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karludy
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The people who made the JESUS film are working on a new anime version with Barry Cook (co-director of Mulan). They have released an early concept video of one segment of this film on youtube. The clip is the encounter that Jesus had with the demoniac of the Garadenes. You can see it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5rDrcdz7yE. They are looking for feedback before they start work on the final product.

Would you be interested in seeing Jesus in anime, and how would you like it done?

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The people who made the JESUS film are working on a new anime version with Barry Cook (co-director of Mulan). They have released an early concept video of one segment of this film on youtube. The clip is the encounter that Jesus had with the demoniac of the Garadenes. You can see it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5rDrcdz7yE. They are looking for feedback before they start work on the final product.

Would you be interested in seeing Jesus in anime, and how would you like it done?

Wow! I thought that animatic was quite powerful. Great stuff with the demoniac, and the pigs! But the British accent for Jesus was jarring in such a cool looking production. It made what seemed creative and dynamic at the beginning suddenly seem twee and self-consciously "religious."

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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The people who made the JESUS film are working on a new anime version with Barry Cook (co-director of Mulan). They have released an early concept video of one segment of this film on youtube. The clip is the encounter that Jesus had with the demoniac of the Garadenes. You can see it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5rDrcdz7yE. They are looking for feedback before they start work on the final product.

Would you be interested in seeing Jesus in anime

Absolutely not. To watch such a film would be an insult to God.

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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What?

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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What?

Christ is the God-Man. He is not Astro-Boy. The second commandment is constantly swept under the rug in our entertainment-obsessed culture.

Edited by The Invisible Man

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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What?

Christ is the God-Man. He is not Astro-Boy. The second commandment is constantly swept under the rug in our entertainment-obsessed culture.

I am unsure if you are just goofing around...but you do realize that Jesus is not a robot in this right? It's just the art style that makes it anime. It's just the standard Jesus story. It's breaking the second commandment only in so far as any movie does...did you feel the same (if you are being serious) about the Passion of the Christ? Or any film/TV version of the Jesus story?

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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I am unsure if you are just goofing around...but you do realize that Jesus is not a robot in this right? It's just the art style that makes it anime. It's just the standard Jesus story. It's breaking the second commandment only in so far as any movie does...

No, I wasn't goofing around, but I appreciate that I could have expressed myself better. I was trying to make the point that such a cartoon, by its very nature, would trivialize Christ's message and suffering.

did you feel the same (if you are being serious) about the Passion of the Christ? Or any film/TV version of the Jesus story?

Yes, I feel the same way about all such movies.

When I was a child, and long before I came to be a Christian, my grandmother had a picture of Christ above her bed. The image was rather striking and I am still haunted by the face in that picture today. I can even see the face in my mind's eye right now as I write this: the kindly smile, the penetrating blue eyes, the flowing brown beard... It comes to me unsummoned. But the man in that picture wasn't Jesus, and to dwell upon that face is idolatry (as the second commandment indicates). That picture has caused me harm, and it makes me wonder how many others have been harmed similarly by product like "The Passion of the Christ", "The Miracle Maker" and "Jesus of Nazareth"...

Edited by The Invisible Man

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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Actually I sort of agree, but the only solution I can think of - given the pluarilty of images of Jesus in our churches and cultures - is to expose ones self to numerous such images. That way they all disolve into one another, and no one image predominates in the way that, say, the image above your grandmother's bed does.

I don't consider that violation of the second commandment though, unless one venerates such an image.

Matt

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I don't consider that violation of the second commandment though, unless one venerates such an image.

I personally regard all depictions of Christ as sacrilege. I used to feel the same way that you do until I read Calvin on the subject. This quote from "The Shorter Catechism of the Westminster Assembly Explained and Proved from Scripture" by Thomas Vincent is also helpful:

It is not lawful to have pictures of Jesus Christ, because his divine nature cannot be pictured at all; and because his body, as it is now glorified, cannot be pictured as it is; and because, if it do not stir up devotion, it is in vain
Edited by The Invisible Man

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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did you feel the same (if you are being serious) about the Passion of the Christ? Or any film/TV version of the Jesus story?

Yes, I feel the same way about all such movies.

Alright. I just was trying to make sure. Your "astro-boy" comment came across as if you thought they were doing some sci-fi version of the story Jesus.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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MattPage wrote:

: I don't consider that violation of the second commandment though, unless one venerates such an image.

Well, I venerate icons all the time -- and not just those of Jesus.

The Seventh Ecumenical Council -- the last "ecumenical council" that Catholics and Orthodox agree on -- came down pretty strongly against the iconoclasts. And the reason it did so is because Christ is not merely fully divine, he is fully human as well. And it is because God has become incarnate in human flesh that we are allowed, even encouraged, to dwell upon his human form. While you may find exceptions in churches here and there, standard Orthodox practice is to refrain from depicting God the Father (except in metaphorical or allegorical form, such as Andrei Rublev's famous icon of the three angels that met Abraham, each of whom "represents" a Person of the Trinity), but God the Son has made himself known to us, face-to-face, so why would we NOT depict that face?

And yes, as Matt points out, there is a plurality of images out there, and this is good, for the same reason that it is good to have four written gospels rather than just one. I would also note that there are icons depicting the various stages of Christ's life, including both his childhood and his adulthood, and this allows us to see that Christ, in his full humanity, changed over time, even if Christ, in his full divinity, remained essentially changeless and eternal. And this combination of change and changelessness opens us up to the mystery whereby EACH of us is many selves and yet one self, and each of us can be depicted by multiple portraits even as there is something common to all those portraits that, if they are true, remains the same throughout them all.

I think the abstraction inherent in animation, as opposed to live-action film, makes animation particularly ideal for presenting us with an "icon" of Christ; with live-action films, there is always the problem of identifying Jesus with the actor who portrays him, but with animation, voice-acting aside, that potential problem is eliminated.

And I see no reason why a Japanese animation style should be inferior for depicting Christ to any other animation style.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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MattPage wrote:

: I don't consider that violation of the second commandment though, unless one venerates such an image.

Well, I venerate icons all the time -- and not just those of Jesus.

Yeah I think I may have used the wrong word there (trying to be flash)!

Matt

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The Seventh Ecumenical Council -- the last "ecumenical council" that Catholics and Orthodox agree on -- came down pretty strongly against the iconoclasts. And the reason it did so is because Christ is not merely fully divine, he is fully human as well. And it is because God has become incarnate in human flesh that we are allowed, even encouraged, to dwell upon his human form.

But Christ is ALWAYS fully God. We cannot split him in two and ignore his divine nature - that's precisely what movies do, and why watching them is sinful.

While you may find exceptions in churches here and there, standard Orthodox practice is to refrain from depicting God the Father (except in metaphorical or allegorical form, such as Andrei Rublev's famous icon of the three angels that met Abraham, each of whom "represents" a Person of the Trinity), but God the Son has made himself known to us, face-to-face, so why would we NOT depict that face?

But we don't know Christ's actual face. Scripture is silent on his physical appearance.

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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The Invisible Man wrote:

: But Christ is ALWAYS fully God. We cannot split him in two and ignore his divine nature - that's precisely what movies do, and why watching them is sinful.

Well, the Church came to the exact opposite conclusion, and PRECISELY because "we cannot split him in two". We cannot ignore his HUMAN nature. We cannot regard his human nature as something to be hidden from view, because Christ himself gave God a human face and showed it to us.

: But we don't know Christ's actual face. Scripture is silent on his physical appearance.

True. So? Christ's face had no one form -- it changed over time simply because he lived in time and he grew up and got older and went through puberty and all the rest of it. So there are multiple possible forms that his face could have taken even if we were relying on photographs rather than paintings.

And why should painting be any more suspect than writing, when it comes to the suppression of some details and the enhancement of others and, yes, even perhaps the addition of others? The important thing, as I noted above, is that we have four gospels within our written canon, so it only makes sense that we would have multiple images of Christ, too -- these portraits, written and painted, do not always agree on the details, but they all point to a certain essential commonality that would not stand out so well if all we had was just the one gospel, or just the one icon.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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But we don't know Christ's actual face. Scripture is silent on his physical appearance.

The idea that we don't know Christ's face is a modern notion. For most of Christendom Christians knew what Jesus looked like.

How did they know?-as we all agree there is not physical description of him recorded in the scriptures. The tradition of the church held that there were several images of Jesus classified as acheiropoeta,

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And why should painting be any more suspect than writing, when it comes to the suppression of some details and the enhancement of others and, yes, even perhaps the addition of others?

I naturally regard the word as paramount and sacred. Christ didn't leave us his fleshly body, he left us his words, and the only authentic gospel is one spread through those words. Images carry no such authority because they are the works of men. Images always debase Christ. To depict Jesus in a movie is to depict a false Christ and to present a false gospel. I realize, however, that you and I can never agree on this, so I won't labour the point further.

In reply to Jim: I give no credence to relics.

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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The Invisible Man wrote:

: Christ didn't leave us his fleshly body, he left us his words . . .

Well, he DID leave us his Body, and his Blood, and he left us all his miracles and other actions besides. He didn't leave us "just words".

And even the words he left were oral, not textual -- and the words he left were almost certainly in Aramaic, whereas all our earliest gospels and epistles are in Greek -- so even his words need to be filtered and transmitted through the words of others.

: . . . and the only authentic gospel is one spread through those words. Images carry no such authority because they are the works of men.

The gospels are the works of men, too. Or are you a red-letter Bible type?

: In reply to Jim: I give no credence to relics.

FWIW, I'm agnostic on the question of the Shroud of Turin, but I don't think anyone can deny that relics have always played a part in Judeo-Christian spirituality, from the bones of Elisha (which brought a man back from the dead) to the napkins that were blessed by the apostles and thus brought healing to some people (according to the Book of Acts). But I'm sure we have other threads that discuss that in better detail.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Hey I'm new to this site and this is my first visit, but I feel I have to add my comments to this debate.

I know that the Invisible Man's views seem out-dated in this media obsessed society. But I do agree with him 100%.

For me, Jesus lives within me, and makes Himself known to me in such an intimate way, I have no need to look on images of Him.

Have you seen those programmes that "morph" people's faces in photographs? It's amusing for a short while. But if you really loved someone, would you want to sit and look at a morphed photograph, or would you want to see them in their true beauty? It's the same with Jesus. Any picture I ever see of Him is no better than a morphed picture. It doesn't do Him justice, it will never come close to how amazing He really is.

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My Reformed personal perspective is fairly in line with Invisible Man's, but, having been raised in the Catholic church and respecting many of their views on art, I can see where the others are coming from too.

At the very least, I was pleased to see that the animators didn't try to make Christ look like a WASP.

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Graceful Battlemaid wrote:

: Any picture I ever see of Him is no better than a morphed picture. It doesn't do Him justice, it will never come close to how amazing He really is.

I can see your point, Battlemaid (love the name!), but at the same time, that's pretty much how I feel about the written gospels, too. Indeed, John's gospel even TELLS us that it's giving us only part of the picture. And when you compare the various gospels, it's not too hard to see a little "morphing" going on in there, too. So while I can appreciate the sentiment, I don't find this a particularly strong argument, per se.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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The gospels are the works of men, too. Or are you a red-letter Bible type?

No, I'm not a red-letter Christian, but I do believe that the Bible is far more than the work of mere men. I believe it to be a supernaturally received text, that the men who wrote it were carried along by the Holy Spirit. I also believe that the more one studies the Bible, the more the Holy Spirit opens one's heart to its truth. We are supernaturally persuaded as we read. Calvin calls this phenomenon "the self-authentication of Scripture". This is why every Christian needs to read their Bible daily.

We are part of the generation in which the image has triumphed over the word, when the visual is dominant over the verbal and where entertainment drowns out exposition. We may go so far as to claim that we live in an age of the image which is also the age of anti-word and potentially is the age of the lie. ~ Os Guiness

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

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The Invisible Man wrote:

: No, I'm not a red-letter Christian, but I do believe that the Bible is far more than the work of mere men. I believe it to be a supernaturally received text, that the men who wrote it were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

I agree. I also extend that concept of "supernatural reception" to the men (and women, I suppose) who gradually incorporated those texts into the canon of the Church -- and who decreed that it was a good and even necessary thing to make visual depictions of Christ, etc. :)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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What?

Christ is the God-Man. He is not Astro-Boy. The second commandment is constantly swept under the rug in our entertainment-obsessed culture.

The second commandment says:

"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them ..."

I wonder how you think we should apply this. If you take it at its most literal meaning then the bronze snake made my Moses was a breaking of this commandment, and possibly even the cherubim on the ark.

And this interpretation would have implications for many fields. Is photography by definition a breaking of this commandment? Is depicting any living thing then breaking this commandment? What about my children's drawings? what about the fish signs on all the Christians' cars - are they breaking this commandment too?

I would think that this commandment in rather saying that we should not worship these things, not that we should not represent them in art.

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