lvka said...

The place above the Ark is dependent upon the Ark.

The place between the two Cherubim is dependent upon the two Cherubim.

So: "through" & "by".

QED.

Turretinfan said...

Again, you're confusing location and mechanism.

Lvka said...

You mean the mechanism of God appearing through or by the means of the Ark and working His wonders from there? :-)

Turretinfan said...

yes, as opposed to God appearing in the empty space above the ark and between the cherubim, as Scripture teaches.

Lvka said...

..the difference being?.. (you're simply describing what I said).

Turretinfan said...

I hope you'll admit that there is a difference of sound of the words between:

"the mechanism of God appearing through or by the means of the Ark and working His wonders from there"

and

"God appearing in the empty space above the ark and between the cherubim"

Hopefully you also notice that in the latter instance there is no imposition of mechanism on the description.

Lvka said...

No, I don't, actually.