Is There Really a Patristic Critique of Icons? (Part 1 of 5)

My friend Gabe Martini’s response to a Calvinist blogger who proposed patristic evidence opposing the use of icons. This is part one of five:

“Steven Wedgeworth, Assistant Pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Clinton, Mississippi, has recently written a post at The Calvinist International against the Christian use of icons. In this post, he proposes to “counter-balance” the evidence in favor of icons and their veneration with evidence to the contrary. The reason, as he puts it, is that “Not as many people … know the opposing patristic voices.” This implies that there is an evident Patristic opposition to icons in the history and tradition of the Church — one that is so substantial, one could be forced to reconsider their position on the issue as a result. Pr Wedgeworth also claims that the liturgical use of icons has a “mixed foundation,” implying that the practice and beliefs of the Catholic Church are perhaps arguable at best.

But is that really the case? Does the evidence put forth by Pr Wedgeworth demonstrate that there has always been an equal opposition to icons and their veneration within the Orthodox-Catholic Church? Is that evidence being properly represented and understood? Were they isolated voices, or part of a large opposition to icons in the history of the Church?”


About Joel

Joel is a 32 year old currently residing in the southeastern United States. His interests lay in philosophy and theology. He is a writer for The Christian Watershed.

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