Reformed Baptists Against Making Images of the Lord

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Matthew Willard Lankford, Dec 22, 2013.

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  1. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    In another discussion, I made the point that it is important for Baptists and those who may not subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith to note that historically Reformed Baptists/Particular Baptists also believed that making purported images of the Lord Jesus Christ is unlawful. Is anyone else aware of any historic Reformed Baptist/Particular Baptist resources which take a stand against making images to represent the Lord? Quotes?

    Here are a few historic voices I've found which seem to be against making images to represent the Lord:

    Hercules Collins' An Orthodox Catechism (a Baptist adaption of the Heidelberg Catechism Orthodox Catechism - Hercules Collins

    Benjamin Beddome's A Scriptural Exposition of the Baptist Catechism (http://books.google.com/books?id=16c9AAAAYAAJ):

    Benjamin Keach's The Progress of SIN, OR THE TRAVELS OF Ungodliness (p. 39 http://books.google.com/books?id=WtkCAAAAQAAJ):

    John Gill's commentary on Isaiah 40:25:

    Charles Spurgeon's sermon Iconoclast Sermon #960 Volume 16 (http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols16-18/chs960.pdf):

    [Note: There are a number of other comments by Spurgeon relevant to this subject which could be added.]

    J.C. Philpot's sermon The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the Knowledge of Christ (sermon found in Volume 8 of Philpot's sermons, available in pdf http://grace-ebooks.com/library/J C Philpot/JCP Philpot Sermons Volume 8.pdf):

    ...

    ...

    From A.W. Pink's Gleanings From Exodus (http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Life_of_Faith/faith_06.htm):

    It would also be interesting to find examples of contemporary Reformed Baptist/Particular Baptists voices against making images to represent the Lord. He are a few voices I've found which seem to be against making images to represent the Lord:

    Richard Bennett (former Roman Catholic priest and president of Berean Beacon Berean Beacon proclaims the Good News of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ. The President and founder is Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic Priest. - Home):

    Audio presentations:


    Articles:

    "Idolatry in the Evangelical Camp" (co-written with J. Virgil Dunbar): http://media.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/91506152931.pdf

    "Indifference or Ignorance: The Practice of Idolatry Within the Church" (co-written with Randall Paquette): A Puritan's Mind » The Practice of Idolatry Within the Church – by Richard Bennett and Randall Paquette

    "The Passion of Christ: Mel Gibson's Vivid Deception" (co-written with J. Virgil Dunbar):
    "The Passion of Christ" - Mel Gibson's Vivid Deception

    Albert N. Martin on Mel Gibson's idolatrous Passion movie: The Passion Movie: To See or Not To See - SermonAudio.com Transcript: IDOLATRY CONDEMNED: Albert N. Martin Against Celluloid Jesus

    [Note: Martin refers people to John Piper's work at the end of his sermon. I would just issue a caution about Piper, since he said "God broke the Second Commandment when he became incarnate" and endorses the use of forbidden images. Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/john-piper-2nd-commandment-36910/ Note the link to the audio is broken on the original discussion, but can still be found here: http://media.desiringgod.org/audio/c...0204_panel.mp3]

    Voddie Baucham (http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/voddie-baucham-ministries/):

    The law is sin? By no means! - SermonAudio.com Transcript of the relevant selection from the sermon: IDOLATRY CONDEMNED: Voddie Baucham on Images of Christ in Films

    Baucham's paraphrase of the Second Commandment from Culture Wars DVD:

    Also see Grace Family Baptist's notes on the 2nd Commandment: http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/media/filer/2011/11/15/2nd_-_part_1.pdf

    Tom Chantry of Christ Reformed Baptist Church has several sermons concerning the Second Commandment in his series on the Ten Commandments: http://crbc.us/series/14-The-Ten-Commandments

    James White (Alpha & Omega Ministries http://www.aomin.org/):

    (The Forgotten Trinity, p. 18)

    (Ibid., p. 20)

    (Ibid., p.38)
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  2. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    I've seen John Bunyan described as a Baptist/Congregationalist. Bunyan identifies the purpose of the Second Commandment. He applies the commandment to more than outward and visual images, even to peoples' beliefs and concepts of the Triune God. He teaches the importance of having and guarding the biblical knowledge of Him.

    ~John Bunyan, The works of that eminent servant of Christ, Mr. John Bunyan, Volume 5, pp. 286-287 (link: The works of that eminent servant of Christ, Mr. John Bunyan - John Bunyan - Google Books)
     
  3. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    Albert Mohler has also spoken and written against making images to represent the Lord.

    The following is an except from Mohler's book Words from the Fire at the end of chapter two:

    Below is an excerpt from Mohler's article "You Are Bringing Strange Things to Our Ears:" Christian Apologetics for a Postmodern Age, Part 3", which points out why Christian apologetic confronts error concerning idolatry (link: www.albertmohler.com/2005/10/12/you...-apologetics-for-a-postmodern-age-part-3-2/):

    And listen to Mohler's sermon on the Second Commandment (Sermons and Speeches – AlbertMohler.com). Here is my transcription of a selection from the sermon:

     
  4. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    From what I've read, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones rejected Infant Baptism and practiced Believer's Baptism (see the previous discussion: http://www.puritanboard.com/f57/martyn-lloyd-jones-views-baptism-11033/). In his The Assurance of Our Salvation he also appears to have been against images of the Lord:

     
  5. clark thompson

    clark thompson Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't prefer images of the Lord but do not think it is unbiblical if not used to show devotion to.
     
  6. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    Not looking to have this discussion turn into a debate for others to defend the making of images to represent the Lord or the retaining images made to represent the Lord, so long as such images aren't used to show devotion. But I would invite you to consider this question asked by Dr. Alan Cairns:

    ...
    And as Puritan Thomas Vincent observed:

    ​​
    ...
    I created this discussion to see if anyone else knew of Calvinistic or Reformed Baptists (historic or contemporary) who have taught against making images of the Lord. I would like to keep the discussion focused on that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  7. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    As far as I know Paul Washer hasn't spoken specifically about man-made images of Christ, but I'd appreciate if someone could let me know if he has. Washer has several relevant observations:

    Paul Washer's The Gospel's Power and Message, p. 121​:

    Paul Washer's sermon, "Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church":

    Paul Washer's The One True God: A Biblical study of the Doctrine of God:
     
  8. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    I've read that Alistair Begg is a Baptist influenced by Reformed theology. The quotes below are from Begg's book Pathway to Freedom: How God's Law Guides Our Lives (his sermon on the same subject is here: Graven Mistakes - Resource Center - Truth For Life)

    (Pathway to Freedom: How God's Law Guides Our Lives, p.64)

    (Ibid., p. 66-68)

    (Ibid., p. 69)

    (Ibid., pp. 72-73)
     
  9. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    *I'm not an extensive reader, but I hold on to this as a positive action response to the Second Commandment.

    1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, *9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
     
  10. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    One of my favorite verses!
     
  11. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    Pastor Nicholas Kennicott of Ephesus Church (which adheres to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith) has a series of posts starting with Christmas and Christianity, Part 1 | The Decablog. Putting the Christmas discussion aside for the current discussion, here is the relevant selection indicating Kennicott's stance against images of Christ:

     
  12. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    John Gill's A Body of Practical Divinity. (Think Westminster Standards for Reformed Baptists.) Page 5, 2a.

     
  13. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    Appreciate the contribution, Chris!
     
  14. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    Currently reading Steven Lawson's book Made in Our Image. There are more than a few quotable parts of the book that are relevant to the discussion. I think this selection summarizes Lawson's belief:

    (Steven Lawson, Made in Our Image: The Fallacy of the User-Friendly God, Chapter 3, Reducing the Irreducible: The Distortion of God, Part 2, pp. 47-49)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  15. Matthew Willard Lankford

    Matthew Willard Lankford Puritan Board Freshman

    From John Gill's sermon "A Sermon at the Ordination of the Rev. Mr. John Davis":

    [...]

    Source: A Collection of Sermons and Tracts ...: To which are Prefixed, Memoirs of ... - John Gill - Google Books, p.

    Happy New Year!
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
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