HERESY HUNTERS ARE AT IT AGAIN
Paul Young’s bestseller finally hits the big screen on March 3. That’s news—great news—as I’ll explain shortly.
What’s not news is how the so-called ‘discernment ministries’ (a euphemism for heresy-hunters) have begun yelping. They’re recycling ‘ye olde’ objections but, typically, barking up the wrong tree.
The charge of ‘heresy’ is serious, so it ought to be taken seriously, especially by those wielding it. But as an Orthodox theologian, I confess that its sloppy use as a pejorative, grates on my doctrinal nerves.
For example, the outcry against Young’s creative portrayal of God’s ‘Threeness’ or his imaging the invisible God as a black woman betrays a crass literalism that the author obviously never intended.
RUBLEV’S TRINITY AND MODERN MISOGYNY
Russian painter Andrei Rublev’s famous icon of the Trinity (15th c.) would seem to break the same rules as The Shack, where Abram and Sarai’s three angelic guests were eventually identified with Father, Son and Holy Spirit—one God depicted as three persons. Yet in Eastern iconography, the Father is elsewhere never depicted because the visible image of God is reserved for Jesus Christ alone.
So how is it, I ask, that Rublev’s icon isn’t tossed onto the book-burning stacks along with The Shack? No doubt it would have been if Orthodox believers were incapable of using limited human expressions (words or pictures) for the divine mysteries.
Those who miss a point so obvious should recuse themselves from the doctrinal judgement seat and perhaps read John of Damascus’ Exact Exposition of Orthodox Doctrine before rendering further verdicts.
But isn’t it odd that we should have no such eruption when God is rendered in art or literature as a towering white King? Or a great roaring lion? Or a lowly shepherd? Yes, these are biblical metaphors (only) … as is Jesus’ parabolic description of God the woman, urgently scouring her home for the lost coin.
Full article appears at http://joshvalley.com