John of Damascus' exegesis of De 4:15 is impossible

ialmisry

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Alfred Persson said:
God does not change, Jesus is God, therefore He does not want an image of His similitude either.
Since you have expressed your admiration for the Muslims, and your arguement depends so much on this mantra, what do you say to your Muslims friends that agree with you, and then point out that since God does not change, He neither begots nor is begotten (Quran 112:3), and hence the Faith of the Apostles in the Incarnation of Christ is idolatrous blasphemy, therefore Jesus is not God?
 

Alfred Persson

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ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
God does not change, Jesus is God, therefore He does not want an image of His similitude either.
Since you have expressed your admiration for the Muslims, and your arguement depends so much on this mantra, what do you say to your Muslims friends that agree with you, and then point out that since God does not change, He neither begots nor is begotten (Quran 112:3), and hence the Faith of the Apostles in the Incarnation of Christ is idolatrous blasphemy, therefore Jesus is not God?
No, I did not and they are not my friends. Just as God used the Babylonians, Assyrians etc to chastise His people, so I believe He used Islam.

Idolatry causes God to leave, which take His protection away, satan fills the void, with evil which includes war:

NKJ  Ezekiel 8:6 Furthermore He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations." (Eze 8:6 NKJ)

11 "And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
12 "How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!
13 "But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age."

(Dan 12:11-1 NAS)
 

LBK

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Alfred, have you read St John of Damascus' treatise on the defense of icons yet?
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
The burden of proof is not on those who say it doesn't exist as its not mentioned.

Its on those who say it does exist, because its impossible to prove a negative.

If I say "I can throw this stone into outer space," the burden of proving I can is not on those doubting the claim, its on me who made it.

You say the early church practiced icon veneration, prove it in the Bible and sub apostolic church fathers.
I'm not saying the Church did practice icon veneration.  Though I believe she very likely did, I'm not asserting this as an argument in this debate.  Thave no reason to prove an argument I'm not making.

Are you aware of the logical concept related to burden of proof: the fallacy of the argument from ignorance?  This fallacy is fundamentally an attempt to shift the burden of proof by demanding the other person prove you wrong.  This argument takes on one of these two general forms:
1.  P cannot be proven false, therefore it must be true.
2.  P cannot be proven true, therefore it must be false.

I see you committing this fallacy quite often on this thread.  You do this by asserting a negative proposition that you know you cannot prove then insist that you must be right until we provide evidence that proves otherwise.  This is fundamentally a game played by those too intellectually lazy to defend their own theses with solid arguments.  It's an asinine little game I intend not to play.
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.

"Indicates", not "is." Do a search on argument from silence and you will find my statement SILENCE proves nothing,  one can only propose a likely explanation for the silence.

The total lack of icon veneration in the Bible and sub apostolic fathers, and the Jews from whence Christianity sprang, is weighty INDICATION icon veneration didn't exist, for as the Orthodox today show, those who practice icon veneration can hardly be quiet about it. So when a group is quiet about it, the most plausible explanation for that silence is they didn't practice it.


If icon veneration were practiced silently by the Orthodox, IF they never mentioned it, or wrote about it, and never did it publicly before eyewitnesses, THEN AND ONLY THEN would the silence about it in Scripture and sub apostolic fathers indicate nothing, because then both "yes" and "no" would be equally plausible explanations for the silence:

The Bible and sub apostolic fathers are silent about icon veneration because:
1)Icon veneration wasn't practiced ("NO").
2)Icon veneration practiced silently like "control group XYZ", they never mention it, write about it or do it publicly so others might report it. ("YES")


BUT the Orthodox can hardly be silent about their images, therefore the silence about it in the Bible does indicate they didn't practice it.

So it is universally believed they are silent about icon veneration because they didn't practice it. Therefore, to prove that incorrect, the burden of proof is on you to show where we missed seeing it in the historical record, the Bible or sub apostolic fathers.

Lacking that, the weight of the evidence is they did not practice it.

Then icon veneration is NOT apostolic, and therefore YOU should be concerned given your desire to follow apostolic truth.

 

LBK

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Alfred, have you read St John of Damascus' treatise on the defense of icons yet?
 

LBK

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Not at all. Have you read St John of Damascus' treatise on the defense of icons yet? It's a simple question.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
The burden of proof is not on those who say it doesn't exist as its not mentioned.

Its on those who say it does exist, because its impossible to prove a negative.

If I say "I can throw this stone into outer space," the burden of proving I can is not on those doubting the claim, its on me who made it.

You say the early church practiced icon veneration, prove it in the Bible and sub apostolic church fathers.
I'm not saying the Church did practice icon veneration.  Though I believe she very likely did, I'm not asserting this as an argument in this debate.  Thave no reason to prove an argument I'm not making.

Are you aware of the logical concept related to burden of proof: the fallacy of the argument from ignorance?  This fallacy is fundamentally an attempt to shift the burden of proof by demanding the other person prove you wrong.  This argument takes on one of these two general forms:
1.  P cannot be proven false, therefore it must be true.
2.  P cannot be proven true, therefore it must be false.

I see you committing this fallacy quite often on this thread.  You do this by asserting a negative proposition that you know you cannot prove then insist that you must be right until we provide evidence that proves otherwise.  This is fundamentally a game played by those too intellectually lazy to defend their own theses with solid arguments.  It's an asinine little game I intend not to play.
What are you doing with your quotes of other posters that the text in your quotes doesn't match up with what was actually posted?

Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.

Alfred Persson said:
"Indicates", not "is." Do a search on argument from silence and you will find my statement SILENCE proves nothing,  one can only propose a likely explanation for the silence.

The total lack of icon veneration in the Bible and sub apostolic fathers, and the Jews from whence Christianity sprang, is weighty INDICATION icon veneration didn't exist, for as the Orthodox today show, those who practice icon veneration can hardly be quiet about it. So when a group is quiet about it, the most plausible explanation for that silence is they didn't practice it.
There are other likely explanations I think you're overlooking in your rush to generalize from the Church's preaching today.

Alfred Persson said:
If icon veneration were practiced silently by the Orthodox, IF they never mentioned it, or wrote about it, and never did it publicly before eyewitnesses, THEN AND ONLY THEN would the silence about it in Scripture and sub apostolic fathers indicate nothing, because then both "yes" and "no" would be equally plausible explanations for the silence:

The Bible and sub apostolic fathers are silent about icon veneration because:
1)Icon veneration wasn't practiced ("NO").
2)Icon veneration practiced silently like "control group XYZ", they never mention it, write about it or do it publicly so others might report it. ("YES")
3) The Church practices the painting and veneration of icons for centuries before the iconoclasts come along to destroy their icons but only start talking about icons when they need to articulate their defense of centuries-long practice against the iconoclast heretics.  I think an examination of Church history bears this out as quite possibly the most likely explanation.  (I suppose, though, that this is just another paraphrase of your Point No. 2 above.)

Alfred Persson said:
BUT the Orthodox can hardly be silent about their images, therefore the silence about it in the Bible does indicate they didn't practice it.
Again, a hasty and anachronistic generalization that overlooks other possible explanations.

Alfred Persson said:
So it is universally believed they are silent about icon veneration because they didn't practice it.
argumentum ad populum--IOW, an attempt to prove that something is true because everyone believes it's true.  Everyone might be wrong.  BTW, unless you have suddenly become everyone, you have no authority to present your own personal opinion as though everyone believes it.

Alfred Persson said:
Therefore, to prove that incorrect, the burden of proof is on you to show where we missed seeing it in the historical record, the Bible or sub apostolic fathers.
What?  Have you suddenly developed split-personality disorder? ???  Otherwise, you need to speak for yourself, buddy. :mad:  You don't represent some nameless "we".  You represent only yourself and your own opinion.  Don't try to assemble some fictitious group of people who happen to agree with you just to give imaginary strength to your argument.

Alfred Persson said:
Lacking that, the weight of the evidence is they did not practice it.
Argument refuted as rife with logical fallacies.  I will grant the possibility the Early Church may not have practiced the veneration of icons, since I'm not that well-versed in Church history, but the arguments you've advanced thus far to try to convince me that she most likely didn't are so full of shoddy logic that your case is not at all cogent.  IOW, if I really want to know whether the Early Church venerated icons or not, I won't come looking to you for answers.

Alfred Persson said:
Then icon veneration is NOT apostolic, and therefore YOU should be concerned given your desire to follow apostolic truth.
Go back and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Alfred Persson said:
LBK said:
Alfred, have you read St John of Damascus' treatise on the defense of icons yet?
You are spamming me...that's gotta be against the rules.
No, it's not against the rules.  Just answer LBK's question and be done with it.
 

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Fr. George said:
Alfred Persson said:
Perssonism is a disparaging nickname referring to my statements, while the shortened form of John of Damascus wasn't at all, yet I was warned.
I don't consider it a disparaging nickname - it is a clear attribution of a unique theological position (especially on this forum) to the person who postulated it, something that has been done on a number of occasions throughout history.
With all due respect Father, if someone is objecting to the use of their name in such a way wouldn't it be the humble and Christian thing to do by respecting their wishes?

Alfred is just as much an icon of Christ as any of us.
 

ialmisry

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Alfred Persson said:
ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
God does not change, Jesus is God, therefore He does not want an image of His similitude either.
Since you have expressed your admiration for the Muslims, and your arguement depends so much on this mantra, what do you say to your Muslims friends that agree with you, and then point out that since God does not change, He neither begots nor is begotten (Quran 112:3), and hence the Faith of the Apostles in the Incarnation of Christ is idolatrous blasphemy, therefore Jesus is not God?
No, I did not and they are not my friends. Just as God used the Babylonians, Assyrians etc to chastise His people, so I believe He used Islam.

Idolatry causes God to leave, which take His protection away, satan fills the void, with evil which includes war:

NKJ  Ezekiel 8:6 Furthermore He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations." (Eze 8:6 NKJ)

11 "And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.
12 "How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!
13 "But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age."

(Dan 12:11-1 NAS)
Youd didn't answer the question.

The Apostles present Christ to us as the icon of the invisible God.  The Muslims say because God is transcendant, invisible, infinite and does not change,  the Apostles therefore committed blasphemy, for Jesus cannot be God.

Birds of a feather.

You also haven't answered why God left the iconoclast Nestorians and took His protection away.  Indeed, one could argue He never gave it, as the Nestorians, like most iconoclasts who claim Christ, never formed the majority nor controlled a state.  Why did God, according to your intrepretatin, chastise the Nestorians, while He let the iconophile Orthodox survive, thrive and spread, surviving Islam and dominate a dozern or more coutnes and much of the globe?  Why did the icon loving Rus' defeat the icon hating Jewish and Muslim khans of central asia?

And was satan's grip, after it got slapped in the Iberian peninsula, too short to reach the icon loving West?

Of course Israel's idolatry caused God to leave, which take His protection away, satan filled the void, with evil which included war.

But since icons aren't idols, what's your point?
ialmisry said:
Alfred Persson said:
Those dispatching their icons to slay me, I ignore.
If the image of the king is the king, the image of Christ is Christ, and the image of a saint the saint, and if power is not divided nor glory distributed, honouring the image becomes honouring the one who is set forth in image. Devils have feared the saints, and have fled from their shadow. The shadow is an image, and I make an image that I may scare demons.-St. John of Damscus
http://books.google.com/books?id=ibnUAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA35&dq=John+damascus+scare+demons&hl=en&ei=ikRcTO2eBoL-8Aa3utS5Ag&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
Btw, are you aware that the Christ loving Orthodox armies carried icons into battle, and carried them in procession atop the walls of their city to repal the invaders? The Black Madonna, the Queen of Poland, is a famous example brought to the West.  In Constantinople, the icon of the Protection of the Theotokos records such an instance when the pagan Rus' armed forces were destroyed: their Orthodox Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian descendents are the most fervent venerators of this icon.

 

ialmisry

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PrincessMommy said:
Fr. George said:
Alfred Persson said:
Perssonism is a disparaging nickname referring to my statements, while the shortened form of John of Damascus wasn't at all, yet I was warned.
I don't consider it a disparaging nickname - it is a clear attribution of a unique theological position (especially on this forum) to the person who postulated it, something that has been done on a number of occasions throughout history.
With all due respect Father, if someone is objecting to the use of their name in such a way wouldn't it be the humble and Christian thing to do by respecting their wishes?

Alfred is just as much an icon of Christ as any of us.
No, he is made in the image and likeness of God, but does not conform to the image and likenss of Christ. The Orthodox see Christ as He is.


Mr. Persson is an icon, but that's besides the point. Arius, Macedonius, Nestorius, Eutyches were icons of God too, although they marred the icon of Christ by their heresy.


Mr. Persson wants us to call his teaching apostolic.  The Apostles preached Christ as the icon of the invisible God.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
The burden of proof is not on those who say it doesn't exist as its not mentioned.

Its on those who say it does exist, because its impossible to prove a negative.

If I say "I can throw this stone into outer space," the burden of proving I can is not on those doubting the claim, its on me who made it.

You say the early church practiced icon veneration, prove it in the Bible and sub apostolic church fathers.
I'm not saying the Church did practice icon veneration.  Though I believe she very likely did, I'm not asserting this as an argument in this debate.  Thave no reason to prove an argument I'm not making.

Are you aware of the logical concept related to burden of proof: the fallacy of the argument from ignorance?  This fallacy is fundamentally an attempt to shift the burden of proof by demanding the other person prove you wrong.  This argument takes on one of these two general forms:
1.  P cannot be proven false, therefore it must be true.
2.  P cannot be proven true, therefore it must be false.

I see you committing this fallacy quite often on this thread.  You do this by asserting a negative proposition that you know you cannot prove then insist that you must be right until we provide evidence that proves otherwise.  This is fundamentally a game played by those too intellectually lazy to defend their own theses with solid arguments.  It's an asinine little game I intend not to play.
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Okay, summing up arguments already made that speak to this (you probably overlooked them because the replies contained pictorial evidence, and you don't answer our "icons sent against you") the presence of icons can be attested to in the historical record from the earliest time of the Church.  They were used, much as the pictures and felt cut-outs of many a Protestant Sunday school and children's church, in order to aid the spreading of the Gospel to a largely illiterate population.  The Gospel was not meant just for Jews and wealthy citizens of the Roman Empire (the only portion of the population with literacy), but (perhaps most especially) for the poor.

We don't need writings about this, we have the actual pictures themselves (see jnorm88's posts above, if you do not mind sullying your eyes with visual evidence). 

Let us accept your argument from silence (just for the time being) that these icons were not "venerated" (that is to say, shown honor and respect) as they are today.  That is all fine and well.  But the icons from eras where there is a textual silence exist.

BUT the Orthodox can hardly be silent about their images, therefore the silence about it in the Bible does indicate they didn't practice it.
Not exactly.  Let us look into the historical record and see when it was that the Orthodox no longer maintained a standard of silence about their icons.... Ah yes, during the time of the Iconoclasts.  Much like Trinitarian theology, which itself receives little textual evidence until it came under attack (by Arius and his spiritual descendants), the Iconophiles are silent until their icons come under attack.  Perhaps, as you say, no reverence was shown before this point, but the very heights of the irreverence of the Iconoclasts prompted a reaction.  St John of Damascus' treatise is one of these reactions, the outcry of just those illiterate peasants the icons were meant for is another.

So that when the Seventh Council is called it is decided that a) icons are an acceptable means of transmission of the Gospel teachings and b) icons are worthy of the same respect and honor (veneration) that we would give to the Gospel.

Which, BTW, I don't know if you know this, but we venerate the Gospel in much the same way we do icons, and have since the time of their writings.  But there has been no loud theological defense of this fact, we don't proclaim it as often as we talk about our icons (Protestants not wanting to go around burning Bibles, for some reason), so obviously it is something that we've never really done and I am just making this little fact up on the spot (the historical record being silent and all).

 

Alfred Persson

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PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
LBK said:
Alfred, have you read St John of Damascus' treatise on the defense of icons yet?
You are spamming me...that's gotta be against the rules.
No, it's not against the rules.  Just answer LBK's question and be done with it.
I've cited his works, and refuted them, much to your dismay...now I gotta answer brain dead questions just because you think I should? :Let him spam me forever...that only makes you gents look bad, not me.
 

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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
LBK said:
Alfred, have you read St John of Damascus' treatise on the defense of icons yet?
You are spamming me...that's gotta be against the rules.
No, it's not against the rules.  Just answer LBK's question and be done with it.
I've cited his works, and refuted them, much to your dismay...now I gotta answer brain dead questions just because you think I should? :Let him spam me forever...that only makes you gents look bad, not me.
This only proves that you have read part of his works. The question really is have you read the whole works of St. John? If you were to read the whole works you might see them in the whole context, rather than just the bits and pieces you chose. The same applies to the Bible, any body can take one verse and make it mean what they will, but when put into context it is next to impossible to do this...
 

Alfred Persson

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PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed. The human nature of the Orthodox doesn't allow they practice their veneration of images in private, without witnesses, and never write about it.

No, they trumpet it and even demand others bow down and kiss their images or they are denying xyz.

So the loudness of the Orthodox comes from their fallen human nature, which doesn't change.

Therefore when we see the humble God fearing Bible loving Christians of the first century say nothing about icon veneration, we know they are not like the Orthodox today.

That is the fundamental objection to icons, that its not taught by the apostles.

That is why the lack of testimony for icons in the early church  is probative.


 

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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed.
You might want to edit this.
 
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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
LBK said:
Alfred, have you read St John of Damascus' treatise on the defense of icons yet?
You are spamming me...that's gotta be against the rules.
No, it's not against the rules.  Just answer LBK's question and be done with it.
I've cited his works, and refuted them, much to your dismay...now I gotta answer brain dead questions just because you think I should? :Let him spam me forever...that only makes you gents look bad, not me.
Your approach in your thread is most problematic since you make claims against people's posts that are untrue. For ex., early in the thread Fr George inferred that a post of yours could appear to be a childish rant & you dishonestly counter that you are being called an "idiot" so your whole approach is suspect. All one sees is accusation disguised as inquiry and then reactionary reply disguised as persecution. Perhaps you are sharing your alleged findings with others and you will present yourself as a reasonable guy trying to have an exchange with a brood of vipers.

 
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Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
There is no evidence the early church practiced icon veneration, the absence of any mention of it is inexplicable if they practiced icon veneration like the Orthodox, for the latter can hardly restrain themselves from writing about it----therefore the lack of writing about it indicates they did not practice icon veneration.
Hasty and anachronistic generalization.  You're drawing conclusions about the Early Church from the practice of the Church today without accounting for the differences between the specific circumstances the Early Church faced and the specific circumstances today's Church faces.
and do the homework needed to construct a much more cogent argument, then maybe I'll listen to you.  Right now, you're just babbling incoherently.
Your objection is specious, there is nothing different about human nature, that hasn't changed. The human nature of the Orthodox doesn't allow they practice their veneration of images in private, without witnesses, and never write about it.

No, they trumpet it and even demand others bow down and kiss their images or they are denying xyz.

So the loudness of the Orthodox comes from their fallen human nature, which doesn't change.

Therefore when we see the humble God fearing Bible loving Christians of the first century say nothing about icon veneration, we know they are not like the Orthodox today.

That is the fundamental objection to icons, that its not taught by the apostles.

That is why the lack of testimony for icons in the early church  is probative.
One thing evidence has been shown that icons existed preceding the final formulated canon and that the very theology of the canon & even incipient in the old covenant support the use of icons in the same pattern as the doctrine of the Trinity developed since there is no singular scriptural passage which actually expresses the Trinity. Early apostolic & subsequently martyred Christians read the Shepard of hermas in some churches since it was considered scripture in many churches (they probably do not count as "Bible loving" according to your distrted preaching in the tradtion of man).
 

ialmisry

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dcommini said:
Alfred Persson said:
PeterTheAleut said:
Alfred Persson said:
LBK said:
Alfred, have you read St John of Damascus' treatise on the defense of icons yet?
You are spamming me...that's gotta be against the rules.
No, it's not against the rules.  Just answer LBK's question and be done with it.
I've cited his works, and refuted them, much to your dismay...now I gotta answer brain dead questions just because you think I should? :Let him spam me forever...that only makes you gents look bad, not me.
This only proves that you have read part of his works.
I'm not sure it even proves that, given that he hasn't refuted them.  It appears more that he has lifted some 5th hand citations from some tract akin to something Chick or the Watch Tower Society would put out.  Sort of like sugar sprinkled so you won't notice the poison in your food.

The question really is have you read the whole works of St. John? If you were to read the whole works you might see them in the whole context, rather than just the bits and pieces you chose.
Or bits and pieces already chewed and spit out for him.

The same applies to the Bible, any body can take one verse and make it mean what they will, but when put into context it is next to impossible to do this...
LOL. Of course that's the problem.  He doesn't have the context of the Bible: THE CHURCH.
 
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