EDITORIAL: THE SEDUCTIVE IMAGE
Gregory Edward Reynolds
My granddaughter is fascinating to watch as she develops her knowledge of the images and sounds surrounding her. Her world is not, however, as one wit put it “a blooming, buzzing confusion,” but rather a world of meaning awaiting her growing ability to interpret and understand it.
WHY DO IMAGES TEND TO SEDUCE US?
Why is the image so seductive? Let me suggest that it is because of its high value in the created order. Like sex, its social counterpart, images are so integral to our experience as image bearers of God that their corruption becomes so powerful; and because God gave us eyes, pervasive. So I think we need to begin thinking about the seductive power of images in terms of creation.
In Genesis 1:29 the Creator bids Adam and Eve “See…” i.e., “Look at all that I have given you. Now cultivate it for my glory.” We are visual creatures because we image a “seeing” God. “God saw everything that he had made, and, indeed, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). Our eyes are finite replicas of God’s “eyes.” It is sin that corrupts our visual faculties. “[W]hen the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate” (Gen. 3:6). Our eyes are our windows on the world. We are interpreting what we see as we see. Our eyes are connected to our thought-lives and our covenant loyalties. The inner life is the lens through which we look. In the Garden we saw the revelation of God’s glory in every glance. Continue reading