Icons and the Veneration of Saints

Wesley and Kevin made a number of comments that I thought were thoughtful and substantive.  Rather than bury my response in the comments I decided to post them in this blog posting.  I’ve expanded my defense of the veneration of icons by discussing the different ontologies between the Reformed and Orthodox traditions and a discussion of the Protestant principle of soli deo gloria (to God alone be the glory).   No Depicting of…

Orthodox Phenomenology

  2011 © Michael Bressem, Ph.D. A Reformed Christian man and an Orthodox Christian woman are looking at an icon together of the Baptism of Christ called, “The Theophany.” The Reformed Christian states, “I have read about this icon and so I think I understand it. The dove represents the Holy Spirit and the ray of light from above represents God’s declaration: ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with Whom I am well pleased.’…

The Biblical Basis For Icons

In recent years there has been a growing interest among Evangelicals and Reformed Christians in Eastern Orthodoxy.  However, one of the major stumbling blocks for many is the use of icons in Orthodox worship.  The use of icons seems to violate the injunction against graven images found in the Ten Commandments.  Moreover, there seems to be a dearth of biblical texts pointing to the use of icons in the New Testament.  For…

Calvin Versus The Icon: Was John Calvin Wrong?

One of the most striking differences between Orthodox and Protestant worship is icons.  When one enters an Orthodox church one encounters a profusion of images.  One sees the icon of Jesus Christ the Word made flesh.  One also sees an icon of the Virgin Mary, icons of the angels, and icons of the saints.  On the other hand, when one enters a Protestant church one sees an austere absence of images.  …