Orthodoxy and Western Christianity: Venerating Icons and Saints
The Icon FAQ, by Father Deacon
John Whiteford. Frequently asked questions about Icons. This is a good
place for inquirers to start learning about the Orthodox view of Icons.
Apologia of St. John Damascene Against Those Who Decry Holy Images. This is the classic
defense of Icons from the eighth century. St. John was defending Icons during
the first half of the Iconoclastic
Controversy. His defense was concerned mainly with the accusation
of idolatry, as raised from the Old Testament prohibitions. During the
second half of the Controversy, the chief spokesman was St. Theodore the
Studite. His defense was directed against the monophysite presuppositions
behind the iconoclast position. Thus, his defense was Christologicalto
wit, to deny the use of Icons was to deny the Incarnation. (See On
the Holy Icons, by St. Theodore the Studite. St. Vladimir's Seminary
Presumptuous Propositions, by Timothy
Copple and Patrick Barnes. This is an in-depth critique of the Protestant
iconoclastic position, focusing especially upon Orthodoxy's ostensible
violation of the Second Commandment.
Is Venerating Icons Idolatry?, by Timothy Copple.
the Seventh Oecumenical Synod in Nicea
(787 A.D.) : this Synod was the climax of all the centuries of Christological
disputes. By this Synod the meaning of the Incarnation of Christ was given
full expression, for She worked out the theological basis for the veneration
of Icons from the dogma of the Person of Christ. The presuppositions of
the Iconoclasts were Monophysite,
and the defenders of Orthodoxy, chiefly St. John of Damascus and St. Theodore
of Studios, answered the heretics with Christological arguments. Do my
Protestants readers understand this interrelation between the Incarnation
Cherubims and Arks, by Timothy Copple.
Old Testament Exegesis on the Hebrew Terms for Prostration and Worship.
Venerating or Praying to the Saints
An Orthodox View of the Virgin Mary:
who is She and why do Orthodox Christians "worship" Her?
On the Intercession and Invocation of the Saints, A compilation for Protestants by Reader Christopher Orr.
Why Is Mary Considered Ever-Virgin? Answering the question
of a sincere Protestant inquirer.
Documents of the Third
Oecumenical Synod (431 A.D.): though many Protestants understand
that this Synod was about the condemnation of Nestorius's teaching, few
realize that the arguments centered around the use of the term Theotokos,
or "Mother of God," for the Blessed Virgin Mary. This was so
much the case that Bishop Kallistos (Ware) has written: "The same
primacy that the word homoousion occupies in the doctrine of
the Trinity, the word Theotokos holds in the doctrine of the
Incarnation." (The Orthodox Church, p. 25) So why do Protestants
not use the term Theotokos,
let alone even honor the Virgin Mary? In not doing so, they in practice
deny the Incarnation and fall under the anathemas of the Third Oecumenical
Synod. Food for thought.
Related articles in General Info
& Topics: The Veneration of Saints & Their Relics.