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Images of God (Artisan)



That image is similar to one found in Timothy Laniak's Finding the Lost Images of God, which I read last week alongside my ongoing reading of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. Lost Images is part of a fascinating series I have begun reading called "Ancient Faith, Ancient Faith" put together by Gary Burge. So far it has six books in it, with Lost Images being the fifth book, but only my first! The series does not require you to read sequentially. 

The book explores how images are used in the Bible to describe God and his relationship with his chosen people. The image above is that of God as the Divine Artisan. A poor grasp of of these images makes it difficult for us to comprehend the profound biblical revelations they communicate. Key to this is understanding the "cultural vehicles" of communication and that requires learning the cultural background of those who created them. Timothy Laniak wonderfully uses his background as an expert in Near East studies to show us some of the big images of God used in scripture e.g. Warrior, Architect, King. The book is aimed at a much wider audience, hence it is fairly short (115 pages or so - with colour photographs, paintings, etc! Great on the Kindle iPad because you can expand them!). Some readers though will feel short changed, though all will undoubtedly profit! In some places it is quite light. There's also some important images left out e.g. Judge, Priests. Its not that he does not discuss these images, but you feel they require a separate showing! To his credit, he focuses on images least understood, so perhaps there's nothing to moan about! In any case the ones he does discuss he does a good job not only of connecting us back to the Old world, but also linking the Old world to the New world of Jesus and then to us. Its can't be perfect, and its worth a read!

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