The Development Of The Theology of Icons

It may be fair to say that the theology of the icon developed more in the context of reaction than independent of other circumstances. This may be said of much of the theology of the church. In other words, concise theology regarding practices appeared only when these practices were questioned. This seems to be true of the theology of the icon. Much of the doctrinal clarity regarding icons came out of the response to various iconoclasms designed to repudiate and remove icons from the church. This will be discussed in more detail in a later section, but it is important to point out that the use of icon was a natural development of the church in a primarily illiterate culture. Pictures and oral presentation of the gospel were normative. These were not primarily theological things but outworkings of faith. As the use of icon and images came into question, concise theological defenses were developed.