Tuesday, March 11, 2014

noah, 'word' & 'image'


Well,  the story of Noah seems to have spun interested parties into "social-media overdrive." 

Of all the pre-release protests against the latest interpretation of a biblical story, there is one that perplexes me.  In one thread of comments I noticed this:

"I am often reminded that 'image' can never replace 'word.'  Image is great for entertainment.  But is innately, essentially, ontologically deficient."

I get that our image-driven culture tends to subvert our worship of the unseen.  Instead of responding in faith, we clamour for what we can see - and whatever image we create to understand God tends to become the object of our worship.  It happens all the time.

But, I wonder if it's really true to say that image is only ever for entertainment.  Is image always deficient?

Perhaps not, if we consider that humans are created in the image of God.  The WORD, this STORY, is one which is always pointing to the image of God - reflecting what He is like.  And when we, as humans, allow this story to capture our imaginations, then the pictures (moving or otherwise) that we produce may well be a source for our discovery of who this God is, and how He is interacting wth humanity today.

So then, when I battle the crowds and get to actually watch Noah, it won't just be for entertainment.  As with any story, I'll be looking for what I can discover about the person of God - no doubt I'll be testing the accuracy of how the story is told, but I'll also be asking:
- 'what is the artist saying through the telling of this story?'
- 'Is what he is saying true?'
- 'Is there something that God is saying about Himself as this story is told at this point in history?'

And then, as God enables, I'm hoping to discuss my answers to these questions with someone else.

Because it might be that image carries with it a great capacity to draw me to the word. (John 1:1)

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