Hmmm, Could it be that there is such a thing as Pharisiac Calvinist? Try this on for size:

Zwingli, movie critic:
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We had Luther the movie critic, so it is only fair to let Zwingli have his say on "The Passion." Zwingli was an iconoclast, but his argument here speaks not of doing away with images entirely (what was not allowed in church could be quite permissible outside of church, as in Rembrandt's paintings of Christ), but of the necessity of the Word. This is from Charles Garside, Zwingli and the Arts (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1966), pp. 172-173):

To begin with, we can learn nothing of the content of God's Word from an image. "Why," Zwingli rhetorically asks, "do we not send images to unbelievers so that they can learn belief from them?" Precisely because we would be required to explain what they mean, which in turn requires knowledge of the Word. "If now you show an unbelieving or unlettered child images, then you must teach him with the Word in addition, or he will have looked at the picture in vain." For if "you were newly come from the unbeliever and knew nothing of Christ and saw Him painted with the apostles at the Last Supper, or on the Cross, then you would learn nothing from this same picture other than to say 'He who is pictured there was a good-looking man in spite of it all."
"The Passion" does have the Word in the subtitles, including strong Gospel statements about how He is bearing sin and dying for his friends. There is even the crucial text, in this relativistic age, that "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). These are all the way through the movie.

Still, the challenge for the Church will be to take advantage of this particular cultural sensation, taking people who have been moved by these visual images and bringing the Word to them. After all, "faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).

Posted by Veith at February 27, 2004 06:35 AM