So… the “Son of God” movie just came out today…

Orthodox Catechism Hercules CollinsQ. 105. What is the second commandment?

A. You shall not make any graven image, nor the likeness of anything which is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor in the waters under the earth: you shall not bow down to them, nor worship them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, and visit the sins of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and show mercy to thousands of them who love Me, and keep My commandments.

Q. 106. What does the second commandment require?

A. That we should not express or represent God by any image or shape and figure (a), or worship Him any other way than He has commanded in His word to be worshipped (b).

(a) Deut. 4:15ff.; Isa. 40:18ff.; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:23ff. (b) Deut. 12:30ff.; 1 Sam. 15:23; Matt. 15:9.

Q. 107. May any images or resemblances of God be made at all?

A. God neither ought, nor can be represented by any means. As for things created, although it is lawful to depict them, God nevertheless forbids their images to be made or possessed in order to worship or honor either them or God by them (a).

(a) Exod. 23:24; 34:13-14, 17; Num. 33:52; Deut. 7:5; 12:13; 16:22; 2 Kings 18:4.

Q. 108. But may not images be tolerated in churches, which may serve as books to the common people?

A. No, for that would make us wiser than God, who will have His church to be taught by the lively preaching of His word (a), and not with speechless images (b).

(a) 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19. (b) Jer. 10:8ff.; Hab. 2:18-19.

From “An Orthodox Catechism – Chapter 10 The Third Part: Of Man’s Thankfulness (The Law of God)”

8 thoughts on “So… the “Son of God” movie just came out today…

  1. The issue of images of the man Jesus outside of the worship service is a touchy one. I do not believe such images violate the second commandment, but after I became Reformed, it was something I had to wrestle with although I had never thought about it growing up. I will only point out that not all Reformed believers consider pictures of Jesus contrary to this Confessional definition of the second commandment.

    • True, and I’m sure we can point out what many believers (yes, even Reformed ones) may take exception to with confessions.

      That said, I understand your point and have made it in the past, but I came to the conviction that I can’t divide the two natures of Jesus. Ask yourself this… would an image of God the Son have been fine before the Incarnation?

      Here are some resources for further, deeper study:

      Even if you don’t believe it violates any commandments here are some potential dangers to consider and questions to ask

      Also, it is more than just dealing with 2nd Commandment… Consider the following council and go with your conscience

      • Hi, Jason. It would not have been fine to make an image of God the Son before the incarnation because before the incarnation the Son did not have a body. In fact, God is Spirit, even now. When someone makes a picture of the man Christ Jesus, he is not making a picture of God any more than someone looking at Jesus was seeing what God looked like. God does not “look like” anything; he is invisible (which is why any conceivable image of him is absolutely degrading). But Jesus did look like something. Although Jesus is a unified person, his two natures exist without conversion, composition, or confusion–they remain two natures. If it was okay to look at or remember Jesus on earth, it must be okay to depict him (but not to use that depiction as a direct vehicle for worship).

        Obviously, comment debates never work, and I’m not trying to start one. This issue in particular gets people fired up. But I do want to make something clear: My position on this does not require me to take an exception to the 1689 Confession or the Baptist Catechism. I agree with everything they say regarding the Second Commandment.

      • Fair enough that what you are articulating may not directly go against anything in our Confession or the Baptist Catechism.

        Would be interested to see if any of the signatories of our confession (or Westminster & Savoy ones) would be ok with pictures outside of worship.

        Think we can see where H. Collins, who was a signer on the 1677/89, stood (as we see in the original post). I personally am unfamiliar with any during that time who would have disagreed.

        But as I said earlier, more than just the 2nd Commandment can help us think through these issues (see links in previous comment.) I recognize this isn’t an easy one, I wrestled with it for probably 6 or more years (off and on). May we be Biblically informed, conformed, and not go against our conscience.

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