instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Friday, December 05, 2003

A good choice of words

Responding to my post "Does God change His mind?," Rob writes:
But what you're saying now is that God--as presented in the OT scriptures--is a projection of changeable humans.
No, what I'm saying now is that God as presented in the OT scriptures is a description of God's projection on changeable humans.

The same is true of God as presented in the NT scriptures. The difference, of course, is Jesus Christ.

I'm very pleased by Rob's use of the word "projection," because it leads to another of my favorite analogies: a movie screen. Think of the world as a movie screen that gets crumpled up by sin and straightened out by obedience to God. God, in the analogy, is like a slide (I'd say "reel of film," but I might as well make Him unchangeable in the analogy, too). His revelation of Himself is like the projection of the slide onto the screen.

As the screen cumples and straightens, the picture will appear to distort and change.

Jesus as man is like the perfect movie screen, perfectly reflecting the original image. (And, incidentally but importantly, when that image is projected onto the screen corresponding to the fallen world, it invariably looks like a crucified man.)

The New Testament, to the extent it is a record of Jesus as man and what He taught His disciples, corresponds to a much better screen than does the Old Testament. But the image seen is still a projection, not the slide itself.