Can The Person On The Screen Actually Save Your Soul?

Nothing provides a jolt of controversy like touching the worship rails, Almost every discussion of the Second and Fourth Commandments turns into a skirmish if not a pitched battle. While some Reformed folk would slot issues connected to images, worship music, and the finer details of sacramental administration and Lord’s Day observance into second or third “tiers” of importance, the mere mention of certain ways of applying the Second and Fourth Commandments (ways that seem to comport with the plain reading of the Reformed standards) elicits howls of protest. The sharp reactions around these issues tell us that Calvin was right: worship is of primary importance. People tell you what really matters to them. Hear Machen:

In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.

Now, since I have no desire to start an actual shooting war I’ll refrain (for now) from talking about instruments, praise ditties and divine boyfriend songs, intinction, “young child communion,” non-elder scripture readers, or whether Christians should watch or even attend professional sporting events on the Lord’s Day…or eat at restaurants on the way to or from. I don’t want to be unreasonable.
But let’s talk about pictures of Jesus, not just in public worship or Sunday School rooms but in Christians’ heads—the mental images that the Westminster Divines had in mind (no pun intended).

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Brad Isbell | “The Pixelated ‘Chosen'” | December 20, 2023


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