The 7th Ecumenical Council: In Defense of Jesus

One Sunday each October in the Orthodox Church Calendar is dedicated to the Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council who in 787AD affirmed the theological significance of icons for proclaiming the Gospel of the incarnate God.   St. John of Damascus (d. 749AD) is one of the great defenders of theology expressed in lines and colors.  His writings were an important basis for the decisions reached by the 7th Ecumenical Council.

“In his work entitled On Divine Images, John of Damascus, the eighth-century champion of icons, claims, I do not adore creation in place of the creator, but I worship the One who became a creature. And since it is through matter what God has worked out our salvation, there is an appropriate honor due to material thing. I would argue that it is this sense of the salvific power of matter that we have lost today and which we need to rediscover. As John of Damascus writes: Because of the Incarnation, I salute all remaining matter with reverence.”

(John Chryssavgis, Beyond the Shattered Image: Insights into an Orthodox Christian Ecological Worldview, pg. 124)