69 Giakalis, [Mansi, 12, 967C] 1994, p. 78.
70 Barasch, 1992, p. 129.
71 Zibawi, 1993, p. 27.
72 Calian, 1968, p. 137.
“Those who defended the veneration of the Holy Icons in the troubled times of the eighth and ninth centuries believed they were fighting for the truth of the Incarnation of the Son of God; and they believed that those who attacked the icons were attacking the reality of the Incarnation and the possibility of that revelation being communicated through matter.”73
L’Engle suggests that the “horrendous mistake” of considering that matter, the flesh, is evil while only the spirit is good “…has distorted our understanding of the incarnation ever since.”74 Of course, this is largely influenced by a theology of the fall of Adam (and all mankind) that includes the permeation by sin of all of created things. While there is some truth to this theology, there is Old Testament evidence, especially in the Psalms, that creation was still able to declare God’s glory. In other words, all good in creation (matter) has not been destroyed by the fall. It is possible that creation can contribute toward the glory of God. This is ultimately evidenced by the incarnation itself when God actually became part of created things. In fact, Ouspensky augments the significance of this by suggesting that the prohibition of images actually ends with the incarnation of Christ.75 In the eyes of the iconodules, the ultimate conclusion of the iconoclastic “heresy” was that it was not possible for God to become fully human in Christ. They went further to say that icons celebrated the incarnation by participating in the redemption of matter. In this sense, veneration of icons was a “…manifestation of honour” not of the image itself but of the person in the image.76 This person has the reality of God in him (or her, in the case of Mary and some of the saints).