Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Bible and Mental Images of Jesus (Part 6)
One argument advanced by Professor John Frame is that when most people read certain parts of the Bible it is “psychologically impossible” not to form mental images of Jesus . Frame offers no evidence that it is “psychologically impossible” not to form mental images of Jesus when reading about him . Because Frame offers no evidence for this assertion then this cannot act as defeater against my position on the abrogation of images of Jesus. In fact there is some reason to doubt that it is “psychologically impossible” not to form mental images, namely, the existence of people who have been entirely blind all their lives . But even if we were to suppose that Frame were right in saying that it is “psychologically impossible” not to form mental images of Jesus when reading the Bible this still is not a reason to doubt the abrogation of Jesus pictures position. It is impossible in our present sinful state to follow the law of God perfectly (Rom. 3:10-20) but that does not negate the fact that I am morally obligated to follow the Law of God perfectly (Matt. 5:48). I would go so far as to say that most people do form mental images of Jesus when reading the text, but just because a person is inclined (perhaps inevitably) to do x does not mean that a person is not morally obligated to refrain from doing x. Furthermore, this is not surprising that this is the case because as John Calvin taught that fallen mankind is a perpetual factory of idols (Rom. 1:22-25) . There is no theological problem then with attributing the disposition to form mental images when reading about Jesus as a product of our sinful fallen condition . Hence, it is hard to see how Frame’s assertion that it is “psychologically impossible” to form pictures of Jesus when reading the Bible is to be thought of as a defeater against the abrogation of Jesus images position.