The Pixelated

[L]et’s talk about pictures of Jesus, not just in public worship or Sunday School rooms but in Christians’ heads—the mental images that the Westminster Divines had in mind (no pun intended).

Q. 109. What sins are forbidden in the second commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.

…Media like The Chosen gives believers and seekers a sort of alternate track to what they read in the Bible and hear at church, providing lots of visual material and even alternate dialogue to compete with the Bible’s “data.” After watching the series, is the voice its consumers hear that of the Word of God or of edited-for-effect TV Jesus? Can the black-and-white Jesus of the Gospels words keep up with fast-paced, small-screen Jesus, who demands only 45 minutes of our lives at a time? Can one turn off this alternate track after it is downloaded?

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