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#52449 Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:15 AM
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Pilgrim Offline OP
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I would be interested in some responses/evaluations of the following article We Are What We Worship.

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simul iustus et peccator

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Pilgrim #52450 Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:59 AM
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I find the crux of the matter in this paragraph:

"Even making an image in which the God of Israel was believed to be present (as likely in Ex 32:1–9) was forbidden for the following reasons: first, God had not revealed himself in any form to Israel, and to portray him to any degree in the form of any part of the creation is to misrepresent him and thus to commit idolatry (Deut 4:12–16, 23–25). Second, images of God were also not allowed in order to maintain a continuing consciousness among God’s people that there is a distinction between the Creator and the finite creation, which “cannot even remotely accord with the absolute, transcendental character of the God of Israel.” Third, images were also prohibited to maintain a continuing consciousness among the Israelites that their God is different from and incomparable to the pagan gods (Is 40:18–26), whose presence could be transferred to particular images in the form of created things, whereas God’s presence could never be localized or captured in this manner."

I remember sorting through these issues of images with you when The Passion of the Christ was all the rage. (that was 2004!)

Last edited by gotribe; Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:01 AM.

Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
gotribe #52460 Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:39 PM
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Thanks for responding.

Yes, the quote you provided from the article was written by John Calvin, who I am in 100% agreement with.

But, my interest was more in what the author's view(s) are. grin

Briefly, here are my own thoughts:

1. He begins with a perception of how his daughters acted and concluded that we are "imaging beings" and then takes that conclusion and interprets Scripture by it. I disagree that we were created to be imaging beings, but rather we were created IN God's image (Gen 1:26,27), which resulted in prelapsarian Adam and Eve a life which was righteous, holy and good through their total love for God and dependence upon Him as their Creator. However, after the Fall, Adam and Eve begot children after their own image (Gen 5:3). Thus, Seth and all that followed were born with a corrupt nature; aka: spiritually dead. The result is that fallen mankind doesn't "reflect" culture, etc., but rather creates a culture which is according to their depraved nature. Men are NATURALLY idolaters (Rom 1:18ff). They create idols which are after their own liking. As one Puritan wrote, "In the beginning God created man after His own image. And since that day, man has been trying to return the favor." In summary, men do not reflect their respective cultures but rather the various cultures are a reflection of men who create them.

2. After providing that wonderful quote from John Calvin regarding the making of images, which includes the imaginations of one's mind and not just the fabricating of material idols, for any reason and especially any thought or object of the members of the Godhead, he then appears to imply that this doctrine of the Second Commandment which was held by the overwhelming majority of Reformers and Puritans and is taught in both the Heidelberg Catechism and the Westminster Larger Catechism, can be partially ignored. Why?

While it is true that there are appearances of God in human form, whether in heavenly visions or otherwise, it is generally acknowledged that these appear to be legitimate exceptions to the rule, especially since these are living appearances sovereignly initiated by God himself and not lifeless images made by humans in the form of parts of the creation.
However, these theophanies and Christophanies are just that... they are God's own appearances to men and not man's imaginative creations of God. Perhaps I have read him wrong?

But again, the quote from Calvin was the highlight of the article for me. giggle

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