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In Living Color: Images of Christ and the Means of Grace Paperback – 2009
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While man has universally and perpetually desired the visual in his relationship with God, God has given his people the Word and sacraments as manifestations of his presence until Christ comes again, visibly and corporeally___in living color. This is the classic Reformed exegesis of Scripture as expressed in its confessions. __________ "Danny Hyde has written an excellent piece on a very misunderstood subject. Through effective combination of biblical, theological, and confessional discussions, he has presented the Reformed view of the second commandment winsomely and attractively. He helpfully emphasizes not the negative prohibition of making images of God but the positive facts that God has revealed himself now so generously in Word and Sacrament and will one day reveal himself visibly in the most perfect and authentic way." -David VanDrunen, Robert B. Strimple Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics, Westminster Seminary California
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately he seems to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. Is it not possible to use a piece of artwork in order to get the unbeliever thinking, but then in the preaching task to push them beyond what is seen to what is really written in the text? Can one not display a picture, not as the gospel, but as something that all will be familiar with and then push on into the Word of God? It seems this is exactly what Jesus did in his parables, or his use of the denarius. The image became a teaching tool to take people back to the truth of Scripture. It simply isn't enough to condemn images in an image bearing age, one must present a proper use of the image in order to get people into the Word of God.
I was challenged by the text and greatly appreciated it, especially as I have been thinking about this issue lately. I would recommend everyone read it and seriously reflect on the primacy of Word and Sacrament in their churches.
The NT sacraments are the visible signs & seals of the gospel. The sacraments are therefore a sign of Christ's work on the cross. By the efficacy of the Holy Spirit, God binds Himself to His people, known as "sealing" (Eph 4:30). Question 67 of The Heidelberg Catechism asks: 'Are both word and sacraments, then, ordained and appointed for this end, that they may direct our faith to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, as the only ground of our salvation?' Answer: 'Yes, indeed: for the Holy Ghost teaches us in the gospel, and assures us by the sacraments, that the whole of our salvation depends upon that one sacrifice of Christ which He offered for us on the cross.' So they help us to see what God gave us in Christ.
In reality, Hyde identifies that 'Man's Media:Images' has become the dominant form of communication in evangelical circles. His sincere inquiry asks, 'Should we, or should we not, rely on the world's methods of advertising and entertainment?' p 16 Hyde's reply comes in the form of a minority report: 'In many Reformed churches across the US, like my own, the precious heritage of the Reformed church has opened the eyes of many from the man-centered theologies and churches marking the landscape.' p 17 Foundational to our mission statement (how God has been pleased to reveal Himself) he expresses regret at the transformation of 'what was once a word-based culture into an image-based culture'. p 41 Hyde surveys the biblical teaching against created images, also referencing Calvin's 'Inventory of Relics' whereby the Roman church made herself guilty of relic and saint worship.
In a church saturated with scriptural neglect, Daniel Hyde counsels a studied return to 'how He has promised to work. In a word, we must attempt to be a people who are faithful to the Scriptures since they are God's revealed will to us.' p 18 Hyde authoritatively cites Warfield that catechetical preaching to adults and the catechetical instruction of its youth has been the preservation of the Reformed church, p 124. This allows for Christ-centered preaching and teaching that glorifies God, which Hyde terms 'Man's Media:Preaching'. As this is the primary means of grace, the development of this means of special grace is treated with the necessary scriptural diligence. Especially Hyde's conditioning of preaching through the historical handling of Gal 3:1 is exceptional. Finding common ground with the Canons of Dort, Hyde cites it to say that it is by the means of preaching that the Holy Spirit does a 'supernatural work...not inferior in efficacy to creation and the resurrection from the dead.' p 131
Question 24 of The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks 'How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?' Answer: 'Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by His Word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.' To the chorus of faithful voices Hyde adds his: 'As such, preaching is not merely about Christ, but it is the voice of Christ, despite the lowly means and manner. In this, though, the Spirit demonstrates the power of God, for His glory, our comfort, and the humbling of human pride.' p 133
In the new covenant Christ effected eternal forgiveness, the remissions of our sins, through the shedding of His blood; therefore, the blood-signs, and by association the sacrifices, should now cease. The NT sacraments (as administered by the ordained) are the evangel in visible form and Hyde competently argues for their disclosure as an indivisible part of special revelation, especially as covenantally 'God's Media'. At stake now are the historical means of grace, as the future existence of either depends on both their surviving the media-centered onslaught.