Pictures of Jesus and the Sovereignty of Divine Revelation. By David VanDrunen

Discussion in 'The Confession of Faith' started by NaphtaliPress, Jan 9, 2019.

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  1. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    With the author's permission David VanDrunen's article, Pictures of Jesus and the Sovereignty of Divine Revelation: Recent Literature and a Defense of the Confessional Reformed View, from The Confessional Presbyterian 5 (2009) is posted in full at the CPJ webiste here.
     
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  2. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    Excellent! Looking forward to reading it. Thanks, Chris!
     
  3. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I thought I was opening this thread to see new pictures of Jesus... Deceiving title...

    ;)
     
  4. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    One thought I can not wrap my head around. If I may change the above to explain my "head".

    With the author's permission Paul's (The Apostle) article, Pictures of Jesus and the Sovereignty of Divine Revelation: Recent Literature and a Defense of the Confessional Reformed View, from The Confessional Presbyterian 5.
     
  5. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I don't understand the comment.
     
  6. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Why would someone want to not give good teaching for free, any time any place, if they are a pastor?
     
  7. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Now I'm really confused. What does that have to do with this?
     
  8. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    If I may be so bold ... I don't want to put words in Earl's mouth, and then quote him .. but my interpretation is that the author had to 'give permission' to make the article public, rather than a reader being required to buy the magazine. In a perfect world perhaps it would all be free. I could be wrong ... I was wrong once before. :detective:
     
  9. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I hope that is not what Earl's saying because there is nothing in the OP that calls for such an idea. What indication is there in that brief text that even implies I had to pry this out of Dr. VanDrunen's hands or some such thing? And besides, the workman is worthy of his hire.The journal is a high quality print production and to pay for itself and keep going as a record of confessional Presbyterian thought, the material has to sell the copies. At that I only ask for a year exclusive and the material always belongs to the writer. Sometimes when it seems to me to be worthwhile I will ask an author of an older article if I can post it in the clear on the journal site for broader benefit when it is likely it won't hurt the sale of the remaining inventory. They can refuse for any reason because it is theirs. They may have a book planned to reuse the material as some have had in the past, who have told me no or actually after telling me yes come back later and asked it be taken down when they re-purposed the material in a book or something and don't want the larger project to be negatively affected. That's their right since it is their material.
     
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  10. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    It is probably not what Earl meant and I apologize to him in advance for speculating on his possible meaning. I should have kept my 'mouth' shut :tumbleweed: .... I engaged my keyboard before my brain.

    For what it's worth, I have all of the Durham books you've published, and they are first rate in quality of construction and content. The scholarship you demonstrate in footnotes in those, and in the Bownd book on the Sabbath, is awe inspiring to me. I can imagine that the quality of the Confessional Presbyterian is at the same level.

    As for things being free ... Vice President Nelson Rockefeller was no prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but when he said, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." he was speaking the truth.
     
  11. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I publish for the benefit of the church is my hope. I'm not interested in doing Thinner Thighs While you Sleep, though snake oil I'm sure is profitable. But I ran into early on and since the attitude that took offense that I was reissuing out of copyright work via Naphtali Press with the goal (in theory) of making some money on improved scholarly editions. There are plenty of people who will scan or type stuff and put it online for free without much care other than that of getting it up. Before the Internet there were those who would pump out printed works without much consideration for quality. That's not what I'm interested in doing.
     
  12. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    But what if we're interested in Thinner Thighs While you Sleep? Maybe a package deal with CPJ? :D
     
  13. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    That's great to hear. I have quite a few reformed books that don't even appear to be proofed. Even from bigger publishers. It's embarrassing for Christianity.
     
  14. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    There will be mistakes and a learning curve for folks who jump into publishing (been there so I admit to freshman and sophomore efforts, which is why you see the critical revisions of late of some previous projects), but it just seems the culture and putting stuff online has just made the lack of care worse.

     
  15. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I can't imagine anyone is getting very rich off confessionally Reformed books and articles. But an author who puts his time and expertise into writing such material deserves to say where it gets published. Copyrights aren't just for making money; they also protect an author from having his work altered or published in an inappropriate context. And a publisher who does his job well and produces a well-made work deserves to be paid something for his efforts if folks find the work beneficial.
     
  16. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Not to derail this thread any further. I should start a discussion on the idea that teaching from a Pastor in my opinion should never have a charge attached to his teaching. I maybe am misunderstand the concept of a "workman is worth for his hire". I simply can not imagine Paul selling for hire one of his letters back then.....or even in our day.

    I also would give the benefit of the doubt the Pastor may not have any financial stake in his writings at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  17. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    No, you weren't wrong. You're wrong about that.
     
  18. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I would have hoped you would think I did not mean to imply you had to "pry" it out. I also understand on how you had to ask permission in todays environment. :)
     
  19. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I think you must, but I agree you should (and should have originally) start your own thread as raising the question like this on thread that was informational is off topic at the very least. I'm not going to delete any posts as that would appear self serving, to allude to Paul's example which would be apropos, but do ask that any subsequent comments be about the material announced. Thanks.
     
  20. Susan777

    Susan777 Puritan Board Freshman

    This was an excellent article and I have saved it for future reference. Now I have a question. Would the Second Commandment proscribe the representation of the Holy Spirit by a dove? That would seem to be the case. I came to Christ through Pentecostalism which frequently uses the dove as said symbol. As the author stated, we ought not pry into things that have not been revealed to us but I do wonder why the Father used a creature to authenticate Jesus’ identity at His baptism. Interestingly though, I’m not aware of the image of a dove ever being used in the church’s worship. It never “caught on” in the same way as images of Christ.
     
  21. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Yes; it prohibits that. In the vein of Christ as a lamb with a crown with sacrifice wounds etc.
     
  22. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    I've been intrigued by this question since I noticed a carved dove above the pulpit in Little Dunkeld church. The church, which dates from 1798, is in every other respect a classic undecorated reformed church, as can be seen in this video: . (OK, there is an organ, but apart from that...)
    This trend also appears outside Scotland. Robert Halley writes "Although the sign of the cross in any form was intolerable, occasionally on the sounding board of a 'brave pulpit' was carved a dove with an olive leaf in her bill" (Lancashire: Its Puritanism and Nonconformity [London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1869] 2.297; available through google books). The symbolism of the dove above the pulpit representing the Holy Spirit speaking through the preached word is obvious, but it has always seemed strange to me that this one image was allowed in churches that were otherwise thoroughly plain. Does anyone know of any discussion of this issue at the time?
     
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  23. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I do not; could be as a symbol not of the Holy Spirit specifically but of His speaking through the Word, it was not thought a violation. Would be interesting if there were a discussion at the time. I will ask around.
     
  24. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Junior

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is what the dove represents in the Huguenot Cross. So it's not a new symbol in Reformed churches. (Although Wikipedia tells me that the Huguenot Cross only became very current in the late-19th century.)
     
  25. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I sent a query to Harrison Perkins on the dove question. Harrison (PCA, serving as assistant minister at London City Presbyterian Church, Free Church of Scotland) is the author of one of the stand out papers in the 2018 issue barely out at the end of last year, "Images of Christ and the Vitals of the Reformed System," which goes beyond the traditional literature and details why it is integral to the Reformed system of doctrine. His answer For what it's worth is below which he said could be freely shared.

    So there are a few layers to this, but I will from the outset admit I am not as well versed in this as about images of the Son. So in the ancient church, there are often depictions of the Spirit as a dove in painting of Jesus' baptism. The Eastern church particularly seemed inclined to depicting this scene. But even in that, we see that if they are depicting Christ for his baptism, they are not concerned about if depicting the Spirit as well would violate the second commandment. Now the odd thing is that, I think, during the medieval period the depiction of the Spirit as a dove decreased because some medieval piety became fixated on the contemplating the incarnate life of Christ, and so reverence was given to images of Jesus. The Spirit seemed to play a much smaller role.

    I think that the resurgence of depictions of the Spirit within Protestantism is tied with a lack of concern about images in general. Later 18th and 19th century Presbyterian churches in Ireland and Scotland regularly feature second commandment violations, varying in degrees of explicitness. The seal of the PCI is the burning bush, which personally I think even breaks the commandment. It's not as flagrant as some of the others and I'm not as immediately concerned to clear those as I am stained glass windows, but I think best practice would be to get rid of them.

    So decorating a church with a dove is more likely linked with a lessening concern about images in general. The fact that Dr. Duguid's example is on the pulpit actually underscores that point. Pulpits have had to be replaced regularly in older churches as they break down. If he were to inquire about when that pulpit was added to the otherwise plain church, I would guess that it was installed well after Presbyterians in the UK were exercised about images. I would be shocked if it was not a late 19th or even early 20th century addition.

    I think some people have unconsciously used the image of the dove, not thinking through if it violated the command. Some might have an argument, but I would think most today use it unthinkingly because it is so widely used. However, I think we should avoid it. Obviously there is the biblical imagery of a dove, but there are some important things to consider. 1) There is plenty of imagery of all three persons in the Bible, but the command is in fact not to make an image. It does not matter if we are painting, sculpting, or drawing something described in the Bible because the Bible says not to do that. 2) The Gospel accounts that record the decent of the Spirit on Christ do not say that he descended in the body of a dove, but like a dove. The word "like" in all four Gospels translates an adverb (ὡς in Mk, Lk, Jn; ὡσεὶ in Mt). This means the passages are not describing the form of the Spirit, but the manner of his descent. This point, in other words, means we do not even have biblical warrant for thinking the Spirit looked like a dove, but only to think he moved like one in his descent.
     
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  26. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I will add this that I received as a follow up as it underscores the anecdotal presumption the pulpit is a later addition. Harrison: "for every who goes on the quest to visit puritan pulpits, they will be sadly disappointed, as I have yet to come across even one that still remains from the 16th and 17th centuries. It seems there was pretty consistent remodeling done and the pulpits replaced in the 19th century across England, Scotland, and Ireland."
     
  27. iainduguid

    iainduguid Puritan Board Sophomore

    It's certainly possible that this was the case. The Cathedral church of Dunkeld was "restored" in the early 20th century away from a Reformed focus around the Word and sacraments closer to its original form, which makes it a horrible place for preaching. Yet the quote I cited from Robert Halley shows that in 1869 there were non-conformists in England who would never tolerate a cross but would have a dove on the pulpit, and it doesn't seem like an innovation to him. There is nothing else about the pulpit or the arrangement of the church that suggests anything other than a thoroughly reformed arrangement, which makes me wonder if the dove isn't original (1798). This wouldn't justify the practice of course, but it would suggest that it might be the tip of the camel's nose. The Church of Scotland had plenty of problems in the 18th century (hence the existence of my own church, the ARP), and so it wouldn't be surprising to find a softening of standards even in the more evangelical/Reformed wing (which the remainder of the design suggests that Little Dunkeld belonged to).
     
  28. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    I wouldn't be surprised either way, as you say decline was already happening. By the way, I think I may have mentioned before, that my great grandfather was a Duguid. Came from a tenant family farming at the base of Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire. Of course maybe Duguids there are like Johnson and Garcia here in Texas.... Great Grandfather was one of the swifts of the hand type setting industry and won the last world contest in 1887 for fastest set type. Linotype came in the same time so he remains far as I know undefeated. The news reports noted is Christian faith at the time and for his not wanted to compete on the Lord's day, the event was moved (shades of Eric Liddell four decades later). Worked for newspapers in Toledo and was known as deacon because he didn't drink and carouse like most of those in the typeroom. After immigrating to Canada as a boy and then to the US after the civil war, as an adult he was not as far as I know a Presbyterian, though he ended up attending my mother's Presbyterian church in El Paso when the moved there to "follow the sun" and to be with family. He was an evangelical to use that word for the time and very big in the Sunday schoool movement. He left a wonderful letter for my grandmother on her wedding day that she was buried with (but my mother in horror seeing the trove of letters son to disappear, typed out). As it had all sorts of double meanings, my brother read the letter at my mother's funeral. I should post it sometime. While not a Presbyterian the story goes that when the new minister came into the pulpit in I gather a more ornate garb than the custom, he was heard to say, "this smacks of the pope.":flamingscot:

     
  29. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    The article was good. In the past, I've found the argument compelling that depicting Jesus could in no way show his divine nature, which he also mentioned. I thought his take on using images and pornagraphy as an analogy interesting to consider. First, you cannot divorce making the image from worship just you cannot divorce pornagraphy from the intended lust. Second, if happen to have an image of Jesus in your mind, it should not be cultivated just like if a man happens to have an image of a woman who is not his wife that should not be cultivated.
     
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