As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Computer and Religious Icons

Those little images on computer screens are called 'icons' because of the meaning and use of religious icons. Orthodox Christian icons are called "windows to heaven" because they mystically connect us to the heavenly realms. The Seventh Ecumenical Council (A.D. 787) affirmed for us the theology of the icon, including the truth that "what is done before the icon is conveyed to the one it represents." It is clearly understood that the icon remains wood and paint. It is not what is represented by it, but it is a means of connection or link to that which it represents. (Click on the icon to the right to read St. Mary's story. >>)

Computer icons, in the same way, are not the programs themselves, but graphical representations of the programs or services whose logos they bear. By clicking on them, one can connect to the powers behind the logos. That is why they are called icons, and not merely logos, images or symbols.

Psalm 2 says "Kiss the Son, lest He be angry with you." Six times in the New Testament we are told to greet one another with a holy kiss or a kiss of love. We are also instructed that death cannot separate the body of Christ. "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." By means of Orthodox Icons we can obey Scripture. And we are continually reminded of the thin-ness of the veil of death. We continue to be encouraged, admonished and inspired by the Saints who have gone before (Hebrews 11), as their presence is conveyed by their icons. They especially call us to prayer to the Triune God.

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