“Show us the Father” – How The Father May or May Not be Depicted in Orthodox Iconography

Read through any collection of Gary Larson’s The Far Side cartoons, and you will doubtless come across a cartoon image of God as an old man, usually gigantic in proportion and surrounded by the clouds of “heaven.”  This kind of cartoon image has become the popular depiction of God within our popular culture, from the Sunday morning funny papers to popular films such as Monty Python…

Iconography in Ancient Israel (Part 1)

The prominence of the Second Commandment has been the touchstone by which Christian iconography has been judged throughout history. it was the basis for the Byzantine iconoclastic periods of 726 – 787 and 814 – 842 as well as iconoclastic movements today such as those found in certain corners of Protestantism.

Should Orthodox Christians Get Their Icons Blessed?

It is no secret that icons are an important part of Orthodox faith and worship, covering the walls and ceilings and iconostases of our parishes, and most Orthodox Christians have at least a few icons at home. It also is no secret that the Orthodox Church practices blessings throughout the Church year—we start with the blessing of the waters at Theophany, and…

Necromancy, Idolatry and the Superiority of Protestant Culture

Once in a while, someone writes or says something about Orthodoxy (and, in this case, several related traditions) that is just so incorrect in so many ways that one doesn’t really even know where to begin. This is one of those times. It’s one thing to disagree with a tradition. It’s something else entirely to get the basic facts about it so…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 5 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the final entry in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of examination of their context or historic character. A…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 4 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the fourth part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 3 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the third part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the way of…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 2 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the second part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the…

Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 1 of 5)

Editor’s Note: Following is the first part in a 5-part series by Gabe Martini addressing the claim by Presbyterian pastor Steven Wedgeworth that there is significant patristic testimony against iconography. Keep watching this space for all five parts. The response is necessarily more in-depth than the original post it responds to, because numerous quick claims are made there without much in the…